The Pros and Cons of Washing Your Hair with Bar Shampoo


You might have seen bar shampoo merchandise if you’ve gone tenting or touring—they’re tremendous straightforward to pack and completely TSA-friendly. However, within the wake of the “no poo” craze, the concept of lathering up with one thing aside from liquid shampoo has change into an increasing number of frequent in your on a regular basis.

Thinking about swapping your conventional hair cleanser for a great ol’ bar? We consulted the specialists to search out out what you must know earlier than making the swap.

What They Are

Essentially, bar shampoo is just shampoo in bar kind. As Brianne West, product formulator of Sorbet Cosmetics says, “A good solid shampoo should do what a good liquid does—leave you with body and shine, without either drying the hair out or adding too much buildup.”

The Pros

Aside from being straightforward to journey with and seemingly longer-lasting than liquid shampoo, bars are touted as with the ability to get your hair again to its unique, shiny, voluminous state by clearing away residue left from the chemical substances present in conventional hair cleansers. “Plus, since shampoo bars do not strip hair in the same way as detergent-based shampoos can, you will notice a difference in the way your wet hair feels after washing,” Jamyla Bennu, creator and Grand Mixtress of Oyin Handmade, says.

How? Because many shampoo bars don’t embody a few of the icky components utilized in industrial shampoos, similar to sodium lauryl sulfate and ammonium lauryl sulfate. “Many educated consumers have become wary of the detergents found in commercial shampoos, finding them unnecessarily stripping of the natural moisture of the hair and scalp,” she says.

Gentle, low-lather bar cleansers depart hair clear with out feeling dry the way in which many detergent-based shampoos can. For some individuals, conditioner isn’t even wanted after their hair adjusts in a couple washings with a bar.

The Cons

Chicago-based grasp stylist Jon-David says that due to the excessive focus of cleanser in bar shampoos, they have a tendency to have extra a waxy consistency, which might construct up in your hair.

“This happens because the soap—which is saponified oils and an alkali—reacts with water when you use it, and this forms soap scum,” says Kirsten Connor, formulator and creator at Flourish Body Care. To keep away from this, many bar shampoo customers rinse with apple cider vinegar to take away the coating and shine their hair.

Those with lengthy, porous or curly hair particularly may expertise tangles and frizz, together with that “coated” feeling, one thing Susonnah G. Barklow, editor at, is aware of all too properly. “Personally, I find the act of rubbing a bar of soap on my head awkward,” she says. “And it almost always results in very tangled hair.”

How to Choose One

If you wish to go for it, there are literally 3 broad classes of shampoo bars on the market, in keeping with hair and make-up professional Grace Mahoney, proprietor of Blushing Brides. The first are cold-processed shampoo bars (sometimes made by residence crafters and pure merchandise corporations). They’re often chock-full of pure oils, which assist situation your hair, and are sometimes freed from sodium lauryl sulfate. (These are typically those that trigger buildup, she says, and may require an apple cider vinegar rinse).

Then, there are glycerin-based shampoo bars, which are typically extra light and pH balanced, however they won’t be as clarifying as different shampoos and received’t t lather as properly. Finally, there are stable surfactant shampoo bars (consider the sort made by Lush), which lather the perfect and are extra pH balanced however generally is a bit too clarifying for some hair.

Really, it’s all about trial and error and, in fact, avoiding merchandise with bad-for-hair elements like sodium lauryl sulfate. (Really, any sulfates ought to be averted). Sodium hydroxide—an especially sturdy alkali that’s used to make cleaning soap together with oils and fat—is one other 1 to look out for. “The reaction that takes place produces a mildly alkali product—soap with a pH of 8–9,” Bennu says. “Since hair varies between pH 4 and 5 and doesn’t have an acid mantle like skin, this pH difference leaves the cuticle sticking up, resulting in rough, dull hair, which over time can cause damage.”

To use, pure hair knowledgeable Amanda Starghill, of, suggests slicing the bar into smaller parts so it’s simpler to use on to the scalp. Ahead are 15 top-rated choices to get you began.

(Editor references)

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