shampoo bars

Shampoo Bars – The Pros and Cons

Are you curious about shampoo bars?

So, just EXACTLY what is a Shampoo Bar? With concerns over multiple synthetic ingredients in commercial shampoo such as sodium lauryl sulfate, sodium laureth sulfate, formaldehydes, and polyethylene glycols, the move toward shampoo bars seems to be increasing.

We are often asked if our goat milk soap may be used as a shampoo bar and the answer is an unequivocal YES! There isn’t one “perfect” shampoo bar recipe, a lot depends on the hair of the consumer and what that person has used on their hair in the past. There are several important pros and cons of shampoo bars when switching from a commercial liquid.

  1. In all fairness, remember nature-based liquid shampoos are available which do not contain
    the egregious ingredients listed above and have been formulated to be gentle and cleansing.
    They are a little more expensive because they require preservation. But just because it is a
    liquid, does not mean that it is a chemical compilation. Check out our liquid shampoo with
    77% organic ingredients! This shampoo removes the polymer buildup that can suffocate the
  2. Shampoo bars only work well with SOFT water. In hard water, soap molecules will react with
    metal ions in the water and creates compounds that are insoluble. These compounds can
    attach to the hair and leaving it feeling dry, course and dull. Dry and course exacerbates the
    dreaded “tangles”.  You can find proof of the insoluble compounds with that “ring around the tub” that can appear. Soap is often blamed for this ring, when in reality it is the chemistry of the water that determines whether a ring will form. If you want to use shampoo bars and have hard water, then you must use an acidic rinse on your hair after shampooing. It will help remove and reduce the deposits allowed by the water.
  3. What you have used in the past on your hair has a huge impact on how well a shampoo bar will initially work for you. So many products contain silicone and other polymers to coat the hair to make it smooth and tangle free. Over time, these additives “build up” on the hair. We’ve become accustomed to hair that feels slick and smooth more so than soft and light. So this “transition time” is absolutely necessary to bring your hair back to natural health and it requires patience. It is a process that some consumers do not have the patience for.
  4. If you can deal with this several week period of transition, you will find soft, truly clean hair that BREATHES. So much of what we use on our hair has the potential to be absorbed by the scalp. That is the danger in the sodium laureth and lauryl sulfate additives. A benefit can be derived from essential oil soap bars to help with dandruff, itching, and other skin conditions. We don’t recommend synthetic fragrance oil bars for the reason of scalp absorption.
  5. Specific Ingredients………shampoo bars can be quite varied in their composition and there is no one “shampoo” recipe despite marketing claims. The bar needs to clean, moisturize and condition. Coconut oil, Olive Oil, Safflower oil, Avocado Oil, Sweet Almond Oil, and many others work very well in shampoo bars. Avoid clays, flowers, charcoal and other similar ingredients as they will hold on to the hair and can be more difficult to wash out. Lastly, naturally made shampoo bars usually have a pH that is anywhere between 8 – 10, unless you see Citric Acid in the label ingredients. It is used to forcibly drive the pH down close to 7. Either way, an acidic rinse made with apple cider vinegar is always beneficial for your hair. Mix ½ cup vinegar into 1 cup of warm water and apply.

Frankly, shampoo bars are healthier just by the fact of what is NOT in them. But it is a lifestyle
change that some will not embrace and that’s OK. We have choices. What is important is that
we start looking deeper at what we use and why to protect our families.



I recently bought the pet shampoo bar. Does the above info (#3 & #4) apply to the pet shampoo bar also? I have very soft water due to a whole house water softener (Ionics). I’ve been using it on my pet (dog) and it has worked out great so far. Her fur is soft and she smells amazing! Just curious to know if her fur needs ‘transition time’ also. Thanks.

November 27, 2018

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