31 JULY, 2022

Nowadays you can walk into most mainstream supermarkets and purchase a shampoo bar. The size, price and contents of the bars vary considerably and its difficult to know which one to choose. Well, we would say choose ours - obviously, but below is our reasoning why. 

shampoo bars on display ladder


Bio-fermented surfactants

Firstly, we want to shout out that (to our knowledge - do let us know if you find another), we are the only UK based solid shampoo bar to contain bio-fermented surfactants (cleansers). These sustainable, non-fossil based, fermentation-derived surfactants are classified as non-irritant and post- biotics*. Being ultra-mild and fermentation derived  they are gentle on the environment and skin alike. 

We are also 97% plant based (the other 3% being water and our scents) which is far higher than many other bars on the market.


Plastic Free  

We think that it is a given that most shampoo/conditioner bars are plastic free, but do check that they dont have a thin plastic film around the bar itself. These shampoo/conditioner bars have been created as an alternative to using the single use shampoo bottle. 

Our bars go one step further than just being plastic free. In an effort to be truly ‘zero waste’ our packaging is made from recycled card (no trees need to be felled for our boxes) and are in turn, recyclable. 

What’s more, our boxes are printed with vegetable based inks and aren’t laminated in plastic, so they can be ripped up and popped into your compost bin at home, or your paper recycling where they will break down and not leach anything harmful into your compost. 


pH balanced 

The pH of your scalp varies from scalp to scalp but in general, it’s on the acidic side between 4.5 to 5.5. Check that your shampoo bar is pH balanced. Some bars sell themselves as shampoo but are actually soap which is incredibly drying and damaging for your hair. Soap bars, and indeed some shampoo bars are too alkaline which may increase the negative electrical charge of the hair fibre leading to cuticle damage and fibre breakage - both of which result in dull limp hair.  All An’du shampoo bars are pH balanced to your scalp.



By law the manufacturer must put the size of the bar on the packaging. This obviously affects the cost. Some bars might look cheaper but are you are purchasing less shampoo!

How to check?

Look for the size on the packaging. 

Our shampoo bars are 100 gms

Our conditioner bars are 50 gms. 

Our shampoo and conditioner bars are equivalent to 3x 250 ml bottles of liquid shampoo or conditioner.


Cruelty Free 

Since 2014 there has been a ban on using animals to test cosmetic products in the UK and EU. However, some companies may use ingredients that have been tested outside of the EU or UK or may sell to countries where animal testing is required by law. 

How to check?

The company itself may have their own cruelty free logo – this does not need to have been certified by an outside authority. Look instead for the Leaping Bunny Logo which is externally certified and more robust. At Andu we are currently applying for the Leaping Bunny Logo and hope to make the announcement soon. 


UK made

Again, this is personal preference and there is nothing wrong with imports but we decided to manufacture in the UK to keep our air miles down. As our main customer base is in the UK we knew that we could be more environmentally friendly by ensuring our bars didn’t travel around the world to be sent to our customers. 

Usually if the product is made in the UK its written on the packaging.  

All Andu bars are made in the UK (North Wales to be exact). 



Some shampoo bars contain sulphates – sulphates help clean the scalp and boost the foam (lather).There is nothing wrong with sulphates per se and many people use shampoos with sulphates. There are however some people with dry, sensitive scalps who find that sulphates are too strong for their scalp, stripping away the oil leaving a sensitive irritated and itchy  scalp. Not all sulphates are created equal either, some are harsher than others. The main culprits to look out for are SLS (Sodium Lauryl Sulphate) and SLeS (Sodium Laureth Sulphate).

All An’du bars are sulphate free.

How to check?

The four most commonly used sulphates are sodium lauryl sulphate, sodium laureth sulphate, ammonium laureth sulphate and sodium coco sulphate. These can be clearly seen in the ingredients list – avoid these if you wish to be sulphate free. 

Ingredients labels can be confusing so looking out for those four is a simple way to be relatively sure you are avoiding sulphates. To confuse things further, behentrimonium methosulphate – despite having the word sulphate in it is not actually a sulphate and is OK to use!



Parabens are commonly used as preservatives in cosmetics. Research has linked them to health problems, including endocrine disruption, skin allergies and irritation. For more information on parabens, click here.

All An’du bars are paraben free. 

How to check?

This is usually quite easy as they have the word paraben at the end of the ingredient. To be honest,most shampoo bars are paraben free – its good to check anyway, but we could not find parabens in any of the common supermarket shampoo bars.  



Silicones are traditionally added to shampoos to help with shine, feel and appearance. Not all silicones are equal and there have been some concerns about the environmental impact of some silicones, particularly in wash off products (ie shampoos and conditioners). There is a growing body of research suggesting that silicones, because of their incredibly wide-spread use, are entering into our natural world and impacting it negatively. Click here to read more about the concerns. 

All An’du bars are silicone free – we don’t want to be adding to this bio-accumulative problem.

How to check?

Again, have a look at the ingredients list - anything that ends in the words cone ( eg dimethicone) or siloxane (eg octamethylcyclotetrasiloxane) is likely to be a silicone.   


If after all of this you’d still like some independent verification of how good we are, check out our website or Google reviews or head over to the Yuka app and scan our packaging. 

Yuka is a food and cosmetic app that scans the product labels and analyses the health impact of cosmetics. It will quickly help you rule out things such as silicones and parabens, although it won’t give you the pH of your product.  An’du has been given the highest rating of ‘excellent’ on this app and we couldn’t be prouder! 


* Defintion of a post biotic

Post bioitcs defined by the ICCR as non-viable ingredients comprised of inactivated microorganisms and/or soluble factors (products or metabolic by-products) released by live or inactivated microorganisms, added to a cosmetic product in order to achieve a cosmetic benefit at the application site, either directly or via an effect on the existing microbiota. 

Written by Dr Tina Grayson
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