Why is solid shampoo one of the biggest trends of 2023?

Solid shampoo is shampoo that comes in “solid” form without added water. Liquid shampoos typically contain 80 to 90% water and just 10 to 20% active ingredients. To formulate the best solid shampoo, we removed the water and created concentrated, waterless solid bars that are activated when water is added and the bar is rubbed onto your hair in the shower.

Solid shampoo is NOT hair soap which is important to note because hair soap has a high pH and ingredients that are NOT suitable for your hair because they open up your cuticle structure and damage the hair shaft over time and because scum can build in your hair if you use soap on it (read more about how to best differentiate solid shampoo from hair soap here).

Why is solid shampoo better than liquid shampoo?

Solid shampoo is better than liquid shampoo from both a performance and a sustainability perspective. The performance of solids of course depends on the actives in the formulation, and to make the best solid shampoo we made sure to pick actives that perform on the highest level of salon quality shampoo while being tailored and customized to different hair types. From a sustainability perspective, solid shampoos and conditioners offer huge benefits. By eliminating water from the formulation, solid shampoo and conditioner can be packaged in cardboard packaging without any use of plastic which saves fossil fuels and greenhouse gas emissions during production and avoids the massive negative environmental impacts of plastic at the “end of life” stage. This helps reduce plastic pollution and harmful microplastics which occurs because plastic is not biodegradable but instead degrades
mechanically into microplastics over a very long period of time (see here for more details about the negative effect of microplastics in beauty).

Solid shampoo also minimizes a product’s carbon footprint because it has a much more compact size and weight footprint which saves significant amounts of greenhouse gas emissions during shipping. Given the avoidance of plastic and the lower size and volume footprint, solid shampoo has an estimated 80 to 90% lower carbon footprint than comparable liquid shampoo and thus is the most eco-friendly option for your hair care routine. By offsetting the little footprint that is left with Climate Partners, our superzero solid shampoo bars go above and beyond even that high standards and are indeed fully climate neutral.

What are the ingredients in a solid shampoo bar?

Given that we removed water as the number one ingredient in liquid shampoos and the fact that cosmetic chemistry has been fully focused on formulating within water-based systems, we had to start from scratch when formulating the best solid shampoo bars and look diligently for the right solid shampoo ingredients that would work in anhydrous systems.

We started with a carefully chosen blend of sulfate-free surfactants that can bind oil, water and dirt, thus enabling a gentle yet effective cleanse. The next step was to add conditioning agents to lightly polish your hair, leaving it shiny, soft, and easy to manage - with the level of conditioning agents and the exact mix between emollients, cationics, and humectants varying depending on specific hair and scalp needs.

Our solid shampoo formulas are then perfected with the addition of different actives that are tailored to different hair types, for example caffeine and biotin for scalp stimulation for thinning hair, creatine to strengthen and improve hair texture for coily/kinky hair, soothing actives for an itchy scalp, or extra hydration for dry, frizz, damaged hair.

Lastly, small amounts of all-natural fragrances are added to our solid shampoo for a pleasant-yet-not-overwhelming shower experience, as well as emulsifiers and pH adjusters to stabilize the bars and ensure your hair cuticles stay shut and protected. All that with very strict ingredient standards and vegan, plant-derived, microplastic-free ingredients without detergent sulfates, parabens, phthalates, PEGs, and synthetic fragrances.

How to use a solid shampoo bar? How to store a solid shampoo bar?

Using a solid shampoo is amazingly easy and very pleasant and once you switched, you won’t want to go back. Simply wet your hair and the bar in the shower. Then massage the bar onto your hair, using gentle circles to summon a surprisingly luscious lather. Set the shampoo bar aside and use your hands to work the lather into your hair, then rinse well and follow up with our conditioner bar as needed. 

Drainage and proper drying between use is essential to keep both your solid shampoo and conditioner in good shape. While the bars are in the shower, it’s best to keep them on a well-draining surface that allows plenty of air to flow around it. The shapes of our solid bar shampoos are optimized to minimize surface area. That's why our solid shampoo has an UFO shape (narrower bottom for less surface area) and our full size solid conditioner has a square shape (to be stored on its side). 

How do I choose the solid shampoo bar that is right for me?

When choosing the best solid shampoo and conditioner for your hair type, you should look for brands that are committed to the highest standards of clean chemistry in their ingredient standards and that are carefully and professionally customized to your particular hair care needs. Our superzero solid shampoo and conditioner bars follow our strict zeroin ingredient guidelines and are professionally formulated to be tailored to your specific hair type. No matter if you are looking for the best solid shampoo for curly hair, the best solid shampoo for coily hair, the best solid shampoo for thinning hair, and so forth – we got the right solid shampoo and conditioner for you to raise the bar for your hair care regime while lowering your environmental footprint at the same time.

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