Shampoo Bars: Your Most Frequently Asked Questions and The Answers!

I have collected your most asked questions about shampoo bars to help you shed any doubt you have before making a conscious purchase! Do you have other questions you don't see in this blog post? Let me know in the comments below and I will add your question with the answer!

Do shampoo bars lather and work as well as liquid commercial shampoo?

A shampoo bar is a concentrated shampoo with no water, therefore you will not need as much lather as with commercial liquid shampoos. Too much lather in shampoo bars could mean the shampoo has very strong cleansing power, and this can dry your scalp.

Bottega Zero Waste’s shampoo bars have a very soft and creamy lather, formulated not to dry out the scalp. The key to nice clean hair is to learn how to apply the shampoo correctly.

Do Shampoo Bars Lather? | Shampoo Bars: FAQs | Bottega Zero Waste

How do you apply a shampoo bar?

First, rub the shampoo bar in between your hands under the water, just like a normal soap bar. This will activate the lather.

Second, gently rub the shampoo on your head with circular movements as if you are massaging your head. Do this whilst standing under running water and then rub the shampoo in using your fingers when out from under the running water.

Third, apply the shampoo with the same method on the crown of the head and then on the sides. Tuck your chin closer to your chest to apply the shampoo on the back of the head and in harder to reach areas.

How long does a shampoo bar last for?

Different brands of shampoo bars will last for different amounts of time, depending on the ingredients or the way the shampoo has been manufactured. They will also last depending on how often your wash your hair.

How long do shampoo bars last for? | Shampoo Bars: FAQs | Bottega Zero Waste

On an average, washing medium/long hair three times a week, Bottega Zero Waste’s shampoo bars will last roughly two months.

What are shampoo bars made of?

What a shampoo bar is made of depends on the type of shampoo bar, there are two different types. The first one is what I like to call a "soap-based" shampoo bar, and the second one is "detergent based" shampoo bar.

The main difference is the pH. A detergent based shampoo bar will very likely have a slightly acidic pH of about 4.5-6, while a soap based shampoo bar will have an alkaline PH of about 8-10. Our hair mantle is acidic and therefore our hair loves acidic things, like detergent based shampoo bars!

Want to try make your own shampoo bar?


Is there a transition period associated with using shampoo bars? If so, how long will it last? Do you have any tips to overcome it?

Shampoo bars made using the traditional cold process soap method may cause your scalp to go through a so-called “transition period”. This is because a shampoo bar made using this method is effectively a block of saponified oils and butter.

This type of shampoo bar has cleansing power but can also leave a sticky residue on your hair and scalp. Even though there are people that adapt to this type of shampoo, I personally think that soap-based shampoo bars are not really suitable for hair care.

You can read more about this on my blog post "How to choose a solid shampoo bar" here. Bottega Zero Waste shampoo bars are formulated using gentle, naturally derived eco-detergents. These work on your hair the same way a normal shampoo.

Detergents | Shampoo Bars: FAQs | Bottega Zero Waste

They do not have any sulfates, parabens or any not-eco friendly additives. Instead, they have additional natural oils and raw butters, such as avocado and shea butter. to soothe and protect the scalp without causing any build-up.

Do shampoo bars make your hair greasy or oily when you first start using them, or do they leave any residue on your hair/scalp?

Some shampoo bars could, this is explained earlier. Bottega Zero Waste shampoo bars will not cause any of that!

How to choose a shampoo bar | Shampoo Bars: FAQs | Bottega Zero Waste

Are shampoo bars safe to use on colour treated hair?

Not all of them are. Shampoo bars made with sulfates are not, but Bottega Zero Waste are completely sulfate free and therefore safe to use on colour treated hair.

Can you shampoo bars on babies?

Although our shampoo bars are formulated to be delicate, they are still a water-free concentrated shampoos. Babies have different hair and skin to adults, so I recommend consulting your pediatrician before making a purchase.

Can you use shampoo bars if you have psoriasis/eczema?

As explained in the previously, Bottega Zero Waste shampoo bars are formulated to be pH balanced and delicate for your skin and hair. However, I am not a doctor and I cannot advise on medical conditions!

Please consult your doctor before making a purchase. This is valid for any shampoo bar brands that you choose to use.

Are your shampoo bars sulfate free?

Yes! All Bottega Zero Waste shampoo bars are 100% sulfate free.

Sulfate free shampoo bars | Shampoo Bars: FAQs | Bottega Zero Waste

Are your shampoo bars vegan?

Yes! All Bottega Zero Waste shampoo bars are 100% vegan and cruelty free.

How do I keep my shampoo bar dry?

I recommend using a wooden bath rack, caddy or a soap dish to allow your shampoo bar to fully air dry in between uses. This will make it last longer too!

Is using a shampoo bar really better for the environment?

Absolutely! Using a shampoo bar means you are actually saving at least one or two plastic-bottled shampoos. At the end of the life of a shampoo, there will be no empty bottle left behind, just your wonderful locks!

Are your shampoo bars curly hair friendly?

We know every curly head is different, so you will need to try out for yourself. However, I have wavy to curly hair, and my curls are very defined whenever I let the hair air-dry. 

Shampoo bars for curly hair | Shampoo Bars: FAQs | Bottega Zero Waste

Do shampoo bars work for oily hair and/or dandruff?

Yes! Again, it depends on the shampoo bar you use.

Do shampoo bars work on dry hair and scalp?

It really depends on the shampoo bar. If you have dry hair and scalp, I recommend avoiding any shampoo bars with SLS (sodium lauryl sulfate) in it.

Do you need to use a conditioner after using a shampoo bar?

You can if you want, or you can soften your hair and clear your scalp about once every two weeks with an apple cider vinegar rinse. Read more about the apple cider vinegar rinse and get the recipe on my blog post here.

Do you also sell conditioner bars?

Yes! Check out the Forget Me Knot Conditioner bar in the Bottega Zero Waste Online shop.

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