Check if you have hard or soft water before continuing!
This is one of the most important considerations when deciding which shampoo bar to go for. If you are in the UK check your postcode HERE before you do anything else then once you know if you have soft or hard water please read on.
Traditional Shampoo Bars (suitable for soft water) – see them HERE
Traditionally, shampoo bars are essentially made from soap, using natural ingredients usually consisting of oils and lye water to form the basic soap bar. The additional of nourishing oils, butter and a few other ingredients allows these bars to be used on the hair, and recently more so because of the usual detergents and harsh additives and chemicals added to liquid shampoos and some other shampoo bars and the natural shampoo bar remains a very popular choice. Hard water can affect the lathering and effective rinsing capabilities of traditional shampoo bars due to the minerals and deposits found in such water. If you have soft or medium soft water, you should be able to use a traditional shampoo bar, but we would also recommend combining a traditional shampoo bar with an Apple Cider Vinegar rinse once or twice a week to help flush the hair. Using an ACV is almost like a “reboot” for the hair and scalp and is simply a cup of warm water with around 8 tbsps of ACV in it, after washing and rinsing the hair thoroughly, simply pour this over the hair and rinse thoroughly again.
Natural Syndet Bars (suitable for soft or hard water) – see them HERE
Our Natural Syndet Bars offer a high lather experience and are suitable for both soft and hard water and we use naturally derived ingredients, such as Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate (SCI) and Sodium Lauryl Sulfoacetate (SLSA) which are derived from coconuts. The other advantage to our Syndet Bars are there is usually no transition period to go through, unlike traditional shampoo bars that some people have to persevere with whilst their hair becomes accustomed to the changes in a natural shampoo soap.
Do I need a conditioner bar?
Well, this is really a personal preference as many of our customers find they don’t need a conditioner bar, particularly with our syndet shampoo bars but some say they can’t live without one. Practically speaking, if you have long or very dry or damaged hair then we would strongly advise using a conditioner bar after washing as this helps de-tangling of long hair, and even for short hair the benefits of a conditioner bar are fantastic, adding softness and nourishment to the hair.
Check out our range of Conditioner Bars HERE.
Tips for using a shampoo bar
Using a Syndet Shampoo Bar is simplicity itself, either gain a lather on the hands and apply to the hair or like most people do, just rub the bar across the hair and gain a lather that way. Don’t go nuts, you only need enough lather to begin the washing process. Remove the bar and continue massaging the lather into the hair. Rinse and repeat if desired.
Take care not to be over zealous with the bar as it’s quite stiff, the harder you rub the bar into the hair the more chance it will break in two. This is especially true as the bar nears the end of it’s life You only need to apply the bar to the hair and rub gently to gain a lather, doing this can also extend the life of the bar, rubbing too hard for too long will just use up the bar much quicker. We also supply Sisal soap bags which are plant based bags for you to pop your soap or shampoo bars into and gain a lather that way, the great thing about these bags is that it makes the bars easier to hold and use and even if the bar breaks at any point, it’s still contained within the bag!.
Using a Traditional Shampoo Bar (suitable for soft water)
Short Hair vs Long Hair
The first thing we recommend is to not incorporate other routines or methods into your shampoo bar to begin with. You need to figure how the bar will work for you first before bringing in other third party products – there is nothing wrong at all in using a conditioner after washing your hair (highly recommended for long or thick hair) but we would advise against using anything on your hair beforehand as this can affect the initial outcome of the bar.
If you are new to traditional shampoo bars, you may encounter a brief transition period where your hair and scalp need time to adjust, this is simply because our bars do not contain the harsh detergents and as such your system needs time to adjust to this.
Using a traditional shampoo bar on short hair
For short hair, gain a lather in your hands or by rubbing the bar on your hair (whichever works best for you). Standing under a warm shower and rubbing the bar into your hair helps achieve a lather for most people, but don’t go overboard as you’ll shorten the life of your bar. Feel free to leave the lather on your hair for a few minutes to allow the oils and butters to penetrate your hair.
Rinse thoroughly and repeat if desired but always ensure you rinse very very well. Use the bar sparingly to begin with, you can always apply more the next wash if you feel you need it.
Towel dry short hair as normal and brush whilst wet, then as it dries.
For long hair we would recommend achieving a lather in your hands and applying this to the hair, working the lather down the length of the hair and avoiding ‘scrubbing’ which could cause tangles. Apply more lather to the length until fully applied, working the foam and bar along the length of your hair using your fingertips to work the lather into your scalp. Rinse thoroughly and repeat if desired. You may use the bar directly on your hair, but be very sparing to begin with so you know what works for you.
For very long hair, it may be beneficial to tie the hair in a ponytail first, gain a lather and use this to stroke into the hair on your scalp first, then along the length of the ponytail for a few minutes, then remove the ponytail and rinse rinse rinse.
Try and avoid rubbing or scrubbing dry with a towel and instead clasp the length of the hair in the towel and run the hair length between your hands (like you see in the movies!). Scrubbing or rubbing long hair can result in tangles. Brush long hair whilst still wet and allow to dry naturally, but if you have to blow dry, use a very low heat and be gentle. Blow drying hair using high heat is just another way to damage it, like using heat tongues!.
Additionally, for long or thick hair we would strongly recommend using a conditioner after washing. This is because our bars do not contain aggressive detergents like other commercial bars, this means our bars are gentle and caring for your hair and the oils and butters in our bars add health and vitality, but this can mean for long or thick hair the feel of your hair whilst wet is not something you may be used to, therefore using a conditioner after washing will allow your hair to remain manageable whilst still wet and our conditioner bars have been formulated to complement our bars and will leave your hair silky smooth and very manageable after washing. Check out our Conditioner Bars Here.