Once upon a time, when the hair industry was far more boring then it is today, you only had a choice of less than ten hair shampoos, and all of them came bottled and in liquid form.
A lot has changed since then. Just like liquid soap and soap bars exist, shampoo bars are becoming something of a trend, and we can see why. With all the worry about how plastic use is damaging the environment, it is now more important than ever that we try to cut down on packaging where we can. Shampoo bars don’t need any sort of packaging- you can simply pop one in your bag and take it home as it is.
But, beneficial to the environment or not, we have to step in to ask the all-important question: do shampoo bars actually work? Are they worth a try, or are they actually worse for our hair than a regular bottle of hair shampoo? Naturally, we had to get investigating. Here’s what we found…
Shampoo bars tend to look and feel exactly like bars of soap, and come in a variety of different colours, shapes and sizes. They’re pretty easy to slip into a pocket or a small bag, and are great for travellers wanting to take a non-liquid form of hair treatment abroad with them.
Again, shampoo bars know no limit when it comes to scent. You can expect typical, more traditional shampoo flavours, such as lavender, tea tree, chamomile and aloe vera, as well as the more unusual: coconut and lime, orange, and seasalt. If you like a good smelly, you won’t be let down.
Ease of use
It takes a good while to work up a decent lather with a shampoo bar, but perseverance is key. Shampoo bars become slightly more liquid under water, just like bars of soap, so running yours under a tap might help to give an easier application. Just keep rubbing it on your hair until there are enough suds to work through from root to tip.
As with all hair products on the market, there are shampoo bars selling at all sorts of prices, depending on which business you’re buying from, as well as the size of the bar and how may washes it’s expected to give. You can expect to pay more for a shampoo bar from independent businesses, but generally, bars are priced between £2.50 and £5.00.
If you fancy trying out a shampoo bar yourself, you might be curious to know where is stocking them. While the bigger stores are beginning to recognize the demand for the bars, you won’t find a big selection. Your best bet is to shop online, where there are plenty of options available- just make sure you buy from a trusted, positively-reviewed brand.
Another alternative is to nip into your local Lush, which has a plentiful collection of all things good-for-the-environment, including hair bars of a number of scents and flavours (charcoal, anyone?). If there’s anyone who’s been doing shampoo bars the longest, it’s Lush.
So, verdict time: would we choose to use shampoo bars over liquid shampoo? Maybe one day… but perhaps not yet. Having tried both ourselves, we don’t think the majority of shampoo bars quite have the lather to match up to the sudsy feel of liquid shampoo. That said, there is definitely the potential for shampoo bars to make it big in the future. This one is definitely a case of “watch this space”.
Image credit: Chagrin Valley Soap & Salve