Shampoo Bars – My Routine

March 25, 2013

Switching from shampoo to Baking Soda/Apple Cider Vinegar is a pretty big change.  Fairly simple, but very different.  Switching from BS/ACV  is pretty different also.

I still call it No Poo because besides meaning “no shampoo”  it also means “no poop.”  The “poop” being the chemicals, cones and whatnot in commercial shampoos.

Also, not all shampoo bars are made the same.  Some are organic, others are not, some even have SLS in them.  (I’m looking at you Lush!)  I avoid SLS, but not everyone is concerned with it. I’m just saying reading ingredients is always important.  Right down to the lead in your lipstick. (No really, google ‘FDA lipstick’)

Now down to the nitty-gritty!

If you read my previous blog about switching to shampoo bars, you may have noticed I was very specific about how much I had used. I’m able to do that because I cut the bars into pieces.  I don’t have a lot of room to be keeping a bunch of bars in my shower, and it just seems less wasteful.

shampoo bars

On the left is a full-sized Chagrin Valley bar, and on the right a sample. This is how I’ve cut them up, and the smallest pieces of each are the ones I’ve been using since the beginning of January.

How you use a shampoo bar is all about what works for you.  In an F.A.Q. section at Chagrin Valley’s website, Ida says how she uses them.  I think it’s a good place to start.

My hair is too thick to do only that though.  My slightly different process goes like this.

  1. Wet hair with treated water
  2. rub the bar across my part, and in strokes on the top of my head (following the direction my hair is going so it doesn’t get tangled) I also make sure not to miss my bangs, and rub the bar along my front hair-line.
  3. I create a part down the back of my head, rub the bar down the part
  4. I continue creating a few parts, 3-4 on either side of the first, and rubbing the bar down the part.
  5. Then I scrub, making sure the lather reaches all parts of my scalp.
  6. Rinse with some treated water, and rinse some more under the shower to make sure it’s totally rinsed.

I have been experimenting with skipping the treated water to rinse, and just use the water out of the shower, jury is out on that one.

It took me a little while to get this routine down. Not using too much soap, not taking too long to rinse it out, and so on. I also have a water saving shower head,  so for most of the duration of washing my hair water is only trickling out of the shower head.  Water conservation is super awesome, but really I care more about my hot water conservation since No Poo is not always speedy. Some days it seems to go pretty quick, other days I’m having to re wet my hair, use my shampoo bar on a spot I missed or work extra hard because there’s more buildup than usual.

For the Babassu Marsh Mallow bar, that is super extra lathering for me, I don’t have to follow that same routine.  I can actually just lather it up in my hands and then work the lather around rather than having to rub the bar all over my head.

I do still use sulfate free shampoo 1-2 times a month, depending.  Recently I was ridiculously ill and used it for the duration because I just did not feel like dealing with all the extra effort.

I’d be curious to know about how people with other types of hair use shampoo bars!


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