Shampoo is a beauty essential that’s seemingly as old as time. But as technology, personal preference, and ingredient innovations evolve, so have the formulas. Long gone are the days of regularly using sulfate-laced, oil-stripping, one-size-fits-all hair cleansers that only work on a handful of hair textures. Not only are newer formats — like shampoo bars, powder, and foam shampoos — becoming vaster, but you can pretty much customize your washday experience to meet the changing needs of your hair. What’s more, many of the newer options available also eliminate bulky bottles and excess water waste.
The average bottle of shampoo is 80 percent water — but more brands are cutting back on H20, or doing away with it altogether. Eliminating or minimizing water “reduces the weight of a product, which reduces CO2 emissions in transport,” says Anna Cummins, cofounder of 5 Gyres, a nonprofit focused on curbing plastic pollution. “It also reduces the need for plastic packaging, [since] a dry product can be packaged in paper or materials that don’t need to be water-repellent. And it concentrates the product, so a smaller amount goes a longer way.”
Powder and foam shampoos can help us be more environmentally conscious in our beauty routine, and in some cases, allow for hair refreshing beyond your shower. Sure the concept of dry shampoo isn’t new, but waterless or low-water options can provide the same level of deep clean as a liquid formula — without having to rewet your entire head. We gathered up some of our favorite new shampoo formulas that’ll make your hair-cleansing experience feel like you just left the salon.
A version of this story originally appeared in the August 2021 issue of Allure. Learn how to subscribe here.
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