Arashel Shampoo Bar Review

Just recently I discovered the existence of shampoo bars. For those of you who don’t know, they are essentially hair shampoo conveniently contained in the form of a bar of soap! Even better for me, it turns out there is a lady living about half an hour away who makes them (and other products), using “natural and organic ingredients…free from chemicals, sulphates, parabens, alcohol, detergents or surfactants”(Arashel Facebook page). So, I decided to road test one for the viewers playing along at home, and here are my thoughts…

  • Cost

$8 per bar, which is comparable to other shampoos in the supermarket, but more than what I would usually pay. I am keeping track of how many washes I get out of it, though I must admit I am not entirely sure how many we would get from a bottle. All in all, I don’t mind paying a little more to support a local business and to use less harsh chemicals and plastics.

  • Ease of use / Convenience

Just like lathering up to wash your hands or body, so really easy. For the kids, it was faster than using bottled shampoo. For me, it took a bit longer as my hair needed more shampoo. The sticking point is storage, as you really don’t want it getting hit by the shower water and washing away, or being mistaken for body soap. At the moment I am popping it back in its cardboard sleeve after my shower, but I might keep thinking about a suitable alternative (happy for suggestions in the comments).

  • Smell

The bars are available in a few different scents. The one I have is quite a nice fragrance, similar to a GroVia Magic Stick.

  • Feel

This is where it gets a little tricky. What feels okay or nice to one person can be very different for someone else. For me, I am not a big fan of the “squeaky clean” soap feel where I can’t move my hand along my hair: I find it hard to really work the shampoo into the roots because of it. Without conditioner it felt fine when dry, but was very knotty and not as smooth as I am used to, so I am not quite ready to part with old-faithful yet.

  • Look

Left my hair looking shiny and clean with the little wave I always get after it has been wet. As good as, or better than, bottled shampoo.

After using Arashel Shampoo Bar, before brushing. Excuse the PJs. 😉
After using Arashel Shampoo Bar, after brushing. Very happy with the result.
  • Environmental impact

The maker of the shampoo bar lives locally so there is barely any transporting of the product to me. It is made from natural ingredients (including sustainably sourced palm oil) and wrapped in a cute little cardboard sleeve. Loving the lack of plastic bottles and nasty chemicals.

  • Would I use it again / recommend it?

Absolutely! I think it is great that we have something like this available to us and it is a step towards healthier, more sustainable living. If you have tried a shampoo bar (or another fabulous product I may not have discovered), I would love to hear your experience.

 

10 ways children can help care for the environment

Happy Earth Day!

It has been a while since I have written a blog post here at Tots and Toddlers, and I thought, what better day than today to share some tips for encouraging children to look after our planet?Image result for earth day image

As adults, we often struggle to think ofways to “do our bit” for the environment, so it isn’t surprising to think that most parents are not sure where to start when it comes to introducing the concept to their children. Today, I have put together 10 ideas to get you started.

  1. Use bins. Keeping litter off the ground and out of waterways helps protect animals, and even young children can be taught to put rubbish in the bin. As children get older, you can introduce the concept of recycling and compost.
  2. Respect nature. It is amazing to watch a butterfly on a leaf or peek into a bird’s nest, but touching can cause all sorts of problems. Teach children about safe and respectful ways of appreciating nature.
  3. Plant trees. Most children love to get outside and get messy. Digging, planting and watering are fun activities that you can do together, and you will have also played your part in replacing some of the many trees cut down each year for our use.Image result for earth day image
  4. Save energy (and water). Turning off lights, TVs and taps when they are not in use is a skill that can take a while to learn, but also one that is worth teaching. Sometimes role modelling yourself is all a child needs in order to pick it up, but a gentle reminder can help, too.
  5. Choose cloth nappies. I know you may think of this as not being the child’s choice. However, as they get older, children become more 

    independent and like to have a say in what they do and wear. Allowing children to choose gives them a sense of agency and builds their self-esteem, and giving them the information to make that choice sets them up for the future. Having a chat about reusing things (like nappies, for example) can lead to them making positive choices about sustainability as they grow up.Image result for seedling baby nappy

  6. Recycle bits and pieces for craft. Cardboard boxes, straws, bottle lids, Easter egg wrappers, greeting cards and ribbons are just some ideas of things that could be reused rather than thrown out.
  7. Set up some water catchments outside. Please note, this will require supervision for young children, as there is a drowning risk. Set up containers outside to catch rain water. They can serve as drinking water for animals outside, and can be used to water plants when needed.
  8. Create a worm farm. Your child can empty food scraps into it, collect the “juice” and help to water the plants with it (once it is diluted – they will probably need help form you for this).
  9. Repair things. Instead of throwing out broken toys, torn clothes, etc., see if they can be mended or turned into something new. Give children some tools to work with, teach them some basic skills if you are able, and watch them go!bike-325104_640
  10. Teach and learn. Read books about the Earth, sustainability and the environment (there are some really great ones out there, both fiction and non-fiction). Talk about shopping local; recycling; saving energy; the environment; animals; people (and their different situations and ideas); walking rather than driving; the world; the past and the future. Discuss how things work and what could be changed. Empower children to make a difference. (Did you know that a 16-year-old girl from Egypt discovered a way to turn waster plastic into fuel?)

You don’t have to reinvent the wheel in order to help your child learn about their world. Often, role modelling is the best way to learn, so be mindful of your own choices, and be ready to answer questions (and look for answers, if need be) as they arise. Schools and Early Childhood Education services incorporate sustainability into their curriculum these days, so by opening up discussion you may even find yourself getting a lesson or two! Best of luck!