By Barbara Schellenberg

Here is what hair care was like for my family of five: We spent $1,200 a year on shampoo and conditioner. That’s 48 single use plastic bottles to recycle and 24 litres of questionable substances washed down the drain, not to mention time spent each month shopping for products.

I wanted to make a change. These were my criteria: I wanted to spend less, waste less, and use fewer chemicals. I wanted to have better results with my hair and find a simple solution that we could easily maintain.

Who would have thought to find the answer at the local butcher? There, I discovered tallow soap, locally made with 50% local ingredients (grass-fed beef tallow). Tallow soap is a hard bar soap, which is great because it gives a gentle clean and lasts a long time. It’s $10 for bar of soap that will last me a whole year.

Let’s Revisit my Criteria:

Spend less:
Before: $1,200 a year for family of five
Now: $50 a year for family of 5
Savings: $1150 a year.

Waste less:
Before: I washed my hair every two to three days.
Now: I wash my hair every five to seven days and its much nicer.

Simple solution/easily maintained:
Before: I was shopping monthly for products, using two products (shampoo and conditioner) more often.

Now: One bar of soap will last a year, so I am using only one product less often. There is no clutter.

How to use tallow soap for hair: Apply bar soap to wet hair, adding extra water as needed. Lather and rinse. Brush hair once dry. After two to three days, take a few minutes a day to brush with a boar bristle brush. This distributes the natural oils along the shaft of the hair, keeping it healthy.

Buy your soap at and at Kinikinik in Redstone, BC. What change can you make for a simpler, cleaner, and more sustainable life? For “Nourishing our Children” articles of the past visit


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