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So, you've heard the buzz about shampoo bars and you're wondering if they're right for your hair. Good news: They are! You may have heard that shampoos containing sulfates can cause damage to both colored and natural hair. But using a shampoo bar instead can actually help repair damaged strands while also leaving them shiny and bouncy.
In this article, we'll go over everything you need to know about shampoo bars—including how they work, what kind of ingredients go into them, their pros and cons compared with traditional liquid shampoos, plus more tips on how to use them best.
Are shampoo bars good for the environment?
A shampoo bar is a solid cleanser that you rub over your hair, and it's usually made from ingredients like olive oil or coconut oil. Shampoo bars are often sold in reusable containers that can be used to store other products like soap and toothpaste. This means there's no need for plastic bottles or plastic pumps on the dispensers—and it saves more resources overall.
Shampoo bars are made from a combination of oils and waxes, and then infused with a few other ingredients. When you rub the bar over your hair, the oil spreads around to form a lather.
The shampoo bar doesn't replace traditional conditioner, though; it's just an alternative way to cleanse your strands without stripping them or causing build-up.
While you can use one of these soaps in lieu of regular shampoo and conditioner, there are some downsides: most people still need to use conditioner because the shampoo bars won't give you enough moisture for dry or damaged hair types. They also don't provide as much volume as traditional shampoos do (especially when paired with sulfate-free formulas).
Shampoo bars work on all hair types. They’re great for those with curly hair, fine hair, thick hair—you name it! If you have sensitive skin or are trying to reduce your plastic waste, shampoo bars are also a great option.
As with any new product you use on your body or in your home, always check product ingredients before purchasing. Some people react negatively when chemicals like sulfates and parabens are present in personal care products.
Most people who use shampoo bars find they weigh down their hair less than regular shampoo. Shampoo bars are gentler and less drying than regular shampoos, so they aren't as harsh on curly hair. If you're worried about your shampoo bar weighing down your curls, try a lighter-weight version of your favorite bar.
You'll also find that shampoo bars are easier to apply than liquid or gel shampoos. Some people even report that the application process is enjoyable! It's easy to lather up a bar between your palms by rubbing them together until the soap starts to turn into a creamy consistency (don't worry—it won't get soapy).
Shampoo bars are made from natural ingredients—like coconut oil, shea butter, palm oil, and olive oil—that are safe for your hair and skin. Because they don’t contain harsh chemicals that can damage your delicate locks over time, shampoo bars are a great alternative to traditional shampoos.
The answer is yes, you can use a shampoo bar on color-treated hair.
Because shampoo bars are made with natural ingredients and don't contain sulfates (which strip color from hair), they're safe to use on color-treated tresses. All that's needed is a quick rinse after washing the soap out of your hair—and if you're worried about any buildup remaining behind, follow up with an apple cider vinegar rinse to remove any residue.
How long a shampoo bar will last really depends on how often you use it. If you use your shampoo bar once a week, expect it to last about three months. If you use your shampoo bars every other day, then consider them lasting between three and six months. You can also store your shampoo bars in the refrigerator to extend their life even further.
Most people keep their shampoo bars in the bathroom or near their sinks where they are easily accessible for washing their hair as needed throughout the week.
Store your shampoo bar properly to keep it from drying out.
Keep it in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight, heat, moisture and humidity.
To help you remember to keep your shampoo bar out of the sun and heat, try storing it in a drawer with other bathroom items (like your toothbrush). If you have pets or children in your home who might knock the drawer open or get into things like this, consider using a medicine cabinet instead of a drawer for storing the bar so that it’s not easily accessible by young kids or pets.
A good shampoo bar is safe for all hair types.
You can use a shampoo bar if you have colored-treated hair. Shampoo bars are also safe for dry scalp, curly hair, fine hair and oily scalp or oily roots. It's best to choose a mild-cleaning soap if you have sensitive skin or any allergic reactions to ingredients like essential oils and fragrances.
So, do shampoo bars work? The answer is yes! Shampoo bars are a great alternative to conventional shampoos and conditioners. They’re easy to use, they smell amazing, and they are better for the environment than using plastic bottles over time. So whether you have curly hair or color-treated strands—or both—you should definitely give this newfangled product a try!