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Refillable Shampoo Concentrate: everything you need to know

Refillable Shampoo Concentrate: everything you need to know

Hairy Jayne’s brand new Shampoo Concentrate has just launched! Our original refillable Nourishing Shampoo was discontinued due to supply chain issues and the idea for a new and improved shampoo sprang from there. So we reformulated it and then trialled it with a selection of willing testers with great results.

Because it is a new brand new product, in a newer format, we decided to write a post that explains everything you need to know about our refillable Shampoo Concentrate. And how it compares to our very popular Shampoo Bars

Our new refillable shampoo and our shampoo bars are both technically concentrated shampoos. There are slight differences between the two though, from both a sustainability point of view and a hair care perspective. The differences are answered here with some frequently asked questions.

What is a concentrated shampoo?

Compared to a traditional liquid shampoo, concentrated shampoos have a lot, sometimes all, of their water content taken out. Water has been a major cosmetic ingredient for some time now, with some shampoo formulations consisting of around 80-90% water. The idea of waterless beauty products, or concentrated ones, is that the water from your shower or sink can be used to dilute the product and activate its lather instead.

Why use a concentrated shampoo?

There are many good reasons for removing water from beauty products. Mostly it makes them more environmentally friendly. The waterless beauty trend began last year as water scarcity became more of a concern and more of an environmental priority. Our shampoo bars have zero water content and the Shampoo Concentrate has less than half the water content of a liquid shampoo at 34%.

As well as saving precious water, another benefit is that concentrated products are smaller, lighter and can require much less packaging. Removing a lot of water content reduces packaging size and removing all of water completely means that the product no longer requires a container at all.

Basically: it no longer makes sense to fill a (usually plastic) bottle with mostly water, ship it all over the place, charge the consumer for it and then rinse have that consumer rinse the water down the drain in the shower. Concentrated shampoos just make more sense to buy, as you’re only paying for actual active ingredients.

How do I use a concentrated shampoo?

Our concentrated shampoos are water activated in the shower. Your hair needs to be really thoroughly wet. A very small amount of product is applied to the scalp. The action of massaging the product, with fingertips, into the scalp causes some friction which then creates a lather.

Another technique that can be used, if preferred, is to create the lather in hands first as you would with a bar of soap. Then apply the shampoo to your scalp by running your fingers and palms through your roots and onto the scalp.

The thing to remember (which I learned as an apprentice hairdresser many years ago) is that when you shampoo your hair, with any shampoo, focus primarily on cleansing the scalp. Shampoo only needs to be applied here, not onto the hair itself. Applying shampoo to the hair is a waste of product. The hair is cleansed sufficiently during the rinsing out process, as the shampoo travels down the hair with the water, removing excess dirt and oils as it goes.

With both techniques, if you want to intensify the lather, just add a touch more water onto the scalp. If you have thick hair which feels like it isn’t getting cleaned underneath, apply a very tiny bit of shampoo concentrate behind each ear and massage inwards.

Once you get the ‘squeaky’ feeling in your hair, rinse well. It’s important to make sure all of the product is rinsed out to avoid any dullness in the hair.

In terms of usage in the bathroom, Shampoo Concentrate is very easy. It comes in a refillable jar and just requires keeping the lid on. Shampoo bars do require some sort of storage to keep them from going soggy underneath. We recommend putting them somewhere dry in the shower, either in a tin or on a shampoo bar holder. We have a whole blog post about shampoo bar storage here. 

How long do the two concentrated shampoos last? 

Our shampoo bars last for around 40-60 washes, so around 4-6 months when used every few days, as recommended. It depends on how much product your hair needs per wash of course. A 100ml jar of refillable Shampoo Concentrate will last about the same amount of time.

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Hairy Jayne solid shampoo bars are natural, plastic free, sulphate free, palm oil free, cruelty free and vegan. They lather up very well to cleanse the hair and nourish the scalp with Aloe Vera and Mango Butter.

They’re both sulphate free, do they lather up a lot?  

Both of our sulphate free shampoos create lather. Not as much as non-sulphate-free shampoos, but they do create a good lather when water activated with friction.

But there is a common misconception that shampoos need to lather well in order to do the job properly. Yes, bubbles are fun, but it's not the foam that is actually doing any of the cleaning.⁣ Advertising is the cause of this. Somewhere down the line, ad execs decided that really bubbly surfactants were a more visual way of demonstrating the effectiveness of a cleanser. So soap, shampoo, laundry detergent and washing up liquid etc all became bubblier and the message was then driven home.

Surfactants (surface active agents) are used in shampoos to lower the surface tension between water and dirt/oil in order to displace the dirt particles from the hair (ie. clean it). Bubbles are just air that’s trapped in the surfactant, it’s the surfactant that’s actually doing the cleaning. The bubbles only indicate how much the surfactant is reacting with the water and not how much dirt and oil is being removed. So even if there aren’t a lot of bubbles, a shampoo can still do a very good job of cleansing.

Why choose refillable Shampoo Concentrate over a Shampoo Bar?

If you’re after a shampoo that is hydrating, natural, biodegradable, vegan and sulphate free, all of our shampoos tick those boxes. The biggest difference is that Shampoo Concentrate is a paste and our Shampoo Bars are solid blocks. Other distinguishers between the two are their oil content and their packaging.

Our refillable Shampoo Concentrate is completely oil free and is designed for anyone who struggles with oil-based products in their hair. Our Shampoo Bars have added mango butter and olive oil for their moisturising abilities and added emulsifying waxes to make the bar a solid form. So if your hair definitely struggles with oil, or if you have hair that is easily weighed down by products, choosing Shampoo Concentrate makes sense.

Another reason to choose the Shampoo Concentrate over a Shampoo Bar is storage. As mentioned previously, shampoo bars do require a dry ledge or special place in the shower to keep them lasting a long time. Shampoo Concentrate only requires dispensing the product using a fingertip, whereas Shampoo Bars can be a little messier, a bit like soap bars.

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Our brand new refillable and nourishing Shampoo Concentrate is a 2x concentrated sulfate-free shampoo with added Green Tea extract and Aloe Vera to gently invigorate and cleanse. The oil-free formula leaves hair super soft.

How can I try the two shampoos without wasting anything?

Still not sure which is better for you? As a zero waste hair care company we hate to see any product wasted. So we have samples sizes of our products to try before committing to a full size. Our sample sachets have enough product for a least a couple of washes. Great for travel, too.

And finally, switching to a shampoo concentrate that is packed with natural active ingredients will do wonders for your hair. Sulphate free shampoos are milder, too. They are great for sensitive scalps and help with frizz as they don’t remove all of the hair’s natural oils, just the excess. Good for your hair as the your natural hair oil (sebum) is there to lubricate and protect it to keep it healthy and strong.

Still have questions? Please do get in touch. Or give us a follow on Instagram to learn more about us and our zero waste hair care range.