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Shampoo Bar Myths Debunked

You got questions? We got answers. This is where shampoo and conditioner bar myths get DEBUNKED! 

Myth No 1: Using a shampoo bar will feel like rubbing a block of cheese on my head, and it won’t lather. 

Myth debunked: This is people’s no 1 expectation, but if you have purchased a proper non-soap shampoo bar (and not one of the soap-bars masquerading as shampoo) then do not fear; it WILL lather! How much it will lather depends on the ingredients. Honua Bars have been carefully formulated to give an extra rich, creamy, bubbly lather.

Honua Bars are 100% concentrated shampoo, whereas liquid shampoo is generally 80% water and 20% shampoo. This means that you need to really wet the bar first, rub it between your hands to get that lather going, and keep adding water as you go. You’ll find that you don’t need to use very much; a little goes a long way.

Myth No 2: A solid conditioner won’t detangle. I do hair-unfriendly activities like surfing or skydiving and my hair gets mega tangled, so I need a liquid conditioner.

Myth debunked: We have been there. We have come back from a surf, swim or snorkel where it feels like every strand is in an epic battle with every other strand and surely it will take a hairdresser to untangle this monstrosity. But not to fear; the Honua Bars conditioner will detangle like a pro. The trick is to thoroughly wet the bar first and keep adding water as you go. It will take a little bit longer to apply than if using a liquid, but the results are just as good. 

Myth No 3: I’ll have to do a ‘apple cider vinegar rinse' after using a shampoo bar.

Myth debunked: If you buy a ‘non-soap’ shampoo bar like Honua Bars then absolutely not; you will have soft, clean shiny hair from the very first wash. Definitely no cider rinse required! The issue here is that there are two types of ‘shampoo bar’ out there: 

  • Real shampoo bars which will distinguish themselves as that by marketing themselves as ‘non-soap’; these will be formulated with surfactants that will gently clean your hair, will have a low pH and will leave the hair cuticles closed, protecting the hair shaft.
  • ‘Shampoo’ bars that are soap-based, i.e. it's just soap. While great on skin, soap is harsh on the hair. It has a very high pH which leaves the cuticles open and the hair shaft vulnerable, and will do your hair damage in the long run. Some will advocate using a ‘apple cider vinegar’ rinse after a soap-based bar as it has a lower pH and can help close the hair cuticles down; but this will only partially mitigate the harmful effects of shampooing with soap; not undo them. Better to just not cause damage to your hair in the first place! 

Myth No 4: It’s too expensive. I can’t afford bar shampoo. 

Myth debunked: Part of the reason we believe shampoo bars haven’t become mainstream yet is because psychologically people equate 1 shampoo bar with 1 bottle, when really 1 shampoo bar = 3 bottles. And also sadly shampoo bars often look pretty similar to a soap bar, which we know is cheap. However a shampoo bar is fundamentally very different from a soap bar; it is formulated with surfactants which cleanse your hair differently from how soap cleanses skin. There is a reason why shampoos were developed for washing hair; it needs more gentle treatment than skin does. The surfactants in shampoo are much more expensive than the lye (aka sodium hydroxide) used to make soap. And then within surfactants you have harsher cheaper ones like SLS and SLES, and gentler more expensive ones like SCI and SLSA. Shampoo bars tend to be made for more discerning target markets, and thus tend to use the expensive gentle surfactants. 

If, like us, you were a sucker for when Ogx is half price in the supermarket, then you know it’s $10 on half price. Who doesn’t like a good dealio?! Ogx; like Honua Bars; is sulfate free, paraben free and pH balanced. However 1 Honua Bar will last as long as 2.5 385g Ogx bottles. So if you compare the cost of a Honua Bar to the equivalent amount of bottles of liquid shampoo of similar quality ingredients, it actually works out cheaper in the long run. 

In summary, if you like salon quality hair products, then shampoo bars are often more cost effective over time than the liquid equivalents; they just involve a higher up-front cost.  

Myth No 5: Changing a lifelong habit is scary and it’s going to be hard adjusting.

Myth debunked: We know the feeling because when we bought our first shampoo bar it sat there in the bathroom unused for OVER A MONTH. Like a pretty new bathroom ornament. Why? Change is scary. It takes courage to try something completely new, even when it’s something as simple as the way you wash your hair. But as soon as you take that leap and give it a go, you will realise there was nothing to fear; it really is very easy. The shampoo will lather and the conditioner will untangle, even though it looks different from bottled shampoo. You are adding the water yourself as you go, rather than having the water in the bottle. Simples!