Shampoo & Conditioner Bar Top Tips

Are you a shampoo and conditioner bar newbie? Or a seasoned pro? We've gathered together our Top Tips for getting the most out of your shampoo and conditioner bars so you can ditch the (shampoo) bottle for good.

Scroll down to the following sections:

  • How to use a shampoo bar
  • How to use a conditioner bar
  • Help! I've had a bad experience in the past
  • More shampoo and conditioner bar tips
If you've got any tips of your own or questions that haven't been answered, just get in touch with us.

I'm a complete newbie... how do I use a shampoo bar?

4 natural coloured shampoo bars in hand with whitewashed wooden background

1st thing to know: They are super concentrated.

You won’t need as much as you think!

Most ‘normal’ liquid shampoos contain around 80% water and conditioners can contain even more, up to 95%!  With a shampoo or conditioner bar, you are letting the water come from the shower, so imagine you only need 20% of the normal amount of shampoo or 5% of the normal conditioner you’d use, and you’d be about right. Your bars will last longer too!

Wavy wet brunette hair with blond highlights

1. Prepare to get wet!

The whole point of a shampoo bar is to minimise the water we are transporting round the countryside inside our products... You are going to use the water from the shower to activate the shampoo bar.

Step 1: Get under the shower head and make sure your hair is wet through, then grab your bar and make sure that is also wet.

Soap bubbles on hands

2. Lather up!

As we now know, shampoo bars are super concentrated, so it’s really easy to use too much. The temptation is to rub the bar directly on your head, but actually you’ll use less if you lather it in your hands first and apply the lather to your hair. 

Step 2: Lather the shampoo bar between your hands.

If you're not finding you're getting as many bubbles as you'd like, add more water before adding more shampoo.

Shampoo bubbles being applied to brown hair

3. Apply the shampoo

Step 3: Apply the bubbles to your head, concentrating on the area around your hairline and on your scalp where the hair is thickest.

Use your fingers to work in the bubbles and get your hair all sudsy.

You can rub the bar onto your head, (in fact I tend to when I'm in a rush) just make sure you are rinsing well. Leaving shampoo residue after every wash can irritate your scalp.

Wet brunette hair

4. Rinse!

Step 4: Just like you would a 'normal' liquid shampoo it's important to rinse well.

Apply a conditioner if you need to... but you might find you don't need any.

Once you get your head around a shampoo bar (pun definitely intended!) you'll wonder why you didn't start using them sooner!

Help! I've had a bad experience in the past... How do I choose the right shampoo bar for me?

pH test strips being dipped into beaker of clear liquid

Shampoo needs a hair friendly pH

Look for a shampoo bar that has a hair friendly pH.

Have you ever seen a ‘shampoo’ bar that tells you to use an ACV (apple cider vinegar) rinse after use? Chances are these bars are soap in disguise! While soap is great at cleaning our skin, it’s really not great for your hair as the pH is far too high.  Instead, look for a bar with a pH on the acidic side of neutral, around pH4-6 – they’re sometimes called syndet bars. We don't expect you to check their pH yourself, but ask the manufacturer... they SHOULD easily be able to answer this!

All of our bars have been formulated to be a hair friendly pH so no vinegar rinse or transition time needed!

Soap bubble in hand

Check the ingredients for SLS

It can be irritating if you’re prone to sensitive skin and suffer from skin conditions like eczema and rosacea.

Lots of liquid shampoos and many of the syndet bars contain SLS (Sodium Lauryl Sulfate). It is a cheap surfactant – the cleansing part of shampoo – which can be quite irritating to sensitive scalps. It can dry out your skin and exacerbate conditions such as eczema and psoriasis. Instead look for the more gentle surfactants such as SCI (Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate), Coco glucoside or Lauryl glucoside.

I'm a complete newbie... how do I use a conditioner bar?

Round yellow-orange conditioner bar in hand

1. Get it wet!

Your hair will probably already be nice and wet, so wet the conditioner bar.

1. Release the conditioner by rubbing it between your hands.

Conditioner isn't meant to bubble but will come off in a creamy texture.

White hands applying conditioner to ends of hair

2. Apply the conditioner

2. Apply the creamy conditioner to your hair, concentrating on the ends rather than your scalp.

Use your fingers to spread the conditioner through your locks.

Alternatively, you can apply the bar onto your hair in downward swiping motions, but be careful not to use too much. You may not see the conditioner as easily as a 'normal' liquid conditioner, but it's there and will be working its magic for you!

Brunette hair being rinsed out with sea in background

3. Rinse, rinse & rinse again!

3. Rinse your conditioner out of your hair until the water runs clear.

Just by the very nature of a solid conditioner it is easy to use more than you need. And it doesn't rinse quite as easily as a liquid conditioner, so give it a bit longer than you think.

More shampoo and conditioner bar tips:

Bubbly natural green round shampoo bar on wooden soap dish sat on side of white bath tub

Let your bars dry between uses

They'll last sooo much longer and you'll use less each application!

Just like a bar of soap, shampoo and conditioner bars will absorb water and go squishy if you leave them in a puddle of water. You’ll get a lot more uses out of your bars if they’re able to fully dry between uses. A wire shower shelf is ideal to let the air get round them when you’ve finished.

We don't recommend storing them in their tin unless they're dry first.

Shampoo bubbles being applied to brown hair

Just apply shampoo to your roots

You’ve probably noticed that it’s your roots that show you they need washing before the rest of your hair, right?

Your locks can end up getting a bit dry if you shampoo them too much. So instead, just apply your shampoo to your roots and allow the water to rinse it through the rest of your hair as you are washing it out. The ends of your hair will get less shampoo as a result and will thank you for it.

Brunette woman with straight hair on green background

Add more water to your hair before adding more shampoo

Who doesn't love bubbles?!

Sometimes a shampoo bar doesn’t produce the same foam a liquid shampoo does and it’s tempting to think you need to add more shampoo if it’s not very bubbly. Instead, try adding more water to your head. Using your hands and finger tips to massage your scalp, you’ll soon create more bubbles to spread further – and you get a nice massage at the same time!

Afro haired female on white background

Some hair types love conditioner

If you have dry, kinky, curly or coarse hair, you may find it will benefit from leaving some conditioner in your hair after washing.

If your hair is fine or flyaway it may not tolerate leaving any conditioner in. Rinse thoroughly and try not to apply so much to start with.

And if you have normal or oily hair, you may not need any conditioner at all! Our shampoo bars all contain a small amount of conditioner to help make the bars more nourishing, so you may find that's enough and only need conditioner every few washes.

Wet curly hair being combed with wooden comb

Brush your dry hair before washing

Brushing your hair while wet can cause it to stretch and break.

Instead, brush your hair before you wash it to remove tangles and then if you need to, use a wide-toothed comb to get rid of any new tangles when it’s wet. Try not to pile your hair up onto your head as this encourages tangles too.

Female with white top and multi-coloured rainbow hair

Shampoo bars can be safe for coloured hair

Sadly there is no such thing as a 'colour safe' shampoo. All colours will fade in time. Even using pure water will cause your colour to fade over time. However. Some of the stronger detergents containing sulfates often get the blame for colour fade. The reason is that they penetrate the hair's cuticle and strip natural oils. They are very effective cleansers, but sometimes this can be too much.

The main sulfates in shampoo bars include SLS (Sodium Lauryl Sulfate) and SLES (Sodium Laureth Sulfate). Sulfate-free shampoo does not guarantee that the colour will stay longer, but they are much milder, so the fading rate is slower.

The best option is to reduce washing all together.

Curly brown hair

We probably wash our hair too much

OK, so here's the thing... We all probably wash our hair too often. Contraversial on a page about washing your hair, I know!

It is a catch 22. Your hair feels greasy, so you wash it. That strips the natural oils and your scalp produces more to replenish what has been lost. It quickly starts to get greasy again and before you know it you cannot go a day without washing your hair.

If we shampoo our hair less often, our scalp won't need to produce so much oil and your hair will actually feel less greasy... But it's a process that takes time.

Try it out when you've not got any social commitments... Next time you're not planning to leave the house, ask yourself: do I need to wash my hair today? The answer is probably no! Over time you can lengthen the time between washes. And if you feel like you need to do something on non wash days? Just wet your hair with water or use dry shampoo to absorb some of the excess oils.

Flat round cream shampoo bar and orange conditioner bar on white background

Keep in mind: No one size fits all

Shampoo and conditioner bars can be tailored to suit different hair types, but it’s not a one size fits all. 

It may take you a while to find a shampoo bar that your hair loves – don’t give up after one use of a bar as it might take you a while to get the hang of it. And if you do decide it’s not for you? Shampoo bars make great body wash bars and conditioner bars work really well as a shave bar as they have lots of lovely slippery ingredients.

Ready to jump in the shower with your new favourite bar?

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