My first zero-waste swap was the shampoo bar.
It was early 2018, and shampoo bars were just starting to trend in the Philippines. Naturally, I felt intrigued the moment I heard about it. Claims were that it came in recyclable packaging, produced with minimal water, and lasted longer than a regular liquid shampoo bottle. What a win!
But lo and behold, I didn’t enjoy my first shampoo bar experience.
My first time trying the shampoo bar, my hair consistently felt waxy and hard. It didn’t help that I surfed daily — after a while, I had dreadlocks (and not the fashionable kind)! I tried giving my hair a few weeks to adjust, but it really was not happy with the transition. So, I went back to regular shampoo.
Nine months later, I went back to the city and decided to give the shampoo bar another go. This time, I carefully read reviews before purchasing… and, you guessed it — I finally found the one.
Why switch to shampoo bars
Since my good experience with shampoo bars, I’ve been raving about them everywhere. Aside from being eco-friendly, shampoo bars are travel-friendly, too!
Before discovering shampoo bars, I had the extra pre-travel hassle of decanting my shampoo into 100mL containers (my hair never liked hotel shampoo!). After finding the perfect one, they became my go-to: I’ve since bid goodbye to shampoo in sachets, leaks in my bag, and TSA anxiety.
On the other hand, I completely understand why some of you might be hesitant to make this transition. After all, not all shampoo bars are created equal. But, I hope you still give it a try — I truly believe, with my personal experience, that the right shampoo bar for you is just around the corner. That said, I’ve created a short list of my trusted online stores that sell shampoo bars in the Philippines.
Also read: 5 Travel Kits To Help You Pack Light
Where to shop for shampoo bars in the Philippines
1. Rinse + Repeat
Crafted by a wahine herself, Rinse + Repeat has won many surfers’ hearts — mine included! And, if avid beachgoers rave about a hair product, trust that the product will most likely do wonders for even the most sun-and-saltwater-damaged hair.
In between surfing and exploring the zero-waste lifestyle, founder Kira Ramirez came up with this brand in 2018. I met her at one of the plastic-free events of Ocean Care Movement – Baler, so I can attest that she started this brand out of her love for the environment.
Rinse + Repeat packages its products using cardboard, brown paper — and if necessary, recycled bubble wrap. Aside from shampoo bars, the shop now sells other eco-friendly products like lotion and conditioner bars, essential oils, and reusable menstrual pads.
2. The Eco Shift
Launched in December 2018, The Eco Shift now offers a wide range of handcrafted, all-natural, and plastic-free essentials. They specialise in shampoo bars that are both free of sulfate and paraben, which are chemicals known to trigger skin conditions like dermatitis and rosacea. If you suffer from dry scalp and dandruff, you might want to give their shampoo bars a try!
The Eco Shift focuses on hair care, so you will find various products for different hair types. They have shampoo bars for hair fall and damaged hair (Ray of Sunshine), faster hair growth and volume (Pure Delight), anti-dandruff and hair breakage (Pure Buzz), oily and itchy scalps (Pure Bliss), and sensitive scalps (Pure Joy).
Aside from shampoo bars, The Eco Shift also offers face, conditioner, and body bars. And if you’re not yet into bars but want to become eco-friendlier, they also offer refills of hand soap, body wash, and laundry detergent! Yes, these are handmade and natural, too.
Beyond advocating for the environment, The Eco Shift also champions education for less fortunate kids. For every shampoo bar they sell, they donate ₱5 to Happy Kids, a foundation that sponsors the education of vulnerable children.
3. Beach Born
As the first shampoo bar that worked for me, Beach Born is usually the brand I recommend to first-time users. Since they specialise in all-natural hair and skin care products, they offer many shampoo bar options of different colours and scents.
Out of all their products, my personal favourite is the Onya Nees Shampoo Bar — it’s made with sea salt and smells like the ocean! Another personal favourite is the Didi Cupps 2 in 1 Shampoo Bar, because it also works as a conditioner.
Aside from shampoo bars, Beach Born also prides itself in their organic liquid shampoo, sea salt spray, leave-in conditioner, and dried shampoo. If you’re still hesitant about switching to shampoo bars immediately, you can try out these products in the meantime.
4. Simula PH
If you are looking for a one-stop zero-waste shop, Simula PH is a great choice. Leveraging on the talent of our local artisans, this online store carries various sustainable brands by Filipinos. Shampoo bar brands include Bare Bars, Ecobar PH, and Kalikhasan.
What I personally like about Simula PH is that they’re making sustainability more accessible to Filipinos. Several zero-waste shops are out there, but this one has notably more affordable prices.
Simula PH also offers sustainable gift bundles. Each bundle is wrapped in a recyclable kraft box; its products are protected by shredded scratch paper. The store accepts note requests, too!
5. KatHa Lifestyle Store
Supporting everyone’s imperfect journey to zero-waste, KatHa Lifestyle Store offers a variety of sustainable alternatives for household staples. As for shampoo bars, they offer products from the brands Matenara and Mayumi.
Hazel Roldan, co-owner of KatHa, recommends the store’s best-selling Matenara’s Divine Shine (for curly hair) and Mellow Yellow (for dandruff) as much as Mayumi’s hair fortifying shampoo bars (for hair thickening).
Aside from the typical shampoo bars, KatHa also sells Bare Bars dry shampoo, liquid shampoo, and conditioner bars. Yes, they’re all local, sustainable, and natural!
I first heard about Planeta. through its founder Mikaela Samson, whom I’ve exchanged a few conversations with over the pandemic. She started making lotion bars when she decided to switch to zero-waste; and as someone with atopic dermatitis, skin asthma, or eczema, she needed a lotion bar that worked.
Now, she’s expanded Planeta. to offer a broader range of products, including Rinse + Repeat shampoo bars! So if you’re looking for luscious locks and silkier skin, this may be the online store for you.
There are several online stores selling shampoo bars in the Philippines, and it can get overwhelming to sift through each of them. That said, I hope this article helps you find the right shampoo bar for you! Cheers to yet another step towards the zero-waste lifestyle.