Sustainable Shampoo: Clean Hair, Green Planet

Sustainable Shampoo: Introduction

Discover the impact of sustainable shampoo in our latest weekly tip. In a world where individual choices matter, using eco-friendly hair care products like sustainable shampoo can contribute to a cleaner, greener planet. These individual steps collectively create a powerful movement, inspiring others to join in.

Curious about how your choice of sustainable shampoo can spark broader change? Dive into this week’s article and explore how small actions add up to meaningful progress. Together, we’re shaping a greener future, one shampoo at a time. Ready to be part of the journey? 

Keep reading to uncover the potential of sustainable choices and the ripple effect of reduced impact they create.

Reduce Repair Regive

Sustainable Shampoo: History

The origins of shampoo trace back to ancient civilizations such as in Egypt and India, where natural ingredients like herbs and oils were used for hair cleansing. These practices reflected a deep understanding of self-care and grooming.

Did you know that the word “shampoo” itself has an interesting origin? 

It stems from the Sanskrit word “champu,” which means to massage or knead. This reflects the integral role of massage in early hair care rituals.

Fast forward to the 20th century, and shampoo took on new forms. Surfactants, the essential cleansing agents, revolutionised how we cleanse our hair.

Modern shampoo as it is known today was first introduced in the 1930s with Drene, the first to use synthetic surfactants instead of soap. 

Following this, the mass production of shampoo became possible, marking a pivotal moment in personal hygiene.

Sustainable Shampoo - Drene was the first mass produced shampoo released in the 1930s
Drene was the first mass produced shampoo released in the 1930s

As with any mass-produced product, there comes an environmental impact. Curious to learn more about the environmental impact of shampoo? If you are, then dive into our next segment to uncover the mind-blowing facts.

Sustainable Shampoo: Environmental Impact

Every year, in the UK alone, around 520 million shampoo bottles are discarded, contributing to the mounting plastic waste crisis. This single-use plastic takes hundreds of years to decompose, with a majority ending up in landfills or oceans. It breaks down into microplastics which have now been found to have entered the food chain. But the environmental consequences don’t stop there. The production of non-sustainable shampoo requires vast amounts of energy, resulting in the emission of greenhouse gases.

Incredibly, the beauty industry, including hair care products, is responsible for a significant portion of the world’s carbon emissions. Not only that but liquid shampoo wastes huge amounts of water and makes the product heavier and is costlier to transport.

Beyond carbon emissions, the chemicals found in many non-sustainable shampoos pose risks to aquatic ecosystems. Ingredients like sulphates and parabens can end up in rivers and oceans, disrupting marine life and delicate ecosystems.

Furthermore, the packaging of these products often involves excessive plastic and non-recyclable materials, worsening the waste crisis. Additionally, the transportation of shampoo bottles contributes to air pollution and carbon emissions.

Sustainable Shampoo - 520 Million shampoo bottles are thrown away each year in the UK alone
520 Million shampoo bottles are thrown away each year in the UK alone

However, there’s a brighter path ahead. By adopting sustainable shampoo practices, we can significantly reduce our individual impact. Curious to know how? Keep reading to explore sustainable alternatives to discover more.

Sustainable Shampoo: What to Look For

When choosing sustainable shampoo, keep an eye out for labels like “organic,” “natural ingredients,” and “cruelty-free”. Also, look for certifications like Soil Association, Leaping Bunny or COSMOS Organic, ensuring the product meets rigorous environmental standards.

As well as that, embrace shampoo bars or zero-waste options that reduce packaging waste and plastic. Did you know that a single shampoo bar can last as long as 2-3 bottles of liquid shampoo? Furthermore, refillable options are also a game-changer. Some brands offer refill stations, reducing single-use packaging waste and lowering your carbon footprint.

Many brands are now committed to eco-friendly packaging—glass, aluminium, or recycled materials make a difference. Many sustainable shampoos are also biodegradable, ensuring they don’t harm aquatic life. Shampoo bars are also super versatile and you can often buy ones that double as a body wash. This means you minimise the need for multiple products and your footprint.

Sustainable Shampoo - Shampoo bars are a much more sustainable option than bottled shampoo
Shampoo bars are a much more sustainable option compared to bottled shampoo

Finally, look for brands that use good employment practices and provide a social impact as well as a sustainable one. That way you are reducing your footprint and increasing your positive impact! If you want to make a switch but haven’t got the time to do the research, then our next section is for you! Discover three of our favourite sustainable shampoo brands by reading on.

Sustainable Shampoo: Three of Our Favourite Brands

Primal Suds

Our first sustainable shampoo brand is Primal Suds which has been ‘cleaning up the UK’s filth problem since 2017’. Started by Andrew and Jen from a bedsit in Southampton, Primal suds have grown over the last five years! They make soap and shampoo inspired by nature, with ecological and biological standards at the core. Best of all, their products are vegan, cruelty-free and made in the UK. We love their Lime ‘Job Lot’ does everything bar that you can shampoo, shave and clean with!

Sustainable Shampoo - Primal Suds Job Lot OG Bar does everything
Primal Suds Job Lot OG Bar does everything


The next brand we love is Suma which was founded with nature and the environment at the heart and soul of its products. Suma uses plants to create products that are great for hair, skin and the planet. Everything they make is Leaping Bunny certified, cruelty-free and vegan society approved. Not only that but they offer a refill service for their shampoo bottles. We love their Patchouli and Sandalwood shampoo bar which comes in recycled cardboard packaging.

Sustainable Shampoo - Suma Patchouli & Sandalwood Shampoo Bar
Suma Patchouli & Sandalwood Shampoo Bar

Beauty Kitchen

Our final brand is Beauty Kitchen, founded in 2014 by Jo Chindley. Beauty Kitchen came out of Jo’s desire to use truly effective products that considered sustainable ingredients as well as packaging. Now Beauty Kitchen is an award-winning certified B Corp that creates cruelty-free, Vegan Society approved products. Not only that, but packaging is reusable and sustainable and products are naturally sourced and derived. We love their intense moisture organic shampoo which comes in a recyclable aluminium bottle. 

Best of all if you sign up to their mailing list you can receive a £10 discount on your first order!

Sustainable Shampoo - Beauty Kitchen's Intense Moisture Organic Aloe & Rosemary Shampoo
Beauty Kitchen's Intense Moisture Organic Aloe & Rosemary Shampoo

Sustainable Shampoo: That’s a Wrap

As we conclude our exploration into sustainable hair care, let’s tip our hats to the guiding lights: Primal Suds, Suma, and Beauty Kitchen. Their stories inspire us to blend effective hair care with eco-conscious choices.

So, what’s next? Share these insights with friends, let the knowledge spread, and together, we’ll create ripples of positive change. Remember, every time we lather up, we’re making a choice that goes beyond our tresses – it’s a gift to our beautiful planet.

Let’s weave these mindful actions into our lives and watch the collective impact grow.



Play It Green receives no financial incentive to promote our favourite sustainable brands. We do it because we like them and it’s the right thing to do!

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