What are Shampoo Bars?
Shampoo bars are a type of solid soap formulated with unique oil blends to wash the hair and scalp without leaving the kind of residue typical to soap. They are a natural alternative to the commercial detergent shampoos we’ve all become used to.
Why stop using commercial shampoo?
I switched from detergent-based shampoos about 2 1/2 years ago when I was frustrated with my ever oily scalp. I was washing every day with more and more expensive shampoos and still had limp, oily hair by the end of the day. One day, I heard something new:
“Commercial shampoos contain detergents that strip your hair and scalp of natural oils which can lead to the scalp OVER-PRODUCING oil in some people.”
- Be patient. Although I don’t think the transition phase is as dramatic with shampoo bars, it can still be a pain. Give the bars a good 2-3 weeks to show you how healthy your scalp can be.
- Use a boar bristle brush. This helps to pull the excess oils off of your scalp and distribute them along the shafts of your hair. This is the body’s natural conditioner and you will probably notice an improvement in the health of your locks too. I like using it before bed and before hopping into the shower. Just don’t brush too vigorously because you can irritate your scalp and cause some dandruff.
- If you want, use a conditioner. Women especially are tied to “their” conditioner and if you drop it cold-turkey, you might be less likely to keep with the shampoo bars. Don’t feel like you HAVE to switch to all-natural everything because you’re trying a shampoo alternative!
- If your goal IS to become more natural and get away from chemicals, I recommend using a lemon juice rinse. I like it over the ACV rinse because it doesn’t weigh my hair down. Here’s what you do: Put 1-2 Tbs of lemon juice in the bottom of an 8oz cup and take it into the shower with you. After shampooing, fill the cup the rest of the way with water and then rinse through your hair. Let it sit for about a minute and then rinse well. Since all soap is naturally alkaline, this rinse helps to bring your hair back to it’s naturally acidic state. If you prefer apple cider vinegar, you can follow the some recipe with that instead of lemon juice.
- Be flexible! I’m constantly doing different things. Most days I like the lemon juice rinse after shampooing. Some days I use a store-bought conditioner. Some days I don’t use a conditioner at all and my hair even does great with that!
- Although shampoo bars are formulated not to coat your hair with residue, I’m finding that after a while, it sort of does. Once or twice a month, I use a store-bought shampoo to wash the ENDS of my hair (not my scalp!) to strip away any slight build up.
- Your hair will feel very different when it’s wet! The best word I’ve found to describe the feeling is “cottony”. Like the squeaky cotton ball in your aspirin bottle. At first, I thought my hair seemed so tangled that I’d never get a brush through it again. Don’t worry (like I did) – you’re just not used to feeling your hair without being coated with chemicals and silicates. It does feel different. Don’t try to brush it out wet. Either let it dry naturally or (here’s what I do) give it a rough dry under your dryer until it’s mostly dry. You’ll notice that, suddenly, your hair is soft and manageable and you’ll easily be able to style it like normal.
- My favorite tip? Men LOVE shampoo bars! I think it might be the fact that you can use them as soap on the rest of your body and it completely cuts out a whole step. 🙂 If you’re looking for that little something to make him smile, give him a shampoo bar!