First up, what is a shampoo bar? It’s basically a solid block of shampoo that looks just like a bar of soap but is intended for hair. Shampoo bars are becoming increasingly popular with the benefit of not requiring a plastic bottle, being very long-lasting and their easy transport as they do not leak from the bottle or take up a lot of room.
So the next question is, what makes a good shampoo bar? Here are some things to look for:
- CLEANS THE HAIR
A given but needed to be said.
- LOTS OF LATHER
When rubbing the bar through your hair, you want it to spread through your hair easily without dragging through your hair like a plough, which could damage the hair.
Certain ingredients will increase lather and foam such as Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate (SCI). This is coconut-derived and is nice and mild on hair so it won’t strip it. It has high foaming power, extreme mildness, and a soft and silky skin feel, and Sodium Lauryl Sulfoacetate (SLSA) is a gentle, non-irritating cleanser with a rich, stable lather. This is not to be confused with SLS or SLES which is much harsher on skin and hair.
- PH BALANCED.
Hair tends to be slightly more acidic than skin so you want a shampoo bar that is in a similar acidic range. Certain ingredients can lower and increase acidity and alkalinity. Body soap is more alkaline which is why we generally do not use it in hair.
When buying a shampoo bar look for one that is quite hard and not squishy or soft. If you can squish it like putty it’s going to fall apart after a short time. However, on the opposite side of the coin it may have super amazing nourishing ingredients that could be more of a treatment and repair shampoo, so maybe worth it.
Proteins and extracts such as oat protein, jojoba protein, hibiscus extract to name a few are just wonderful for repairing hair, coating the hair, preventing frizz, adding luster and shine and it is definitely a plus in your shampoo bar.
Solid shampoo bars have many plus points including being plastic-free, are easy to transport, take up very little room and are long-lasting. They are definitely worth a try.