These sisters started a shampoo bar business to promote sustainability
May 19, 2022 - Thursday 7:05 PM by Carby Rose Basina
Sisters Aby Villalon, Alyssa Narvasa, and Alexine Narvasa are your typical sisters that share everything – from clothes, tips and tricks, including new product finds – with one another. Not only that sharing serves as a bonding moment for them but this also paves way for the sisters to analyze whether a certain product is a hit or a miss.
While scavenging for good shampoo and conditioner bars, and after testing multiple options from different brands, they realized that they haven’t found any that satisfied their needs.
Alexine and Alyssa were going back to school to study Pastry Arts, and Interior Design, respectively in 2018. So Alexine came up with the idea to start a small business just so they’d have some income as full-time students while filling the hole of their unmet need for effective shampoo and conditioner bars.
Aby, on the other hand, is not a stranger to being an entrepreneur as she has had many kinds of businesses throughout the years. Still in 2018, they put in their own money for capital to buy materials, ingredients, and whatever else they needed to start. The first six months of the sisters’ endeavor were purely for testing. They wanted to make sure that they came out with a great product where the main selling point is the fact that it works well, and not that it was in bar form.
In mid-2019, they launched their brand on social media (@cleanbarph on Instagram), and last year, they were able to set up their online store.
“We wanted to have a project that could have a positive impact on the sustainable community or those who are starting on that journey. We also noticed that there's a gap in the market for shampoo and conditioner bars that target specific hair types and concerns. The market is focused on scents and vague benefits like ‘having strong hair,’ so we wanted to offer more targeted bars that helped with specific concerns. Inclusivity was also important when formulating our products,” the sisters shared.
They added, “For example, our conditioner bars are targeted for different hair densities, which you don't really see a lot of in the market. Usually, it's just a one-size-fits-all approach but that doesn't work. The three sisters all have different hair thicknesses and there is no way we would all see the results we want by using the exact same formulation. Also, one sister has a really reactive, and sensitive scalp so essential oils are a no-no but we couldn't find one option that was safe for her to use. Our solution for all of it was to make it ourselves and offer it to others who were in the same situation.”
Currently, Aby, Alyssa, and Alexine offer six bars on their website (cleanbar.ph) which include three shampoo bars and three conditioner bars. All of which are safe to use even if you have treated or colored hair!
For the shampoo bars, they first have the Daily Moisturizing Shampoo Bar which is a lavender-scented shampoo best for dry hair and scalp. The aloe vera extract will keep your hair moisturized, while you enjoy the calming lavender scent with every shower.
Meanwhile, their Daily Purifying Shampoo Bar is best for oily hair and has a green tea scent. The bamboo charcoal and green tea scent will leave you feeling clean, and refreshed.
Their Sensitive Shampoo Bar, from the name itself, is best for sensitive scalps, is fragrance-free, and gentle yet effective when it comes to keeping your scalp happy and clean.
The conditioner bars, on the other hand, include fragrance-free options for those with thin hair, normal hair, and thick hair. Every conditioner is formulated depending on the needs of your hair.
“We make shampoo and conditioner bars that target specific hair concerns and types while being inclusive for all textures and sensitivities. We try to promote realistic or imperfect sustainability. A 100% sustainable lifestyle is not actually sustainable at the moment, so we try our best to provide an option for those who want to try to be more mindful of their everyday needs. We didn't just want to focus on being environmentally friendly or eco-conscious, we wanted products that work well for anyone, even those that don't practice sustainability. We try to normalize the bar form for shampoos and conditioners so we mostly focus on effectiveness and lack of plastic packaging.”
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