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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Do Mild Cleansers Get Your Natural Hair Clean?

 glam idol, Quisha!




Are baking soda and Apple Cider Vinegar really the best for cleansing your natural hair? Find out below!

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DIY Shampoo Bars for Gentle Cleansing



I think it is safe to say that most naturals who have dabbled in DIY recipes for their own tresses feel comfortable working with natural oil blends, conditioners, and even gels. Shampoos or shampoo bars on the other hand may seem a tad taxing from the outset, as the main component of the task is to cleanse, and cleansing means working with surfactants.

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How to Use Shampoo Bars




What are shampoo bars?

Shampoo bars are soaps made from a process called saponification where a fat is reacted with a base. What makes all natural soaps superior to your garden variety bar soap is the moisturizing qualities they have because of their ingredients.

Most natural shampoo bars are made with a lot of oil which helps to moisturize while cleansing to prevent your hair from feeling stripped after cleansing.

How do you use one?

  • Wet hair completely.
  • Glide the bar over and through your hair, making sure the soap is evenly distributed.
  • Lather until your entire head is covered with suds. Remember, a little goes a long way with shampoo bars because they lather a lot.
  • Massage your scalp with the pads of your fingers to lift away any dirt particles. Be gentle to avoid handling it roughly and prevent tangles.
  • Rinse and condition as normal.

Is your water hard?

Soap does not work well with hard water, so it’s important to know what kind of water you have in your area.

Hard water contains a lot of mineral salts like calcium and magnesium ions which react with the soap to form an invisible insoluble film on the hair that feels waxy to the touch. This film can cause frizz, an overproduction of oil and attract dust particles.

If you do have hard water, you can still get in on the action by using either bottled water to wash your hair, or by finishing off your cleansing routine with an apple cider vinegar rinse.

Deep Cleansing Bars

If you’re looking for a poo bar that is great for clarifying — especially if you produce a lot of oil, use a lot of product or have hair that is easily weighed down — then you should try these bars:

Bobeam ACV and Bentonite Clay Bar — This bar not only cleanses well but it also helps to balance out the pH of your hair with apple cider vinegar.

Bobeam J’Rels Detox Clay Bar — This poo bar cleanses deeply with the help of Kaolin clay added to the bar.

Chagrin Valley Honey Beer & Egg — Not only does this shampoo cleanse but it also helps to add strength to the hair to make it soft and bouncy.

Chagrin Valley Lavender & Spice — This shampoo bar was specifically made for curlies with oily scalps as the lavender oil helps to balance oil production.

Moisturizing Bars

For curls that dry out easily you should use cleansers that contain a lot of oils to act as emollients and prevent your curls from drying out whilst you cleanse. Some shampoo bars that fall into this category are:

Bobeam Honey and Oats Shampoo Bar — This poo bar has received a lot of rave reviews for being extremely moisturizing.

Cream and CocoMallow Cowash Bar — This bar has received a lot of rave reviews for its gentleness. The cocoa butter helps to moisturize as you cleanse but is washed away cleanly whilst the marshmallow root helps with detangling.

Chagrin Valley Butter Bar — Unrefined cocoa, shea, and mango butter help to add moisture back into the hair as you cleanse, so this feels more like a cowash than a shampoo.

Chagrin Valley Coconut Milk Shampoo Bar — If you are a curly who loves the richness and softness you get after a deep condition with coconut milk, then this poo bar is for you.

Hot tip

Just like a soap bar, shampoo bars will start to melt over time if left in the shower. Luckily, we have just the trick to keep them dry and make them last.

To extend the life of a big shampoo bar, cut it up into smaller pieces and store the pieces that you are not using. Take the dry pieces and wrap them in plastic or place them in a Ziploc and store them in a cool dry place.


Do you use shampoo bars? Whats your favorite one? How do you use it? 

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