Should I try a shampoo bar? Benefits, cons and what to look out for

Have you been thinking about trying a shampoo bar instead of traditional shampoo? I have in recent months started using a shampoo bar, and having found a great one by Eco Warrior that foams up just like normal shampoo, I have to say, I wouldn’t even think about going back to normal shampoo now.

With everything though, there are many benefits and a few cons to using these products. So I thought it would be helpful to see them all in one article so you can make your own mind up and decide for yourself if a shampoo bar is right for you.

Benefits of using a shampoo bar

Improvement in your hair quality

Most shampoo bars will be made out of natural ingredients and so you’ll find your hair starts getting shinier, better quality and more volume.

As shampoo bars don’t contain any harsh chemicals such as sodium lauryl sulfate or ammonium lauryl sulfate, they aren’t stripping your hair and scalp of their natural oils. They are therefore better for you in maintaining the moisture in your hair and scalp, but also are able to clear away the residue left from chemical hair products.

Saves you money

The shampoo bar that I bought cost me £4.50. They do range in price from anything from £3 – £27! So similar to shampoo’s, they do have a wide price range depending on the ingredients. However, they are going to last you a longer period of time than a normal shampoo so work it out for yourself how much you could save based on the cost of your shampoo bar and how long it will last depending on your usage.

Longer lasting

Like I mentioned, a bar of shampoo will last you anywhere between 3-6 months depending on how often you wash your hair. For me I think my shampoo bar will last around the 4-5 month mark and I wash my hair now every 3 days. I think that shows the longevity of these products!

Wash your hair less often

One of the benefits I have found with a shampoo bar (and was quite surprised at this), was that I wash my hair way less than with normal shampoo. Previously I was needing to wash my hair everyday as it looked so greasy. As I have blonde hair and it’s also quite thin, you can really see when it is greasy. But I have found that with a shampoo bar I am only needing to wash my hair twice a week.

Save water

With washing your hair less often in the week, it means your showers will no doubt be quicker. So with fewer hair washes in the week, you’ll be able to save water – over a week that’s a good saving, but over a year and lifetime you can make significant water usage reductions.


I wish I had known about shampoo bars when I went travelling about 5 years ago. I lugged bottles of shampoo around with me. Instead, put a shampoo bar in your backpack and off you go – they’re small in size and lightweight, so a no brainer!

Sometimes reduces the need for conditioner

Many gentle shampoo bars will leave your hair feeling clean without feeling dry. Many shampoo bar users don’t actually use conditioner as the hair adjusts in a couple of washes with a shampoo bar. For me, I haven’t personally seen this and like the ends of my hair to feel softer, so I use the Juliet Rose conditioner bar. However, I did used to put conditioner all over my hair, and now only put a bit on the very ends – so I’ve definitely seen an improvement here.

Reduce your plastic consumption

Finally, shampoo bars reduce your use of plastic consumption. The downside to traditional shampoo’s is that not only do they contain chemicals, but they are also single use plastic bottles. If you think about how many shampoo bottles you go through in a year, then that’s going to add up over a lifetime. A shampoo bar is a super easy fix to reducing your plastic usage in the bathroom.

Cons of using a shampoo bar

A build up of soap residue in the hair

When the saponified oils react with water when you use it, it can form a waxy consistency of soap residue in your hair. I personally haven’t had this issue as of yet but this could be something that happens after years of use. Many people rinse with apple cider vinegar after using their shampoo bar to remove the coating and shine their hair. However, I prefer to mix it up with using Beauty Kubes shampoo, so I get a mix of the two products to prevent this from happening.

Awkward to use if you have short hair

If you have short hair you may find it awkward to rub the bar of shampoo soap on your head. As I have longer hair I find it easier to rub the shampoo bar on the ends of my hair first to get a lather before moving that foam up to my scalp to rub in. It’s a personal preference here – my husband has used shampoo bars and doesn’t find it awkward so it varies by person. Some people online have suggested if you have short hair you may find it easier to cut off a chunk of the shampoo bar at a time so it’s easier to rub onto the scalp.

May cause tangles and frizz

Those with long, porous or curly hair may experience tangles or frizz. Again, it depends on your hair type and I think how you style and look after your hair post-shower also.

Many different types of shampoo bars

With all these eco products, it is all about finding a product that works well for you. It’s not a simple one answer suits all, so you need to test these things out for yourself.

Cold-pressed shampoo bars

There are different shampoo bar ingredients to look out for that perform differently. For example there are cold-pressed shampoo bars that many home crafters and natural product companies use as a method. They are full of natural oils, which whilst will help the condition of you hair, will also cause a build up in the hair due to their more waxy consistency.

Glycerin-based shampoo bars

Glycerin-based shampoo bars have a pH balanced and are gentle to use. However the downside to these is that they don’t tend to lather as well. So many don’t think these feel like your typical shampoo as there is much less foam.

Solid surfactant shampoo bars

Solid surfactant shampoo bars are more pH balanced and tend to lather the best. It depends what you’re looking for and whether you want a shampoo that acts like what you’re typically used to. Some find these shampoo bars can be too clarifying for their hair so it really depends on your hair type and also usage.

Find the right shampoo bar for you

I’ve had great success with the Eco Warrior shampoo bar and you can read my full review on it here in case you’re interested. But I also know there are many other shampoo bars out there – so do your research, read the reviews and hopefully you’ll find a shampoo bar that is the perfect fit for your hair.

3 thoughts on “Should I try a shampoo bar? Benefits, cons and what to look out for

    1. Hi, I think it depends which shampoo bar you go for. It may take some time to find one that is right for your hair type. However, I didn’t have any issues with the Eco Warrior one I am currently using, in fact it’s made my hair way less greasy and a much better condition. Compared to washing every day I am now washing every 3 days. Glad you found the post useful. xx

  1. I had a shampoo bar lying around for a year or so that was a present. I normally get a refill of shampoo from a local ethical shop which lasts about 9 months. Unfortunately, this has now come to an end and the shop has not yet reopened after lockdown. So, time to try the shampoo bar I thought. Thanks for some very useful pointers in your post. It made a more motivated to give it a go.

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