Help Me Choose:
Natural Shampoo Bar
We wish that we could recommend the perfect natural shampoo bar for each individual hair type, but everyone's hair and scalp are quite unique. The shampoo bars behave differently for different people. I have customers with oily hair who prefer bars that I would normally recommend for dry hair and vice versa. That is why it is so difficult to make individual recommendations!
We recognize that everyone's hair is different. For that reason, every one of our natural shampoo bars is made from a different recipe. Your favorite bar of natural shampoo in the summer may differ from your favorite winter shampoo.
Our best suggestion is to try some different samples.
We have compiled recommendations based on information gathered from friends, family, and customers. We hope this will help you make your choices!
A Note From A Customer: "When I first emailed you about shampoo bar recommendations, I really wanted you to tell me which shampoo bars I should use. Instead I got the “everyone’s hair is unique” story which was not very helpful at the time. But now I understand why that is the perfect answer. Everyone’s hair IS unique (even two sisters living in the same city with the same type of hair). So I guess the moral of the story is that if you want to switch to an all natural shampoo product—just do it! Buy samples because all of the bars are very different. It is well worth the effort and besides experimenting can be fun!" Lori, Michigan
Why Your Shampooing Technique Is Important
Our natural shampoo bars are a lot more concentrated than liquid shampoos. They are superfatted and thus contain extra oils and butters to nourish your hair.
Your shampooing technique is so important that it may affect success even more than the type of shampoo bar you choose.
The purpose of shampooing is to remove dirt and excess oils from the scalp and the roots. Notice that we do NOT recommend lathering up the length of your hair with the shampoo bar. You do NOT need to apply shampoo from roots to tips. Focus only on your scalp.
As you use your fingers to rinse the lather through the strands, there is enough shampoo to clean the length. This technique helps prevent coating your hair strands with shampoo residue.
Our favorite technique is the best technique if you are new to shampoo bars, have adjustment issues, or have long or thick hair.
This technique helps prevent pockets of soap residue in your hair that can make hair feel tacky.
Our Favorite Technique
- Begin with thoroughly wet hair--I mean a lot of water. Be sure that the water saturates your hair all the way down to the roots.
- Rub the wet shampoo bar between your wet hands or puff to create a nice lather.
- Massage the lather into your scalp at the roots of the hair until you work up a really good lather
- It is very important to work the shampoo into your scalp with water and really build up a good lather so there are no patches of soap left on your hair.
- Lathering up also allows the dirt and extra oils to be washed away.
- If the lather is not foamy enough, add more water.
- Using your fingers like a comb, smooth the lather down the length of your hair as you rinse with water.
- To prevent tangles, be sure to always work from the top down, use your fingers like a comb, not a mixer, and don't pile your hair on your head,
- Rinse, rinse, rinse, rinse and rinse again. I cannot stress how important this step is to shampoo bar success. In order to remove the excess shampoo, which can leave a filmy feeling and weigh hair down, do NOT rush this step! The rinsing should take longer than washing and lathering time.
- If your hair is long or thick, lift up sections of your hair to ensure that all of the shampoo is rinsed clean. Don’t neglect parts of your head that are more difficult to reach, such as the nape of your neck or the back of the head.
- Repeat if desired but I found that as my hair adjusted I only needed one round of shampoo.
- Thoroughly wet your hair.
- Follow all of the steps above except rather than creating lather in your hands, gently rub wet the shampoo bar directly onto your scalp at the top of your head. Do not rub the bar on the length of your hair!
- Gently massage the scalp adding more water as needed, until a foamy lather forms.
If you are new to shampoo bars please our blog, "How to Use a Natural Shampoo Bar" for more detailed information.
Help! I am New to Natural Shampoo Bars
The most common email we receive from new natural shampoo bar users concerns problems with hair adjustment troubles and goes like this..."I just love the idea of using an all-natural shampoo, but my hair feels funny!"
Although we have many customers who have no adjustment problems at all, weird feeling hair is not an uncommon issue. Your hair must literally learn to live without chemicals.
First of all, be sure to read the info about your shampoo technique above. There is a lot of information about natural shampoo bars on our blog. For example, you will find a post titled "Tips Adjusting To Shampoo Bars," that discusses the main factors that may affect your hair's adjustment to shampoo bars.
For first-time customers, we recommend starting with a few samples of bars that seem to work for most hair types. Use them one at a time so that you can really judge how they make your hair and scalp feel.
We often tell customers to take notes on what they like or don't like about each soap or shampoo bar. You may have to experience a few natural shampoo blends to find the right fit for your hair.
Dry hair is often the result of a decrease in sebum production, the natural skin oil necessary to keep the scalp and hair moist and lubricated.
Dry hair lacks the hydration it needs to give it a sheen and a soft texture. As a result, hair that is dry will be brittle and dull, have a straw-like texture and appear frizzy, lifeless, and dull.
Our natural shampoo bars are formulated to promote healthy hair and scalp by cleaning without stripping natural oils! See our Help Me Choose Products for Dry Hair page to learn more.
Oily scalp is the result of overactive sebaceous glands. Although these natural oils are essential for a well-hydrated scalp and healthy hair, excess oil can cause hair to become limp and unruly.
The first reaction is to grab a bottle of “drying” shampoo. These shampoos dry out the hair and scalp by stripping away the natural protective oils. The dried out scalp sends a signal to glands that it needs more oil. So drying out your hair and scalp simply aggravates the problem by encouraging the oil glands to produce more oil to compensate for the loss.
Natural shampoo bars containing citrus essential oils help balance oil production and are often great for oily scalp. We also make three shampoo bars with soapnuts (aritha) which contain natural saponins (foaming agents) that provide an extra cleaning boost without drying the hair and scalp. Their natural antifungal and antibacterial properties also help with dandruff.
Dandruff remains a mysterious problem. There is no commonly agreed-upon theory about what actually causes dandruff. It is estimated that as much as 97% of the population of the United States will at some point in their lives have some form of dandruff. Dry scalp can cause flakes, but dry scalp and dandruff are not the same things.
Commercial shampoo companies help foster the idea that dry scalp is the same as dandruff. They encourage you to purchase their anti-dandruff and anti-flaking shampoos that contain the same synthetic ingredients that caused the problem. Often, switching to a natural shampoo bar without drying synthetic additives may help this type of "dandruff."
Check out our Dandruff Help Me Choose page to learn more
No matter which type of "dandruff or flakes" you have, it is important to use a mild natural shampoo. Although detergent-based shampoos will clean the hair and scalp well, they often cause over-drying which will make the condition worse.
There are many causes of true hair loss, such as genetics, general health, medications, hormonal changes, etc., that no hair care product can reverse.
Everyone sheds hair! The hairs on an adult scalp do not grow or shed in unison. The growing and shedding of hair happen randomly, but individual hair follicles do have their own pattern. If all of the hair follicles on your head were on the same schedule, we would all go temporarily bald from time to time as we shed to make room for new hair growth.
Excess shedding is often the result of simply mistreating your hair! Sometimes simply switching to a natural shampoo bar without detergents, detergent foam boosters, and other harsh chemicals help with shedding.
We put a lot of care and research into our recipes, but I believe that what IS NOT in our natural shampoo bars is even more beneficial to people with hair and scalp problems, than what IS in them. With all the synthetic ingredients in commercial shampoos, specialty shampoos, and even some handmade shampoos, it is no wonder that so many people have problems with their hair and scalp.
I just wanted to let you know I've been using the Herb Garden Shampoo Bar for a couple of months now and even my hairdresser commented on all the new growth. I've had a receding hairline for as long as I can remember and I lost a lot of hair after the birth of my daughter, but the hairline is much better now and I've stopped "shedding." Thanks! Dawn, Washington
Hair That Needs Body
Fine, thin, straight hair is often difficult to style and often appears lifeless and lacks vitality, bounce, and body. There are many causes for limp lifeless hair...
- general health
- hormonal changes
- harsh detergent shampoos
Often simply switching to a natural shampoo bar without detergents, detergent foam boosters, and other harsh chemicals helps bring more body to your hair.
Also, people with fine, limp hair often feel the need to use a lot of hair conditioner. These heavy conditioners can actually cause fine hair to become even more limp. Try using a natural apple cider vinegar hair rinse to add body, bounce and shine.
Thank you so much. I ordered shampoo bars from you about a month ago and they are the greatest. My hair before was always flat and lank, now it has tons of body and fullness. It's like having someone else's hair!! Thanks again for a wonderful product and website. Una, Massachusetts
Color Treated Hair
Most people find that shampoo bars are easier on color-treated hair than commercial shampoos.
We have many customers who color their hair and use our gentle shampoo bars. One customer who "darkens" her hair wrote to tell us that she is now able to go one month longer before recoloring her hair.
Another customer who "lightens" her hair, wrote that the color stays "nicer" longer and she does not get that "brassy" blonde color anymore.
All of our shampoo bars are mild enough for color-treated hair, but since everyone's hair and coloring products are different, please do a strand test to judge for yourself.
To do a strand test, shampoo a strand of hair in a non-conspicuous area and rinse. Notice if there are any changes.
For color-treated hair, we recommend creating a lather in your hands rather than rubbing the bar directly on your head. Then using your fingers massage the lather into your scalp at the roots of the hair until you work up a really good lather.
It is also best to rinse color-treated hair with cool or lukewarm, not hot, water.
Choose your shampoo bar based on your hair type, knowing that coloring hair may change its texture.
Permanent hair color does not simply stain your hair but penetrates the shaft to alter the natural hair pigment. Since the outer cuticle of the hair has been penetrated by the hair dye, your natural hair oil may have trouble penetrating the hair shaft. As a result, your hair may become more dry or brittle.
Since it takes time for the hair cuticles to fully close and trap in the color, be sure to follow the directions from your salon or the product package as to how soon you should shampoo after coloring hair.
Also, note that chlorinated water can change the hue of your color-treated hair.
People with severe allergies--please note: If you have severe anaphylactic-type reactions to ANY of the ingredients in ANY of our products, please do not buy our products. We have dedicated soap rooms and product rooms that are kept meticulously clean, but we cannot guarantee against possible cross-contamination of individual ingredients.
Chagrin Valley Soap & Craft is not responsible for any individual reaction to any particular ingredient. Each product description on our website includes a complete list of ingredients. People with sensitivities to any listed ingredient should not use the product. In case you are in doubt always try an allergy patch test and if at any time irritation occurs, discontinue use of the product.
The content and information on this website, provided by The Chagrin Valley Soap & Salve Company, is for educational purposes only and is in no way intended and should not be construed as medical advice to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or health condition. The information regarding folklore or health-related benefits of certain ingredients is for educational purposes only. The information provided is not intended to prescribe or be taken as medical advice.
The information provided is not meant to substitute the advice provided by your personal physician or other medical professionals. Do not use the information found on this website to self-diagnose any medical conditions or treat any health problems or diseases. If you have medical concerns regarding yourself or your family you should seek the advice of qualified, licensed health professionals. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.
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