C’mon now. You shouldn’t have to choose between good for you or effective. Beauty or healthy aren’t mutually exclusive. Nor should the choices come down to yourself or the environment.
So if you’re on a mission to go environmentally sustainable with your hair care routine, starting with shampoo bars, here’s some answers to typical questions.
These just go to show you can too fall in love with the right shampoo bar. Just like you did with a liquid that comes wrapped in a plastic bottle and is 95% water.
So you first want to know do shampoo bars work, huh? Absolutely they do. One key? Given there is no water in solid shampoos you need to get your hair totally wet. Then rub the bar to work up a lather in your hands and massage that foamy goodness into your hair well. Finally rinse your strands thoroughly.
They also work surprisingly well given they often come without any of the harsh detergents found in their liquid cousins.
Not only that but you can get bars that are cruelty, silicon and paraben free if that’s important to you. And of course no plastic bottles.
Knowing now that they work here’s the other questions you’ll find answered here:
Quick Section Navigation
- How To Use A Solid Shampoo Bar
- Big Tip for How To Use Shampoo Bar In Hard Water
- How To Transition To Using a Shampoo Bar
- How Do You Store Shampoo Bars
- How Many Washes Can I Get From A Shampoo Bar?
- How Often Should You Use A Shampoo Bar
- Do You Need To Use Conditioner After Using A Shampoo Bar
How To Use A Solid Shampoo Bar
When it comes to how to use a solid shampoo bar luckily it’s super simple. Basically there two approaches after thoroughly wetting your mane.
One, you lather up some shampoo in your hands by rubbing the bar between your palms like you would any other bar of soap. Then work the lather into your hair and scalp.
Or you actually swipe the bar across your strands a few times. This will get cleanser from the bar directly onto your hair like this:
Either way shouldn’t take much to get a good lather just like liquid shampoo. Usually within 5-10 seconds you should see some serious suds action going. Or after just a few swipes across your hair.
Then massage your locks like you normally would. The idea is to run the cleaners through your strands and over your scalp to get rid of grime and dirt and oil.
Tip: Sectioning thick hair can help. Sectioning hair longer than chin length can help too.
Then just strike the bar over the many parts on your scalp. Or maybe rub the bar over your hands and massage away washing one section at a time.
That’s really all the tips to know for using an environmentally-conscious shampoo bar.
Like I said simple, right? Once you get the hang of going solid (and there’s not a lot to get the hang of) you won’t go back.
Big Tip for How To Use Shampoo Bar In Hard Water
Using a shampoo bar in hard water can get tricky. So you’re smart to know to ask how to best do it.
Typically all the calcium and magnesium in your water will make it tough to get a good lather.
Not only that it makes it harder to totally rinse the shampoo out of your hair.
Result? Left behind residue or an icky film on your tresses that no one wants.
The fix? Your best move would be a shower head that removes all the yucky minerals you don’t want running through your hair.
Not only will shampoo bars work better your hair will feel 10X softer, smoother and less dry.
This is a good idea whether you use a shampoo bar or not if you’ve got hard water.
So shop for a highly rated water softening shower head. There are many to choose from.
Tip: You might also check to see what the expected life span of the filter cartridge is. Also known as the part that makes the magic happen. That’s where the long term expense of these things is.
How often they’ll need replaced depends on two things. One how long your showers run and how much gunk is in your water there is to remove.
Typically count on replacing them like every three to six months. But so worth it. For your hair and skin.
Besides beats using bottled water when washing your hair. Which would be your other alternative.
How To Transition To Using a Shampoo Bar
Worried you’ll have to check your hair into rehab should it be confronted with a shampoo bar? Don’t be. While a transition period is common, and frustrating, it’s not fatal.
Yes some experience frizz.
Others have more than their fair share of tangles.
Then there are those who notice unattractive leftover buildup. At least initially.
To be honest it usually takes a few days to as long as a few weeks to get past any of that. So you have to hang in there and not give up too soon.
First your hair type has a lot to do with any potential adjustment period. Different types have different needs. Anymore bars are formulated to offer a gentle pick me up for specific hair types. From dry to oily. Curly to straight.
Then how often you lather up plays a role too.
Just know this. The time spent in transition jail is often directly related to how long it takes to find the right bar for you.
It also depends on how long it takes for you to find the right amount of lather you need. You likely will need less than you first think.
Another thing that matters? What you were doing to your mane before embarking on your quest to reduce the amount of plastic in your bathroom.
But once your hair adjusts it’s almost like each day is better than the last. Your hair will look and feel lush, soft and healthy, not parched.
Yeah. Good hair days one after another.
How Do You Store Shampoo Bars
There’s a long and short answer to this. How about if we go short?
Here’s the most important thing. You want to store your bars so they are dry, i.e. their bottom is not sitting in water. Yep, that’s the critical one. Blow it and your slab will have a short life.
The rule is you only want them wet when you’re using them. Period.
So you want to let them air dry completely between uses. (And yeah I know. That one kinda goes back to storing them dry.)
Tip: One way to do this is to make sure you put your bar like on the vanity top in the bathroom. So it can dry out completely after each use.
Only takes a sec. No muss. No fuss. Yet doing so insures it will dry out between uses and will last like it’s supposed to.
Also it’s a good idea to keep them cool. By that I mean don’t leave them out basking in the sun. Why? It’s not the sunburn risk. No, it’s more that the heat can melt them!
Remember some bars are really delicate little flowers. They lack any of the nasty stuff commercial bottled shampoo has that lets them take a licking yet keep on ticking. Got it?
How Many Washes Can I Get From A Shampoo Bar?
Fair question. Given that most shampoo bars aren’t exactly cheap it’s probably a good idea to at least try to find out how long you can expect a shampoo bar to last. So here you go:
Often you’ll find a little lather goes a VERY long way. So don’t feel like you have to go overboard to get your hair sudsy and all sanitized just because it’s a bar. You don’t.
How Often Should You Use A Shampoo Bar
How often do you wash it now?
That might give you a clue as to how often you should wash your hair with a shampoo bar.
Yet there are those who claim they have to lather up less often when using one.
That said, like shampooing in general the frequency often depends on your hair.
Now I know you want to know how many times a week you need to reach for your colorful shampoo puck. But it doesn’t work like that. Wish it did. You’ll have to experiment to see what works with your mane.
Also your initial frequency may well be different than how often you wash your hair three months into your shampoo bar adventure. As your scalp adjusts to being assaulted with fewer chemicals it may require fewer washings. And wouldn’t that be something?
Remember off the shelf products have an interest in you over washing. They sell more product. Where do you think “lather, rinse, repeat” came from? Actually a sharp marketing mind. And like overnight it doubled sales of shampoo. For real.
Do You Need To Use Conditioner After Using A Shampoo Bar
So now it’s such a common routine it’s almost a reflex.
Shampoo. Lather. Rinse. Condition.
Does any of that change when doing your hair a solid? Well, guess I mean going solid as in shampoo bar solid?
Of course disrupting tried and true routines can be scary.
Plus you want to do the right thing by your strands.
Still it’s hard to give a hard and fast answer to that question that’s applicable to everyone. (I know there’s been a lot of that here today.) Because it’s complex. So it depends.
For one it depends on your hair. Is it dry or oily?
It depends on how often lather is streaming down your strands. Daily. Twice a week. The more often the more likely it is you’ll need to condition.
It also depends on what’s in your shampoo bar. Depending on who made them they may be bursting at the seams with natural oils which are naturally hydrating. Or there may be sodium lauryl sulfate or other harsher detergents lurking under that pretty face.
So see? Clearly your experience won’t be the same as mine or anyone else’s.
So the best answer is test and find out. Yeah trial and error are the only way to get from Point A where you are now with shampoo bars to Point B where you want to be. The conditioning part of your routine included.
Oh and if you want to use a conditioner bar as a leave in? It can be done. Here’s some good to know tips to help you pull that off.
Hadn’t seen this tip anywhere else. Just shave off a bit off your conditioner bar. Then rehydrate with water in a spray bottle. Then spray away. Could be pure genius.
If that doesn’t do it she offers a second tip too.
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