In the last couple of years, we’ve seen the rise of clean beauty.
The skin care, hair care, and makeup industry held its arms wide open to make way for products that advocate for less plastic pollution and waste, which is a fantastic accomplishment in the beauty community.
Shampoo bars are one trend that came about from this.
Instead of buying giant plastic bottles of liquid shampoo, small eco-friendly brands have started making tiny, concentrated pucks of shampoo that are compact and waste-free.
They’re often formulated gently to be good to the oceans too. It’s a valiant effort in an age where clean beauty reigns.
But for people who have used liquid shampoo all their lives, shampoo bars can look very confusing and almost intimidating.
It looks like soap, but it’s for… hair?! How do you even use it?
What is a shampoo bar, and what are the benefits of using one?
A shampoo bar is exactly how it sounds—shampoo in the form of a bar.
It’s just like the liquid shampoo you’re used to but in a concentrated little puck and minus the water, harsh ingredients, and that bulky plastic bottle.
They’re becoming a more popular alternative to liquid shampoos, especially for eco-warriors trying to live a more green and clean lifestyle.
For that reason, most shampoo bars in the market today are vegan and organic.
It’s made with nourishing ingredients like coconut oil, castor oil, shea butter, and other naturally-derived cleansing and conditioning agents. It’s also rich in botanical extracts to replace the usual synthetic fragrance.
These ingredients make shampoo bars even friendlier to the hair than your regular bottled shampoos, which can usually be too stripping and dry out your hair in mere seconds.
Instead of nasty sulfates and silicones, shampoo bars have clean ingredients and plant-derived surfactants.
But the most significant benefit of switching over to a shampoo bar is that it’s very friendly to the environment.
Because these bars hold their shape, there are no huge plastic bottles that will end up in the ocean in a few months. They only come in paper packaging that is easy to recycle.
Let’s talk longevity. Shampoo bars look tiny, so it’s easy to make the mistake of assuming that it will only last a couple of washes.
But shampoo bars aren’t like soap—they won’t melt away quickly. They’re concentrated, compact, and can probably outlast that enormous bottle of shampoo you currently use.
A shampoo bar from a prominent brand will last you about 80-100 washes.
They’re also perfect for traveling since you won’t need to carry around giant shampoo bottles in your luggage.
They’re tiny and lightweight, so you can easily drop them in a little pouch and into your carry-on.
How do you use a shampoo bar in the shower?
While there are no rules about how you should wash your hair with a shampoo bar, there are two more common ways to use it.
One is to lather it up in your hands first before spreading it across your hair, and the other is to rub the shampoo bar directly onto your scalp.
Let’s take a look at the first method:
Using your hands to create a satisfying lather
As soon as your shampoo bar hits running water in your bath, it will start to lather up and create a sudsy foam.
You can work this lather up with your hands to get it as foamy as possible. When you’re happy with the bubbles, you’ve created, set your shampoo bar down.
- Spread the suds still in your hands into your scalp, massaging the shampoo into your roots to cleanse them thoroughly. At this point, it should feel exactly like washing your hair with your usual bottle of shampoo.
- Since shampoo bars aren’t as stripping and have more natural conditioning agents and nourishing oils in their formula, you can finger-comb and detangle your locks while washing them. This spreads the shampoo onto the length of your hair, cleansing and conditioning these areas too.
- When you’re satisfied with your wash, rinse the shampoo off with warm water. Your scalp and hair will feel good as new and squeaky clean.
Now for the second method:
Rubbing the shampoo bar directly into your hair
This option is more convenient and takes less time to do, so it might be a terrific option if you are more low-maintenance and love your brisk five-minute showers in the morning.
To do this without any issues, both your hair and the shampoo bar need to be wet.
- Rub the shampoo bar into your hair slowly and with gentle strokes. This process will create a soft, frothy lather in your hair.
- Be conscious of how hard you’re rubbing the shampoo bar into your hair. If you rub mindlessly, you risk getting chunks of shampoo in your hair. This may not be easy to wash out and dry out your hair when left on without a thorough rinse.
- Make sure you’re rubbing in the shampoo in a single direction, like combing your hair. Rubbing it in a circular motion is a recipe for disaster because you’ll end up with stubborn knots and tangles in your hair.
- You should also work from the top of your hair down to the bottom. Don’t even attempt to pile on all your tresses onto the top of your head and wash it like that. It’s another surefire way to get stuck with tangles that will take forever to comb through.
- If you feel like it’s not foaming up the way you want it to, you can always add some water to your hair to help it out.
- Once you have enough of that glorious foam, you can massage the shampoo into your hair without the shampoo bar.
- When you’re all done, wash the shampoo off with warm water.
Enjoy your smooth, clean, conditioned hair that’s ten times healthier than if you had used a sulfated bottle shampoo.
When you’re out of the shower, make sure your shampoo bar is sitting in a soap dish far away from dripping water.
You can also buy a tin case for your bar so that you can bring it with you wherever and move it from room to room in the house.
If you think shampoo bars are just another fad that everyone will forget about in a couple of years, you’re sorely mistaken.
Shampoo bars are here to stay, and it’s only a matter of time before everyone chucks out bottled shampoos and trades up for their trendier, smaller, more eco-friendly counterpart.
Get ahead of the curve and switch over to shampoo bars now.
They’re a lot easier to use, quicker to wash your hair with, and takes up less space in your bathroom without skimping on the top-notch quality you’re used to with your branded liquid shampoo.
What else can you and your hair ask for?