How to Use Shampoo Bars
Even if you're recently new to the zero-waste lifestyle, you've probably heard about shampoo bars. At first glance, they look like fancy editions of bar soap, and they're just as easy to use. But what exactly are they, and why are they a better solution than the shampoo you buy off the shelf in any store? Let's take a deeper look at these innovative products and why they're better than their commercial counterparts.
Why Avoid Traditional Shampoo
If you're like most people, you grab whatever shampoo tickles your fancy off the store shelf and maybe pay closer attention to what's in it. Guaranteed, you're gonna find several ingredients you can't pronounce or even understand. While many of them are fine for use, most commercial shampoos have unnecessary chemicals.
A good way to judge is to look at the ingredient list. Remember, the compounds are listed with INCI (International Nomenclature Cosmetic Ingredient) names, which look complicated, but it's just the internationally-recognized term. Others have Latin ingredient listings, so it's not uncommon to get confused and wonder if these are things you really should be putting on your body.
Here are three things to consider about your traditional shampoo choice.
The thing is, you don't need these ingredients. They're additives to make the shampoo foamier or to add filler materials. Going natural means you cut out all the unnecessary chemicals, which can not only negatively affect the quality of your hair but also have an effect on the water systems. Remember, everything you wash out and send down the drain is going to the town, city, or county waterways.
In theory, you really don't get what you pay for with traditional shampoos, especially not the formulas that sell for $30 or more. Shampoo bars cost pennies on the dollar and deliver hair care the way it's meant to be. Plus, you can also buy conditioner bars to go along with them and still save money per use over what you'd spend on a brand-name or even generic bottle.
Think about your shampoo, what type of container does it come in? That's right — plastic. Yes, it's likely recyclable, but it's still contributing to landfills and it's still creating trash in your own home. This isn't true of shampoo bars. The bar wears down like traditional soap and when it's gone, it magically disappears, leaving zero waste behind. That's the ultimate goal, right?
What Is a Shampoo Bar?
If you've never used a shampoo bar, you're in for a treat. They come in different styles, depending on what type of ingredients the manufacturer used in creating them. Some are round, with fancy filigree designs on them, others come in a solid brick form. Some may even be stamped with the word "shampoo" to avoid confusing it with your regular bar soap — though it wouldn't be an issue if you used it on your body, too.
It's made with basic ingredients, meaning no propylene glycol or formaldehyde. Some may contain sulfates for foaming action, but many don't, creating a truly chemical-free bar. Each shampoo bar comes with different ingredients, depending on the recipe. Some may be scentless, while others have an herbal essence, thanks to the essential oils (still natural) added during the creation process. From Lavender Shampoo Bars to Bamboo Charcoal Bars leave plenty of options for your ultimate haircare.
How Do I Use a Shampoo Bar?
If you've never used one, you might be confused. Do you lather it up in your hands and then rub the foam in like regular soap? You could, but the best way to do it is to first get your hair wet as you normally would. Then, wet the shampoo bar and start at the base of your scalp, rubbing the bar in circular motions until it starts foaming. Continue this over the rest of your scalp, using the water to build up and spread the foam around, as you would do with a liquid shampoo.
Make sure you massage your scalp, ensuring all of your hair is covered and then simply rinse it out. Ta-da! You're done, and wasn't that easy? When you're done, set the bar on a soap dish or stand it up on its side in a dry environment to prevent it from breaking down further or getting stuck to the side of your shower. It's recommended to use shampoo bars every 2-3 days, rather than every day.
Shampoos can contribute to water damage and add to the ever-filling wastelands, but if you're looking for a natural, zero-waste approach, shampoo bars are just as effective. As a bonus, they're gentler on your hair while still giving you clean, gorgeous locks.