August 27, 2009 by The Lupie Chick
Most liquid shampoos on the market include an array of synthetic ingredients. Lather isn’t necessary for a shampoo to clean well, but consumers typically expect shampoos to lather well. If it doesn’t create rich lather, they don’t think the product cleans all that well. The dilemma is that few all-natural ingredients exist that provide ample lather. Most liquid products contain synthetic lathering agents, including Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, commonly abbreviated as SLS. SLS draws moisture from the skin and can cause dryness and irritation. This is especially of concern to those with psoriasis, eczema, dry skin or scalp conditions.
A Shampoo Bar resembles a bar of vegetable based soap, but it is formulated especially for hair. One of the many advantages of Shampoo Bars is that they can be formulated using all-natural ingredients including vegetable oils, vegetable butters, essential oils and other nutritives especially beneficial to the hair and scalp. They also tend to lather well.
The Advantages of Shampoo Bars
Shampoo Bars frequently contain all-natural ingredients.
They tend to lather better than all-natural liquid shampoos.
They don’t require preservatives. Having said that, they can go rancid over time. It is recommended that you use your Shampoo Bars within six months of purchasing.
They are convenient for use while traveling, camping or for keeping in your locker at the gym.
Shampoo Bars are easy to pack and modest in size.
They won’t leak like liquid shampoos can and can be included within carry-on luggage without breaking any current TSA regulations for carry-on items.
Shampoo Bars last a long time. In comparison, they are less expensive to use than liquid shampoos.
The Disadvantages of Shampoo Bars
It takes a little longer in the shower to cleanse the hair using a shampoo bar (Tip: Follow the How to Cleanse Your Hair Using a Shampoo Bar section below).
The lather of some shampoo bars is a bit trickier to fully rinse out of the hair (This can be minimized by following our advice below).
If you often have overnight guests that do not bring their own personal selection of shampoo, they may feel awkward about using a Shampoo Bar on their hair.
How to Cleanse Your Hair Using a Shampoo Bar
Over time, you will most likely develop your own hair cleansing style that best suits your hair type and length of your hair. Start, however, by following these guidelines:
After you enter the shower, rinse your hair well.
Rub the shampoo bar directly onto your hair, working your way from your scalp down to the ends. Repeat until you have fully covered each section of your hair.
Massage your scalp and hair until a good lather forms.
Rinse the shampoo out of your hair.
Conditioning/Clarifying Your Hair Inexpensively
Combine 1 part vinegar to 9 parts water to create a clarifying rinse.
After you have shampooed your hair, pour the clarifying rinse over your hair and scalp so that it has completely covered each section of hair from root to ends.
Your hair will not smell like vinegar after you blow it dry or allow your hair to naturally dry.
Tips for Purchasing Shampoo Bars
Have fun shopping for handmade shampoo bars. The packaging, visual appeal and aroma of shampoo bars can range from the simple and extend into the extraordinary.
Look for shampoo bars that include the ingredients and type of oils that are used. Shampoo Bar makers are not required to list the ingredients they use in their soaps, but many do. Ingredients that include the word “fragrance” are made with synthetic fragrance oils. Those that include oils in the format of “Lavandula officinalis (Lavender) Oil” are made with essential oils derived directly from natural botanicals.
Because shampoo bars are made using vegetable lipids (oils and butters), the bars can go rancid over time. It is best to plan to use the soaps that you purchase within six months. In stores, watch out for shampoo bars that have dusty labels or appear old. Avoid purchasing or using shampoo bars that contain orange spots. Those orange spots indicate areas of the shampoo bars where the natural oils have turned rancid.