Shampoo Bars: What, why, how and where?

Here’s everything you ever wanted to know about shampoo bars.
Shampoo Bars: Masthead

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Sometimes, the difference between a good day and a bad day is good hair. And sometimes, the difference between a healthy planet and dying oceans is plastic bottles. Thankfully, we can have good hair days without causing harm to our planet. As pollution, heat and humidity rise, many of us feel the need to live more sustainably. Shampoo bars are the easiest (and oh so fun!) way to bring sustainability into your lifestyle.

What is a shampoo bar?

A solid bar of shampoo cleans much like traditional liquid shampoo but without the harmful effects like CO2 emission, water pollution, plastic pollution and more. Shampoo bars contain ingredients that are suitable for removing excess oil and build-up. In addition to the cleansing properties, with shampoo bars you also get a considerable amount of nourishing ingredients such as kokum butter, hemp seed oil and mango butter as opposed to traditional liquid shampoos.

There are also soap-based solid hair cleansers masquerading as shampoo bars out there but they’re nowhere close to how effective and gentle well-formulated shampoo bars are. A simple way to tell apart soap-based bars and real shampoo bars is to ask for their pH. Soaps are alkaline in nature (pH above 7) and typically disrupt our scalp’s acidic nature (our scalps’ pH is closer to 5.5). Real shampoo bars on the other hand generally have a pH ranging between 5 and 7.  Another tell tale sign is soap-based bars won’t clean effectively in hard water whereas real shampoo bars will work just fine. 

What’s even better is that with real shampoo bars, they can be formulated to solve specific problems. We formulate shampoo bars to solve new-age stressors like hair fall caused by pollution, flaky scalp and excessively oily scalp caused by climate anxiety. What’s more, our shampoo bars are sulfate free, paraben free, phthalate free and even free of any petroleum derived ingredients. Supa supa gentle on you, boo!

Why should I use a shampoo bar? 

Shampoo bars have benefits for the environment as well as your scalp. First, let’s look at our planet. There are over 5.25 trillion macro and microplastics floating over our oceans, most of which comes from shampoo bottles, shower gels, conditioners etc. These microplastics leach toxins into our oceans putting marine ecosystems in jeopardy. So much so that there are dead zones in the Arabian sea (dead zones are regions in the seas and oceans where there is too little oxygen to support life). Switching to shampoo bars reduces the incidence of such dead zones, not just because you’re switching from a plastic bottle but also switching to responsible producers that are likely to dump less plastic waste into the ocean.

Now, coming to the benefits for your scalp and hair. Shampoo bars are solid bars of buttery goodness combined with potent cleansing agents. A well-formulated shampoo bar is effective in removing oil and build up and carries just enough oils and butters to keep your scalp and hair moisturised. Unlike traditional liquid shampoos or soap-based solid bars, they don’t strip your scalp of its natural oils. 

How do I use a shampoo bar? 

It’s easy peasy, no squeezy. The shampoo bar gets activated when it comes in contact with water. You simply have to glide the shampoo bar over your wet scalp a couple of times. You can use your fingers to work up a generous amount of lather. And then rinse rinse rinse. 

Pro tip: The shampoo bar gets activated when it comes in contact with water so it’s best to keep it dry between use. 

Which shampoo bar should I use?

Shampoo bars have become quite popular in India. The challenge is to find a well-formulated shampoo bar. When searching for shampoo bars, here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Ingredients matter: pick shampoo bars that have plant-based ingredients. They’re much milder and nourishing to the scalp and hair. 
  • The ‘No’ List: make sure the shampoo bars don’t contain sulfates, parabens, phthalates, PEGs / petroleum based ingredients. These ingredients are either irritating or hormone disrupting (even in traditional liquid shampoos).
  • Suitable for you: make the switch even easier by picking a shampoo bar that is most suitable for your scalp type, hair type as well as scalp and hair concerns. Another wonderful thing about shampoo bars is that they can be formulated for specific scalp and hair types and concerns. Isn’t that absolutely amazing?

Here are some of our most loved shampoo bars:

  1. Açaí of Relief Shampoo Bar: to reduce hair fall and breakage caused by exposure to pollution. Antioxidant-rich acai berries are combined with strengthening onion extract, plant keratin and grapeseed oil to create a shampoo bar that strengthens hair from within while leaving it feeling soft. 
  2. Blue-tea-ful Shampoo Bar: to reduce flakiness caused by excessive oil, stress or exposure to pollution. Blue tea, calendula and chamomile are extremely gentle on the scalp. You can pair it up with our Calm Me Camellia Scalp Treatment Oil to nourish the scalp without worrying about the flakiness. 
  3. Mylky Way Shampoo Bar: rising temperature and humidity cause our hair to become unbelievably frizzy. Like boom! We created a protein-rich shampoo bar using Goodmylk’s oat and cashew mylk to moisturise extremely frizzy hair. You can pair it up with our Viva La Sativa Deep Conditioner for that extra bit of taming. 

With plastic pollution on the rise and water scarcity, shampoo bars have emerged as a more sophisticated and gentle way to cleanse your scalp and hair. It’s only a matter of time before you find yourself making the switch to this newer, more mindful way to shampoo your hair.

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