Shampoo bars – everything you need to know

Let me introduce you to one of the best eco-friendly swaps you can make – the shampoo bar! Shampoo bars are a solid form of shampoo usually made from a blend of raw or plant-based ingredients like oils.

Why swap?

According to a report published a few years ago British consumers threw about 13 billion plastic bottles away in 2017. Although half of these were water bottles, many of the rest were shampoo, conditioner, and other bathroom products. That is a lot of plastic, that not probably was not recycled, ending up on landfills.

Shampoo bars are a great way of cutting back on single-use plastic bottles. Not only are they plastic-free, but it also takes a lot less water to produce them. Most shampoo bars are made without sulfates and other harsh detergents, that are common in their liquid counterparts, making them a much healthier option. They are also great value. One bar should last as long as three bottles of shampoo

How is a shampoo bar different from soap?

According to those in the know the base formula of a shampoo bar is the same as a body bar, but with some added hair care ingredients and extra foaming agents. These added ingredients not only allow the product to spread easier, but also leave your hair feeling soft.

How to use a shampoo bar?

There are two ways of applying this shampoo. You can lather the bar between your wet hands and apply the lather to your wet hair (as you would with a liquid shampoo). Or you can wet the bar and apply it directly to your hair, rubbing in a circular motion down the strands of hair. Rinse and repeat if needed. Some people recommend doing a double shampoo, but I rarely find that necessary.

Do I use a conditioner after a shampoo bar?

I would recommend using a conditioner after a shampoo as it helps replenish moisture. Although there are many conditioner bars available, I am still searching for one that works for me.

How to store a shampoo bar?

Taking care to store your shampoo bar will ensure it lasts for many washes. Keep the bar out of the direct flow of water. Allow your shampoo bar to dry between washes in a well-ventilated space, out of direct sunlight. I have found placing it on a dish or rack (with holes or slits) works well.

Which shampoo bar to use?

A good shampoo bar should be easy to hold, produce a foamy lather that spreads easily and rinses out with minimal water. It also should leave your hair feeling clean, nourished, and smooth. As with their liquid counterparts every shampoo bar is different, and it takes some time to find the shampoo bar that works the best for your hair. What works for my hair, may not work for yours. That’s why it was important for me to try different products.

I have spent the last few months testing four different shampoo bars (it took longer than I expected as shampoo bars really last a long time).  I rated each product on five points: the lather texture, ease of rinsing, scent and how they made my hair look and feel, value (how long they lasted) and packaging.

Product review

nul

Lather texture: excellent

Ease of rinsing: excellent

Scent and how it made my hair look and feel: excellent

Value: excellent

Packaging: excellent (recyclable cardboard packaging)

Nul shampoo bars tick all the boxes for us. They are easy to hold, produce a great lather and leave our hair feeling clean. I especially like their Rooibos and Marula oil bar (it smells so good, you actually want to eat it).

zero bar

Lather texture: excellent

Ease of rinsing: excellent

Scent and how it made my hair look and feel: excellent

Value: good

Packaging: excellent (recyclable cardboard packaging)

Their bars smell amazing (I especially love the smell of their Desert melon bar). They also lather well and leave your hair feeling clean and soft. Although all shampoo bars are susceptible to water, we found that Zero bars are especially so. If they remain wet they become soft, ‘jellylike’ and unusable. So be sure to store it correctly.

Lave

Lather texture: excellent

Ease of rinsing: excellent

Scent and how it made my hair look and feel: excellent

Value: excellent

Packaging: excellent (recyclable cardboard packaging)

I was very skeptical about this speckled black shampoo bar, but I love it! Peet, Amélie and I have been using it for more than a month now and it probably will last for another month.

Earth warrior

Lather texture: average

Ease of rinsing: excellent

Scent and how it made my hair look and feel: not great

Value: excellent

Packaging: super excellent (no packaging)

I love the fact that Earth Warrior uses no packaging. Of all the shampoo and conditioner bars I tried, this bar lasted the longest making it great value for money. I have spoken to people that love Earth Warrior’s shampoo bars. Personally I felt it left my hair feeling oily.

Are you using shampoo bars? I would love to hear about your experience and which brand you prefer and why.

Replacing liquid shampoo with a shampoo bar really was one of the easiest swaps I have made since embarking on plastic freer home and life style. And definitely worth a try!

xxx

Leave a comment