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The future of shampoo is here—and it doesn’t come in a bottle (coupon inside)

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Nora Schaper, Ward Johnson, Dion Hughes and Jay Schaper (left to right), founders of HiBar. (Photo: courtesy of HiBar)

Everyone has a favorite shampoo. You have one, I have one—and we’re all dedicated to our brands like they’re part of our DNA.

So what do you do if you’re founding a new shampoo company and want to lure folks away from their steadies? You make a damned good product, that’s what. All this was part of the equation when Dion Hughes was pondering a plan to address the massive problem of plastic pollution, with a line of solid shampoo. When he talked to longtime pals Nora and Jay Schaper and Ward Johnson at a party, he discovered the three entrepreneurs had also been researching ways to banish plastic.

As you probably know, plastic packaging—of food, toys, electronics, detergent, and of course shampoo—is an environmental disaster; it accounts for about 17 million tons of problematic debris per year, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. So—right there, at a friend’s housewarming party—the four friends put all their concerns in the same pot and brainstormed HiBar: the world’s first salon-quality shampoo bar and conditioner bar. Then they joined forces to make it real.

Raising the bar on haircare. (Photo: HiBAR)
Raising the bar on haircare. (Photo: HiBAR)

Shop it: HiBAR shampoo or conditioner bar, starting at $12.60 with code 10NOPLASTIC (was $14), amazon.com

“We knew that…mass awareness of the [plastic] problem would eventually lead to a tipping point, where using single-use plastic would become as socially unacceptable as, say, smoking in enclosed public spaces,” Hughes told Yahoo Life of the team’s thinking. But they also knew that losing the plastic wasn’t going to be enough. With brand loyalty so high in haircare, there was no way to make this work without creating a truly superior shampoo and conditioner. So that’s what they did.

Mission: Create a shampoo bar so amazing, folks would gladly switch from their bottle brand

Easy to use, because it's shaped to fit comfortably in the hand. (Photo: HiBAR)
Easy to use, because it’s shaped to fit comfortably in the hand. (Photo: HiBAR)

According to Hughes, shampoo bars are, by their very essence, superior to liquids. “Liquid shampoos and conditioners are more than 80 percent water,” he said. “HiBAR is made with the highest-quality ingredients, only without the water.” HiBAR shampoo and conditioner bars use nourishing, all-natural ingredients including African dates, Vitamin B5, coconut oil, and shea butter. They’re color-safe and contain no sulfates, phthalates, parabens, or silicone—chemicals known to dry out and damage strands.

They come in three formulas: Maintain for normal hair, Moisturize for dry and coarse hair, and Volumize for thin hair. Depending on how frequently you wash your hair, a bar can last up to six months, according to the company. Each bar is $14, but, obviously, lasts way longer than a typical bottle of shampoo.

For a limited time you can save 10 percent on your entire order. HiBar is offering an exclusive discount code to Yahoo readers. Just enter 10NOPLASTIC at checkout beginning July 3 for 10 percent off your purchase. Wherever you purchase HiBar, though, make sure it says ‘Ships from and sold by HiBAR” to ensure plastic-free delivery.

Shampoo and conditioner come three ways, so you can choose the right formula for your hair: Moisturize, Maintain, or Volumize. (Photo: HiBAR)
Shampoo and conditioner come three ways, so you can choose the right formula for your hair: Moisturize, Maintain, or Volumize. (Photo: HiBAR)

Shop it: HiBAR shampoo and conditioner bar set, $23.85 with code 10NOPLASTIC (was $26.50), amazon.com

Transporting shampoo as a solid cuts out carbon emissions, too, since the company is not hauling around excess H2O. “Water is heavy. Why ship so much water around the country, churning out all that carbon?” said Hughes. Since HiBAR shampoo and conditioner bars are made in America, fossil fuels are kept to an absolute minimum.

HiBAR shampoo bars stand out from the competition

Shampoo bars themselves aren’t a totally novel concept. Other brands sell shampoo and conditioner as solids, but they don’t necessarily compare to the formulation of HiBAR products.

You’ve got to understand what you’re buying, warned Hughes, who said many so-called shampoo bar companies are actually selling “bricks of soap.” And that’s a problem. “Soap is a totally different chemical formula, made from saponifiable oils and lye, which plays havoc with most hair types,” Hughes told Yahoo Life. While the company is clearly mission-driven, it’s super-concerned with results: “HiBAR puts beauty first.” said Hugh.

HiBAR shampoo delivery gorgeous results with a light footprint on the planet. (Photo: HiBAR)
HiBAR shampoo delivery gorgeous results with a light footprint on the planet. (Photo: HiBAR)

Shop it: HiBAR shampoo or conditioner bar, starting at $12.60 with code 10NOPLASTIC (was $14), amazon.com

Made in Minnesota

As for the four pals who reunited to pursue their shared passion? Well, they’re living the dream. Not only do they serve customers salon-worthy hair products in paper packaging, but they get to manufacture HiBAR right at home—in Minnesota. 

“Most advisors suggested we manufacture overseas, and though there were cost benefits, it just never felt right to us,” Hughes recalled. “We felt we could not be as certain about the integrity of the ingredients, and the quality of the finish.”

The HiBAR founders decided their only option was to change the world from within their own community. “Minnesota has a tight connection to nature and conservation,” said Hughes. “So, the awareness of our impact on the environment is with us constantly.”

For Hughes, Johnson, and the Schapers, though, there’s always room for improvement, hence their brand name. “HiBAR is based on the idea that problems are there to be solved,” said Hughes, “and that every day we can all try harder to do our best, to raise the bar a little higher.”

Shop it: HiBAR shampoo or conditioner bar, starting at $12.60 with code 10NOPLASTIC (was $14), amazon.com

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