Hair Care

How to Use Solid Shampoo Bars for Healthy, Happy Hair

How to Use Solid Shampoo Bars for Healthy, Happy Hair

Introduction to Solid Shampoo Bars

Solid shampoo bars are a bar of concentrated shampoo that can be used directly on wet hair without watering down. Unlike liquid shampoos that come in plastic bottles, shampoo bars use minimal packaging and contain no water, making them a more eco-friendly option.

The main ingredients in shampoo bars are oils, butters, and plant extracts that cleanse hair. Common oils include coconut, olive, argan, jojoba and castor. Shea and cocoa butter are also frequently used for moisture. Essential oils like tea tree or lavender may provide fragrance and other benefits.

Shampoo bars have seen a surge in popularity in recent years as more consumers look for sustainable alternatives to bottled shampoo. With no plastic packaging, shampoo bars produce less waste. The concentrated formula also lasts longer than liquid shampoos. As people become more conscious about their environmental impact, shampoo bars offer an easy way to make hair care routines greener.

Benefits of Using Shampoo Bars

Shampoo bars offer several advantages over liquid shampoos that come in plastic bottles. Here are some of the top benefits of switching to shampoo bars:

  • More Eco-Friendly and Reduce Plastic Waste: Shampoo bars eliminate the need for plastic bottles, preventing this waste from ending up in landfills or oceans. Using shampoo bars is an easy way to adopt a zero waste lifestyle.

  • Often Contain More Natural Ingredients: Many shampoo bars contain plant-based cleansers and essential oils rather than harsh sulfates and chemicals. This makes them gentler on hair and better for the environment.

  • Can be More Budget-Friendly in the Long Run: Although the upfront cost is higher than drugstore shampoo, shampoo bars last much longer – up to 80 washes. This makes them cheaper in the long run.

  • Portable for Travel: Shampoo bars are compact, lightweight, and TSA-friendly. They’re easy to take on the go without worrying about liquids leaking.

  • Require Less Packaging: With no plastic bottles, shampoo bars cut down on packaging waste. Many come with little to no packaging.

By switching to shampoo bars, you can reduce your environmental impact, avoid chemicals, save money, and enjoy convenient, mess-free hair washing – all with one small bar!

How to use solid shampoo bars: Simple steps for healthier hair

Wondering how to use solid shampoo bars and solid conditioner bars for the best results? They may seem a little alien at first, but there’s nothing mysterious or complicated about washing your hair with a bar. This simple guide will lead you through the process, step by step.

Moving from liquid shampoo to solid shampoo bars

Even if you’re on board with the environmental benefits of solid shampoo bars, it’s normal to be slightly daunted by actually using one.

Have you just bought your first bar? Or have you had a bad experience with using solid shampoo in the past? Perhaps you’re only considering switching from bottle to bar and want to know how it works before taking the plunge. 

If you’re not sure whether solid shampoo bars and solid conditioner bars are right for you, our top 5 reasons to switch to solid shampoo bars might help you make your mind up.

Now, let’s head to the bathroom.

How to use solid shampoo bars

Using solid shampoo bars really isn’t very different from using liquid shampoo and it’s just as easy.

Here are your simple steps on how to use a solid shampoo bar to get healthier, softer hair: 

  1. Wet both the solid shampoo bar and your hair
  2. Apply the bar directly to your wet hair (a few swipes only, it’s concentrated!)
  3. Put your bar down and massage the shampoo into your scalp until it forms a gentle lather. The shampoo will become foamy, but might not froth quite as much as a liquid shampoo or bar that contains sulphates. Concentrate on working the lather into the roots of your hair
  4. If you feel like you need more lather, add more water – the shampoo bar is water activated
  5. Rinse your hair thoroughly before using your favourite KIND2 solid conditioner bar (if required)

It’s as simple as that!

How to Use Solid Shampoo Bars for Healthy, Happy Hair

How to Choose the Right Solid Shampoo Bar

Choosing the right shampoo bar for your hair type and preferences is key to getting the best results. Here are some factors to consider when selecting a shampoo bar:

Hair Type Considerations

  • If you have dry or damaged hair, look for shampoo bars with moisturizing ingredients like shea butter, coconut oil, or olive oil. These will help nourish your strands.

  • For oily hair, choose a shampoo bar with ingredients like kaolin clay or apple cider vinegar that help remove excess oil.

  • If you have dandruff or a dry, itchy scalp, search for bars with tea tree oil, peppermint, or other soothing botanicals.

  • Color treated hair needs a gentle, sulfate-free bar to maintain vibrancy.

  • Curly and coily hair types require lots of moisture. Seek out bars with hydrating oils and butters.

Ingredient Preferences

  • If you want an all-natural bar, check that the ingredients are plant-based without any synthetic additives.

  • For vegan bars, verify there are no animal-derived ingredients like honey or beeswax.

  • If you have sensitivities, look for fragrance-free and hypoallergenic options.

  • Seek out bars with certified organic ingredients if this is important to you.

Fragrance Free Options

  • Many shampoo bars contain essential oils or fragrance for scent. If you prefer fragrance-free, there are options without added perfumes.

  • Unscented bars still contain natural scent from ingredients like coconut oil. But they don’t have masking fragrances.

Hair Goals

  • If your goal is more volume, choose bars with ingredients like wheat protein and citric acid that help add body.

  • For hydration and moisture, look for humectants like glycerin along with oils and butters.

  • Clarifying or deep cleaning bars feature ingredients like activated charcoal or kaolin clay.

  • Bars for growth often contain stimulating ingredients like niacin, biotin, or caffeine.

  • Dandruff fighting bars feature antifungal and anti-inflammatory botanicals.

Consider your own hair type, preferences, and goals when selecting a shampoo bar. This will help you find the best fit!

Using shampoo bars for the first time

The first time using a shampoo bar can feel a bit different from bottled shampoo. Here are some tips for getting the best results on your first try:

  • Start by fully wetting your hair with water before applying the bar. This helps the bar glide across your hair and scalp more easily.

  • Rub the bar directly onto your scalp and roots. Focus on massaging it into the scalp to lift dirt and buildup. The natural saponified oils in the bar will create a gentle lather.

  • Once you’ve cleaned the roots, bring the bar down to the lengths of your hair. Be careful not to tangle or snag hair with the bar. Apply in a downward motion.

  • Rinse hair thoroughly with warm water. Make sure to rinse until the water runs clear. This ensures you’ve removed all traces of the shampoo bar.

  • Follow with conditioner if desired. Many natural shampoo bars are quite clarifying. Using a conditioner helps restore moisture and manageability.

The first time may take some getting used to. But once you get the motions down, shampoo bars make hair washing simple and plastic-free. Take your time on the first wash and soon it will become second nature.

Lathering Tips

Getting a good lather from shampoo bars can take some getting used to, since they have a different texture than liquid shampoos. Here are some tips for getting the most out of your shampoo bar:

  • May take more effort than liquid shampoo – Shampoo bars don’t lather as easily as liquid shampoo, so you’ll need to put in a bit more elbow grease. Rub the bar vigorously between your palms to work up a lather.

  • Rub between palms with a bit of water – Wet your palms and the bar slightly before rubbing. This helps activate the surfactants in the bar to create bubbles. The friction between your palms generates the lather.

  • Scrub into scalp and rinse – Once you have a good amount of lather, massage it into your scalp and through the lengths of your hair. Let it sit briefly, then thoroughly rinse out.

  • Repeat if needed – If your hair doesn’t feel fully cleansed after the first wash, lather up again and do a second wash. Some thick or curly hair types may need to shampoo twice to feel fresh.

The key is being patient and putting in the work to really activate the shampoo bar. But once you get the technique down, you’ll enjoy rich, bubbly lathers.

Storing Shampoo Bars

One of the keys to making your shampoo bar last is proper storage between uses. Here are some tips:

  • Keep it dry between uses. Make sure to place your shampoo bar somewhere it can fully dry out after getting wet in the shower. Sitting in water will cause it to get mushy and break down more quickly.

  • Store it in a tin or other covered container. This will protect your shampoo bar from excess moisture in the air. Look for a tin or plastic box with holes for ventilation.

  • Avoid letting it sit in standing water. Don’t leave your shampoo bar in a puddle of water in the shower. Give it a quick shake or pat dry before putting it away.

  • Slice off slivers as it gets small. As your shampoo bar shrinks with use, continue slicing off thin slivers to expose more surface area. This will make it last longer before it becomes too tiny to use.

Proper storage is easy with a little planning. Keep your shampoo bar in a dry, ventilated container and slice it down as needed. Follow these simple tips and your bar will last for months of use.

Troubleshooting Common Issues with Solid Shampoo Bars

Solid shampoo bars are a great natural alternative to bottled shampoos. However, when switching to this new format, you may encounter some common issues. Here are some troubleshooting tips for the most frequent problems people have with shampoo bars:

Dry or Tangling Hair

If your hair starts to feel dry, tangled, or straw-like when using a shampoo bar, you likely need more moisture. Try reducing how often you wash your hair to avoid over-stripping the natural oils. After shampooing, use a nourishing conditioner or hair mask to add moisture back. You can also try rubbing a small amount of oil like argan, coconut, or olive into your ends before showering to protect them.

Buildup or Dull Hair

Some ingredients in certain shampoo bars can leave buildup on the hair over time. This causes hair to look greasy or limp. Clarify your hair by using an apple cider vinegar rinse once a week. Create a diluted solution of 1 part vinegar to 1 part water and rinse through your hair after shampooing. The vinegar will remove any product buildup.

Difficulty Lathering

Having trouble getting your shampoo bar to lather up? First, make sure your hair is thoroughly wet before applying the bar. Rub the bar directly on your head rather than in your hands. Use light, circular motions to work up a lather. Try storing the bar in a drier area so it doesn’t get mushy. A shower scrubby can also help exfoliate and create more lather as you wash.

Bar Gets Mushy When Wet

Many shampoo bars are handmade using natural ingredients. Without chemical preservatives, they can get soft and mushy when exposed to too much water. Make sure to store your bar in a dry area between uses, and allow it to air dry after showering before putting it away. Avoid leaving it sitting in a wet soap dish. You can also try a wire soap-saving basket that allows more airflow around the bar.

Shampoo Bar Ingredients to Look For

When choosing a shampoo bar, pay attention to the ingredient list to ensure it contains ingredients that will benefit your hair. Here are some key ingredients to look for:

Oils – Oils like olive, coconut, and avocado add moisture and shine to hair. They help condition hair and leave it feeling soft. Look for bars with at least one of these oils high on the ingredients list.

Butters – Shea and cocoa butter are rich in vitamins and fatty acids to deeply nourish hair. They help moisturize, reduce frizz, and protect hair. The higher up the butters are listed, the more moisturizing the bar.

Essential Oils – Essential oils like tea tree, rosemary, and lavender have antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties to support a healthy scalp. They also provide pleasant aromas.

Vitamin E – Vitamin E is an antioxidant that repairs damage and protects hair. It helps strengthen hair and prevent breakage. Bars with added vitamin E will help keep your hair healthy.

Plant Extracts – Extracts from plants like aloe vera, chamomile, calendula, and marshmallow root contain vitamins, minerals, and other compounds that benefit hair. They help soothe the scalp, reduce dandruff, and improve hair strength and shine.

When reviewing shampoo bar ingredients, look for natural, plant-based ingredients like the ones mentioned above. Avoid bars with a lot of synthetic fragrances, preservatives, and fillers, which can irritate your scalp and hair. The best bars use high-quality, hair-healthy ingredients.

DIY Shampoo Bar Recipes

Making your own shampoo bars at home is a fun way to customize them for your specific hair needs. Here are some tips for creating your own recipes:

Basic Recipe

  • Base oils – Coconut, olive, avocado, or argan oils make a nice base. Use about 2 parts liquid oils to 1 part solid oils. Coconut oil adds cleansing and bubbles. Olive oil conditions hair.

  • Solid oils or butters – Shea, cocoa, or mango butter help harden the bar. Use about 1 part of a solid oil per 2 parts liquid oils.

  • Lye – Use sodium hydroxide lye to saponify the oils into soap. Lye should be about 25-30% of total oils. Always add lye to water, not the other way around.

  • Superfatting – Add an extra 5-10% oils at the end after combining the lye water and oils. This leaves extra oils to condition hair.

Customizing for Hair Type

  • Dry hair – Use more conditioning oils like olive, avocado or argan. Add extra superfatting.

  • Oily hair – Use more cleansing oils like coconut. Reduce superfatting amount.

  • Curly hair – Add oils like olive and avocado to help define curls.

  • Color treated – Add oils like sunflower to help maintain color. Reduce coconut oil.

Essential Oil Blends

  • Add 20-30 drops essential oils per pound of soap base. Peppermint and tea tree help stimulate the scalp. Lavender calms and soothes.

  • Citrus oils like lemon or orange help cleanse hair. Rosemary clarifies and thickens hair.

Color and Exfoliants

  • Add mica powder or other colorants at about 1 teaspoon per pound of oils.

  • Try exfoliating ingredients like oats, coffee grounds, sea salt, or clay. Use 1-2 tablespoons per pound of oils.


  • Silicone molds or upcycled containers work well. Avoid aluminum.

  • Pack molds tightly, tap to remove air pockets. Cover and insulate molds while saponifying for 24 hours.

  • Unmold carefully after 24 hours. Allow bars to finish curing 4-6 weeks before use.


Solid shampoo bars are a great alternative to liquid shampoos for many reasons. In this guide, we covered the key benefits of using shampoo bars, including:

  • They produce less plastic waste compared to bottles of liquid shampoo. This makes them better for the environment.

  • They are concentrated and last longer than liquid shampoos. One bar can equal 2-6 bottles. This saves you money in the long run.

  • They create less lather and strip less moisture from hair than liquid shampoos. This leads to healthier, more hydrated hair.

  • They are portable and convenient for travel since they are solid and packaging-free.

  • Many are made from natural, eco-friendly ingredients and are free of harsh chemicals. This is gentler on your hair and scalp.

We also provided tips for choosing the right shampoo bar for your hair type and using it properly to get the best lather. Storing your shampoo bar in a dry place between uses will help it last longer.

Overall, shampoo bars are an easy way to make your hair care routine better for your hair and for the environment. If you’re looking to reduce plastic waste and make the switch to natural hair care, give shampoo bars a try!