Shampoo Bar vs. a Bottle of Shampoo: Which One Is Better?

shampoo bar vs bottle

Compact and convenient, shampoo bars have become increasingly popular over the last few years, and for a good reason. Eco and travel-friendly solid shampoo bars are made with natural plant-based ingredients and appeal to natural beauty fans and environmentally conscious consumers. How do they compare to their liquid counterparts? Let’s find out. Here we’ll look at the different aspects of shampoo bars vs. bottles.

Bar Shampoo vs. Liquid Shampoo: Which One Is Better for Hair Care?

Shampoo bars work to cleanse hair and remove product build-up, just like traditional shampoos, but they are different from liquid shampoos in composition and ingredients. When we compare bar shampoo vs. liquid formulas, we can say that regular shampoo offers only one advantage over shampoo bars: we have been using them for many years, so our hair is used to them. Depending on the product formulation and individual scalp peculiarities, some people may go through a transition period during which their hair adjusts to the natural shampoo bar and may feel heavy, dull, or greasy. These are normal side effects, and they are temporary.

Traditional liquid shampoos contain harsh chemicals, such as Sodium Laurel Sulfate, that strip away natural oils and make our bodies overreact. Our scalp produces excess oils to ensure that hair follicles stay healthy. And when we switch to natural hair care products, it takes time for the scalp to rebalance its oil production. After the scalp adjusts to the change, we can expect healthier hair than ever before.

But sulfate that eventually makes the hair lifeless and dull is not the only ingredient added to shampoos that can be problematic for hair. Some other synthetic ingredients can cause build-ups, block pores, and lead to itching scalp. For example, parabens used as artificial preservatives in cosmetic products, especially those with high water content, including regular shampoos, can cause skin dryness and irritation. Additionally, commercial detergent-based shampoos can contain artificial fragrances, colors, or dyes.

Solid shampoo bars tend to have “cleaner” formulas, free from controversial ingredients. Most of them are made with natural or organic ingredients, and their paraben-free and SLS-free formulas are pH balanced to help nourish hair and retain its natural moisture rather than strip it away. Well-formulated shampoo bars made with EWG green-rated ingredients create soft foam that gently cleanses hair and scalp. That’s why they are suitable for daily use, leaving hair feeling nourished, beautifully soft, silky, and moisturized after every wash.

Shampoo bars make hair healthier, shinier, and stronger. They clean hair as effectively as their liquid counterparts and work well for most hair types, from fine to thick and normal to oily. Still, hair type matters, and not all shampoo bars are the same. For example, more hydrating, oil-based formulas will work well for dry, curly, and color-treated hair types, but they may overwhelm fine and thin hair. So it’s always important to consider the specific hair type listed on the bar, just as with traditional liquid shampoo, to ensure the best result.

Shampoo Bar vs. Bottle: Which Option Lasts Longer?

Traditional liquid shampoos are made of approximately 80% water, so they actually contain only 1/5 active ingredients. They require high water content to achieve their desired consistency and provide a good lather. Regular shampoos are used as they are, so they run out quickly. On average, one standard shampoo bottle lasts 25 to 35 washes.

Shampoo bars need very little water to be formed, so even though they are significantly smaller than shampoo bottles, they last surprisingly long. Comparing shampoo bars vs shampoo in bottles, it’s important to admit that shampoo bars are more concentrated regarding active ingredients. That means they’re designed to last longer than standard liquid formulas. Standard solid shampoo bars can last around 60-80 washes on average. So when used several times a week, we can expect a bar to last around three months, but to ensure long-lasting use, it should be stored in a cool, dry place away from a direct water stream or spray.

Shampoo Bars vs. Shampoo: Which Is a More Sustainable Alternative?

Traditional shampoos come in plastic bottles, which is a huge environmental problem. In the United States alone, about 550 million empty plastic shampoo bottles are thrown yearly, and only a small percentage are recycled. Instead, the majority of shampoo bottles end up in landfills, where they’ll be slowly degrading for 450 years.

Shampoo bars are sustainable products that offer a genuine alternative to plastic. They come in recyclable, recycled, or biodegradable packaging; some even come without any packaging. Most shampoo bar formulas contain only natural ingredients and are also biodegradable. Additionally, they contain a small percentage of water, meaning water wastage is kept to a minimum. When it comes to the size of the shampoo bar vs. bottle, solid shampoo bars are more compact. Because of their smaller size, they make their transportation more efficient and reduce shipping-related carbon emissions since fewer lorries are needed to transport them.

The Bottom Line

All-natural solid shampoo bars are environmentally friendly alternatives to liquid shampoo in bottles as they help reduce plastic waste, save water, and lower carbon impact. Well-formulated shampoo bars also last two times longer than regular shampoo bottles and do a great job at washing hair, perfecting, and meeting our high personal care standards. Additionally, natural shampoo bars are scented with essential oils and smell lovely in a bathroom. All that makes them a win-win choice for consumers looking to adopt a more sustainable hair care routine.

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