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What is a shampoo bar, and why do I want to use it?
A shampoo bar is a solid, concentrated bar of cleansers, formulated without water, that can be lathered directly on the hair on in the hands, in the shower or bath.
Shampoo bars are all the rage in 2020. People everywhere are searching for ways to reduce their use of plastic, and shampoo bars are one of the solutions available! We've realized customers are also more informed, and expecting more from their bath & body products, including shampoos -- they're looking for plant-based options that are free of harsh sulfates and questionable additives like parabens.
So what is in a shampoo bar, exactly?
Not all shampoo bars are created equal. Some bars, though plastic-free, still contain harsh, cheap ingredients. Some shampoo bars are made of soap, and have a really high pH, so they don't work for everyone's hair type.
Our bars are created from plant-derived cleansers, botanical extracts, oils, and more. They are free of harsh sulfates, parabens, phthalates, soap, and silicones. They're cruelty-free and packaged with eco-friendly materials instead of plastic; we use reusable muslin drawstring bags, with labels printed on 100% recycled cotton paper.
In a moment, we'll walk you through the ingredients in our carefully formulated shampoo bars, and see what makes them special.
Okay, so I've got this bar, I'm in the shower, now what?
It's really easy, actually. We recommend thoroughly wetting the bar and your hair. You may choose to lather the bar into your hands, and then apply the lather to your hair; this probably works better if your hair is shorter or not terribly thick. You can also rub the bar directly on your hair (be gentle!). Once you're all lathered up, rinse thoroughly. If necessary, follow up with your favorite conditioner (we're working on conditioner bars, too!).
Also - these bars are just as skin-friendly as they are hair-friendly. If you're traveling and don't want to pack a separate bar of soap & shampoo, grab your shampoo bar - it's like a gentle solid body wash. For daily use on normal skin types, we typically prefer soap bars, because they get your skin cleaner, but sometimes I lather up my whole body with a bar of BUTTERCUP when I want some extra soft skin! You can use these bars to shave or on facial hair. Just keep it out of your eyes.
When you're done, make sure you place your shampoo bar in a place where it will be able to stay nice and dry, to make sure you get tons of washes.
How long do they last?
This is a common question, and I wish I had a better answer for you. It really does depend on your hair type, length, and how often you wash your hair. I have fine, thick hair down to my elbows that I wash several times a week, and these bars typically last around a month. If your hair is shorter and you shampoo less often, then they will last a longer amount of time. If you have longer, thicker hair that you wash every day, you may only get 2 weeks out of one bar. You will have to try for yourself. Want to improve our data? Drop us a message with your hair type, length, and shampoo routine, and how long your bar lasted, so we can share with others.
What makes our bars the best you can find? The ingredients! Here are the basic ingredients you'll find in nearly every one of our shampoo bars, plus a little bit of extra info, so you'll know more about what's in your stuff.
Sodium Lauryl Sulfoacetate (SLSA)- this 100% natural surfactant is derived from coconut. It is much milder than the commonly seen Sodium Lauryl Sulfate.
Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate (SCI) - this cleanser is exceptionally mild and gentle, and is derived primarily from renewable, vegetable sources, usually coconut. It foams well in both hard and soft water.
Alpha Olefin Sulfonate (AOS) - this cleanser is also derived from coconut oils, and is excellent for removing excess oils from the hair, but is very gentle on the scalp and skin. This ingredient works well in combination with our other cleansers to provide a balanced recipe that will effectively cleanse hair without stripping too many natural oils. It also boosts foam, making your shampoo bar extra, extra bubbly.
Cocamidopropyl Betaine (CAPB) - this gentle cleanser does not strip oils, and is derived from coconut. It is used in our moisturizing shampoo bar formulas.
Sodium Lactate - a humectant (which means it draws moisture to the skin and hair), derived from the fermentation of corn or beets. This ingredient does double duty - it helps to harden our shampoo bars, and also contributes hydrating, moisturizing properties.
DL Panthenol - Also known as Provitamin B, this ingredient is naturally present in healthy hair. It softens hair and helps maintain shine.
Fragrance/Essential Oil - we use a combination of essential oils and fragrance oils that are paraben and phthalate free. These oils are all cosmetic grade, skin-safe, and thoroughly tested.
Some of our bars contain specialty ingredients like cocoa butter, coconut oil, sea salt, or aloe - you'll have to check out each bar to learn more!
Okay, now that you've read the essay, are you ready to give them a try? It's easier to ditch that plastic bottle of shampoo than you think, we promise. Let's go! Shop Shampoo Bars here.