Oct 31, 2016

Shampoo Bar Review


zero waste shampoo

I wrote this post after finishing up my first shampoo bar, but I've updated it after using shampoo bars off and on for over 2 years. There was a bit of a learning curve to it, but it really is a simple way to cut out some plastic.

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I bought the combination pack of J.R. Liggett so I could try out several different kinds of bars, but I've found that they are pretty similar in terms of how they work.


How do you use a shampoo bar?


Take the bar and lather it in your hands. From there apply the suds to your hair.

You can apply the bar directly to your head, but it seems to lead to more breakage. Or maybe there is just more hair ends up on the bar. It's annoying having hair wrapped around the bar, so I exclusively just apply the lather to my hair rather than the bar directly.

I try to focus on my scalp and not the ends of my hair. The bar soap does not lather as much as regular shampoo does so I have developed a technique.

I get lather on my hands from the bar, then massage my temple area. Then I lather up and apply the soap to the underside of my hair, and finally I lather up and get the front and crown of my head. This allows me to get soap to all parts of my head and only a little on the dry ends of my hair. 

Do shampoo bars work?


There were times when I was longer between washing (so my hair was greasier) and when I wasn't quite as good about washing all parts of my hair, it would seem greasier than I would have liked after washing. However after working out the above techniques I've been pretty pleased.


Do shampoo bars dry out your hair?


I imagine it has to do with the type of shampoo bar you have. The first bar I used was JR Liggett's with coconut and aragon oils which I knew would have moisturizing properties. Now that I'm on the second bar I haven't found it being much drier, but full disclosure I've never not used a conditioner with it.

My hair is so dry, I feel I need a conditioner. I've used Lush's conditioner bar and now use Plaine Products Conditioner (review).

Is there a transition period?


I didn't notice one. However I made the switch while trying to wash my hair less frequently anyway. So any changes in how oily, or not, could have been due to that. Some people have said their hair feels weighted down some, but I maybe attributed that to not having a great technique rather than a transition period.

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Person getting hair shampooed and photo of shampoo bars

Will I keep using shampoo bars?


Absolutely! It is an easy way to eliminate a source of plastic in my house and it keeps my hair clean.

What is your hair like? 


I have straight hair that is below shoulder length. It tends to be pretty dry and brittle and prone to breakage. As a result I'm trying to wash my hair less and keep some of the natural oils and protection on my hair. I typically was it no more frequently than every other day, but try to stretch it to every 2 days and maybe to every 3 over the weekend.

On day 2 my hair either looks normal or may have a slight shine to it. (It took me a while to realize that what I was calling greasy was really just shine since my hair is that dry). By day 3 or longer it can get oily. Using my boar hair brush (alternativehelps a bunch in spreading the oils out down the hair shaft. I want to let you know some information about my hair so if you get totally different results it may be why. 

Don't forget to read about my experiences with other zero waste shampoo options. Would you use a shampoo bar?




20 comments:

  1. Random tip which I have been using. If you can get an acrylic yarn, cotton or other knit little bag (not wool as it shrinks) and put the shampoo bar in there then you get a much better lather. I find my shampoo bars last slightly longer putting them in the bag, and you don't have to worry about the little bits at the end of the bar, as you just open the little pouch and add a new bar, and it all goes together. If it gets too dirty or you want to change soap, you just put into a washing machine for a good wash, and all clean for the next round.

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    1. Great tip! I'll have to keep an eye out for a bag that would work for that. Thanks for commenting!

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    2. Great tip! I've been keeping mine in little tins and they go a bit gluggy. Will definitely look out for a little bag to keep them in.

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  2. We have been using these for a while, we love them. There are all sorts out there too, including body wash and conditioners!

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    1. I know! I can't believe it took me so long to know that these existed; it's such an easy swap!

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  3. I looooooove shampoo bars. It is hit and miss though depending on the brand. I bought a homemade one from a local lady and it left my hair greasy and grimy. Then I bought one from Lush and they are awesome. I can go 3-4 days without washing.

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    1. Hmm, I've only tried the one brand, but it seems to be working. Good to know if I run across one I don't like it's probably just the bar and not my hair.

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    2. I've been using the Shampoo and Conditioner bars from Ethique and have found them amazing.

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  4. Thanks for sharing. I find these types of posts to be helpful when convincing others (especially those with long hair) that a shampoo bar is feasible.

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    1. Thanks! I've been surprised how easy a switch it's been.

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  5. Great post, Katy! I love Lush, but have never tried their shampoo bar! I'll have to try one the next time I place an order! 😊

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    1. I can't vouch for their shampoo bars, but shampoo bars in general are an easy switch!

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  6. I have never tried this. I'm definitely interested in checking it out. Thanks for sharing :) If you're interested, this would be a great addition to my weekly Be Clean Be Green With Kids link up, if you're interested! http://www.stylewise-blog.com/2017/05/5-ways-to-zero-waste-your-morning-plaine-products.html

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    1. You are welcome, off to check it out!

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  7. I definitely want to try a shampoo bar and try making my own! Thanks for sharing with #wastelesswednesday

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    1. I haven't ventured into soap/shampoo making yet. I'm a little intimidated by it right now. You'll have to let me know how it turns out.

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  8. I switched to a goat milk shampoo bar a few months ago and love it. It s a very different hair washing process to using shampoo in a bottle (I refuse to say normal) but my hair feels great and does not get greasy now. I do find I need to do a cider vinegar rinse afterwards and with that my hair feels so soft. I have below shoulder length fast greying hair that uses to get greasy at the scalp. #WasleLessWednesday

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    1. I've enjoyed using apple cider vinegar in the past, but now I'm using Plaine Products Conditioner

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  9. I'm definitely going through the transition that people talk about. It's been a week, and it's some better, but waxy, greasy and heavy. A conditioner would alleviate the transition because it helps the cuticle lie flat. The lush bars have most of the same ingredients as shampoo, so there isn't a transition to using those. However, I have a medical condition that required dropping all chemicals, and there is a withdrawal period for your hair before the oils in your scalp adapt to the new 'normal' and the buildup of elements from conditioners is washed our...the doctor told me to give it a month. Hoping it's better soon.

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  10. I make my own coconut shampoo bars and I make an apple cider rinse. I’ve been doing this for a couple of years and I will never go back to store shampoos.

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