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Thread: will shampoo bars destroy my hair?

  1. #1
    Born Zippy Fethenwen's Avatar
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    Default will shampoo bars destroy my hair?

    I just bought a poo bar for my husband who likes to use them, he has short hair so he isn't concerned with damage. Now I'm really tempted to start using this, it is so cheap and also more enviro-friendly compared to conventional shampoo with all the chemicals and bottles. And this 'poo-bar smells great too!


    But my concern is that it might damage my hair because shampoo bars ph levels are too high for hair, ph 10 or something. High ph might, to quote from a source: "weaken the hair by breaking the disulfide bonds in hair keratin", that sounds quite alarming to me, as the instruction that one should use an acidic rinse in order to close to hair cuticle.
    I would hate it if my hair got damaged from continuous washing with something that would open the hair cuticle and then I would continuously close it again, and this circle would eventually give me permanent damage. Or would it? Perhaps because of the short duration of shampoo getting in contact with the hair + all the conditioning ingredients might just minimize or eliminate the danger of getting hair damage?


    Any thoughts or user experiences are very much appreciated!


    oh btw, it would be useful for you who have had great or bad experiences with shampoo bars to state your hair type and what kind of water you have. Thank you!

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  2. #2
    Bibliophile patienceneeded's Avatar
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    Default Re: will shampoo bars destroy my hair?

    Using an acid rinse (either ACV or White Vinegar) will take the Ph of your hair back to normal levels. There are many long-hairs here who use poo-bars exclusively and have for years. I have used one off and on and liked them in general, but had issues with waxy build-up. There is a massive thread for poo-bar users around here somewhere. I highly recommend you read through it before giving the bars a try, there are lots of tricks to making the transition successfully. I may try again someday, after more damage is gone from my hair.
    "There is not enough darkness in the world to extinguish the light of one small candle." - Spanish Proverb
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    Glitter fairy Chromis's Avatar
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    Default Re: will shampoo bars destroy my hair?

    I also recommend the shampoo bar thread! I have lots of posts there.

    Short answer: They don't work for everyone. I'm pretty sure there is no washing method that everyone's hair will always like. Mine does very well with shampoo bars and I have used them for several years now. I've used them in medium-soft, hard, and practically liquid calcium water. I have always used an acid rinse, but I do have to adjust this a bit to my water hardness. It's pretty easy to tell once you try it and I had no adjustment period at all. I tried going back to shampoo and conditioner for a while since shipping is expensive here and lost hair like crazy. Back to the bars for me!

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    Hiding in plain sight spidermom's Avatar
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    Default Re: will shampoo bars destroy my hair?

    I have the same thoughts as you: why would I want to expose my hair and scalp to something alkaline when they clearly prefer acidic? I don't care if vinegar corrects the pH; I'd rather not disturb my pH in the first place.

    This may be irrational, but I also hate the slimey feeling of a soap bar; even the thought of touching one totally icks me out.

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    Member Neecola's Avatar
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    Default Re: will shampoo bars destroy my hair?

    I've only been using shampoo bars for the last month or so but so far I am happy with the results. I had my own reservations as well, having read a few threads here about damaged hair and also the reference to disulfide bonds. After looking into the disulfide bonds a little further, I found out that curly hair has many more than straight hair. If these bonds were in fact breaking, then my own hair would start becoming straighter over time. Also, there are a few curlies who have used shampoo bars long term (Manderly comes to mind) and their hair is no less curly years down the road.

    Spidermom brings up a good point about pH. It is something to keep in mind. What I can say is that my hair looks and feels great. Better than it did when I was using pH balanced shampoo. I can't say why that is but I am keeping an eye on the condition of my hair. So far, so good.

  6. #6
    Member firefly42's Avatar
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    Default Re: will shampoo bars destroy my hair?

    I use shampoo bars whenever I can afford to purchase them; off and on throughout the last several years. I have noticed my hair is much softer and happier when i use shampoo bars rather than when I use any other shampoo. I definitely recommend them!

    I have fine, thin hair and i'm not sure what kind of water, hard, I think?
    Hennahead. Mostly natural hair care products. benign neglect. Wishing that Wishing made hair grow faster...

  7. #7
    Member akurah's Avatar
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    Default Re: will shampoo bars destroy my hair?

    If shampoo bars destroyed or significantly damaged hair, I'm not so sure they'd be as popular as they are. If you're curious about it, give your husband's shampoo bar a shot for a few washes, and either use a conditioner after or an acidic rinse.

    Personally, I hate the poo bars. Made my hair feel uber waxy and it sort of stuck to itself (not in the greasy way, but in a waxy manner) and it pissed me off enough I never bothered to troubleshoot it to see if it was something resolvable or not for my hair.
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  8. #8
    Member aspartame gram's Avatar
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    Default Re: will shampoo bars destroy my hair?

    I love them! It's what I've been using consistently so far. I have pretty sensitive skin, as well, as the bars with the acidic rinse do not irritate me in any manner. I mean, I've even had these rashes appear on my torso from using regular products! Very upsetting...

    I live in Colorado, so we have pretty hard water. My hair is mostly virgin (the very tips have a bit of remnant bleach from when I dyed it purple), straight with a bit of a wave. It's also fine, but I have plenty of it. I didn't really have a bad transition period because I had already been cone and sulfate free (oh, allergies). Definitely give it a shot! You can look up to see if you have particularly hard water or not, then adjust the acidic rinse accordingly. Best of luck to you! Let us know how you fare!

  9. #9
    Member aspartame gram's Avatar
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    Default Re: will shampoo bars destroy my hair?

    I love them! It's what I've been using consistently so far. I have pretty sensitive skin, as well, and the bars with the acidic rinse do not irritate me in any manner. I mean, I've even had these rashes appear on my torso from using regular products! Very upsetting...

    I live in Colorado, so we have pretty hard water. My hair is mostly virgin (the very tips have a bit of remnant bleach from when I dyed it purple), straight with a bit of a wave. It's also fine, but I have plenty of it. I didn't really have a bad transition period because I had already been cone and sulfate free (oh, allergies). Definitely give it a shot! You can look up to see if you have particularly hard water or not, then adjust the acidic rinse accordingly. Best of luck to you! Let us know how you fare!

  10. #10
    Member gonzobird's Avatar
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    Default Re: will shampoo bars destroy my hair?

    I cant stand them. I need suds. (natural suds, that is.) I also don't like the whole higher ph, fix with vinegar... I prefer shampoo with a low ph so does my scalp. ditto on what spidermom said.

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