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Sturdy cleanliness: hair soap versus shampoo bars

Whether hair soap or solid shampoo, concrete facts are the trend when it comes to body care. They are environmentally friendly, productive and versatile. You may be wondering if body wash and shampoo are the same as soap. Are these products automatically natural cosmetics? And how do you keep your hair from looking dull after washing? You can find out here.

Sturdy cleanliness: hair soap versus shampoo bars Five Skincare

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 cleaning products for hair and clear up the different terms so that you have a clear perspective after reading.

If you want to make your hair care more environmentally friendly and natural , shampoo bars and hair soaps offer some 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. No need to worry about spilling your shampoo when you travel , and let's face it, doesn't the tube always come out with the wrong amount?

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. Just like the liquid version, shampoo bars use surfactants for this purpose, 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.

hair soap

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. It often has glycerin added to it and becomes superfat .

During manufacture, the fat is usually fully saponified with sodium hydroxide. In order to give hair soaps a moisturizing effect and thus more care, they are superfatted. To do this, more oil is used than the sodium hydroxide can saponify. There are different levels of extra fat for different hair types. If your hair quickly becomes greasy, you'd better use a lower level of excess fat (e.g. 6%), but 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 mostly 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 just as easily be made 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, coconut oil is also increasingly being used in monocultures due to the high demand. 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?

jain Immediately after washing, yes, but there is a simple reason for this and it wears off after a short time. The scaly surface of the hair 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 the straw effect is uncomfortable in hard water . The sour rinse is quicker. It provides 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 veil and the hair feels sticky.

You can prevent this by descaling your hair with an acidic rinse at the end of the wash. And this is 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 hair, but something for lovers. Mastering the application takes a little time and patience. Very important: foam well, rinse thoroughly and the acidic rinse .

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Solid hair shampoo

Solid shampoo is basically like the liquid product, just without water and usually without preservatives (where there is no water, there is no need to preserve). 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've been using liquid shampoo up until now, it won't be difficult to make the switch . 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 do not clean with soap but with syndets . The word is a creation of synthetic and detergents . Here pH values ​​of 5 - 6 can be achieved, i.e. extremely close to the natural value of the skin. In addition, some of these surfactants create a wonderful lather, which is very helpful when shampooing.

Not all syndets are created equal

While there is little that can go wrong with soap, there are good and bad solutions with syndets. 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 , as mineral oil-based ingredients are taboo. Natural cosmetics use surfactants based on sugar or coconut instead . 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 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.

Also pay attention to natural cosmetics with solid shampoo | Five Skincare

Photo by Matthew Tkocz on Unsplash

What you should consider when handling

One thing in advance: bar soap is at least as hygienic as liquid products from the dispenser. Hygiene is of course particularly important when washing hands in the kitchen. You don't have to worry about germs getting stuck on the soap and getting back on your hands. Transmission does not work in this direction.

However, there are a few points that will allow you to enjoy your bar of soap or your shampoo bar for a particularly long time. It is particularly important to always let the chunk dry well . When it's wet, it gets muddy and that feels pretty gross - like muddy bottom in a bathing lake. In addition, bacteria can collect in the soap slush. A drainable soap dish solves the problem and also looks decorative. For on the go there are pretty soap boxes made of metal or liquid wood - these are made from renewable raw materials and are compostable.

🌴 A tip for trips to a tropical climate , because the high humidity makes drying difficult: Use a soap net instead of a jar. The soap can drip off well in it and it can be attached to the outside of the backpack in a well-ventilated manner.

If you're using a soap pouch , it's best to hang it up. However, I think this solution is only really good for shower soap or solid shampoo. You use them once a day and then they have plenty of time to dry. You wash your hands a lot more often because evaporation just can't keep up.

Hair soap and solid shampoo – the change is worth it

If your shampoo is now running out, why not try the solid alternatives. I think you will be pleasantly surprised. Well, now you may need a new soap dish and the application works a little differently, but in the long run it's worth the change . The solid products are super economical, practical, easy to dose and conserve resources. But not all are created equal. When buying, therefore, pay attention to high-quality vegetable oils and gentle surfactants.

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