What is a Shampoo Bar?
A shampoo bar is simply a solid bar of soap made with base oils specifically beneficial to the hair and scalp. The main additional oil which you find in shampoo bars is Castor oil, as its creamy conditioning lather is great for hair. The balance of the base oils is also critical to get the hair clean yet neither strip too much of its natural oils nor leave a residue which would make the hair heavy and lank.
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. And don’t forget, it’s not exclusively for hair - it also works on hands, face and body!
Why Use a Natural Shampoo Bar?
Commercial shampoo contains a cocktail of chemicals which not only strips excess oil and dirt from your hair but also strips 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, which means they’re laughing all the way to the bank!
If you’re looking to cut down on the amount of plastic you use, then switching to a shampoo bar makes perfect sense. A solid bar is also much easier to take on holiday – no risk of spillages! And since a shampoo bar 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 will save!
Solid shampoo bars also last longer – maybe 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.
Click on the image to buy Shampoo
How to Use It
Simply wet your hair then smooth the bar directly onto the hair, all over, from root to tip, then lather up (you’ll be amazed at how much it lathers!) Massage well (this bit is nice and relaxing, so don’t rush it!) before rinsing thoroughly. Finish with an ACV rinse periodically (see below). If your hair is very dry and you feel you need an additional conditioner, try a little shea butter, warmed in your hands and then stroked through your hair with your fingertips. However, you may find your hair doesn't need conditioning as much - or at all - when you switch to a natural shampoo.
When you switch to a natural shampoo bar, your hair will go through a transition period when it will gradually learn that it doesn’t have to overproduce sebum any more. This process usually takes about a week but can take up to a month, and in that time I’m afraid your hair won’t look its best. Bu it’s worth the wait – honestly!
You can help by doing a few things:-
Don’t wash your hair too often, however tempting it seems. Once your hair is used to the new regime, you will find it probably only needs washing 2-3 times a week. When you do wash your hair, make sure you rinse really well.
Whatever you do, DON’T go back to using your old shampoo – you’ll just have to start the whole transition process all over again.
Brush your hair thoroughly once a day. This will help distribute the natural oils evenly (and give you a lovely scalp massage at the same time). Remember, it's the natural oils which give your hair shine.
Use an apple cider vinegar (ACV) rinse after shampooing. This is amazing stuff (and it doesn’t make you smell like a chip shop!) It balances the pH level of your scalp and acts just like a conditioner, smoothing and detangling your hair like magic. Mix 1 part ACV with 4 parts water. You can put it in a jug or a cup – I use one of those squeezy sauce bottles. After shampooing and rinsing thoroughly, drizzle the mixture evenly over your hair and scalp and work it through with your fingers. About half a cupful should be enough, depending on hair length and water quality. Rinse it well (don’t leave it in, as some websites suggest). This should become part of your weekly routine. I find I only need to use it once or twice a week – certainly not every time I shampoo. You’ll be saving soooo much money by not having to buy commercial shampoos and conditioners (even if you opt for the best organic ACVs) and of course all the packaging is recyclable/zero waste.
If your hair takes longer than a week to transition – do stick with it! It WILL work itself out and your hair will look amazing again. Tell family, friends and colleagues what you’re doing so they understand. Try wearing it in a ponytail, or wear a hat – it’s only a few days and then you’ll thank yourself for the rest of your life!
Do email me if you have any problems or queries.