The Scoop on Shampoo Bars
If you are a human, you have probably heard the hype on Shampoo Bars. So what's the deal...how do they differ from liquid shampoo and are they any good?
What are Shampoo Bars?
Shampoo bars are essentially a soap for your hair. They are made in the same way as soaps - via saponification of oils, but are made with hair and scalp specific ingredients.
Our hair loves being acidic, specifically a pH of 4.5 - 5.5, this helps keep the hair strong, and cuticles closed. Shampoo and even shampoo bars are naturally alkalizing, because for foam to be created an alkaline environment is needed.
The foam and its alkalizing nature whilst cleansing the scalp and hair, then leave the hair shaft open and porous - therefore rendering it more feeble and prone to breakage.
There are some shampoo bar makers out there claiming to have pH balanced bars (usually by the addition of apple cider vinegar to the recipe), which is unfortunately isn't so. For if the bars were acidic then you would not have a lather in the bar. We do use apple cider vinegar in our recipe which actually helps reduce soap build up on the scalp, but we recommend with all shampoo bars that you use a regular apple cider vinegar rinse to help support hair pH. I do this about every third wash which seems to be perfect for me, but work out what is best for you (read on below).
Apple Cider Vinegar
For best results, doing a regular apple cider vinegar rinse helps to prevent soap build up, and our hair also loves it! This is because the naturally acidic nature of apple cider vinegar not only cleanses the hair and scalp but it helps support hair pH levels, and keeps cuticles sealed. You can easily do this in the shower either by using a spray bottle and mist your hair and scalp after shampooing, or you could splash some over with a bottle and massage in, then rinse. Careful not to get it in your eyes!
How do they differ from bottled / liquid shampoo?
~ Plastic bottle free.
~ Free from chemical ingredients such as sodium laureth sulphate (SLS), parabens, and scalp irritants. Although this is not always the case as some shampoo bar manufacturers still add SLS, and artificial colours and fragrances - read the label.
~ Compact and easy to travel will - just pop it in a face washer or container.
~ Shampoo bars can create product build up over time, this can be easily managed by using a regular apple cider vinegar rinse.
To Condition Or Not Condition?
Conditioner is used to help balance the pH of the hair and works by coating the hair, usually with synthetic cationic surfactants (negatively charged ions) that coat the hair and deflect the moisture.
I have really acne prone skin and my experience is that conditioner run-off seems to leave me with breakouts around my hairline, neck and back (backne!), which I am assuming is to do with the coating substances blocking my pores. I now just use a teeny bit of coconut oil (and occasionally macadamia) in my ends whist my hair is still damp after getting in to the shower, which works a treat.
If opting for the oil option, definitely do this whilst your hair is still damp (and porous) this way you hair will soak up and deeply nourish your hair follicles. Your hair will not feel instantly smooth like with conditioner but after a couple of hours (to allow the oil to absorb) it should be nice and soft and shiny.
Our Shampoo Bars were created to be a staple all rounder, with feature ingredients including Tasman Sea Salt & White Clay to support body and volume, Macadamia & Coconut oils to provide nourishment and shine, and essential oils of Peppermint and Cedarwood Oils to support scalp health. They are safe to use for the whole family, although like with any product containing essential oils it is best avoided in children under two.