The Pros and Cons of Shampoo Bars vs. Liquid Shampoo

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by Mary Wolff

With more and more consumers being watchful of the chemicals and additives in their self-care products, it is no wonder shampoo bars touting natural ingredients have taken the world of beauty by storm. For us curly girls, shampoo bars are a complicated subject. Let’s take a closer look at shampoo bars vs. liquid to see which one fairs better for curlies. When looking at shampoo bars vs. liquid shampoo, a helpful pros and cons list couldn’t hurt!

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Pros 
  • They are easy to travel with making them great for trips or everyday use. In fact, some curlies recommend keeping a conditioner bar with you on the go to tame flyaways around the hairline throughout the day. 
  • Some users say that their shampoo in bar form seems to last longer than liquid. This may be because you use less to get the clean you need whereas you may use more with liquid shampoo because it just doesn’t seem like enough in your palm. 
  • They are free of detergent based ingredients found in most liquid shampoos. In fact, most shampoo bars use natural oils as the base so you get a deeply moisturizing cleansing experience. 
  • Bar soaps with natural ingredients will be gentler on skin. With most shampoo bars touting natural ingredients and no harsh chemicals, your scalp will get a nice break from harmful things like sulfates that rob the scalp of natural moisture. 
Cons
  • They expire faster than liquid shampoo in most cases. For example, most bars have a suggested expiration date that is sometimes only a few months, while your liquid shampoo may have a much longer shelf life. 
  • They can feel a little awkward if you are used to liquid. Rubbing a bar on your head is a very different experience than your hands being filled with liquid shampoo. Some curly users have also reported more tangles and this might be caused by the friction of rubbing bar soap into their strands. 
  • They have a different pH level than liquid shampoo. The pH in bar soap has to be a certain level in order for the bar to remain a solid instead of a softer texture. This affects curly hair because curly hair tends to be more sensitive to higher pH levels and it will cause hair nightmares like dryness and frizz. 
  • Soap scum is also a concern. If you are living somewhere with hard tap water, the soap will most likely take on a soap scum that will take up residence in your hair and scalp. You will need a clarifying shampoo more often, or an apple cider vinegar rinse with every use, if this is the case then you run the risk of drying out your stands. 
As with any choice in how to care for your curls, it is a matter of preference and what works for you. To read more about how bar soaps are made and other important info about this hair care option, check out this article.

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