Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Shampoo Bar?
A shampoo bar is simply a solid bar of soap where the balance of base oils is designed specifically for the hair and scalp. This balance is critical to get the hair clean yet neither strip too much of the hair's natural oils no leave a residue which would make the hair heavy and lank. The main additional oil which you find in shampoo bars is Castor oil, as its creamy conditioning lather is great for hair.
Since everyone’s hair is different and even the hardness of water you use affects results, I can’t say it’ll work for everyone, but I believe it will suit most hair types.
Why Use a Natural Shampoo Bar?
In a nutshell, because it's gentler on your hair and scalp, kinder to the environment and kinder on your pocket!
Commercial shampoos often contain chemicals which not only strip excess oil and dirt from your hair but also
strip your hair’s natural oil – sebum – along with it. These chemicals cause two problems – 1. they’re too harsh, which can cause itchiness and irritation, and 2. they actually cause your scalp to
produce more sebum in a desperate attempt to compensate for the harshness of the chemicals. It’s a vicious circle which the manufacturers love, because it means you have to wash your hair more often, which means you buy more of their products!
We all know we need to cut down on plastic. Using my packaging-free shampoo bars means never having to buy another plastic shampoo bottle ever again! A solid shampoo bar is also much easier to take on holiday - no risk of messy spillages. And since my shampoo bars can just as easily be used on face and body as well as hair, one bar may be all you need in the shower! Think how many plastic bottles a year that could save!
Commercial shampoos are also mostly water. So mostly what you're paying for is water and a plastic bottle! My shampoo bars are very cost-effective, lasting up to 5 times longer than a bottle of shampoo.
As with all solid soaps, allowing the bar to dry out between uses is important if you want to avoid a sludgy mess.
Can I Use a Shampoo Bar on My Skin?
Yes, certainly - all my shampoo bars work well on hands, face and body as well as hair. Since there is slightly less superfatting in the shampoo bars, they may work well for a more oily skin.
What About Conditioner?
You may not need to condition as often when you use a gentle, natural shampoo bar like mine. Some people find they don't need to condition at all. However, most will still want to condition occasionally. I recommend using an apple cider vinegar (ACV) rinse after shampooing - once a week or 10 days is probably enough.
Mix one part ACV with four parts water, pour over your clean hair, work it through with your fingers, as you would a conventional conditioner, then rinse out. I find this works really well (and you don't end up smelling like a chip shop)!
Bar conditioners don't work for me - and if I can't believe in a product then I won't make or sell it.
How Do I Use It?
Wet hair thoroughly, then apply by smoothing the whole bar over your hair from root to tip. Some websites recommend lathering up in your hand and then applying it to your hair, but I've never found that works as well and just takes longer.
Lather up as you would with a conventional shampoo. There should be plenty of lather - if not, smooth the bar over your hair again - don't be afraid to use plenty; it's not as much as you think and a bar will still last you ages. Every head of hair is unique and there are no set rules. After a few uses you'll know how much your hair needs.
Rinse and repeat. After the final rinse, you should be able to run your fingers down your hair and it should feel "squeaky clean".
Condition with ACV if required (see separate FAQ).
What is the Transition Period?
If you're using a natural shampoo bar for the first time, you may experience what's known as a "transition period".
Commercial shampoos are harsh and strip your hair of its natural oils (sebum), causing your scalp to
over-produce sebum to try to compensate for this (making your hair greasier, meaning you wash it more frequently - a
vicious circle the commercial companies must love!)
When you switch to a gentler natural shampoo it takes your scalp about a week to realise it doesn't have to do this any more and your hair may therefore look a bit lank for a few days.
Don't panic! You can help the process by not washing your hair more than twice a week and brushing your hair well twice a day to distribute the natural oils - this is what
true natural shine really is!
For some people the transition period is a bit longer than a week - again, every head of hair is unique so there's no guarantees, I'm afraid. All I can say is,
stick with it - it's really worth it and you're going to love the result! In the meantime, you can always wear a hat!
Do You Make Shampoo for Dogs?
Yes, I make a 100% natural Dog Shampoo which has been tested and approved to cosmetic safety standards.
Did you know that dog shampoos don't need any kind of safety assessing? You could put anything you liked into a dog shampoo and sell it legally.
When I realised that I was horrified. It's been a few years since I've owned a dog but I will always be a "doggie person" (don't tell the cat!) It really matters to me that I only use the most gentle natural products on my skin -
so why should it matter any less what I put on my dog's skin? Don't they deserve the same care?
My shampoo bar for humans is about as gentle as you can get, so when I was thinking about creating a dog shampoo, I used that base recipe as a starting point for my research. And although there were a few other ingredients I considered using, when it came to it, I realised I just wanted to keep it simple. So my Dog Shampoo is exactly the same base recipe as the human version, with no fragrance and no colour. All I've added is some oatmeal for a bit of extra grip. The bars are chunkier than my human soaps, with ridged sides, again to aid grip.
this is one Dog Shampoo that has been
tested and approved to human cosmetic safety standards!
Keep It Simple, For Dogs' Sake!