A couple months ago I finally made the decision to ditch liquid shampoos and try a shampoo bar. For those who don't know, shampoo bars are essentially natural soap bars (made with oils and waxes), which are specially designed for washing your hair. They're really popular in the green beauty community and I've been wanting to try one for a while. So - when my favourite soap brand Coutiver released one (pictured above) - I took the plunge. This post was originally going to be an in-depth review of said shampoo bar but I've now come to the conclusion that shampoo bars might not be for me.
Shampoo bars HATE hard water. Hard water has a high mineral content - usually magnesium and calcium. This makes the scales of your hair stand up, making the texture rough and making it a lot harder to efficiently rinse out soap that tends to react with the higher levels of minerals. This results in hair that feels weighed down and almost coated.
Truth is, Coutiver's Chestnut Beer Shampoo Bar is all kinds of wonderful. I cannot fault the formula whatsoever. I would list you the beautiful ingredients but unfortunately I no longer have the wrapper and the product is currently out of stock in Coutiver's Etsy shop. It leaves my hair lovely and clean and there's no denying that an actual bar of shampoo feels a lot more natural than even a sulfate-free liquid shampoo. Unfortunately, here in Essex, we have extremely hard water. This can be remedied by following your shampoo with an apple cider vinegar rinse but even with a 50/50 ACV to water split (which also works out quite expensive), I'm still experiencing side effects such as lint-like soap scum on my hairbrush and hair after brushing and a distinct reduction in hair volume, especially at the scalp. Don't get me wrong, I ADORE the idea of a shampoo bar but I'm starting to think that they're quite the hassle when you have thick hair and hard water. I've also noticed that the bars dissolve down quite quickly and when it becomes thin, it also becomes a lot harder to use. Therefore, I've decided to go back to my old faithful Acure shampoo for now.
Despite all this, if you're lucky enough to be blessed with lovely soft water, I really suggest that you give a shampoo bar a try as they are far superior in ingredients to your average natural liquid shampoo. I would highly suggest a palm-free shampoo bar and if Coutiver restocks the Chestnut Beer soap, grab it! Finally, if you have any tips about making the most of shampoo bars with hard water - leave them below!