Making the switch to plastic free hair care: What is a shampoo bar?


Solid shampoo bars - Solid Conditioner Bars - Zero Waste Hair Care - Belle & Co

What is a shampoo bar?

First off it's worth explaining what a shampoo bar is not.. it is not a soap bar. Chances are if you use a soap bar on your hair you will end up with a rough, frizzy mess on your head that frankly doesn't feel like hair.

There are many options out there when you search for a solid shampoo that are soap based shampoo bars so understanding the difference is key to making an informed choice. If what you want is clean hair then a soap based bar  will do this job, but if you want smooth, nourished hair they generally won't live up to your expectations.  

So, what is a shampoo bar then? In a nutshell, a shampoo bar is a perfectly pH balanced solid bar of shampoo goodness for your hair. Just like the stuff you buy in a bottle but without the plastic, and certainly when it comes to Belle & Co Shampoo bars with a heap of added hair benefits too

1. Not all Shampoo Bars are equal

So I've mentioned the challenge with soap based shampoo bars so let me explain.

Soap is for skin and for good reason is not formulated the same as shampoo. Not only is the pH of shampoo generally different, shampoos have added ingredients to help your hair and scalp health and leave your locks luscious. Soap based bars don't and can cause the natural sebum on your hair and scalp to be stripped away. This can cause a host of problems for your hair. 

  • Keep an eye out for ingredients such as Lye or Sodium Hydroxide on the ingredients label. If it has these listed it is a soap bar and not solid shampoo.
  • Another tell tale sign is if the seller warns you that your hair might need to adjust, or recommends using an apple cider vinegar rinse after.
  • Price is the last give away sign. Soap bars are generally much cheaper because they don't have the same blend of ingredients as a shampoo bar.

Our solid shampoo bars are a careful blend of plant based ingredients blended to balance the pH and create manageable, clean, soft and shiny hair.

2. Zero Waste Hair Care

Aside from the money saving side of things (see 6) and the beautiful ingredients (see 3) solid shampoo bars are zero waste, plastic free - no bottles!

One of the reasons for Belle & Co's being is to create beautiful beauty, hair and skin care products that don't need a heap of packaging and are 100% plastic free. Our shampoo bars are a great example of this. They need nothing more than a paper wrap to get to you. Beautiful for your hair and beautiful for the planet!

3. What's in a Shampoo Bar?

Well, we can only talk for the Belle & Co Shampoo bars here, but ours are a nourishing blend of organic butters, oils and other goodies for your hair. Depending on what your hair type is, the blend will be different.

We use a coconut based surfactant (the stuff that makes the bar foam) and it lathers up into a really luscious shampoo.

We use special hair boosting ingredients so with a Belle & Co shampoo bar you are getting a mini-treatment for your hair too including Argan Oil and Broccoli seed oil depending on your hair type and the bar you choose. 

4. How do I use a Shampoo Bar?

It's pretty simple.. get your hair wet and lather your bar into your hair. You can rub it into your hands to create the foam and then massage that into your scalp and hair, but you will get a better lather using the bar directly in your hair. Rinse and repeat if necessary. Our shampoo bars each have a perfectly paired conditioner bar for use after shampooing. 

5. How do I store my Shampoo Bar?

Most likely you'll being using your shampoo bar in the shower, but it's important not to leave it sat on a wet shower shelf. 

Your shampoo bars need a little bit of love (but not much!) to make sure they last as long as they should.

Never leave your shampoo bar sitting in water and always try to let it dry out. If you have a particularly humid bathroom take the bar out of the shower and let it dry on the side of your basin. If you keep it in the shower make sure it's on something that freely drains.

6. How long will my shampoo bar last?

This is one of the most awesome things about our shampoo bars. Not only are they plastic free but they are concentrated too so you'll find you need to buy and use much less.

Traditional liquid based shampoos are chock full of water. Our bars aren't and so they go a really long way. Our full size shampoo bars will last around 4 times a standard shampoo bottle so you'll find you will quickly be saving money too.

And if that wasn't enough of a reason to make the switch, our tribe of testers consistently feedback that they can last an extra few days between washes. Even our oilier haired testers are going from having to wash every day to being able to leave their hair up to 2 days longer. Even more of a bonus that will make that bar go even further? 

Have we convinced you to make the switch yet? Have a look at the range of our solid shampoo bars here 


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