Several artisans who make shaving soaps have recently introduced shampoo bars to their inventory. There are some benefits to using shampoo bars over the typical commercial creams and gels:
- Shampoo bars are soaps specifically made for washing hair: there are more oils in the ingredient mix and are generally milder than a regular soap.
- Shampoo bars are more environmentally friendly. There is no large bottle or tube to throw away.
- Shampoo bars are available in classic scents similar to shaving soaps.
Here are three artisinal shampoo bars:
Taconic, available from Super Safety Razors, is available in Bay Rum, Eucalyptus Mint, and Lime scents (the scents are quite mild to my nose). The soap lathers quickly and luxuriously. It does a good job of cleaning the hair.
Queen Charlotte Soaps
Queen Charlotte Soaps has shampoo bars available in Cedarwood & Rosemary, Lemon & Bergamont, Orange Spice, Peppermint & Eucalyptus, and Tea Tree & Lavender scents. Again, the scents are very mild to my nose, lather quickly and volumously, and clean hair well.
Mystic Water Soap has a shampoo bar available in a scent called “ylang ylang.” The scent was described to me as a “floral sweetness,” and again is fairly mild. Ylang ylang is a tropical flower common to Indonesia and the Phillipines and has properties that may regulate the sebum in hair, though there is some disagreement about it’s effectiveness in a shampoo.
I found this shampoo bar to lather a little less quickly and luxuriously than the others, though still more than adequate for the job. On the other hand I think this one was the best of the three for quickly and thoroughly getting my hair to that “squeaky clean” level.
A Few Notes On Usage
Using a shampoo bar is simple: you wet your hair, wet the bar, and rub the bar on your hair for a few moments. Then you set the bar aside and work up a lather with your hands, just like liquid shampoos.
One caution with using any shampoo bar: you want to keep them out of water when not actually using them. Store them in a soap dish or some other kind of container to avoid prolonged contact with water. Due to the softer, more oily nature of these bars they will “wash down” very quickly if they’re left in a stream of water.
Also, you might experience a “transition period” when using shampoo bars, as your hair gets used to a different ingredient mix.
Your Chance To Try!
Thanks to the generosity of the vendors mentioned in this article (Taconic by Super Safety Razors, Queen Charlotte Soaps, and Mystic Soap), here is your chance to try a shampoo bar for yourself! Just leave a comment to below (note: you must be a registered Sharpologist user with a valid email address!) by 11:59pm Eastern Time (US) on October 13. Nine commenters will be randomly selected to receive a shampoo bar from each of these artisans!