Trying a shampoo bar for the first time can be, well, intimidating. We have to admit it ourselves - we were skeptical at first. Years of using beauty products taught us that 1) bars are soap and that soap is for hands and bodies and 2) shampoo is for hair and must be a liquid that comes in a squeezable bottle or tube.
But then we learned facts like solid bar shampoo is like traditional liquid shampoo but without the water, shampoo bars are not just soap, and that our bottled counterparts shampoos and conditioners are 70%-90% water, meaning unnecessary packaging, shipping costs and - eeek - plastic bottles in our small showers! So, we decided to "get our hair wet", and we can't tangle with the idea of using liquids.
Here's our quick tips on selecting the best shampoo bar for your curly hair and how to shampoo your way to great looking, healthy curls!
Finding the Best Shampoo Bar for Curly Hair
Choose a Ph-friendly bar
Ok. We can wax on forever about what makes a shampoo bar a good one (and we'll tell you more in other posts) and how to find the best one for you! But if the one thing you want to do above all is maintain your scalp's natural PH level, which is typically in the range of 4.5 to 5.5 Going outside of this range could lead to or exacerbate issues like itchy or irritated scalp and cause the cuticle layer of your hair to be "open" and lead to additional frizz.
That said, look for soap-free shampoos as soap tends to have a high Ph level. Also, look for shampoos advertising gentle cleansers that maintain Ph levels. (Bonus: gentle cleansers also tend to be kind to color treated hair and damaged hair).
Pssst.... this is why we chose to make The Refig's Reviving Shampoo with sodium cocoyl isethionate (SCI). Derived from coconut oil, SCI is an effective cleanser that maintains the natural PH range of hair and yet is so gentle and non-toxic, it’s used in baby products.
The Refig's Tips on How to Use Shampoo Bars
A Video Demo
- Wet hair. Enough said.
- Apply. A key component of washing one's hair is actually about cleansing one's scalp so that it is free of dirt and product buildup. To make sure that's done well, we recommend part one's hair and rubbing the bar along the scalp and roots.
- Massage + Lather. Using your finger tips, firmly massage the scalp to stimulate scalp and to remove buildup and debris. This will create a lather. Work lather down the hair shaft from root to tip.
- Rinse. Make sure to rinse thoroughly. Even though bar shampoos can be gentle on your hair and scalp, they aren't designed to be leave-ins.
- Condition. In addition to other benefits, conditioning products will protect your hair from weather and styling damage by a) replacing oils that shampooing may have removed and b) providing hair with detangling slip. (psst... looking for a conditioner with detangling slip? Our Rehydrating Conditioner and Redefining Conditioner bars both have plant-based gel inside so that you can detangle, conditioner and style with one product).
- Avoid circular movements. This will prevent additional tangling.
- Try shampoo brushes. These tools can stimulate the scalp and, if you're prone to using your nails while massaging, prevent scratching.
- Store bar in dry place. Leaving your shampoo bar in water may cause your bar to soften or 'liquify', and lead to a shorter 'life span'. We suggest leaving it on a draining dish. Psst... our large shampoo bar is the equivalent of 2-3 plastic bottles of shampoo. Depending on the length of your hair and the amount of shampoo you apply, it could mean a shampoo bar lasts 20 to 50 washes.