Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Solid Shampoo Bars!
What Are Solid Shampoo Bars?
Shampoo bars (which I love) are natural conditioning shampoos in a solid bar form. Although they may seem new to many, solid soap shampoos were commonly used before liquid detergent shampoos became popular in the 1940’s.
If you are not used to solid shampoo bars, the concept may sound a bit strange, but they are WONDERFUL! They are super rich with loads of fluffy lather. Our natural shampoo bars are made in small batches using recipes carefully developed to naturally clean and condition your scalp and leave your hair soft, shiny, clean, and, most of all, healthy.
Why I Began Making Solid Shampoo Bars
I had scalp psoriasis for several years and was trying to find a cure or at least something to ease the symptoms. That's what motivated me to make my own shampoo.
Also, you only have to read the ingredients on a bottle of liquid shampoo - most words are unpronouncable! Commercial liquid shampoos are a "chemical cocktail" made with synthetic ingredients - preservatives, detergents, foam boosters, fragrance oils and synthetic colors. Do you want to use that on your hair? These ingredients strip moisture from the hair and scalp, cause dryness, brittleness and scalp irritation.
Many of these ingredients are also linked to allergic reactions and more. Even in 1852, William Coale knew that “the habitual treatment of hair with cosmetics” was not good for hair.
Good For The Environment
Shampoo bars help decrease our environmental impact because no plastic bottles are needed. Currently 500 million empty shampoo bottles go into landfill each year. Unfortunately, 91% of all plastic is not recycled.
Eliminating products made from synthetic ingredients also helps to decrease groundwater contamination. Everything we send down the drain can end up in local waterways and ultimately the ocean.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has found chemicals from personal care products in nearly every water supply they have tested.
What's The Difference Between Soap Bars And Shampoo Bars?
While the process for making a shampoo bar is the same as making soap and the ingredients seem similar, a well-formulated shampoo bar is not your typical soap bar.
Shampoo bars contain carefully selected ingredients that promote a moisturised scalp and well-conditioned, shiny hair.
Shampoo bar "recipes" are tweaked to use different proportions of oils and butters and to include botanicals, herb infused oils and essential oils that are known to help nourish the hair and scalp.
Each of our shampoo bars contains a different blend of natural plant oils, essential oils, and herb-infused oils and some contain waxes. Each shampoo bar recipe is different and unique.
Great Things About Solid Shampoo Bars
Most people find benefits in switching to a shampoo bar such as increased volume, faster-growing hair, reduced dandruff, shinier hair and less frizz. If you have curly hair, most people say they that they have more defined curls with better control. Shampoo bars are good for all hair types and hair lengths.
Truly Natural: Our shampoo bars are made with pure and natural ingredients.
They contain no color, preservatives, detergents, alcohol, urea, formaldehyde, sodium lauryl sulfate SLS, DEA, propylene glycol, silicone - or any of the other synthetic hair care additives that can cause dry, itchy and irritated scalp and contribute to hair loss, especially if you shampoo every day!
Our scented shampoo bars are made with natural botanical essential oils. The essential oil blends we use are formulated for their therapeutic value as well as for their lovely fragrance.
Gentle: Our gentle shampoo bars do not strip hair of natural oils allowing hair to retain moisture while balancing hair oil production. Your hair and scalp will get a break from harmful synthetic ingredients that rob the scalp of natural moisture.
Environmentally Friendly: Biodegradable. No plastic bottles. No toxic chemicals.
Cost Effective: Natural shampoo bars last a long time and, for many, there is no need to buy separate conditioner.
Convenient: They are great to keep in your gym locker, or use for camping or travelling.
Travelling: They won't leak and can be packed in carry-on luggage while complying with airport regulations.
Customer Feedback: After switching to a natural shampoo bar, customers have reported:
- more shine
- increased volume
- less frizz
- less shedding
- more defined curls
- increased manageability
- retained color longer
- a decrease in dandruff and scalp irritation
How to use a Solid Shampoo Bar for the first time
If you haven't used a natural shampoo before, I'd recommend a one-off prewash treatment to remove any build up from commercial shampoos and conditioners.
Mix up a paste of 2 tsp bi carb soda with water and work this through your wet hair. Then rinse.
Next, use my shampoo bar, working it all over your hair to build up a lather. Work this through for a minute or so, then rinse.
A solid, natural shampoo can take up to several washes before it feels good. This isbecause of the build up of silicones and other residuals in store bought shampoo and conditioners. Also, your hair may be damaged, treated or may not respond well to a natural shampoo. Give it time and allow your hair and scalp to adjust.
Some people find that the shampoo doesn't lather very well. This could be because you have hard water and any shampoo (or any soap) will struggle to lather. You could try mixing up a bucket of water with some water softener crystals and using this for washing your hair.
How Do I Use a Shampoo Bar?
There are many ways to use a shampoo bar and what works for one person, may not work for another. You may want to try several methods to see which one works best for you.
Technique #1: Use The Bar Directly On Your Hair
Begin with thoroughly wet hair.
Gently rub wet the shampoo bar directly onto your hair from scalp to ends in a combing motion.
Cover each section of your hair. Gently massage scalp and hair, adding more water as needed, until good lather forms.
To prevent tangles, be sure to always work from the top down, don't pile your hair on your head and use your fingers like a comb, not a mixer.
With this method, it is very important that you really build up a good lather on your head so there are no patches of soap left on your hair.
Rinse, rinse, rinse!
Repeat if desired
Technique #2: Create The Lather in Your Hands
Begin with thoroughly wet hair.
Rub the wet shampoo bar between your wet hands to create a nice lather.
Using your fingers like a comb, smooth the lather along your hair.
Gently massage it into the scalp and hair, as you would with a bottled shampoo.
Work up a good lather
Rinse, rinse, rinse!
Repeat if desired.
How Well Do They Lather?
Super rich with loads of fluffy lather, our natural shampoo bars are made in small batches using recipes meticulously developed to naturally clean and condition your scalp and leave hair soft, shiny, clean, and, most of all, healthy.
Although foamy lather is not necessary for cleaning, most people agree that a shampoo MUST have lots of lather.
Made with lathering oils like coconut and castor, our solid shampoo bars have an absolutely fabulous, fluffy lather.
Which Shampoo Bar Is Best For My Hair?
Some of our shampoo bars are good for a particular type of hair. For example, calendula is a natural blonding botanical so is good for blondes. We also use henna in some shampoos which might be more suitable for brunettes. However, our shampoos don't actually impart colour but they tend to enhance highlights.
How Long Will A Shampoo Bar Last?
With the water removed, this concentrated shampoo bar can do the job of 4 to 5 bottles of commercial liquid shampoo and there is no plastic bottle to throw away afterward. How long a bar will last depends on how many people are using it, how often you wash your hair, how vigorously you wash, etc. Here are some tips:
- Don't let your shampoo bar sit in a puddle of water
- Store soap on a well-drained soap dish
- Allow soap plenty of fresh air to dry between uses
- If your bar ever gets waterlogged and becomes gooey, simply set it on a draining soap dish for a few days and let it dry out thoroughly
- Also, since many don't need to use conditioner, that’s another plastic bottle saved and more money in your pocket!
Do I Still Need To Use Conditioner With A Shampoo Bar?
We recommend using our solid conditioner bar after shampooing. Not everyone needs to use a conditioner and may find that the shampoo alone is conditioning enough. But if you experience flyaway hair and have too much bounce you may need to use a conditioner to tame your hair. I now use very little conditioner after shampooing and find that my hair feels lovely and bouncy.
For Body & Luster
If you are using a conditioner because your hair is dull, lacks luster, and is dry - you may need a conditioner. Since commercial liquid shampoos contain petroleum products which are actually drying to your hair and scalp, conditioners are usually needed to restore balance to your hair.
Our natural shampoo bars will not strip the natural oils from your hair. We recommend our solid conditioner in conjunction with our solid shampoo, however, you may not need a conditioner.
Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) rinses are an excellent addition to any natural hair care routine and can help bring back body and shine to dull, lackluster hair.
For Tangly Hair
Tangled hair results when individual hairs go in different directions and intertwine.
The outer layer of the hair, the cuticle, is made of overlapping layers of long scales that lie along the surface of the hair like shingles on a roof.
The condition of the cuticle scales in part determines whether you are going to have tangly hair. When you shampoo or even wet your hair, the cuticle opens making it prone to tangling.
The way you shampoo and your hair type can affect hair tangles. If you have long fine, thin hair then it could be very prone to tangling. Just imagine all of those little strands of hair as very thin strings - now put little burrs on the strings (the open cuticle). This is how the tangles start.
I find that if I comb my fingers through the length of my hair while it is still lathered up and continue to comb as I rinse the tangles comb out easily.
Can I Use A Shampoo Bar With Colour Treated Hair?
Most people find that shampoo bars are easier on color treated hair than commercial shampoos.
We have many customers who color their hair and use our gentle shampoo bars. One customer who darkens her hair wrote to tell us that she loves using our henna shampoo.
Another customer who lightens her hair, wrote that the colour stays longer and she uses the calendula shampoo.
But since everyone's hair and coloring products are different, please do a strand test to judge for yourself. To do a strand test, shampoo a strand of hair in a non-conspicuous area and rinse. Notice if there are any changes.
The good thing about the shampoo bars is that they actually prolong color - customers have noticed this and told me about it.
Can I Use A Shampoo Bar With Permed Hair?
Because they are basically soap, shampoo bars will not strip natural protective oils from your hair. But since everyone's hair and perming products are different, please do a strand test to judge for yourself.
Is There An Adjustment Period?
We use only natural ingredients in our shampoo bars and the chemicals in commercial shampoos make for quite a different shampoo experience.
While many people have little problem with their hair adjusting to a new routine, some do.
The transition period can range from a few days to a few weeks or even a month. It really depends on how damaged your hair is, how much residue and build-up is present and some has to do with your genetics.
When you first begin, your hair or scalp may become oily or dry or even switch between the two extremes. You may have increased tangles or frizz and the hair shafts may feel weird or waxy.
This is your hair, which has been addicted to chemical-laden shampoo and silicone laden conditioner, freaking out, going through withdrawal, and learning to live a chemical-free life. It's not easy!
It will improve! It may take some patience, but if you can persevere, your reward will be healthy, soft and silky hair.
There isn't one common thread among people who have adjustment issues, but there are some common reasons your hair may feel different as you bring your hair back to its natural, healthy state and your hair has to learn how to live without the chemicals.
Technological advances have led to many wonderful discoveries. Unfortunately, in the personal care industry, this usually means the creation of another new synthetic ingredient.
For example, when consumers asked companies to stop using harsh sulfates in shampoo, the companies simply substitute one harsh synthetic ingredient for another. In many cases, the new ingredient is more harmful than the original!
For skin and hair care, we are all starting to realise that back-to-basics is better.
Our natural ingredients harness the power and simplicity of nature to cleanse, soothe and protect your skin and hair while maintaining respect for our planet.