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There are lots of reasons for using natural shampoo bars including being kind to your hair and being eco-friendly. Natural shampoos are much easier on your hair and there’s no plastic bottle to throw away when your shampoo is gone. You can also use shampoo bars for both hair and body which means less products, which simplifies life and less packaging to deal with.

There are actually several ways to use a shampoo bar and what works for one person, may not work with another so you may want to try several methods to see which one works best for you. The rinses are the same whether using shampoo bars or natural shampoo.

Shampoo Bar


Let’s take a look at a few ways on how to use a shampoo bar:

  • If you are privileged enough to have soft water and have been using natural shampoo, all you’ll need to do is lather lightly with a shampoo bar and rinse. That’s it! If, not then keep reading.  Also, those with short hair usually have an easier time using shampoo bars.
  • Lather the shampoo bar in your hands and massage the lather into your scalp only. Rinse. Many people only need to cleanse the scalp, especially if you have dry hair.
  • If your hair has a residue after shampooing, use the Apple Cider Vinegar rinse, baking soda or my favorite leave-in hair rinse below. Using distilled or filtered water to shampoo and rinse will also help.
  • Using soft or distilled water to shampoo and rinse (or even just to rinse) helps considerably. Some have found that using a shower filter helps considerably.
  • I would love to try filtered rain water to shampoo and rinse and I’m going to do this someday.  Rain water is ultra soft water and I’ve always heard it is the best water to shampoo and rinse with. If you use rain water to shampoo,  let me know how it works for you.

Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse
Combine 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar and 2 cups water, pour over hair and scalp and rinse with warm water. For less hard water, you can use as little as 1 to 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar to 3 cups water and leave it in if you prefer. Vinegar conditions and gives your shine. Your hair will smell like vinegar until dry but the smell goes away. Some people prefer to use the rinse before shampooing.

Baking Soda Hair Rinse
Dissolve ½ cup Baking Soda in 2 Cups warm water. Pour over hair and leave for a minute or two and rinse well. This rinse helps to remove build up, adds body and manageability. Another method is to work a handful of baking soda into your hair after shampooing and let it set for a minute or two before rinsing. You can also add baking soda to your hair while shampooing.

My Favorite Leave-In Hair Rinse
Before heading to the shower, mix the following together in a tumbler:

  • About 2 Cups Warm Water (Use distilled water if you have hard water)
  • About ½ Teaspoons Miessence Herbal Shine Conditioner
  • About 2 Tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar. Use Apple Cider Vinegar for dry hair and distilled white vinegar for oily hair).

Be sure the conditioner is completely dissolved in the water. You may need to whisk for a moment with a fork if it doesn’t readily dissolve. Shampoo with your favorite natural shampoo. Rinse. Pour contents over hair. No need to rinse!

Nearly all store bought shampoos contain harsh ingredients and contain ingredients such as dimethicone and cylcomethicon that coat your hair so that is looks shiny. In reality, these coat your hair with plastic and this coating can be hard to remove.

Because of this, when you begin to use natural shampoo your hair may undergo a detox period and may feel, dry or oily, sticky and/or difficult to comb out. This stage can last anywhere from a few days to over a month, depending upon your water hardness (or even the chemicals in your water) and products you have previously used on your hair. Once your hair has normalized you may not need the vinegar rinse, or perhaps only use it once or twice a week. Not everyone will have this adjustment period but for those who do, I think you will be very pleased once you have adjusted. I have been using them for some time and my hair has body and bounce that I never had before.

Shampoo bars are not for everyone especially if you have hard water. If you’ve never used a shampoo bar before, start out with a sampler from our “Samplers” page. If it does not work for you, use the rest of your bar as body soap and try the Exactly! Organics Shampoo sampler or Miessence Shampoo sampler. Installing a shower filter or whole house water softening system is recommended for hard water.

Colored Treated Hair and Natural Shampoo
You may want to do a strand test if you have color treated hair. Here’s how: Shampoo a strand of hair in a non-conspicuous area and rinse. Notice if there are any changes. Most people find that shampoo bars are easier on color treated hair than store bought shampoos.

Hair Type
We receive questions asking which shampoo bar is best for specific hair types. The shampoo bar that will work best for you depends on so many factors that it is next to impossible to guess. We suggest you try several of our shampoo bar samplers to see which bar works best for you.

How long will a shampoo Bar last?
We are often asked “how long will a shampoo bar last?” This depends on so many factors such as your hair type, how much hair, how often you shampoo, how much lather you prefer, etc. It’s impossible to tell how long a shampoo bar will last you so it’s best to order a sample and gauge how long it lasts you specifically.

What People Say:
“I live in an old neighborhood in a 1931 house with the original water pipes and the hardest water I have ever encountered. As I worked my way thru the various rinse suggestions on your site, I had good results, but not great. I finally invested in a gallon jug of distilled water ~(at 75 cents.) I mixed my 1 part white vinegar with 3 parts distilled water then another quick rinse with distilled water. WOW … it was “hair magic”. Luckily, my friend has a reverse osmosis water system in her home, so instead of buying distilled water …I just go fill up a gallon jug at her house every week and I only need to wash my hair every other day.A.T., LATHAM, NY

“….It took a bit for me to get used to the bar shampoos because I had to find the right rinse for my hair. I now have the shiniest healthiest hair. My hair dresser said “Whatever you are doing … keep it up !” Many thanks. , A.T., Latham, NY

“The tip you included to do a vinegar rinse BEFORE shampooing did the trick! I’m now only having to wash my hair every other day. I do a vinegar rinse first, then plain water rinse, then shampoo being very generous with the bar to get a good lather, then water rinse, then vinegar rinse the ends of my hair ONLY. It’s no longer oily and yucky. The only time it looks greasy now is if I let the last vinegar rinse get too close to my roots. Otherwise this seems to work perfectly. And my hair has more volume than before!” S.B., Arlington, VA

“I have used “safe” beauty products, but was concerned about containers. They are eco-friendly…but still waste. I placed an order and as stated – my first shampoo was not a success. For shampoo #2 – I incorporated the suggested vinegar rinse and WOW! LOVE MY HAIR ~ In the bath I indulge with the Dead Sea Black Mud bar and my 50+ yr skin is amazing. Thank you Thank you. You have solved my dilemma of less containers in my life without sacrificing the luxury of decadent bath products. I purchased the two piece wooden soap dish and am back for another. I am enjoying the various shampoo bars I purchased and have yet to name a favorite … they are all wonderful. Your products have helped me in my quest for being more friendly to my health & well-being and the environment.” A.T., Latham, NY

“I was interested in this product (Babassu) as a shaving cream, having seen the excellent rating on the EWG site. I was a bit reluctant to purchase this product, having never shaved using a soap bar before. But it ended up working surprisingly well. Lathering with the bar doesn’t result in the creamy/foamy lather you get from typical shaving creams. Rather, you end up with a soapy, cream. Nonetheless, it works fine, gives me a close shave, and doesn’t give me all the chemicals and toxins in most other shaving creams.” (01/12/2009). ~~J.E. Sioux Falls, SD (Note from Kathy: Using a shaving brush will result in a very good lather).

“I really like the Chamomile Shampoo and Body Bar. I’ve used it twice; and my hair is very soft, manageable, with lots of body. The scent is nice and light and pleasant. The first time I used it, I lathered a second time and allowed the soap to remain on my hair for a few minutes. The second time, I lathered just once, which seemed enough moisturizing. I have pretty normal hair–not excessively oily nor extremely dry.” ~~L.S. Los Osos, CA

“Thanks so much for your wonderful soaps. I took a shower and washed my hair this evening. I love the Rosemary Citrus bar! When I used shampoo bars in the past, I had to either wash my hair twice, or, I would have to wash my scalp with liquid shampoo during a second wash (because my hair is very thick, oily in the scalp, curly, and mid-length). But – not with this bar! With just one thorough washing with your shampoo bar, my hair is nice and clean without being stripped. I was planning to do a deep condition for the ends of my hair afterward, but after I finished washing and rinsing with ACV, I didn’t need a deep conditioner. WOW! I am impressed. I love the scent as well – so refreshing and fragrant!” ~~ST, Ann Arbor, MI

I hope this was helpful.

Need a Shampoo Bar? Visit us today at our online store

Till next time!


Soap for Goodness Sake, LLC

Group: shampoo bars, shampoo soap

About kathysoap

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2 responses »

  1. Pingback: HOW TO USE A SHAMPOO BAR « Soap for Goodness Sake Blog

  2. Pingback: A. S.

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