I get so many questions about shampoo bars! I thought I would do a little post on how to get the most out of your shampoo bar. The holiday season is a great time to make the switch as I recommend giving your body a full month at least to fully adjust to a shampoo bar (and that’s nice to do on holidays when you don’t care what your hair looks like 🙊).
Why do I use a shampoo bar? I like to avoid plastic packaging, use healthy oils on my scalp and avoid potential toxins and synthetic fragrances and ensure that my products are not tested on animals and palm oil free. If they are Australian owned and made - even better! I’ve also found that since making the switch about 18 months ago, I have to wash my hair far less frequently. Here are my top tips and answers to all of your questions today.
Lather is important! If you don’t get a thorough, even lather you will have bits of your hair with remaining soap oils, leaving your hair looking waxy. I thoroughly wet my hair, stroke the bar through from roots to ends several times, massage with my hands and rinse out. Then I repeat. The second time, you will get a far better lather which will wash out dirt and excess oils.
Rinse, rinse, rinse! Make sure you take the time to ensure that all soap is rinsed out. Following a water rinse, I do an apple cider vinegar rinse. I believe this is key to avoiding waxy build up that many people experience when using a shampoo bar. Before I jump in the shower, I mix 1 tbsp of ACV in 1 cup of water. I pour the diluted ACV over my scalp and massage in. You will feel your hair soften immediately. You can leave in and towel dry or rinse out with water. ACV restores the scalp’s pH, softens and adds shine and especially helps if you have hard water (which Brisbane does). If you feel like you have lots of build up from products etc. you could try a bicarb rinse with 1tbsp bicarb and 1 cup warm water.
Be patient! Your hair will be used to the chemicals and silicones in commercial shampoo - it needs to learn how to live tox-free! Commercial shampoos generally strip the natural oils from your scalp which shampoo bars do not do. Your scalp will need to work out what the right amount of oil to produce is and it could go too dry or too oily during the transition process. The transition period can take anywhere from 2 weeks to 6 weeks.
Make sure you’re using the right bar for your hair type. I love my Dirty Hippie bar, but we are also stocking a new range from Australian Natural Soap Company which offers normal, dry, oily, sensitive and doggo! I’ve been trialling the oily bar and I love it! I’ve only needed an ACV rinse every second wash.
Conditioner. Shampoo bars contain nourishing oils, so you shouldn’t need a conditioner. However, I do love my Dirty Hippie leave in conditioner spray. You could also massage in some argan or jojoba oil into the ends of your hair if it feels a little dry.
Colour treated hair should be fine with shampoo bars as they are more nourishing and less stripping than commercial shampoos, however I would test patch first! I don’t have dyed hair so can’t personally comment on that sorry! There are no silicones in a shampoo bar to smooth down existing hair damage, so colour treated hair may appear more exposed? Try massaging in a quality oil in and leaving it for 15min - 30mins to help condition damaged hair.
Storage. Keep your bar dry between uses. I let mine drain on a wire rack but a hanging soap pouch would be fine - anywhere that will let it drain and dry out between uses. To prolong the life of your bars, consider cutting them into thirds with a knife and only have one third out at a time whilst the rest stay dry in a cupboard.
I hope that helps! Comment below with any questions!