Hair soaps and solid shampoos offer many advantages
Bar soap for hands, body and hair is making a comeback - rightly so, I think. In this article we want to focus specifically on cleansing products for the hair and clear up the different terms so that after reading you have the full perspective.
If you want to make your hair care more environmentally friendly and natural , shampoo bars and hair soaps offer a number of advantages. They save packaging material and are very economical because they do not use water as an ingredient. In addition, no product remains in the pack, as is the case with plastic bottles and pump dispensers. You don't need to worry when you travel that your shampoo will run out, and let's be honest: doesn't the wrong amount always come out of the tube?
The difference between hair soap and shampoo bars
Even if hair soap and solid shampoo appeal to a more environmentally conscious target group, there is still a long way from pure nature in every chunk of foam. Again, you should take a look at the list of ingredients. And that's where the difference between solid shampoo and hair soap becomes apparent. They use fundamentally different cleaning ingredients. Shampoo Bars use surfactants for this – just like the liquid version – while Hair Soap is actually soap that has been enriched with nourishing oils. This is wonderfully natural, but brings with it a few special features in the application.
As the name suggests, this is good old-fashioned soap. It cleans thoroughly, reliably dissolves grease and is in itself very easily biodegradable. It only has one small disadvantage, because it basically has a pH value of 9 to 10 - less is not possible with soap. For comparison: the pH of your skin is around 5.5. So that your scalp does not dry out, the hair soap recipe is extra mild. Glycerin is often added to it and it is overfatted.
During manufacture, the fat is usually fully saponified with sodium hydroxide. In order to give hair soaps a replenishing effect and thus more care, they are super-greased. To do this, more oil is used than the sodium hydroxide can saponify. There are different excess levels for different hair types. If your hair quickly becomes greasy, it is better to use a lower level of excess fat (e.g. 6%), with very dry hair it can be more (15% to 25%). However, the more the soap is over-greased, the softer and more slippery it becomes, which is not for everyone.
The first thing to do here is to try something out in order to find the perfect product. On the other hand, we do the same with shampoo. Experts recommend changing from time to time anyway.
Is soap also vegan?
Not always.Whether the soap is vegan depends on which fat is used as the basis In the past, soaps were usually made with animal fat or old kitchen oils - nothing was supposed to go to waste. Animal fats from the slaughterhouse are still mostly used in conventional soaps today. For example, if Sodium Tallowate is on the INCI list, it is saponified beef fat.
But soap can also be obtained from vegetable oils. Sodium cocoate is made from coconut oil, sodium olivate is made from olive oil, and so on. Incidentally, palm oil (sodium palmate) is particularly suitable because it makes the soap firm and creates a nice foam. However, anyone who boycotts palm oil because of nature conservation is better off avoiding this ingredient.
☝️ By the way, due to the high demand, coconut oil is also increasingly being used in monocultures. What to do? 1. less is more: use soap sparingly and until the end. And 2. reach for organic coconut oil or organic palm oil, they tend to come from mixed cultures.
Does hair soap dull your hair?
Yes. Immediately after washing, yes, but there is a simple reason for this and it wears off after a short time. The scaly hair surface stands up when it comes into contact with water. The alkaline pH of the soap enhances the effect, which is why the hair feels rougher or strawier shortly after washing. The cuticle layer actually reattaches itself within a few hours. But you might not want to wait that long, because hard water makes the straw effect uncomfortable. It's faster with the sour rinse. This ensures shine and suppleness. It is a must for hard water and is also highly recommended in other respects.
The sour rinse
The acidic rinse balances the pH . The surface is instantly smoothed and gives the hair shine immediately. It is particularly important if very hard water flows out of the tap in your home, because otherwise lime soap can form. You may know those annoying, dull deposits on the sink? The same can happen in hair. Lime soap leaves a white haze and hair feels sticky.
You can prevent this by descaling your hair with an acidic rinse at the end of the wash. And how it works:
- Take a 1l bottle, fill it with water and add 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar or lemon juice (smells nicer on the hair).
- Shake well and finally pour over washed, thoroughly rinsed (!) hair.
- Dry your hair as usual and you're done.
☝️ CONCLUSION: Hair soaps are a super natural way to clean your hair, but something for lovers. Mastering the application takes a little time and patience. Very important: lather well, rinse thoroughly and the acid rinse.
Solid hair shampoo
Solid shampoo is basically like the liquid product, just without water and mostly without preservatives (where none water does not have to be preserved). Accordingly, it contains washing-active substances, active ingredients such as wheat protein and vegetable oils that make the hair supple or easier to grip, a few structuring ingredients and usually a nice scent. If you have previously used liquid shampoo, the changeover will not be difficult. The hair feels similar after washing and does not need any special treatment.It offers all the advantages of a bar of soap: it is significantly more economical than liquid shampoo, cannot leak when traveling and is easy to dose
At the same time, shampoo bars are the pH-neutral alternative to hair soap. They don't clean with soap but with Syndets. The word is a creation of synthetic and detergents (cleaning agents). Here pH values of 5 - 6 can be achieved, i.e. extremely close to the natural value of the skin. Also, some of these surfactants create a wonderful lather, which is very helpful when shampooing.
Not all syndets are created equal
While there's little that can go wrong with soap, syndets have good and bad solutions. Examples of negative examples include Sodium Lauryl Sulfate 👎 and Sodium Laureth Sulfate 👎, which are made from petroleum. These candidates are highly irritant, dehydrating, poorly biodegradable, and promote allergies.
Instead, use natural cosmetic shampoo bars, mineral oil-based ingredients are taboo. Instead, natural cosmetics use surfactants based on sugar or coconut. These glucosides or coco-glucosides are usually very well tolerated and biodegradable. Fluffy foam and high cleaning power are also among the advantages of these plant-based syndets. But even that is a broad field: Some surfactants clean particularly effectively and are therefore often used in shampoos. Others are particularly well tolerated and are therefore mainly found in facial and baby care.
☝️ CONCLUSION: Solid hair shampoo is a great alternative for everyone who is annoyed by that the right amount of shampoo never comes out of the tube, residues are left behind and the whole thing comes packed in so much plastic. But solid shampoo does not automatically contain more nature! Consciously choose natural cosmetic products because they contain plant-based syndets. They are better tolerated by hair, skin and the environment.