Shampoo bars became a sustainability trend and are now available in so many places. Truth is, shampoo bars might look like something new, but long before we created liquid soap, humans used solid soap bars to clean body, dace, and.. hair. Somewhere in time multipurpose cleaning bars got lost in translation, and at Circular Bodies we bring this traditional soap making process back as a way to connect us to the earth.
If you are starting your shampoo bar transition or looking to switch to one, the first thing to understand is what kind of shampoo bar you are using/planning to buy,
Get to know your shampoo bar:
Although synthetic shampoo bars do not require a transition period, your hair will be going through the same cleaning process as your liquid shampoo, with the only environmental perk would be to avoid the plastic packaging. But if you are looking for a shampoo bar that will biodegrade in the environment and transform your hair health making your scalp healthy in the long term, then a natural shampoo bar is the way to do it.
Do shampoo bars lather like shampoo?
Synthetic shampoo bars lather just like shampoo, but they also strip off hair's natural oils. They are so widely known in the industry because they are cheaper and easier to mass produce, making them great profitable products.
Saponified shampoo bars have a milder lather that effectively cleans hair, but in a gentle way that protects hair's natural oils. They are usually made in small batches by hand in a process that can take days to achieve the perfect texture and composition.
If you consider your hair "oily" or "dry" your scalp might be deregulated due to stripping your hair's natural oils with a synthetic shampoo, transitioning to a natural shampoo bar will slowly regulate your scalp's oil making scalp produce just the right amount of oil, and reducing oily, dry, or irritated scalp.
Are shampoo bars biodegradable?
It really depends on the ingredients. Bars made with synthetic surfactants (a.k.a. detergents) are usually not biodegradable, while bars made with saponified oils are. While some synthetic shampoo bars (like the ones made with Sodium-cocoyl-isethionate) are marketed as biodegradable, they are still stronger components that soap that can cause irritability and in big quantities accumulate in water bodies, unbalancing biodiversity (and how would they not accumulate with the amount of people living in this planet and using synthetic shampoos?!).
Our shampoo bars are made of only saponified organic oils, so they are 100% biodegradable and can be brought camping with you, just like soap has been used in rivers before we mostly showered in bathrooms ;).
Do shampoo bars work for Curly Hair?
YES! These pics were taken of hair washed with our bars. Because our Body Bar gently cleans hair, it allows locks to keep essential oils and become defined and in a healthy shape. We have wrote a little about how to make take care of curly hair naturally in this post, that talks about natural conditioners.
Do I need conditioner when using shampoo bars?
We advise against the use of conditioners (or conditioner bars!) They are for the most part not biodegradable and can contain silicon, which creates build up on hair. Instead we recommend using an apple cider vinegar rinse or a whole nourishing oil (Check out our post on natural conditioners here!).
Is there a transition period when using shampoo bars?
It can take from 2 weeks to 6 months for your hair to adapt. Here is a little secret to make the transition faster before you make the switch:
Wash hair with 1 tbsp of baking soda diluted in water. Rinse. Do an apple cider vinegar rinse. This should help clean hair build up and prepare you for the transition, but should not be done often, only as a one time detox.
Here is a review from our of our customers, after trying our Body bar for hair washing:
I'm absolutely in LOVE. I'm really enjoying the experience with this shampoo, I usually wash my hair once a week - I love exploring the limits of my hair.I have a very strong, thick and heavy hair type and moving from my old shampoo to this product was not an easy experience for me at first. to tell you the truth I was about to quit, but my desire to switch to ano-friendly shampoo kept me going. So I decided to wait and keep the experience going! Best decision ever!!! - Rita
The first weeks I was feeling that my hair was super greasy right after I washed it, as you can imagine it was very frustrating. NOW I wouldn't trade Circular Bodies for any other product: I understood we were establishing a new connection, a new relationship between my hair and I, and by far the most important thing we were breaking a toxic and unhealthy cycle. We moved through an adaptation period, balancing the sebaceous glands, and now I'm so SO happy I didn't give up on Circular Bodies! My hair looks healthy, strong and clean, plus it feels amazing knowing that my foot-print is a little smaller too!
How do I make my shampoo bar last longer?
Shampoo bars can seem expensive, but they are worth it (for your health and the environment), and can last longer with a few simple tips:
- Leave them in a dry surface, such as a soap dish or a flat stone. (we have a tutorial for a free and easy trick here!)
- Cut your bar in half and use half at a time!
- You only need a bit of shampoo to wash your hair. No need to lather too much! Just massage the roots for a few seconds and spread the lather through the hair.
What if Shampoo Bars don't work for me?
In order to fully transition to natural shampoo bars, you have to stop using synthetic conditioners, serums and leave ins. They will keep adding build up to your hair, so that it never really gets to its *natural*, balanced state.
If you commit to the transition it may take a while and a few natural conditioning tricks, but once you feel the difference you will never want to go back to detergents :)
Have any other questions about shampoo bars? leave them in the comments!
Try our Body Bar now and start noticing how it will change your hair health.