What is a Shampoo Bar?

The very first time I heard of a shampoo bar was at a crafter's event. Prior to that I had heard of the no-poo movement and anti-commercial soap movement. Both movements are against sulfates, silicone, and other chemicals etc. used to boost things like bubbles and profit margins. I spent countless hours of research on both movements. I had even tried both approaches. Neither was very impressive, at least for my hair. I continued to explore options, but it was long before I discovered shampoo bars.
 
The closest I got to a natural shampoo was liquid Castile soap. But as with any product that contains water that doesn't evaporate off, a preservative is always needed, so I was back at square one. Then I learned of the shampoo bar and had to make it. The results were lovely. My hair felt clean and conditioned. 
 
Shampoo Bar Benefits
Before I discuss the benefits, let me point out that these benefits are specifically in regard to HANDMADE soap, not commercial soap.
 
One of the greatest benefits of a handmade shampoo bar is that you can use the whole thing. How many times have you struggled with getting the last bit of shampoo out of the plastic bottle? It may seem minor to some but for some people this can be aggravating. Also if you are trying to rid your house of plastics, it will help you avoid store-bought liquid shampoo.
 
Another benefit is depending on the type shampoo bar, you may be able to go without conditioner. I suggest washing your hair without conditioner on the first try with a shampoo bar that has conditioning oils built into it. You can also try a bar of Castile soap as a conditioner.
 
Because the bar is solid, you can take it on a trip if you have a carry-on bag for a flight. It is also far less heavy than liquid weight even if you have a checked bag.

Depending on the shampoo bar, many users see more shine, body, less dandruff, and overall health of their hair.
 
Shampoo Bar Challenges
Shampoo bars can have their challenges. What are the downsides? Some people go through a "transition" phase using apple cider vinegar rinses as their hair gradually lets go all of the chemicals. Some brush their hair a couple of times per day or massage to increase circulation in their scalp.
 
Others go through a "no poo" phase only using dry shampoo before making the switch. This period can range from a few days to a few weeks depending on the texture of hair, the length of it, and what types of products were added to it previously. Once people realize how much commercial shampoo creates chemical "gunk" in their hair, they aren't apt to go back (read about our customer's experience here).
 
Yet some make the switch easily without a transition period. Other times it becomes more of a search for the right bar that works for oily to dry hair.
 
Conclusion
For me the benefits of the shampoo bar outweigh the negatives. If store-bought shampoo can "clog" your hair (read in the challenges section), I believe that there is a far greater risk sticking to store-bought.
 
Would you like to try a shampoo bar? Try The Body Buffet's beer shampoo bar or lux shampoo barSample sizes are available as well.
The Body Buffet creates handmade artisan soap, shampoo, conditioners, spa bars, beard care, body wash and more for Baltimore, the DMV, and beyond. We have been creating conditioning skin-loving, hair-loving, since 2009. Visit our shop at www.thebodybuffet.com. Marquita Johl is the soaper-in-chief. She has been crafting soap for eleven years.

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