In your mind do shampoo bars rank right up with other offbeat ideas like using flaxseed gel or a rice water rinse? Ideas that may be good for someone else but a little too crazy for you?
Still these wonder bars are a great alternative for those looking to cut back on the seemingly endless plastic shampoo bottles we empty yet never seem to get around to recycling.
They also work for those who want something that isn’t loaded with harsh chemicals or nasty additives. Like those too often found in many commercial shampoos?
Plus they’re the perfect alternative for camping or travel. One with zero risk of leaking all over the place.
But still. This whole shampoo bar thing may seem kinda weird. Like an episode of the Twilight Zone or something.
So maybe you aren’t convinced swapping your perky bottle of shampoo for a bar is such a good idea. Perhaps because you don’t know much about bars.
Let’s see if we can’t demystify things by answering the most obvious question first.
What are shampoo bars exactly? They’re the solid alternative to liquid shampoo. Or a super concentrated cleansing equivalent of their liquid counterparts minus the water. Packing the same number of washes as maybe three bottles of shampoo – depending your hair naturally. Letting you go zero waste in a small but easy-to-do way.
You should also expect the same silky, shiny results from a quality solid shampoo bar as you’d get from a bottle. And without drying out your strands or coating them with some icky residue.
Although I will admit you may be kiss a few frogs to find your shampoo bar prince.
Quick Section Navigation
- Do Shampoo Bars Really Work?
- How To Wash Your Hair With Shampoo Bar
- Proper Solid Shampoo Bar Storage
- Can You Take Shampoo Bars On A Plane?
- More Offbeat Ideas Worth A Second Look?
Do Shampoo Bars Really Work?
Okay so maybe you’re still not convinced?
Well, there are many raving fans of these chunks of shampoo and that’s because they really do work.
And they work on so many levels.
One they’re eco-friendly. No single use plastics relegated to hundreds of years in the landfill or worse bobbing in the ocean.
They travel well with no worries about leaks or spills over the stuff in your luggage.
Plus, as the market has grown so have your choices. Making it more likely than not that you’ll be able to (eventually) find one that meets the specific demands of your hair. Whether it’s a co wash, super nourishing option for curls or whatever.
Those reasons, and more like them, are why some swear they’ll never put a bottle of shampoo in their shopping cart again.
How To Wash Your Hair With Shampoo Bar
There’s really not a lot of mystery here. It comes down two basic approaches so don’t over think this.
After wetting the bar you’ll either rub the bar
- on your head directly
- in your hands to work up a decent amount lather. Then run your hands through your hair focusing the lather on your scalp rather than midstrand down.
Massage your scalp just like you would with any liquid shampoo.
One thing you may not have considered is worth mentioning. As a rule we all tend to use too much product, right? Following the if a little is good a lot must be better mentality. Which is to say we all have a natural tendency to use too much.
That’s something you really want to avoid with shampoo bars. Remember this is a ultra-concentrated product. Removing most, if not all, the water all but insures that. So you want to be super careful with how much you use.
For example you may want to keep track of how many swipes of the bar on your hair is best. Is it three. Six? Nine?
Or if you’re lathering in your hands first it’s obviously going to be harder to be as precise. But try. Some develop a feel for how much cleansing suds they’re working with and try to use the same amount each time.
Oh and if you have more questions you might want to check out our shampoo bar FAQ which covers everything from do shampoo bars work to how many washes you can expect to get from one and then some.
Proper Solid Shampoo Bar Storage Depends On Keeping It High And Dry
Now a commonly asked question is how long does a solid shampoo bar last?
It’s a legit question alright. But one that can’t be easily answered.
I mean think about it.
Your hair isn’t the same as mine.
Your mane may be thicker or thinner.
It may be longer or shorter.
You may need to wash more or less often.
See what I mean? Each of those differences affects how fast you’d use up a bar.
But there is one thing you can do to make it last as long as possible. Treat it well. And for sure don’t leave it sitting in a pool of water in a soap dish. Cause that all but guarantees and early, gloopy death.
Naturally there are commercial solutions. Think soap savers or some kind of mesh bag that doubles as a drying tray. They can work to keep your bar high and dry.
The savers come equipped with drainage holes, grooves or fingers to elevate the bar. Just so you keep an eye out for any raging case of mold that may be developing these can work fine.
Or if you prefer here’s a nifty homemade hack that works perfectly.
Maybe not the most elegant solution. But it is a low cost, DIY shampoo bar holder that does the job!
Plus it’s brain dead easy to make and requires no tools.
60 seconds and you’re done. It’s really that quick and easy as you’ll see.
Can You Take Shampoo Bars On A Plane?
Given they aren’t a liquid they’re fine. For real.
Absolutely, totally TSA friendly.
Ideally you might stash them in some kind of tin. That way should the need to inspect arise it’s easy to take a peek to satisfy any concerns.
But it’s the perfect how-to-pack-shampoo-in-your-suitcase-so-it-doesn’t-leak solutoin. Simple. Go solid.
You might even say they’re the fun travel hack you didn’t know you needed because they are leak proof too.
So if you’re wondering can you bring shampoo in checked luggage there’s your answer.
More Offbeat Ideas Worth A Second Look?
I know this is supposed to be all about shampoo bars and hopefully you’ll agree it has been. To this point.
But shampoo bars fall into the category of things or methods or stuff that’s used but not often discussed.
So what about other off beat ideas that are similar but different from shampoo bars. Like
- Using A Boiled Rice Water Rinse For Your Hair
- What Does A Vinegar Rinse Do For Your Hair As A Shampoo Bar User?
- Homemade Flaxseed Gel Benefits
- Chelating Your Hair At Home
- Squish To Condish Deep Conditioner
For those who feel shampoo bars are kinda out there or more for the eco cray-cray there are other, uh, non-traditional things some are using on their hair. With reportedly great results.
So since we’re here I thought we’d at least briefly touch on some with a link to our crack investigative reporting about them. (Or you may just think we’re on crack for even bringing them up, dunno.)
Because as it turns out, there are several unconventional methods that are loved by many. Yeah, these tactics would also fall into this category of “used but not often discussed”.
For the most part these ideas too live life in the background.
Yeah, despite moving the needle and improving the hair for some few know of them.
Such is the lot of these five solutions that I’d say are in the same camp of limited acceptance as shampoo bars.
Quick Take: Using A Boiled Rice Water Rinse For Your Hair
Another alternative for going non-traditional is with an approach with a long tradition. That would be a rice water rinse. And Yao women have been using it for generations.
Sure it lacks confirmation from the folks wearing white lab coats. But a rice water rinse is used because it works for those using it.
SPOILER: Maybe that’s because this rinse produces shimmering shine?
However you may be clueless about how to make boiled rice water for hair in your kitchen DIY style?
Or now that I mention it you need help with getting to a properly fermented result?
Or have questions about what is the best way to apply it. Oh yeah. There’s a little tip that’s worth knowing when it comes to application.
Or maybe you’re wondering things like “Can I leave rice water in my hair?” or what happens if you do.
We wondered the same things. So we got answers to questions like and more. Including the most basic like what is rice water in case this is new to you.
I mean you know that feeling when you finally come across the perfect video tutorial that tells exactly what you need to know?
Well, I’m pretty sure you’re going to feel that way when you done reading the article linked to. Because it’s the antidote to all the craziness out there about rice water.
What Does A Vinegar Rinse Do For Your Hair As A Shampoo Bar User?
Yeah, have you met ACV rinse for hair?
If not let me introduce you. Because the benefits claimed for a run of the mill apple cider vinegar hair rinse are many.
All the more for users of shampoo slabs. Some feel doing a vinegar rinse two, maybe three times a week, can help with the transition away from liquids.
Others feel like it helps users of bars that are free of sodium lauryl sulfate cope with buildup. Cutting down on that disgusting “residue feel” some mention happens after shampooing.
Not only that the acidic nature of vinegar will help the cuticle lie smooth making it more shiny.
Just keep in mind, too much vinegar too often is not necessarily a good thing. It tends to dry out your hair.
So those with dry hair naturally will want to use weaker, more diluted ACV rinses or avoid them entirely.
While oily hair might require it more. Although even here you may need to play around with the concentration to find the one that works best.
Maybe starting with something like one part vinegar and one part water and adjusting from there.
After applying you’ll want to let it sit for like 60-90 seconds and then thoroughly rinse it out.
Got more ACV rinse questions? Then you’ll definitely want to check out our guide. It will help you get a better handle on the benefits of an apple cider vinegar hair rinse.
Just watch out. Your success with ACV may have you buying it in bulk at Costco.
Homemade Flaxseed Gel Benefits – What You Need To Know
Then there’s flaxseed gel. Which is a surprisingly cheap alternative to gels you can pick up off the shelf at Target. Yet it moisturizers and defines your curls quite nicely thankyouverymuch.
Sure there’s the undeniable “ick factor” you have to get past with flaxseed gel.
Yeah it’s got a bit of a slimy jelly-like consistency to it. But it’s also undeniably so worth it that once you see the results you won’t give that gooey-ness a second thought.
Besides for many “anything for beauty” is the motto that helps us get past stuff that on the surface looks to be kinda disgusting, right?
Now if you want to get a simple DIY recipe for homemade flaxseed gel we’ve got it.
So if you want to find out how to thicken, strain, or preserve it for use on your curly hair … then you’ll definitely want to check out our crash course on how to make flaxseed gel for your hair.
Tried Chelating Your Hair At Home Yet?
Who here chelates their hair or has any idea why you might want to?
Yeah that’s what I thought.
But here’s the thing. While it’s a bit off the beaten path maybe you should embrace chelating with lemon or ACV. Because a chelating hair treatment is a great way to suck all the filth, and by filth I mean build up, from your mane.
All the more if it’s a bottle blonde mane that’s gone non responsive to purple shampoo.
So if you need to know how to do at home… more on why to do it… what to use to do it … or how often to do it, well then, you’ll want to click over and read what we discovered about chelating hair.
It’s a good read. So do check it out if you want to find out more about what a chelating detox can do for your tresses. Or if you really need it to begin with.
What About Squish To Condish Deep Conditioner?
Okay this is more method that commercial product substitute.
Fair warning. Some may find your amazing squish to condish results hard to believe. So don’t be surprised to encounter doubters.
Don’t let that deter you. This is one curly hair care technique advocates rave about.
Who knows? Once you try it you may be too.
Because you may love the way it deeply hydrates your curls. Especially if you’ve already got a routine that involves layering on conditioner, curl defining cream, styling mousse, or your favorite holding gel – which all more or less lay on the moisture to parched coils.
Plus it may help with clumping – if that matters to you.
Oh and if this squish stuff is news to you, here’s our in-depth look at just what squish to condish is and what it entails. Not to be missed for those interested in taking what some would consider to be a walk on the wild side!
Who knows? You too may find yourself telling your friends all about how this game changing method works wonders on your mane.
Interested in more ideas like this? Is so then you’ll want to be sure to follow our Pinterest boards so you don’t miss a single exciting fresh take for making your locks look oh so fabulous!