Solid Shampoo Bar Users (Everything U Need to know)

Shampoo Bars has been around for about five years and is increasing becoming popular for various reasons from it’s conveniences to our heightened sense of zero waste. A Shampoo bar is basically a  compressed version of your liquid hair wash, which means the essential ingredients for your hair wash are included in most of these bar shampoo’s.

shampoo bar uk

In our current market we have two types of Shampoo Bars

  1.     Solid Soap Shampoo aka Natural  Shampoo Soap Bar 
  2.     Syndet Shampoo 

Solid Soap Shampoo Bar 

solid soap shampoo bar

This is popular among Artisan soap makers and is basically a soap dressed up with additives to play the role of a shampoo bar. Soaps are made from fats and oils which react with lye (sodium hydroxide) this process is called saponification.

 There are two popular ways to make soap.

  1.     Hot process soap making: is simply mixing melted oils & lye together with additional heat.
  2.     Cold process soap making: is simply mixes the oils melted & lye together with no heat.

solid soap shampoo bar is made using either of these processes with oils/fats that are beneficial to your  hair. Additives generally include herbs hydrosol infused, clay essential oils and more.

How to Choose a Soap Shampoo Bar in the UK – Buying Guide

This table below will hopefully help decide which Solid Soap Shampoo to buy, simply check the label  for one or more of these additives  .

Hair    Essential Oils  Herbs/Others  
Dandruff        Lavender,Peppermint,Spearmint Rosemary,Lemongrass,Cedarwood ,Tea Tree,Clary Sage,Eucalyptus Ginger Root,Green Tea

Shikakai ,Alovera,Neem seed Oil, Chamomile 

Oily & Greasy   Peppermint




Tea Tree 




Yarrow,Activated charcoal 

Aloe Vera

Coloured             Clary Sage Indigo,Calendula


Dry  Peppermint,Juniper,Spearmint

Ylang Ylang,Lemon,Lavender

Tea Tree,Ginger root  

Burdock,Calendula,Elder Flowers,Horsetail,Licorice Root,Nettle,Parsley,Yucca Root

xxxxxx not limited to this list xxxxxxxx

Syndet Shampoo

Shampoo bar shampoo bar

Syndet Shampoo also known as solid shampoo bar , unfortunately the name has been used in an  interchangeable way some people get confused .

But you can tell the difference just by looking at the ingredients so for syndet shampoo bars  here is the list of some ingredients you will find in them .

Sodium lauryl sulfoacetate

Sodium lauryl sulfate

Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate

These are surfactants ( not limited to list above )  popular in the UK and one of these will be on your syndet shampoo bar.

Other ingredients also known as additives or active ingredients  for this shampoo are included and beneficial to your hair . These additives determine if the shampoo bar is for dry hair, greasy hair, coloured hair  or dandruff hair .

How to Choose a Solid Shampoo Bar in the UK – Buying Guide for Syndet Bar 

Additives  Benefits 
Keratin Known to  help strengthen hair , prevent breakage, heat damage &  frizz.
Witch Hazel To relieve scalp conditions such as an itchy scalp and  stabilize an oily scalp without stripping moisture.
Collagen Can aid hair growth, hair regeneration due to  its natural antioxidant.
Macadamia Oil Suitable for all hair type known to help 

revitalises, nourishes and rejuvenates.

Polyquaternium-10 Can  help strengthen damaged hair & reduce static electricity.
coenzyme Q10 Hair loss remedy but limited research 
coconut fruit extract Smoothes  moisturises  and an help prevents breakage of hair.
Ceramide May help strengthen hair & reduce breakage.
Silk Proteins Known to penetrate improves elasticity against breakage while forming a protective barrier on the hair.
Wheat Protein This is a  popular additive  as it can help nourishes, softens the hair and makes the hair appear volumized.
Wild Rose Oil Know to help relieve  irritated scalp
Carnitine Aid hair growth
Olive Oil  Promotes a healthy scalp, fights infections caused due to bacteria and improves the blood circulation 
Activated Charcoal  For deep cleansing, unclogging  pores to allow your hair & scalp to breathe great for greasy hair .

The syndet  shampoo is made by mixing all its ingredients together and compression is applied . No heat is necessary  for this process so you may be getting nice fresh raw products which has not been damaged by heat , unlike solid Soap Shampoo Bar which requires heat .

To wrap  this section up here is  list of the difference between syndet and solid shampoo bar.

  Syndet shampoo bar  Solid Soap Shampoo bar
1. Primarily formulated from synthetic surfactants. Primarily formulated from saponification of lye, water, plant oils, butters, botanicals & essential oils  or fragrance .
2. Lower PH  ( 5-7) best for your Hair More alkaline generally has a PH of ( 9-10)
3 Lathers well irrespective they deliver the best lather and cleansing power Requires  coconut to produce loads of   lather but can be drying to hair
4. May include  sulphates and silicone Don’t contain sulphates and silicone
5. Your hair does not  need time to adjust to it Your hair may  require time & a few washes to adjust to using this shampoo.
6. Will not leave residues or  deposits in your hair Leave residues of oils behind some describe it as greasy or gunky.
7. Neutral ph hence will not  strip the hair like soap Always Alkaline in nature hence can strip hair of natural
8. You may not need conditioning Conditioning necessary on most occasions to neutralize the hair back to its natural state.
9. Soapless formulary Soap formulary
10. Generally lather well in all types of water Lather well in soft water unfortunately most areas in the UK are hard water.

 How to use shampoo bar in hard water

 So what really is the problem with hard water and shampoo Bars? This problem is more prominent with  solid soap shampoo bars not syndet Shampoo bars .

Essentially your soap shampoo bar creates less bubbles and is not so effective because it reacts with the excess minerals compounds from the water. This is where you hear people complain of residues described as gunky, greasy, waxy , oils deposits  left behind following a hair wash.

 Hard water according to Thames Water “is determined by the level of naturally occurring calcium and magnesium compounds in your water. high content classifies your water as hard and low traces of the compounds make your water soft”

You can check their website to find out if you live in a hard water area.

In summary …

 The Problems with hard water & shampoo Bars

  1. Your shampoo doesn’t lather well
  2. We love bubbles & lather but unfortunately if your water is hard these will created but disappear quickly.
  3. Soap residues, left behind in your bath and shower.
  4. Your skin is dryer due to the soap residue left after washing.
  5. Limescale deposits this  can be seen in your kettle ,washing machine and even irons

To combat this most people install a water softener .Washing your hair with soft water  leaves less insoluble deposits on the hair and lathers up better.

 But not everyone wants to go through that hassle to install a softener. If this is you here is what you can do following a hair wash with  solid soap shampoo bar in hard water.

  •  Rinse out with apple cider vinegar (Diluted )
  •  Wash and rinse with rain water
  •  Wash and rinse with distilled water you can get this in Tesco or most petrol station 
  •   Mist it  your hair with  aloe vera juice
  •   Finally use a nice hair conditioner

What is the Best shampoo bar for hard water UK ?

I  select my shampoo based on my hair needs , and combat the issues  of hard water as above , don’t let no brand fool you into thinking otherwise .


 Shampoo bar for curly hair

Curly hair often tends to be dry as the  oils produced by your scalp may struggle to reach the ends of your strands. When looking for a shampoo bar  for curly hair always ask what will keep my hair and those curls hydrated and healthy ? Try shampoo formulas designed for dry hair. 

If you are going for a solid soap shampoo bar refer to the table above and select that with  nourishing moisturizing ingredients . With these types of bars ensure you use soft water or follow the steps to rinse hair if you live in a hard water area. 

With curly hair the most important step is the after care like ensure you condition hair , have a handy dentangle brush ( detangle hair when dry ) and treat your hair  from time to time with a hydrating mask. Curly hair love moisture loads of it to protect it from drying out.

Is bar shampoo good for your hair ?

Once you find one that suits your hair then Yes!! shampoo bars are great for your hair . As mentioned we have 2 types of bar shampoos .The solid soap shampoo bar will have a PH between 9-10, which may be classified as ‘harsh’ for our hair and scalp based on the fact that the human hair and scalp pH is generally between 4.5 and 5.5. A soap shampoo bar will most certainly disrupt the natural pH  balance of your hair . This is why aftercare is so important to return your hair back to its neutral state.  

And to do that 

  • Do the apple cider vinegar rinse 
  • Or with  aloe vera juice
  • Then apply a leave-in conditioner  to return your hair to the 4.5 to 5.5 natural state.

The syndet solid shampoo bar shampoo on the other hand is preferred by  most people as they tend to have a lover ph which means they are ‘milder’ hence you can get away with  just conditioning your hair some people may not ever need a hair conditioner . 

How long does homemade shampoo bar last

A 60g synet shampoo bar will give anyone with long hair up to 30 washes.  Of course with both shampoo bars that is the syndet & soap . But  it’s best to try as we all have different lengths, hair texture and shampoo up our hair as suited .

 Why use shampoo bar

Because they are : 

  1. Eco friendly 
  2. Zero waste 
  3. Travel friendly 
  4. Offers options of natural oils only 
  5. Space savers 
  6. biodegradable

Shampoo bar with apple cider vinegar

Apple Cider Vinegar ( ACV)  rinse is becoming more popular following the invent  of shampoo bars .  Apple Cider Vinegar is known  to be packed with nutrients which  can detangle, help manage frizzy hair and  bring back the shine, decrease residue and clarify your  scalp then. return your hair back to its neutral state.

The ratio of water to apple cider vinegar will depend on your hair I recommend test , test test start small . Generally it;s suggested at 1-3 ratio Apple cider vinegar to water. 


Solid shampoo bars are a great addition to your bathroom, they save space , save the planet and most importantly provides you with various options and you most certainly will find one that suits your hair .  I am a fan of the syndet bar as that is what works for my thick curly hair. Happy reading 

Disclaimer : This resource for educational purpose & not for prescription, your hair is your beauty be sure to be mindful of what you put in it .

Reference/ Resource 




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The Shampoo pH can Affect the Hair: Myth or Reality