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Your Guide to Shampoo Bars: Custom Hair Care, Ecofriendly, and Perfect for Travel

March 04, 2024 3 min read

A woman washing her hair with the Caption "Your Guide to Shampoo Bars: Custom Hair Care, Ecofriendly, and Perfect for Travel

Shampoo Bars are solid bars of naturally derived surfactants (soap-like cleansers) specially formulated for washing hair. We add natural ingredients like moisturizing oils and butters, vitamins, and botanical proteins or extracts to strengthen and add shine. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes, most lather like traditional liquid shampoo, and are more ecofriendly, economical, and ideal for travel.

Ancient civilizations in the Middle East used solid bars of animal fat with botanicals to cleanse their hair, but the modern concept of shampoo bars became popular in the mid-20th century, when commercial soap companies made them as an alternative to liquid shampoos. They became popular again when small batch makers like myself were able to customize our bars to people with different hair challenges. 

Common ingredients in shampoo bars include:

  • Surfactants – these help to remove dirt, oil, and product buildup from your hair. They are also formulated to match the pH of your hair to help prevent tangling and breakage
  • Moisturizing butters and oils – these help to hydrate and nourish your hair, leaving it soft and manageable
  • Conditioning agents – These are added to hydrate and smooth your hair shaft to prevent tangling and breakage
  • Botanical Extracts and Proteins – these are used to improve strength of your hair, detangle, and add shine
  • Fragrance – these can be essential oils or fragrance oils, depending on the scent that you desire

So how do you use a shampoo bar? I have normal hair and use our Shampoo Bar for Normal Hair - if you have a different hair type these directions may be slightly different. I find it helpful to thoroughly saturate my hair, wet the shampoo bar and lather it up in my hands a bit. I rub the lather and the bar into my hair along the edges of my hair and work toward the center. Once I’ve swiped the bar over most of my head, concentrating on the top third of my hair, I use my fingers to rub the hair at scalp level to create lather throughout my scalp and hair. Once I’ve lathered it up, I rinse thoroughly and follow up with my conditioner bar. I rarely need to shampoo twice – only if my hair is particularly dirty or has a lot of buildup.

Relaxation Shampoo Bar for Normal Hair suitable for daily use for most hair types

One of the main differences between traditional liquid shampoos and shampoo bars is the packaging. It’s difficult to get away from plastic when packaging liquids, and those bottles end up in landfills. Being solid, shampoo bars can be minimally packaged – ours are covered with wax paper and a label.

Beyond packaging, shampoo bars are made with very little water, so they are concentrated. They last longer, and are cheaper to ship, as they weigh less.This all means cost savings for you.

Relaxation Shampoo Bar for Normal Hair in travel case

When you are on the go, shampoo bars are ideal! They are compact, so they fit easily into your carry on or travel kit. No liquid, so no issues with TSA regulations. They won’t spill or leak onto the other contents of your gym bag or suitcase. They also work well with almost any quality of water. A customer (thanks Melissa!) recently reached out to say she had experienced a perfect hair day while traveling and credited it to our shampoo and conditioner bars ❤️

We have a selection of shampoo bars for different types of hair, customized to provide specific benefits depending on your hair type.

8 shampoo bars in different colors stacked

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