Monday, January 24, 2011

Shampoo bars & long hair

I keep seeing people talking about not using shampoo bars because they have long hair and need liquid instead. I'm not getting this. As you can see by the picture, my husband and I are long haired people we use shampoo bars every shower!

One of the complaints I see is that the shampoo bars aren't lathery enough to get the ends of long hair. Uh...I don't get this at all! My bars are sudsy enough to get Catherine Howard's split ends clean (she was reported to have hair down to her knees!) and there seems to be no end to the amount of lather and bubbles I get out of these bars.

I'm wondering how people are washing with shampoo bars. I wet my hair, give it maybe 5 swipes over my head to cover the sides, top, and underneath, then I massage my scalp and I get tons of bubbles. I do rinse and repeat because I have oily hair, but it's not necessary for other hair types. The second time I wash, I make sure to wash the ends of my hair with the copious lather I have on my scalp.

As a note, ever wonder why the first wash isn't as bubbly as the second wash? It's because the oils in your hair reduce the bubbles and lather in any surfactant or soap product, and you've rinsed most of the sebum out the first time around! 

Or are they talking about soap based shampoo bars, because those would definitely offer less lather than syndet bars? Anything with SCI or SLSa is going to offer a ton of lather and foam, and if we formulate our bars with foam and lather in mind, we can make them super ultra mega bubbly and lathery! (This isn't to put down CP soap, but that's not its role in the shower!)

I'm posting this here because I really don't get it. As someone with waist length hair, I have no trouble washing my hair with shampoo bars and find them easier to use than liquids. What are your thoughts on this? Do you avoid shampoo bars because you have long hair or do you find your bars aren't very bubbly? I'm really curious about this!

20 comments:

Petra said...

Another thought is to "shampoo the roots, condition the ends". That is what I was "taught" when I purchased a hughly overpriced shampoo/conditioner (Phillip kingsley) at Macys many years ago. I don't use their product anymore, but the way I was taught to use their shampoo still remains with me and I use this concept with my shampoo and conditioner bars.

They had their product in pump bottles and for my longish hair it was recommended I use 3 pumps (these pumps, volume-wise were more like treatment pumps), so i would direct 2 pumps to the top and sides and another to the underside. Add a little more water and rinse. The ends will get clean as the shampoo rinses out.

Same with the conditioner, except only to the hair strands, not the scalp.

Susan said...

I have waist length hair as well and I find the lather of shampoo bars awesome. I think the key is to get your hair really wet first.

I don't have oily hair or use any products so 1 wash will do the job!

Naomi said...

I have thick middle of my back long hair, and was sceptical of the shampoo bar thing too... however, I just made close versions of your conditioning shampoo and conditioner bars and I really like them! I get tons of bubbles with the shampoo bar, hair is clean but not stripped. The jury is still out on the conditioner bars. I have to get used to using a bar. My hair gets tangly on the ends and I need to concentrate my swipes there.

However, I love them for travel! That was my original reason to make them, but I like the shampoo bar enough to use at home!

p said...

I'd written off trying shampoo bars because of my long hair, because I couldn't form a mental picture of how I'd actually use a shampoo bar to get my masses of hair clean. Thanks for the explanation of how you use your shampoo bars! I'm definitely interested in giving it a try now.

Madame Louise said...

I have really long hair (down to the small of my back). I love shampoo bars!!!!! My hair has become more conditioned and stronger ever since I've started using them.

Yes the trick is to lather:rinse:repeat. Bubbles everywhere :)

madpiano said...

I have long hair and I hate shampoo bars. I only wash the scalp (used to have very long hair and my hair dresser told me so). But wish shampoo bars, I need to rub against the hair to get bubbles, which is a bad no-no in my book, never rub hair against the shaft. I guess I just can't work out how to use the things. I can see myself using one if it was grated though....

Jen said...

If you have hard water do they not lather as well? I have hair down to my butt and always have a hard time. Though I've only tried the syndet bars a few times. I have one of those gross scalps too. BTW your hubby is quite the looker ;)

emily said...

I am trying to make my own syndet shampoo bars and was wondering if you could recommended one source to get everything needed? So far it has been a few things from one site, a few from another, ebay, etc. I figured you would be a wealth of info! I am so small the chemical companies won't have anything to do with me. thanks much! love your blog! it is inspiring!

Heidi said...

I bought all the things to make them, but haven't done it yet.

I am so hoping they work great. I really want to cut out as many plastic bottles as I can.

I was wondering though, can you color these bars? And if yes, what type of colorant would you use. I would like to try different ingredients and this way I can tell the difference by color. I would like the color to last and not fade.

Love the blog! Are you a chemist?

You are a wealth of information. Truly what the internet should be all about...people bringing knowledge to other people...we are sure to evolve to better beings helping one another.

A Life Deliberate Soap Co. Blog said...

It's not the length of my hair (medium long) gives me trouble with shampoo bars, but the fact that I use hair color. These things don't seem to mix well with color treated hair. Shampoo bars make my hair feel like straw!

Mychelle said...

I'm so glad you posted this! I'm making my first foray into shampoo bars tomorrow, and I have very long, thick hair. I had heard this about the bars, but figured I would find out for myself. Following your recipe should yield me a nice foamy bar. Besides, I don't rub shampoo into my ends - I just rub it into my scalp and let the suds run down to the ends. My ends are less likely to be dried out this way and they are always perfectly clean!

Ms Laowai said...

Hi!
I use CP shampoo bars to wash my hair. I have very thin and dry hair, but since I wash them with my superfatted CP shampoo I love them!! And I have no problem at all with the lather either, I actually love how creamy and wonderfully my shampoo bars bubble...
I love solid shampoos too, and couldn't live without them.

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi everyone! Thanks for your comments! They're great.

I also do the shampoo the roots, condition the ends thing, but I do have to wash the ends lightly as I can't put my hair back right now and the ends end up in all kinds of strange things during the day that I should wash out (chocolate, sugar, and so on).

Madpiano: You don't need to put much pressure on the hair when swiping the bars. I am really light handed with it as I don't want to put pressure on my head and don't want to add friction to my hair, and I find a light swipe is more than enough!

Jen: We have hard water and I don't have problems with the bubbles. (And yes, he's adorable!)

Emily: Lamentably, I don't know of one place to get all the supplies I use in my bars. The Herbarie carries most of the stuff, I think, but you do have to order from a few places. I'm just lucky I can get to all the places I need by driving! (I use Aquarius and Voyageur in Canada.)

Heidi: No, I'm not a chemist, but I want to be one, and I'm studying to reach that goal. You can colour your bars with water soluble colours, like LabColours, but only use enough to get a light, pastel colour - no vivid colours here!

A Life Deliberate...: I have a friend with coloured hair who uses my shampoo bars and she remarked that her hair colour seems to last longer, and my best friend uses the bars all the time on her temporarily coloured hair. I realize this is anecdotal, but they seem to like them. It depends on the ingredients. CP shampoo bars don't like to be around colour, but it is possible to formulate a syndet bar to be colour friendly.

Thanks for all the great comments! Keep them coming!

DuhBe said...

Another long haired shampoo bar lover here! I think they are ideal for long hair, and color treated hair too. Maybe the people not liking them just haven't found the right formula that works best for them?

JordanJ said...

I wanted to look at making my own shampoo bar version of the oil shampoo they talk about on LHC. what would be the best way to formulate that?

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi JordanJ. I'm afraid I have no idea what an oil shampoo could be and as I don't frequent the Long Hair Community any more, I don't know what they mean by "oil shampoo". If you look at the hair care link, you'll see a number of shampoo recipes, including shampoo bars. Is this what they mean? Sorry I couldn't be more helpful.

JordanJ said...

They talk about adding coconut oil into a regular cleansing shampoo, to aid the absorption of coconut oil in the hair, on a regular basis. it just seemed like an interesting idea

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

You could easily add coconut oil to a shampoo bar recipe, but I'd encourage you to use it in a conditioning product as it would be more effective there and not depress the bubbles and lather. Substitute the orange butter with any oil or butter you choose. Coconut oil is an amazing oil for our hair, but I'd definitely suggest leaving it for the conditioner (recipe can be found here).

Anonymous said...

I know this is old but I tried making a shampoo bar and it leaves my hair stringy and heavy if I don't use a vinegar rinse, so can you share your shampoo bar recipe and drections.

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

If you read the post again, you'll see words 9 and 10 (shampoo bars) are highlighted, indicating they are a link. Click on those words to learn more!