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How To Use A Shampoo Bar Properly (Step-By-Step Guide)

For glossy, thick hair and an eco-friendly shower, zero-waste shampoo bars are the way to go. The only adjustment you’ll have to make to your normal routine is learning how to use a shampoo bar properly so that you get your money’s worth.

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How To Use A Shampoo Bar Properly

Choose The Right Shampoo Bar For Your Hair

In the world of zero-waste shampoo and conditioner bars, there are a lot of options. Whether you have dry, oily, fine, thick, curly, or stick-straight hair, it’s all about choosing the bar that caters to your hair.

The bare necessity here is that you choose an actual shampoo bar, not a soap. Soap isn’t made for your hair. Shampoo bars are.

Lather It Up In The Shower

There are two stubborn camps in the world of shampoo bars. Those who like hand, and those who like head.

Some guys raw dog the shampoo bar directly on their hair, rubbing it in like soap on skin. Others warm it up with some strokes between their hands, then put the bar down and apply the slick suds to their hair.

Both methods are equally effective as long as you cover your whole head. For guys who are new to shampoo bars, I recommend the hand method because it feels most similar to using liquid shampoo.

Let It Sit And Work It’s Magic

It’s something that plenty of us forget to do. If you want your shampoo and conditioner to actually work, you have to leave them in your hair for a minute or two. After all, patience is a virtue.

Rinse Like You Mean It

The thin, slick texture of shampoo bars might feel unfamiliar at first, so it’s a rookie mistake to not rinse enough. Just like any hair product, you don’t want any of it leftover in your hair after you step out of the shower.

Bonus Steps For Shampoo Bar Newbies

If you’re new to shampoo bars, your hair is probably going to go through an “adjustment period.” The previous products you’ve been using have built up in your hair and scalp, and they won’t necessarily combine nicely with your new shampoo bar.

Before you use a shampoo bar for the first time, rinse your hair with a baking soda paste.

Baking soda is great at working away hair product buildup. Combine several spoonfuls of baking soda with a little bit of water until you have a past-y texture that you can scrub in your hair. If it’s too watery, add more baking soda, and vice versa.

After you use your shampoo bar, rinse with apple cider vinegar.

Apple cider vinegar is a fail-safe if you have hard water or didn’t rinse your hair thoroughly enough. It helps with hair texture and gives it a glossy shine. Don’t worry, as your hair dries, the vinegar smell will evaporate.

If all this sounds intimidating, don’t worry! Shampoo bars aren’t rocket science, and if you mess up, the worst consequence is a bad hair day.

For guys who want to ease into it, I recommend rotating your shampoo bar with one of the best natural shampoos for men. They look and feel a little more like “normal” shampoo, so you can get your toes wet with natural hair products.

How To Use A Shampoo Bar With Hard Water

The short explanation: use the best shampoo bars for hard water. They have all the right ingredients to deal with minerals stuck to your roots and scalp.

The long explanation…

Minerals in hard water don’t play nice with natural shampoo bars. They bind to the oils in your shampoo, creating a waxy buildup that sticks to your hair and gives it a funny shape.

The best way to avoid this is by simply not washing your hair with hard water. Use filtered water, or whatever else you can get your hands on.

If that’s not a possibility for you, you can rinse with apple cider vinegar after you wash your hair (every time). ACV will improve the texture, shape, and gloss of your hair while fighting the hard water minerals.

I’ll be honest, shampoo bars aren’t for everyone. They’re harder to find and use. But the long-term benefits of using all-natural ingredients on your hair are overwhelming, and it’s one way that we can work together to help the environment.

Shampoo bar revolution!

Frank Edwards is a men's grooming & style expert who is "internet famous" for being able to simplify complicated grooming routines into easy, yet effective rituals any man can do. As a professional analyst, he has spent years researching the biggest brands, products, experts, best practices, and breaking news in the space. He takes this analysis, tests it out on himself, and then documents everything in his writing. As a result, his experience-based articles are considered by some to be the gold standard in men's grooming and men's style.