With the release of our new shampoo bars have come many questions. What makes them different? Do you really not need to follow up with an acidic rinse? Will you still make and sell your original shampoo bars? Which do YOU prefer, as the soapmaker? As such, I am here to attempt to break it all down.
The biggest difference between our new shampoo bars as opposed to the original bars is the pH level of the soap. The pH of a typical bar of soap, and of our original bars (Rosemary-Mint and Tea Tree shampoo), is around 9, whereas the pH of our new shampoo bars is around 5 or 6. This becomes very important when it comes to dealing with hair, as a higher pH will raise the scales that make up your strands of hair. If left that way, and you go to comb your hair, you might feel like you've just spent a day at the beach and your hair has taken a bruising from all of the ocean swimming. In other words, it will likely be a tangled mess. However, following up the use of these bars with an acidic rinse (such as my go-to of one part apple cider vinegar to three parts water) will smooth all of those hair follicles back down, making for a much more happier combing experience, as well as much smoother, silkier hair. With our new shampoo bars (Rosemary-Mint and Lavender-Rosemary) hovering right around 5 or 6 in terms of pH, we are in the hair-loving zone, and your hair will likely be completely happy without an acidic rinse. With the use of either bar, as is also the case with the use of bottled, liquid shampoo, the use of conditioner is a personal choice. However, following up with one of our conditioner bars after using either type of shampoo bar will most definitely leave your locks looking and feeling sleek and shiny.
To be honest, I never minded keeping a squeeze bottle of apple cider vinegar in my shower for use after one of the original shampoo bars. However, I am also one who does not mind eliminating steps in my daily routine where I can and simplifying things in any way possible. So, with that being said, I have become a definite convert to the new, no-rinse-needed bars.
My family and I just got back from spending a week at the beach, and one of the biggest advantages of shampoo bars, in my eyes, is how easy it becomes to travel with the products to which my hair has already become accustomed. Prior to the development of these new bars, I would take a powdered mix of citric acid, etc., to create an acidic rinse on the go, but it felt pretty amazing to just throw my shampoo bar, a conditioner bar, a bar of soap, and my razor into the bag last week, and very easily take all of my showering needs with me. And, guess what? You could even leave out that bar of soap! Our new shampoo bars can double as a body wash! (I just wanted to bring the bar of Grapefruit-Litsea along for my body because the scent seemed beachy and refreshing.)
I have had a few customers contact me, worried that I might stop making the old shampoo bars. Nope! I will continue to make and sell them, as I do know that some people actually prefer the step of using the acidic rinse for its clarifying purposes. It really is a good and healthy way to strip the hair and scalp of buildup, if that ever becomes an issue. And a lot of people enjoy using these bars for hand and body soap too!
If you are using any type of shampoo and/or conditioner bar, you should give yourself a big pat on the back! Our dear planet thanks your for eliminating some of the plastic that is circulated and often left as trash. Did you know that, though it is difficult to know exactly how much plastic is in our oceans, scientists predict around eight million metric tons enter the ocean every year—the weight of nearly ninety aircraft carriers (www.noaa.gov)!!!
I have a friend, Nancy, who shared with me a year or two ago that she and her family try to choose one thing each year that they can change in their daily comings and goings that will help benefit the environment. She has shared with me the amazingness of blown-glass straws, reusable food storage bags, and more! And our own family has adopted many of these changes to help reduce our footprint. Nancy also acted as one of my guinea pigs during the shampoo bar production phase, as trying to eliminate the use of plastic bottles in their shower is one of these changes they are working to make. Whatever your political, religious, social, or educational background may be, it is kind of difficult to argue that the attempt to lessen the amount of trash we produce and let sit to rot on our beautiful land and in our seas could be anything but a good thing. I know I feel better doing my part!
So, let's see...the new shampoo bars are nearly all-in-one (with the option to add the use of a conditioner bar and a bar of soap), they travel amazingly well, and they help reduce waste. They are also sulfate-free, safe for all hair types, and easy to use! Simply get the bar wet and either rub it around on your head or in your hands for a bit to work up a lather (which is sooooooo foamy and lovely, by the way), work it around your scalp and through all of your hair, and then simply rinse! If you choose to also use the conditioner bar, wet the bar, swipe it down from the crown of your head and down the length of your hair a few times, let it sit just a bit (if desired), and then follow up with another rinse. And, voilà! You and your gorgeous hair are ready to take on the day!