The Rise of the Shampoo Bar

Shampoo bars are becoming more and more popular and there is good reason;

  • With our quest for a plastic free life (or at least using less of it) we need to look for suitable alternatives and removing the need for bottles in the shower is a good start.
  • Although usually promoted as shampoo bars they are also cleansing for the body too, so you could actually remove the need for your shampoo and shower gel bottles in the shower.
  • They are much easier to transport. No leaking bottles in your sports bag and no more last minute panic that you have liquids in your cabin bag.
  • Shampoo bars last a lot longer, on average they last 4 to 5 times longer than any bottle of shampoo, so it will save money!

As consumers we are becoming increasingly aware of what we eat and check ingredient labels before purchasing. So if we are so concerned about what we put in our body, why not check what we put on our body too. How many times have you looked at the ingredient label on your shower gel or shampoo bottle?

Do you know what most of it is or what it’s in there for?

The goal of using shampoo is to remove the unwanted build-up of sebum in the hair without stripping out so much as to make hair unmanageable. Sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS) is a chemical surfactant that’s commonly used in soaps, shampoos, shower gels, etc.  It’s also an effective foaming agent, creating the rich lather that most of us expect when we’re washing our face, hair and body, although it’s totally unnecessary. However SLS can irritate the skin and can cause dry, frizzy and brittle hair because not only is it cleaning our hair it also strips the much needed natural oils from our hair and skin.

So what is a shampoo bar?

A solid shampoo bar is simply a soap bar made from a base of oils chosen specifically for their hair and scalp care properties. The main difference to a natural soap bar is the inclusion of castor oil; high in ricinoleic acid it creates a creamy conditioning lather that is great for hair. Castor oil also acts as a humescent by attracting and holding moisture to the skin and hair shaft.

It’s also helpful to include other oils in your shampoo bar;

Sweet Almond oil, perfect for hair and skin products as it has a fine texture and is easily absorbed. Rich in vitamins A, B1, B2, B6 and E it it’s nourishing and protecting to the skin and can calm irritation.






Jojoba oil has antimicrobial properties, which means it actually discourages the growth of some bacterial and fungal microbes that attack the skin. In addition, the chemical composition of jojoba closely resembles that of the skin’s natural sebum, so it is easily absorbed and rarely causes allergic reactions, even in the most sensitive individuals.







The beauty of making your own soap and shampoo bars is that you know exactly what is in it and why, tailor made for your own hair and skin type.

You can find our recipe for Natural Cold Process Solid Shampoo here;

Advice on how to use the bar

Washing with a shampoo bar is pretty simple. Just like using liquid shampoo, wet your hair thoroughly first and then either rub the shampoo bar in a few patches in your hair, then work up the lather with your hands or rub the bar in your hands and then rub the lather into your hair.

Make sure the lather is worked in through all of your hair and down to your scalp in order give your hair a complete cleansing. Rinse your hair with fresh water making sure to get out all the shampoo.

This is the important part, lots of rinsing. Rinsing your hair with bath tub water that already has soap mixed in with it will not give you a clean rinse.

Lots of people complain that their hair feels different or oilier, and for some people it takes longer than others to adjust to shampoo bars. This depends on a lot of factors including if there is build up from other products in your hair. Also if the shampoo you had previously been using strongly strips your natural oils, then your scalp may seem to over produce sebum when you switch to a milder shampoo. It may take a month before your hair feels “normal” but it is worth the wait.

Tried & Tested- real comments, from real people

Because this is a hot topic right now, we thought we would ask real people to try and test the solid shampoo bar, here are some of the comments:


Part of the creative team at TSK has been using the aloe & coconut shampoo bar that we made a few weeks back on one of our #makeitmonday recipes :

‘I have quite fine/oily hair that usually needs washing daily, but I found after using the solid shampoo bar for a few weeks that it only needs washing every other day now. It took a while to get used to, at first I thought it felt sticky, but after rinsing thoroughly, I soon realised I’d mistaken stickiness for an old fashioned ‘squeaky’ clean. I’m converted, I am even going to start using the neem shampoo bar on my dog too :)’


MyLifeAsLauren A lifestyle & beauty blogger, recently reviewed our teatree & lime shampoo bar (for her full review click here):

‘I was very sceptical about using a shampoo bar as I had never tried one before…To start with I didn’t get much of a lather but when using both hands to rub it in an amazing lather was created. It smelt absolutely gorgeous and I could really smell both the tea tree and the lime when wet. After drying my hair, it was left super shiny and soft and it smelt so amazing! I was getting compliments at work about the scent it left. Using the shampoo bar over the past few weeks has made a massive difference to my hair and it means I do not have to wash my hair everyday anymore which is fantastic for me as I find it such a chore.
There is only one Bad point that I wanted to address in this review, and that was that I think the soap bar would be better coming in a tin as it will stay dry in the shower when not using the bar and means it doesn’t get stuck to the soap dish and leave a mess. You cant keep it in the box as once it gets wet it starts to fall apart, so a tin is the way forward. Overall I love this product.’



Part of the sales team at TSK:

I have naturally oily hair that is quite limp. Liquid shampoos have always been a problem for me as these strip the good oils as well as the bad! So I decided to try the tea tree solid shampoo bar as a little test for the office ladies to see how it works and I must say it was really good!

I simply rinsed my hair and actually used the soap bar straight onto the hair and this lathered very well and quickly! I shampooed once rather than your normal ‘rinse and repeat’. One shampoo made my hair feel squeaky! I always struggle with my hair being full of tangles and knots but this shampoo made this so much easier to handle, it also may my hair feel fuller! I would definitely recommend this product.’

If you have recently made the change to a shampoo bar we’d love to hear from you too, please comment below.

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