How To Use Shampoo Bar? – A Thorough Guide

Most of us grew up using the bottled shampoo version, so natural shampoo bars are relatively new to us. That is why so many people ask each other how to use shampoo bars.

Simply put, shampoo bars are the solid form of traditional shampoo, and most are all-natural. Those who want to treat their hair to a more gentle cleanser will switch to this type. That said, they are still confused about how to use this new player properly.

To take care of this surprisingly pressing question, we have prepared a thorough article. Within this article, you can find guides on:

  • How to use shampoo bars.
  • Some tips and tricks when using shampoo bars.
  • And interesting questions with answers.

How To Use Shampoo Bar

Some shampoo bars, especially natural ones, are superfatted, so there is quite a bit of butter and oils in them. These saponified oils can react with minerals in water and leave waxy residues. Also, some may encounter this phenomenon in the transition period.

For these reasons, if you cannot lather the shampoo bar properly, some of your head’s areas will retain a buildup. That is why you need to use shampoo bars using these two techniques.

Technique 1: Use The Shampoo Bar Directly To Your Hair

This technique to use a shampoo bar is what we call the fast and efficient way. You can finish the whole process in less than half of the second method’s time if you know what you are doing.

This method is more favorable for those with shorter and thinner hair to reduce the likelihood of waxy buildup and dandruff. If you possess thick and long hair, we also provide some tips for you when using the shampoo bar below.

Shampoos Hub
Shampoos Hub
shampoo bar directly
Using a shampoo bar directly is the simplest and most time-saving way.

Step 1: Wet your hair

The first thing that you need to do is wet your hair thoroughly. We mean it, you should be generous with the water usage. Make absolutely sure that your hair is saturated by the water from the top to the root.

Step 2: Apply the bar to your hair

Gently rub your solid shampoo bar onto your hair directly mimicking a combing motion and then massage in a circular motion. Remember to add water continuously as you are creating the lather.

Gently rub your solid shampoo bar onto your hair directly.
Gently rub your solid shampoo bar onto your hair directly.

Step 3: Create lather and massage your scalp

Cover every section of your locks, give the scalp a gentle massage. Continue to add the water until you feel that the lather is good enough.

Always follow the top-down path to eliminate as many tangles as possible. Keep in mind that your fingers shouldn’t act like a mixer but more of a comb.

Never forget that it’s the superfatted soap you are working with, so be careful around troublesome spots.

A prime example is the nape of your neck, where the wet hair density makes it incredibly hard for the soap to penetrate. You will need to add in water and lather up even more.

Step 4: Rinse your hair

The final step is to rinse, and you must rinse as thoroughly as you can.

It is not at all an overstatement to call this step the game-changer for the process’ success. 

Technique 2: Create Lather In Your Hand

This is our recommended method to wash your hair with a shampoo bar if you are new to them. It is also good for people with thick, long hair or adjustment issues.

This method is a little bit time-consuming, but it will ensure that there is no solid shampoo bar buildup on your wet hair. Additionally, it limits the amount of shampoo you waste.

Step 1: Wet your hair

You start things off the same way as the method above, wetting your hair as much as possible. Again, the water should saturate your hair completely, from top to bottom.

Step 2:  Create lather on wet puff or your hands, apply to your hair

Wet the natural shampoo bar, then rub it against a wet puff or between your hands.

Doing so will create a nice and foamy lather. Utilize your fingers the same way you would use a comb and apply this lather across your hair’s length.

Apply the lather onto your hair with your fingers acting like a comb.
Apply the lather onto your hair with your fingers acting like a comb.

Step 3: Massage your scalp

Get some of the lather and massage your scalp with it. Be as gentle as you can so that the hair there can absorb lots of natural ingredients.

As we have mentioned above, natural shampoo bars are gentler and take longer to work.

Step 4: Rinse your hair

Once you are certain that every nook and cranny of your wet hair is covered in the lather, start rinsing. Rinse all the way to your hair’s root thoroughly and repeat. 

Do it until you are confident that there is nothing left. It’s best to rinse your hair with lukewarm water to fully remove all the residues and finish off with cold water to close hair cuticles and lock in moisture and nutrients.

Some Notes When Using Shampoo Bar

If You’re Using Hard Water

Soft water won’t affect the type of shampoo bar you use, but hard water is a different story.

Your hair can look oily and straw-like even after many washes. To combat this issue, you can first make sure that your solid shampoo bar does not have Coconut oil, Olive oil, Castor oil, etc.

If it does, you need to combat the waxy hair look caused by shampoo bars when using hard water:

  • Use apple cider vinegar, white vinegar, citric acid or filtered water to rinse the hair. The low pH content will successfully wash out the waxy buildup.
  • Minimize the effects of hard water by boiling water or equipping a shower filter. Chemical reactions are among the roots of soap residues.

The Transition Period

Most people used commercialized shampoo liquids before swapping to organic shampoo bars. These commercialized shampoos, while quick to finish their jobs, can strip all the natural oils out of your hair.

That is why it will take a while for the natural shampoo bars to heal your scalp and hair.

The Transition Period
The gentle nature of organic shampoo bars limited their efficiency.

We call this process the transition period. Most of the time, you will need at least 2 weeks to get rid of the residue properly. To quicken the process, you can, again, use an apple cider vinegar rinse.

You can also make the process easier by only using soft water and locking down a proper shampoo technique.

Tips For Long And Thick Hair With Shampoo Bar

People with short hair rarely face the hardship that is hair adjustment. For instance, the hair on their neck’s nape rarely has any buildup, unlike people with long and thick hair. 

From our experience, here are what you need to do so that washing your hair can be less of an issue.

  • Tie your long hair up, forming a ponytail, then wet it from head to toe.
  • Dip the natural shampoo bar into the water and rub it across your head’s top, each stroke starts at the front and ends at the back. Do so until the entire scalp is covered properly.
  • Do not rub the shampoo bar in random directions, or your long hair will tangle up. Remember to keep adding water without pause so that your shampoo bar can complete its mission.
  • Release the ponytail and start rinsing thoroughly, letting all residue of the shampoo drip down your hair’s length. Keep doing this process for a minimum of 1 minute. 


Can You Use A Shampoo Bar As Soap?

Before we can give you a definite answer, you need to understand the main difference between the two. While their ingredient lists closely resemble each other, the formulation designs are not at all the same.

To be more specific, the base butter and oils’ proportions, the oil infusion order, and extra ingredients are all different. As a result, the final products have different characteristics. Of course, the superfatting process also adds another variable.

Also, soap boasts an antibacterial property to kill bacteria on your skin, which shampoo bars can’t do, except for some with antibacterial ingredients. Shampoo bars come with a pH from 4.5 to 5.5, close to the hair’s pH so that they don’t strip out too many natural oils. Meanwhile, soap leans to the alkaline side (pH 9 – 10) and can damage your hair.

That is why natural shampoo bars tend to be less moisturizing than natural soap bars. As such, you can use them as soap, but they are not as efficient.

Do You Need To Use A Conditioner After Shampoo Bar?

If you use conditioners because of your hair being dull, lacking in luster, or dry, there is no need for them anymore. 

The reason for the need of conditioner is that some commercial shampoo bars tend to have petroleum products. These products will dry your scalp and hair quickly, so you need a way to moisturize them.

On the other hand, most natural shampoo bars, with conditioning oil like coconut or jojoba, do not strip much natural oil and will moisturize your hair.

You do need to use conditioner, however, if your hair is prone to tangling. After all, that is not an issue a shampoo bar can solve.

How Often Should You Wash Your Hair With Shampoo Bar?

Most people should only wash their hair with shampoo bars once every 2 days at the maximum

If you use them more, you run the risk of removing all the sebum substance from your hair. As a result, your hair will become brittle and easier to break.

On the other hand, using them less frequently means that sebum will accumulate, weighing your hair down. Also, the grease and grime buildup will make your hair oily and dirty.

Some people are special cases, though, as their hair is too sensitive. If you are one of them, we recommend using shampoo only once a week.

How Long Does It Take For Hair To Adjust To Shampoo Bar?

There is no definite answer for this question, as the transition period’s length varies greatly from person to person. In general, it takes about 2-3 weeks for you to adjust to shampoo bars.

Some only need a few days, while others require some weeks. In extreme cases, it can even take months to fully familiarize yourself with a new natural shampoo bar.

You can broadly predict the time range dependent on the damage your hair has suffered and the amount of residue currently present. Some additional variables include your water, genetics, and even your technique.


Most of us grew up only using bottled shampoo so much we have grown too accustomed to it. That is why not many people ask us how to use shampoo bar, as they are familiar with the bottled version.

However, we believe that this time, it’s worth it to make the change to shampoo bars. The difference in efficiency and results can only be described as night and day.

We hope that you can make full use of our article and change to a natural shampoo bar that suits you.

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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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