Do Shampoo Bars Dry Out Hair? – Here’s The Complete Answer

Shampoo bars are getting more and more popular recently for numerous reasons, such as their ingredient lists and eco-friendly compostable & zero waste. Many people prefer to try them out, but there is one concern: Do shampoo bars dry out hair?

If you follow the tips that we are about to give, the answer will be no. Shampoo bars can detox your scalp and enhance hair growth. We can guarantee that with this ultimate guide, you will find the most nourishing bars of shampoo to pamper your hair, even if it’s chemically-treated, damaged, oily, or dry.

So let’s start ditching chemical-filled bottles and opt for all-natural shampoos with our guide!

What Are Shampoo Bars?

Shampoo bars are solid hair cleaning products that users can activate with water. They are highly effective in getting rid of dirt, oil, dandruff and hydrating the hair when used correctly.

Shampoo Bars
Shampoo Bars

Shampoo bars have the same purposes and function almost the same way as liquid shampoo. But they usually come from smaller brands with more conscience on environmental issues.

The biggest difference between the two is that shampoo bars are always solid, and the main ingredients are mostly organic and natural-orientated.

Also, these hair cleaning products mainly come in paper packages, so they don’t contribute to plastic waste. So if you are an environmental activist, the solid form of shampoo is the optimum choice.

Shampoos Hub
Shampoos Hub

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Do Shampoo Bars Dry Out Hair?

Some shampoo brands include saponified oils such as castor, coconut, or palm in their products. These ingredients bring an effective cleansing power but it may damage the pH balance level of your scalp, causing brittleness, dryness, and dandruff for those with oily hair and overly sensitive scalp.

However, if you pick the right products for your hair condition, they won’t dry out your hair. According to the types of shampoo bars, you can choose which fits your hair condition the most.

Shampoo Bars Dry Out Hair
They won’t dry out your hair if you use them correctly.

For example, it is best to avoid solid surfactant shampoo bars if you have dry hair because they can excessively remove the required natural oil from your hair strands.

In general, if chosen right, shampoo bars don’t dry out users’ scalp and hair. Unlike bar soaps, which purposefully remove all the dirt, dead skin, sweat, and greasy oil, shampoo bars don’t leave the hair and scalp “squeaky” clean.

In contrast, these hair products always contain certain types of natural oil or moisturizer, so they don’t turn hair strands into straws, leaving your mane with a waxy consistency.

If your hair is in desperate need of extra moisture, you should consider using conditioner bars as well. Conditioners are made for hair hydration, so they will smoothen dry hair and protect it from breakage. For ladies who have dyed their hair, it is vital to use more conditioners.

Types Of Shampoo Bars

Three types of solid shampoo bars that are worth the attention are cold-processed, glycerin-based, and surfactant-based products. Let’s check them carefully to know which goes best with your hair and scalp.


Cold-processed bars are made for users with normal hair conditions and simply need a good wash. They are made of natural ingredients like sunflower oil, argan oil, bee wax, essential oils for aroma, and non-harmful chemical residues such as glycerin and sodium hydroxide.

Depending on each manufacturer, the formula can contain other secret organic ingredients.

Cold-processed bars
Cold-processed bars

The benefits of cold-processed soaps are that they have a smooth surface for extra comfort and come in many beautiful designs. For many users, a bar of shampoo with a pleasant visual makes the shower time more relaxing.


Glycerin-based shampoo bars offer dry hair an instant boost of moisture. Glycerin is an odorless chemical residue commonly used in the beauty sector for its proven effectiveness.

Haircare or skincare products usually contain this nourishing chemical. They can trap the moisture in every single hair strand and avoid breakage. Most of the time, they orient towards users with dry scalps, dry hair, and dandruff issues.

Solid Surfactant

This type is made for oily hair since surfactant is a component that can gently break down the grip between hair and oil. With a bar of solid surfactant shampoo, you can clean your oily hair effortlessly without having to scratch or rub too harshly.

Surfactant and sodium hydroxide are both easily found chemical additives in cleaning products like shampoo, detergents, or soaps. Therefore, you might take aback since they are known to cause skin irritation if you are exposed to them for an extended period.

However, that isn’t the case with shampoo bars since they only contain minimal substances. The purpose of including these components is for better cleaning. Meanwhile, in liquid counterparts, the percentage is much higher, which can provoke more reactions.

How To Choose The Best Shampoo Bar For Your Hair Type

Let’s get a closer look at how you can choose the perfect beauty products for your hair according to its condition.

Normal Hair

Users with normal hair texture don’t have to be too picky on the shampoo bar. Still, there are factors to consider: is your hair never greasy? Does your hair feel stickier at one point of the day more than usual? Do you work in a place where the smell lingers onto your hair?

Normal Hair
You can easily choose shampoo bars if you have normal hair.

If your hair always seems clean, you have normal to dry hair. We recommend cold-processed, hot-processed, and glycerin-based bars.

They are good at cleansing and providing sufficient moisture. Even though it is not an absolute need, it is clever to give the hair more moisture to minimize the chance of suffering from split ends and enhancing the natural shine in the long run.

If your hair gets slightly sticky after one day, you have normal to oily hair. We suggest cold-processed, hot-processed, and surfactant bars.

Among these options, surfactant shampoo bars are the ones that can remove excess oil from hair in the gentlest way, which makes them ideal for this specific hair type.

If you work in a place with a strong environmental scent, you might need more aroma. Besides picking a product that fits your hair type according to the tips, choosing a bar with a strong scent is essential to give your hair a protection layer from the outside smells. Lavender, strawberry, coffee, and citrus have the strongest aroma, and they are the most natural scents. Those might be the ideal scents for you.

Oily Hair

We suggest surfactant bars and cold-pressed bars with a light conditioner. Even greasy hair needs oil to be healthy and maintain the hair shine.

According to beauty scientists, when the scalp produces too much oil, the cleaning products you use are over-stripping the natural scalp oil from your hair. It provokes the scalp to produce more oil to make up for the lost amount.

Surfactant bars can gently remove dirt and oil, so this is the most recommendable option for people with oily and sensitive scalp or weak hair follicles.

Meanwhile, cold-pressed bars have a stronger yet more gentle cleansing power and can help with reducing hair loss and removing impurity from your lustrous hair. Thus, they are ideal for fine hair and greasy scalp.

Related: Are Shampoo Bars Good for Oily Hair?

Dry Hair

If you have a dry hair type, you may consider to pick shampoo bars that contain plant-based ingredients such as coconut oil, olive oil, shea butter, etc.

Also, glycerin is an essential component for dry and damaged hair. Keep this simple fact in mind when you pick your next shampoo bar for your hair beauty routine.

Color-Treated Hair

Glycerin-based bars are the ones to go for since colored hair is usually extremely dry and damaged due to all the chemical treatments. This type of shampoo bar is more gentle compared to others since it contains less harmful cleansing agents.

Thus, it won’t remove the hair dye treatments or over-strip the hair’s natural oil, preventing color fading and avoiding hair dryness.

Use gentle shampoo bars to protect dyed hair
Use gentle shampoo bars to protect dyed hair

To maintain your colorwork, we suggest you stay away from the mass-fabricated shampoos since they contain strong cleansing chemicals such as sulfates, silicones, paraben, etc.

These extremely harsh agents will mess up the color treatments and hair texture post dye.

Related: Are Shampoo Bars Safe For Colored Hair?

Tips On Using Shampoo Bar

Unlike bottled shampoo, solid bar forms are very natural, and this is the trait they are famous for. Therefore, you shouldn’t choose brands that promote 2-in-1 conditioner/shampoo bars because they usually contain more chemicals.

At the beginning of your journey using shampoo bars, your hair may have to go through a transitioning state and become oilier than usual. Be patient with the bars and try to maintain a steady hair wash schedule; your hair will get used to it eventually.

You can also use a diluted vinegar rinse to help balance the scalp’s pH and speed up the transition process. Do not worry about the vinegar smell; it will be gone once the hair is dry.

To make the most of a shampoo bar, you should cut it in half and bring only one part in the shower. After finishing the first half, you can bring in the second one. This extra step will ensure that the second half is always dry and doesn’t melt unnecessarily with the water and humidity in the shower.

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Final Thoughts

So in this article, not only have we given you the answer for the question ‘Do shampoo bars dry out hair’, but we also have included many tips you can benefit from in taking care of your hair.

Now you know everything about these amazing products, it’s time to replace the boring traditional shampoos with their wasteful plastic bottles. Don’t hesitate to choose a natural shampoo bar that comes with a soft cleaning effect to return the hair to its original healthy state.

Edna Feber

I’m Edna. I'm here to guide you about hair products and maintenance tips. You'll fine here product reviews regarding hair tools, hair color, hair care and more along with tips to keep your hair healthy!

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