Updated: Apr 28
In my soap-making journey over the past 10-odd years, I have seen the amazing comeback of shampoo bars. I say ‘comeback’ because, let’s face it, about 60 or so years ago most of our products were a lot more likely to be handcrafted.
As far as today goes, personal products are available in excess. The simplicity of one product for various uses has all but vanished. There is a shampoo with aloe vera and one with rich shea butter. Then there is yet another with who knows which fancy extract. We are bombarded with many variations on the same theme, each promising to be better than the next.
Part of my business ethos is simplicity. This led me to introduce a shampoo bar as one of my first products ever. This was in 2011, well before the average Joe had even HEARD of a shampoo bar. Things were quite different when I was still doing markets many moons ago. I would need to explain in minute detail HOW in the world you could wash your hair with a soap bar?!?!?! Customers were mystified!! It seems that we have moved out of those dark times and into awareness of late. These days no more explanation is needed when I mention I sell Shampoo bars.
Shampoo Bars - What's the big deal?
Bar shampoo is essentially the same as liquid shampoo, except that it’s packed into a bar form (that sounds kinda obvious but it's still worth pointing out..)
These hair-formulated bars were actually the standard before bottled shampoos became popular in the 1940s. Before all the 101 variants on a simple hair cleaning solution had sprung up!
Shampoo bars are designed to eliminate dirt and product build-up, leaving you with shiny, clean hair. These solid bars of shampoo are formulated for all hair types. High-quality ones should work just as effectively as shampoo bottle varieties.
The benefits of a shampoo bar are numerous…so let's dissect why we love these little soaps so much.
Shampoo Bars = Handmade Superiority
Super rich, with loads of fluffy lather, the natural ingredients of a shampoo bar gently clean the hair. They do so without stripping away your natural protective oils. Most handmade shampoo bars contain amazing additional ingredients to encourage hair shaft repair and nourishment. These specialty ingredients add qualities that leave hair soft, shiny, clean, and most of all healthy.
A Great Green Choice!
Hair and body bars are an excellent green choice because they eliminate the need for a plastic bottle. Besides this, there is no need for chemical preservatives like the ones needed in liquid shampoos.
The bars themselves are also biodegradable and gentle on the environment. They’re typically free of toxic chemicals that can find their way into waterways and animals.
Awesome for Travel
These handmade hair bars are your best friends when it comes to travel. These handy shampoos don’t have to go in a liquid bag since they’re approved as solids.
They’re also smaller than bottle alternatives so you can fit in that extra pair of shoes you’re dying to bring on your next vacation. The best part about traveling with shampoo bars: they won’t leak into your luggage.
Shampoo Bars Last Longer
Shampoo bars are more concentrated than traditional shampoos and conditioners. Because of this, you can use less per application and they will last longer. This is especially true with proper care. Friends, don’t let your bars soak in water, and don’t store them in those cute travel tins for any length of time!
Why do they last longer?!
Take a look at a bottle of shampoo or conditioner in your shower or on the shelves in stores and the first ingredient you will see is water. This explains why you typically need a healthy dollop of product to get the performance you want. It’s true, most bottles recommend only using a pea-sized amount. But how many of us tend to use quite a bit more than that? I know I likely was over-applying both shampoo and conditioner when I was using a liquid product! With the bars, it’s a lot more difficult to use too much, especially when you are applying the bars directly to your head (which is what I recommend).
Leaves Hair Soft and Clean
Conventional shampoos tend to strip hair of its natural moisture as they are more like detergents than soaps. Modern-day shampoo was concocted with detergents in the early 1900s with some of the same ingredients found in most cleaning products. Because these ingredients are great at removing oil, we’ve come to think of all cleaning as a de-greasing. This makes sense when it comes to washing plates, but not so much when you’re trying to clean your body, which needs oils to stay balanced and protect the skin.
How does a shampoo bar clean?
Unlike conventional shampoo, solid bars effectively wash any excess dirt, oil, or styling products out of your hair — all without stripping your hair of its natural oils! This results in your hair feeling squeaky clean and looking vibrant and healthy. Some of you will find you initially need to go through a ‘transition’ phase when starting to use a shampoo bar. Your hair has been washed with chemical products for years and needs to be first re-balanced. This usually lasts a couple of washes and then your hair will adjust. Trust me, when you get to that phase, there is no going back to using bottle shampoos. Your hair will just feel so much lighter and healthier using a natural shampoo bar!!
Besides leaving your hair feeling squeaky clean, solid shampoo bars also leave your hair feeling lusciously soft! Many people were able to cut conditioning their hair out of their daily or weekly routine, which in turn saves both time and money.
So there you have it, hope this has given you some insight into why we love shampoo bars here at Nourish Natural Soaps! If you are thinking to go green, saving money, and doing your scalp justice ~ shampoo bars are the way to go!