We all have heard all that hype about shampoo bars, and more and more people these days are taking the plunge and using this new form of hair cleanser as an alternative to shampoo in bottles. Shampoo bars are functional, travel-friendly, don’t take up much space, and are good for your hair and the environment.
In fact, the eco-friendly reasons and the urge to reduce plastic usage were the driving factors behind people ditching liquid shampoos and switching to solid shampoo bars, which are more sustainable hair care products. And since now many people regard shopping more sustainably as a key consideration, shampoo bars are becoming an increasingly popular option among consumers.
What Are Shampoo Bars?
Essentially, shampoo bars are simply shampoo in bar form, so they do the same thing as normal shampoos. And although shampoo bars tend to look like good old-fashioned soap bars, they are formulated for hair care specifically and are made to match the pH balance of your scalp. Their formulas may also contain additional ingredients like oils and proteins to make hair stronger over time. Well-formulated shampoo bars cleanse, add volume, protect, and brighten hair sheen, and they can also moisturize your hair, making it easier to comb through after washing.
Most shampoo bars are made with natural ingredients and offer the cleaning power of a liquid shampoo without any synthetic detergents. Shampoo bars that contain EWG green-rated ingredients are free of parabens, phthalates, silicones, synthetic fragrances, SLS, and other harsh chemicals that can damage hair and strip away its healthy natural oils.
Many much milder plant-based alternatives to SLS are used in well-formulated shampoo bars. One common method is to use fatty alcohols, such as stearyl, cetearyl, or cetyl alcohol, that provide hydrating properties and help absorb and lock in moisture, keeping hair from drying out. As a result, well-formulated shampoo bars are packed with active ingredients and are gentle enough for even dry or damaged hair and the most sensitive scalps. Shampoo bars make hair feel super soft and nourished.
Shampoo bars are highly concentrated and contain little to no water, leaving you only the active ingredients. Although the price can seem relatively high, most of them will last 2-3 times longer than their liquid counterpart—around 60-80 washes. This makes them a more cost-effective option in the long run.
Shampoo bars are compact and leak-proof, making them a convenient option for travel. They also save water and don’t require excess plastic packaging, so they are a good option for people who want to make their beauty routine more eco-conscious. Well-formulated shampoo bars are made with high-quality, ethically sourced ingredients and are vegan and cruelty-free.
Do Solid Shampoo Bars Really Work?
Shampoo bars are super easy to use. If you have longer or curlier hair, all you need to do is just wet your hair, lather the bar in your hands for 20 seconds, massage the lather gently into hair roots, and then rinse the hair thoroughly. And those with shorter, straighter hair can wet their hair like they usually would, apply the shampoo bar directly onto their head and scalp, and rinse well after washing to ensure no residue is left.
Like liquid shampoo, there are different solid shampoo bars to suit specific hair types. For example, solid shampoos can help maintain the health of hair, moisturize dry hair, increase the volume of flat hair, soothe damaged hair, or support healthy curls. And since natural shampoo bars don’t contain harsh chemicals, they are considered a safer option for thinning hair and safe to use on color-treated hair.
For many people, shampoo bars are multi-purpose solutions, meaning it’s possible to skip using conditioner because the ingredients don’t strip hair of its natural oils, so the strands are softer. Shampoo bars offer a healthy and gentle way to cleanse hair, but some people may also use shampoo bars as an all-over body wash or as a shave soap. Those who want to be really economical can rely on shampoo bars for almost everything.
Hopefully, we’ve provided you with a detailed answer to the question, “What are shampoo bars?” Now you understand how these eco-friendly hair care products differ from traditional liquid shampoo. Solid shampoo bars are a great option for consumers looking for ways to help reduce plastic waste in their beauty routine or start using natural shampoo.
Well-formulated shampoo bars are as effective as liquid shampoos, and being gentle, they leave hair clean without feeling dry. But there are also solid shampoo bars that contain paraben, SLS, or other harsh chemicals, so it’s always important to read the ingredient list carefully when you choose these hair care products. It’s better to avoid cosmetics products with bad-for-hair ingredients and pick natural shampoo bars packed with additional hydrating, nourishing ingredients that help make hair healthier over time.