How to Use a Shampoo Bar: Embracing Change in Your Haircare Routine

Using bar shampoo for the first time can come with a learning curve. Learn how to use a shampoo bar on long hair and other natural haircare tips.

Shampoo Bar

The only thing worse than bad singing and dancing in the shower? Washing your hair with harmful chemicals.

Scrub harmful chemicals out of your haircare routine. Wash your hair with a shampoo bar instead of liquid shampoo. This seemingly minor change is a major step in reducing your exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals such as Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS), Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES), parabens, and phthalates. These chemicals are commonly found in liquid shampoos and can disrupt our hormones. Plus, choosing a shampoo bar contributes to the reduction of plastic waste, making for an eco-friendly option. However, using a shampoo bar for the first time might come with a bit of a learning curve. Follow our tips on how to use a shampoo bar so that you can make this transition smoothly. 

Wash Away Harmful Chemicals in Shampoo

For decades, many shampoo bottles have featured these simple instructions: Wash, rinse, and repeat. The problem is that in the process, we are repeatedly coming into contact with chemicals that we’re using to wash our hair. 

Shampoos are complex formulas that need many ingredients to perform many functions. Unfortunately, many of these chemicals could be harmful to our health. 

Reading Labels

Read ingredients labels to avoid shampoos that contain: 

  • Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate (ALS), Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES), and Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS): These chemicals are surfactants that create the lather we associate with cleanliness. However, they can irritate the skin and eyes and may harm aquatic life.
  • Parabens: Used as preservatives, parabens can mimic estrogen and disrupt the body's hormone balance.
  • Formaldehyde: A well-known carcinogen, formaldehyde can be absorbed through the skin and has been linked to allergic skin reactions and may even cause cancer.
  • Phthalates (Fragrance): Used as emulsifiers and fragrance carriers, phthalates have been linked to endocrine disruption, developmental and reproductive toxicity, and cancer.
  • Artificial Dyes: These may cause sensitivity and irritation of the scalp and skin.
  • Diethanolamides: These are foaming agents that can react to form carcinogenic nitrosamines.

You can avoid these chemicals and many other harmful ingredients by shopping Million Marker Approved Shampoos. We’ve vetted the ingredients, so you don’t have to. Wash your hair in confidence. Now, turn up the volume and sing and dance a little louder at your next shower concert. 

Why Shampoo Bars Contain Fewer Harmful Chemicals 

Mother and Daughter

Shampoo bars are gaining popularity in the haircare industry as an environmentally friendly and health-conscious alternative to traditional liquid shampoos. They are formulated with fewer harmful chemicals, making them a safer choice for both consumers and the environment.

Liquid formulations contain a lot of water. Water is a breeding ground for bacteria, which can speed up the expiration process. As a result, liquid shampoos require more preservatives, such as parabens. 

In addition, liquids need containers that are leak-resistant. Therefore, many shampoos are bottled in plastic containers, where harmful chemicals from the plastic can leach into the shampoo. 

Shampoo bars are solid. They can be stored in paper, wood, or other natural packaging.

Meet Your New Ally: What is a Shampoo Bar?

Shampoo bars are packed with great ingredients that help keep your hair clean and healthy. They use gentle, natural cleaners, such as sodium cocoyl isethionate or cocamidropopyl betaine. These ingredients work up a nice lather to get rid of any dirt or excess oil in your hair. The best part? These cleaners are mild, so they won't leave your hair feeling dry or stripped.

A good shampoo doesn’t just clean your hair, it nourishes your scalp and follicles. Many shampoo bars contain ingredients that hydrate your scalp and enhance your hair’s natural shine. 

Castor oil is a common shampoo bar ingredient, as it keeps your hair looking shiny and feeling soft. You'll often find coconut oil, which is brilliant for deep-down conditioning. Some shampoo bars even have rhassoul clay, which is a natural ingredient that helps detox your scalp and boost your hair's volume and softness. 

Lastly, keep an eye out for glycerin. Glycerin is added to help your scalp maintain moisture. However, glycerin can be petroleum-based and may contain impurities. Only shop for shampoo bars that use vegetable-based glycerin. 

Master the Moves: How to Use a Shampoo Bar

Washing Hair

Just like learning a new dance, using a shampoo bar takes a bit of practice:

  1. Wet your hair thoroughly. 
  2. Rub the bar between your hands to create a lather, or apply it directly to your hair.
  3. Massage the lather into your scalp and hair. 
  4. Rinse thoroughly.

The Learning Curve: Things to Know About Using a Shampoo Bar

Like any new routine, it may take some time for your hair to adjust to a shampoo bar. Switching to a shampoo bar can come with a transition period, when the natural oils produced by your scalp rebalance. It might take a few washes or even a few weeks for your hair to adjust. However, once you make the switch, many find they can go longer between washes and that their hair has more volume and is easier to manage.  Here are some tips for using a shampoo bar!

How to Massage a Shampoo Bar Into Your Hair

When using a shampoo bar, you'll want to work with the direction of your hair to prevent tangling. Start from the front and move towards the back of your head. Remember, the amount of lather can vary depending on whether your water is hard or soft.

For optimal results, ensure you lather all the way down your hair shaft. Gently smooth the bar from hairline to crown, or work in little circles around your head. Rinse thoroughly, and you should be left with clean, bouncy hair.

Using a Shampoo Bar with a Ponytail

For those with long hair, consider tying your hair into a ponytail before wetting it. Apply the shampoo bar around your head, excluding the ponytail. 

Then, release the ponytail and massage your scalp. As you rinse, the lather flowing down the length of your hair should effectively cleanse it.

Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse for Dry Scalps

If you're new to shampoo bars or have hard water, consider rinsing your hair with apple cider vinegar after washing. Apple cider vinegar can help balance your scalp's pH, detangle your hair, and add softness. It's also a popular natural remedy for dandruff and dermatitis. 

To create a hair rinse, mix about one teaspoon of apple cider vinegar with 8-12 oz of water. Pour the solution over your scalp and let it run down your hair. Wait a few minutes before rinsing with cool water for added shine.

If you'd rather not use an apple cider vinegar rinse, you can comb through your lathered hair with a wide-tooth comb while rinsing. This method should leave your hair tangle-free and shiny.

The Final Act: Cut Back Your EDC Exposures

Switching to a shampoo bar is a significant step towards reducing your EDC exposure. Each small change we make in our daily routine can lead to a healthier lifestyle and a healthier planet.

Want to learn more about EDCs in your products? Take Million Marker’s Detect & Detox Test Kit. Discover which of your products you should consider upgrading to an alternative. Get personalized recommendations that you can actually use in your daily routine. Find ways to optimize your health by making small changes as you feel ready to make them. 

So, are you ready to embrace the change and start a new dance with a shampoo bar? Just like mastering a new dance, once you get the steps right, you're set for a lifetime of benefits!