Rebirth of Shampoo Bars: Are They Worth A Try?

By: | Oct 10, 2018

Ever heard of shampoo bars before? It’s not as new as you would have thought. Perhaps it’s the first time you’ve heard of shampoo bars. These are not newly invented hair products. Shampoo bars came before liquid shampoos. The difference is that today’s shampoo bars are not as drying on hair. There are lots of benefits when you use shampoo bars.

Shampoo bars made of botanical ingredients

Shampoo bars are making a comeback and it’s not necessarily a good thing. Sure, you can use shampoo bars more than liquid shampoos. You can save money and help reduce carbon footprint too. The catch? Your hair might look waxy and dull if you don’t use it properly. But before you say no to shampoo bars, read on to discover its benefits.

What Are Shampoo Bars

Shampoo bars are cleansers that come in solid form. They do not have the same formula as liquid shampoos. To create the solid shape, lye (sodium hydroxide) is used. When mixed with fats and oils, it creates soap. Cruelty-free shampoo bars use pure botanical oils and not fat from animals. Palm oil, coconut oil, castor oil, and argan oil are some of the most commonly used ingredients.

Round and rectangular shampoo bars

Fats from animals solidify well, making them great ingredients for shampoo bars. Tallow and lard are two fats normally used to make soap. Lye is an alkaline salt that helps trigger saponification to create a shampoo bar. The old formula of shampoo bars can make hair really shiny but it leaves a waxy film on hair strands. This makes hair feel heavy and look dull. Castile soap is a traditional hard soap made of olive oil and lye.

Lye is the reason why traditional soaps are not good for hair. It is corrosive, meaning, that it can damage hair, making it more porous and less elastic. Regular use of traditional soap leaves hair brittle and prone to breakage too. Today’s shampoo bars do not contain lye or other types of alkaline salt. They may contain a small amount of sulfate to give the product a cleansing effect.

Benefits and Drawbacks of Using Shampoo Bars

Shampoo bars are popular today for a reason. They have benefits that you can’t get from liquid shampoos. However, there are drawbacks when you use shampoo bars too. If you are thinking about switching to shampoo bars, weigh the pros and cons first. Here are the benefits and drawbacks of using shampoo bars.

Soft and shiny hair

Why You Should Use Shampoo Bars

1. Shampoo bars last longer than liquid shampoos.

Shampoo bars are very concentrated. They lather well with a few rubs on hair. This makes shampoo bars last longer than the regular bottle of shampoo. A small handy shampoo bar is equal to two to three bottles of shampoo. You can use it up to 90 washes depending on the length and thickness of your hair.

2. They do not use plastic or rubber for packaging.

The most notable thing that shampoo bars are known for is that they do not use plastic or rubber for packaging. This can help reduce carbon footprint. Most shampoo bars are packaged using papers or recyclable materials. They do not need a plastic container. One of the major problems the world face today is the increasing amount of plastics used. It takes millions of years before plastics start to decompose. They are highly toxic when burned or melted. Shampoo bottles account for a large percentage of plastic litter. This is why shampoo bars are considered as eco-friendly hair products.

3. Shampoo bars get rid of chemical residue and product buildup on hair.

Commercial hair products contain chemicals that cling to your hair and scalp. Liquid shampoos can’t get rid of them. Shampoo bars, on the other hand, remove product buildup and chemical residue on hair and scalp. They make your hair soft, shiny, and bouncy. Shampoo bars do not work like liquid shampoo. They contain little to no harsh surfactant. Some brands create formulas made from purely botanical ingredients too. They work just as well as liquid shampoos!

Different types of shampoo bars

4. Shampoo bars are perfect for traveling.

Shampoo bars come in handy sizes that you can bring them anywhere you go. Bar forms of shampoo are more convenient to bring because they can be stored anywhere and they do not make a mess. With liquid shampoos, you have to make sure that they do not spill or leak.

5. They do not dry your hair.

Gentle shampoo bars don’t dry your hair! In fact, some of these bar cleansers have moisturizing effects that make your hair really soft and smooth. Some products have great moisturizing property that you can skip applying conditioner! Did you know that there are cowash bar cleansers too? They are perfect for curly and kinky hair types.

Drawbacks of Using Shampoo Bars

1. Some shampoo bars make hair feel waxy and heavy.

Not all shampoo bars are created equal. Some shampoo bars do not contain surfactants. While this leaves hair moisturized, it is the reason why these shampoo bars can’t produce a good lather. When you use hard water with this type of shampoo bar, it can make your hair feel waxy and heavy. You can avoid this if you use distilled water. You can use apple cider vinegar rinse to get rid of this wax-like texture too.

Soap scum is another reason why your hair feels like it is covered in wax. This is the residue that weighs heavily on your hair. Soap scum leaves a waxy film on individual strands, making your hair look dull and limp. It forms when alkali reacts with water. Alkali is often used in shampoo bars to create their solid form. However, you can use shampoo bars that do not contain alkali.

Woman washing hair

2. Shampoo bars do not contain less sulfate.

Shampoo bars may not be as drying as liquid shampoos, but it does not mean that they contain less sulfate. Some brands use silk needles, which are sodium lauryl sulfate compressed in small needle forms. While they cleanse hair well, they also leave it dry and rough to the touch. Avoid using this type of shampoo bar if you have dry and damaged hair.

When it comes to shampoo bars, it is important that you know how to properly use the cleanser. Rinse well and use the suitable shampoo bar for your hair. The various benefits that you can get from using shampoo bars might be worth the try. To get the results you desire, make sure that the product you will use contains hair-nourishing ingredients. Use eco-friendly shampoo bars and let your hair shine and bounce!