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Thread: The Shampoo Bar Thread

  1. #8611
    Glitter fairy Chromis's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Shampoo Bar Thread

    Heh, you moved to my old city!

    Here's what helped when I lived there along with my general observations. We did not have a water softener for the first five or six years we lived there. And I moved from the West Coast where I had very soft water! It was quite a change. I found my best result was to use *both* ACV and citric acid and at a stiffer ratio than others here do. I've talked about this at length throughout the thread, but it was something like 1/16 tsp citric and a "glug" of ACV in a two cup measure. I think I measured it out properly for someone years back. I dunk my ends and then pour the lot over, but I do tip my head back under the water briefly. I don't try to fully rinse, but that does dilute and remove most of it and I feel it also makes it easier to comb because it makes sure it gets through all of the hair a bit more. I usually lathered my scalp and ends twice and then once more just scalp. Quick lathers though, the process did not take long. The first time really made no suds at all. I would do just two if I got a good lather on the second though. I noticed I could tell when they switched water sources. I find vinegar is better to prevent build up, citric is better to remove it. I did get the grey waxies on my comb too....but I got that with SLS shampoo too. Sidenote - for the brief time I attempted to go back to conventional products (I got tired of the hassle of having to order and the shipping rates etc, but switched back to my bars after I finished the bottle because I found by then I was getting massive splits and dryness from the liquid), I found I still needed an acidic rinse! It's not just that the water has a high pH, it is high in all of the minerals. Not only could drinking the recommended eight glasses of water a day give you the daily calcium requirement, it also met your magnesium requirement too! This had quite some implications for my tomatoes, but I digress...

    After we got the softener, it was an immediate improvement. My skin no longer felt tight after showering and stopped drying so much. I used to have to slather myself in thick lotion, or else my arms and legs got positively scaly. I did still need an acidic rinse, but I could use either ACV or citric and did not absolutely need both. Even back on the West Coast here with soft water again, I do still find I need an acidic rinse. I would decidedly notice if I forgot it! I still had waxy build up a bit, but it was lessened. I suspect the high magnesium might have been the culprit. I have wax a bit here, but it is white.

    I think maybe less fussy would be to modify my method of just tipping my head back into the water stream quickly by not leaning your scalp back when you do, so the water just hits your length. Rinsing the soap itself out though, is absolutely key. I also find for the nape, I lift the hair a bit so I can soap underneath directly. It is an easy spot to miss, and will get it greasy faster otherwise.

    I have been using shampoo bars for over a decade now and and have been absolutely thrilled with them and am happy to try and help troubleshoot. They are not for everyone of course, but that is why we have so many washing method threads

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  2. #8612
    Friend of the Semicolon florenonite's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Shampoo Bar Thread

    Hi Chromis!

    Thanks so much for replying - I feel like you're the guru here for using shampoo bars successfully in extremely hard water.

    I'm hesitant to try ACV because in the past when I've used it it left my hair greasy, plus I'm currently growing out my natural ashy blonette colour and I've heard it can impart red tones (on the flip side, I suppose that would help me look a little less like I'm going grey at the demarcation line with the henna ). I don't have any ACV in right now, but I do have white wine vinegar, which would maybe work as a test case. From what you've said if the rinse leaves my hair greasy, that means there's too much in the acid rinse, right? The last time I tried it, I didn't use very much vinegar (something like 1T in a litre), but that was when I had much softer water, so maybe the same amount would be fine with harder water.

    I think I'll try the 1/8tsp of citric acid in my 1L of water and add in a splash of white wine vinegar, and use your method of ducking under the shower head quickly, focussing the water on my length and avoiding my scalp, and see how that goes. If I still need conditioner (which I might - my ends are TRAGIC) it should be easier to apply after that as my hair won't be so sticky. Thanks for your help!
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  3. #8613
    Glitter fairy Chromis's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Shampoo Bar Thread

    Yep, greasy usually means too much, rough and grabby still or sticky means too little. I was shocked how much more I needed to use. ACV is indeed said to give reddish tones, many blondes prefer white vinegar. Any of them ought to work really, other than maybe balsamic

    That is indeed a very, very light dilution, even here I still use a bit more than that. Some people do also have a transition period with shampoo bars as well though. I have never experienced it myself, but I grew up with infrequent washing to start with. I suspect it is more of a change for people who wash more frequently? Speaking of which, it's been at least three weeks now and I ought to do that. I had to braid my hair to use a stick because it is slippery right now! I can sure go a lot longer in the water here than I could there. In Ontario I found my scalp got itchy after about a week and sometimes sooner in summer.

    I don't use conditioner, but I know several people in the thread do. Some like to add it to their rinse water. I have experimented with doing herbal ACV rinses and my hair loved it. The farm here takes up a lot of the attention that I used to use for such faffing about and my hair is also pretty good without it. I really liked the sleekness and shine I got from rosemary and nettle (warning rosemary is also darkening) and catnip is another nice one.

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  4. #8614
    Friend of the Semicolon florenonite's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Shampoo Bar Thread

    Hmm, I may well need a transition period as I've always needed to wash every 2-3 days (I spent about 6 or 7 months of 2020 trying to stretch washes but with little success).

    I added a splash of white wine vinegar to my rinse this morning and I think it's helped my scalp. I ended up rinsing the scalp a bit as well as the length (just ducking my head under) because I didn't want to repel my husband by smelling like a chip shop for the next 8 hours.

    My scalp and scalp hair both seem happy, but my length feels greasy and coated. This is actually how my hair felt the entire time I lived in Scotland and the only fix I ever found was cutting it off. I can think of a few possibilities as to why this is happening now:

    1) Even though I spent over 2 minutes rinsing my scalp, I paid less attention to rinsing the length as I didn't lather below the nape, so there may be some residual soap there.

    2) My hair still hates vinegar and even that tiny amount was enough to make it greasy (I don't think this is the case as my roots are happy).

    3) My hair did not like or need conditioner applied after an acid rinse closed the cuticle, and so the conditioner is just sitting on the outside of my hair rather than absorbing. Damaged ends aside, my hair is generally low porosity and doesn't like me putting things on it, so this is a distinct possibility (I kind of assumed I'd need conditioner because my hair is damaged, but perhaps the acid rinse is doing enough).

    It's easy enough to test both 1 & 3 together, by being more careful about rinsing the length and skipping the conditioner next time.

  5. #8615
    Member KokoroDragon's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Shampoo Bar Thread

    I forgot my ACV rinse last week. At first my hair felt rough and grabby - mostly just my scalp, since I also use conditioner so that helped with the lengths. After a few days though, my scalp got greasier than usual! So it seems that for me, the acid rinse helps me stretch washes? Just thought I'd share, it seemed interesting.

  6. #8616
    Friend of the Semicolon florenonite's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Shampoo Bar Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by florenonite View Post
    Hmm, I may well need a transition period as I've always needed to wash every 2-3 days (I spent about 6 or 7 months of 2020 trying to stretch washes but with little success).

    I added a splash of white wine vinegar to my rinse this morning and I think it's helped my scalp. I ended up rinsing the scalp a bit as well as the length (just ducking my head under) because I didn't want to repel my husband by smelling like a chip shop for the next 8 hours.

    My scalp and scalp hair both seem happy, but my length feels greasy and coated. This is actually how my hair felt the entire time I lived in Scotland and the only fix I ever found was cutting it off. I can think of a few possibilities as to why this is happening now:

    1) Even though I spent over 2 minutes rinsing my scalp, I paid less attention to rinsing the length as I didn't lather below the nape, so there may be some residual soap there.

    2) My hair still hates vinegar and even that tiny amount was enough to make it greasy (I don't think this is the case as my roots are happy).

    3) My hair did not like or need conditioner applied after an acid rinse closed the cuticle, and so the conditioner is just sitting on the outside of my hair rather than absorbing. Damaged ends aside, my hair is generally low porosity and doesn't like me putting things on it, so this is a distinct possibility (I kind of assumed I'd need conditioner because my hair is damaged, but perhaps the acid rinse is doing enough).

    It's easy enough to test both 1 & 3 together, by being more careful about rinsing the length and skipping the conditioner next time.
    Update on this:

    I was very, very careful to rinse e v e r y t h i n g this morning, and I'm happy to report my length does not feel coated and greasy. I used plain white vinegar instead of the expensive stuff, and I think I used a little bit more (not deliberately, just because the big 4L jug is harder to pour from ), so maybe about 30-50ml in 1L of water, along with the 1/8tsp of citric acid. I skipped the conditioner entirely.

    My hair does feel a bit odd, though. It could be the weather, as it's just suddenly gotten summery here and it's warm and humid, but it feels frizzier and the waves are a bit piece-y and feel almost rough. Would the roughness suggest that I need a stronger acid rinse?
    Lady Nehalennia of the Mirrored-Seas in the Order of the Long-Haired Knights

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  7. #8617
    Glitter fairy Chromis's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Shampoo Bar Thread

    I would try adjusting the rinse for sure! It took me quite a bit of trial and error when I first moved there. Depending what part of the city you live in, the water hardness there ranges between 17 and 36 grains per gallon! (Average in Canada meanwhile is 10.5 gpg). There are maps that can give you a better idea, but you can also do these tests very easily at home with a kit or good pool or aquatic stores might do testing in store.

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  8. #8618
    Friend of the Semicolon florenonite's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Shampoo Bar Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Chromis View Post
    I would try adjusting the rinse for sure! It took me quite a bit of trial and error when I first moved there. Depending what part of the city you live in, the water hardness there ranges between 17 and 36 grains per gallon! (Average in Canada meanwhile is 10.5 gpg). There are maps that can give you a better idea, but you can also do these tests very easily at home with a kit or good pool or aquatic stores might do testing in store.
    Yeah, I checked a map and I'm in the 24-28 gpg zone on it; meanwhile Edinburgh, where I used to live, is at about 1.3 gpg!

    After my hair dried yesterday, I combed it and oiled it with my usual 2 drops of oil and plaited it, and then this morning when I took the plait down my length was greasy, so I'm not sure if that means that my dilution was too strong or too weak (or something else entirely ). Using both vinegar and citric acid definitely seems to be an improvement, though; my scalp is very happy and I only had a wee bit of white waxies on my comb (like I often get using normal shampoo here) and not the big grey chunks. So I think I'll try a stronger rinse (maybe 100ml of vinegar in 1L of water, plus the 1/8 tsp of citric acid) and go from there.
    Lady Nehalennia of the Mirrored-Seas in the Order of the Long-Haired Knights

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  9. #8619

    Smile Re: The Shampoo Bar Thread

    Hi all,

    After reading the reviews, am thinking of trying a Chagrin Valley shampoo bar. However, my hair does not really like protein too much. Anyone have recommendations for a moisturizing, no protein or lower protein, Chagrin Valley bar?
    Couldn’t really tell from their website.

    Also, something unscented or mildly scented preferred. Thx!
    Last edited by Lavenderhaze; May 21st, 2021 at 12:32 PM.

  10. #8620

    Default Re: The Shampoo Bar Thread

    Haven't read through the whole thread, so apologies if this has been addressed somewhere, but I've read in a few spots that with a shampoo bar, it's best to use it on all of the hair instead of just the scalp (presumably, even if one would normally only use shampoo on the scalp?). Why is that?

    (Just wondering, as I'm planning to get a couple shampoo bars. My hair tends toward tangly, so I usually CWC-- as in, light conditioner on the length while I use shampoo on the scalp, then regular conditioner. The light conditioner cleans the hair okay, so I've not really felt the need to use shampoo on my length (and, it's possible that as I rinse the shampoo out, some of it helps to clean the length a bit anyway anyway). My original plan was to keep this procedure, just substituting a shampoo bar for the liquid shampoo. But I'm reading so much that people are writing about how nice their hair is when they use the bar on the whole thing that I sort of wonder if there's something to it or a reason why the bar would be used on all the hair. (And, I assume this same advice doesn't hold true for a non-soap shampoo bar?)

    Anyway, cross your fingers for me that I'm one of the people whose hair comes out nice with bars... that would be really great if it would... (Like, I see people refer to hair that's untangly and non-stringy, and I'm like, dare I dream??? {With my hair, it probably would be foolish to do so.})
    Putting it in my signature because I have to say it so often:
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