The problem of shampoo

Photo Credit: ParentingPatch [CC BY-SA 3.0]

Today was shopping day and thanks to my new meal planner, my list was much shorter than usual. Mostly I needed protein to pair with the vegetables I’ve had delivered and the grains that I can theoretically buy in bulk (I haven’t had to replenish since my “Lenten” challenge began).

The kids needed shampoo though, which means that if I’m buying it, it’s in plastic. I have found a recipe for making my own shampoo but even if I were ready to go there (I’m not), it’s definitely a bridge too far for my kids. There are also a lot of problems with DIY (Do It Yourself) shampoo recipes. Here’s an interesting article. If you don’t to read it, I’ll summarize: Most common DIY shampoos do not clean the hair, do not protect the hair,and are prone to getting moldy.

I tend to buy them whatever is the cheapest shampoo available. Even though they both have short hair, I can only assume that they each use a half cup every day. They go through it really quickly, and most of it ends up going down the drain. Yesterday, Alberto V05 was 5 bottles for $5, so that’s what I got. Which means I am now also the owner of 5 more plastic bottles.

Here’s the thing: Plastic is the perfect vehicle for shampoo. Manufacturers have designed the bottles to travel long distances without breaking or affecting the quality of the product inside. Once they are in your shower, they are safe and the product is well-preserved. You can’t keep glass in your shower. Trust me on that one. Shampoo bars exist but people are really accustomed to liquid shampoo and associate the foaming action with being clean. If we could get rid of the rest of the plastic in our world, and re-use our well-designed plastic bottles, that would be ideal. We aren’t there yet.

At this point, I have enough shampoo in the house to get me through another month without buying any more. I might try a couple DIY recipes or look for some no-plastic options to try out. I’ll report back.

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