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

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I have collected your most asked questions on shampoo bars to help you ditch 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!


shampoo bar
  • Do shampoo bars lather well like liquid commercial shampoo? Do shampoo bars work well as commercial shampoos?

A shampoo bar is a concentrated shampoo with no water, therefore you will not need as much lather as in 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.

  • How do 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 while under running water and then rub the shampoo in using your fingers when out of 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 differently, depending on the ingredients or the way the shampoo has been manufactured. They will also last depending on how often your wash your hair. On an average wash of 3 times a week on medium/long length hair, Bottega Zero Waste’s shampoo bars will last for roughly 2 months.


shampoo bar
  • What are shampoo bars made of?

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!

  • 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 making method may cause your scalp to go through a so-called “transition period”. This is due to the fact that a shampoo bar made using this method is effectively a block of saponified oils and butter, which have a cleansing power but can also leave a sticky residue on your hair and scalp. Even though there are people that get adapted to this type of shampoo, I personally think that soap-based shampoo bars are not really suitable for hair care. You can read more 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, which work on your hair as a normal shampoo. They do not have any sulfates, parabens or any not-eco friendly additives. Instead, they have an addition of 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 in question number 5. Bottega Zero Waste shampoo bars will not cause any of that!

  • 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 previous points, Bottega Zero Waste shampoo bars are formulated to be PH balanced and delicate but 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.

  • Are your shampoo bars vegan?

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

shampoo bar
  • How do I keep my shampoo bar dry?

I recommend using a wooden bath rack or caddy or a soap dish to allow your shampoo bar to fully air dry in between uses.

  • Is using a shampoo bar really better for the environment?

Absolutely! Using a shampoo bar means you are actually saving at least 1 or 2 plastic-bottled shampoos. At the end of the life of a shampoo, there would be nothing left behind (besides 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. 

  • Do you have a shampoo bar for oily hair and/or dandruff?

Yes! The Nordic Tree shampoo bar would be ideal but the Rosemary Dreams shampoo bar works very effectively on oilier hair types too.


  • 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. The best shampoo bar in Bottega's line is Karitè, which has a base of organic, unrefined organic shea butter!

  • 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 2 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?

Not at the moment, and the reason is that it is VERY difficult to formulate palm oil free conditioners, but watch this space!

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