What is a shampoo bar?

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: 


A given but needed to be said. 


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. 


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. 

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