When It Comes To Shampoo, I Prefer Bars

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

My two favorite shampoo bars from Chagrin
Valley: Mud and Clay bar (top),
Ayurvedic Herb bar (bottom)
I don't use many styling products that contain ingredients that lead to heavy product buildup on my strands. Nevertheless, I still like to cleanse my hair as needed before my deep conditioning and detangling sessions. When I first went natural, my go-to shampoo was Tresemme Naturals Low Sulfate Shampoo (which I still like and have on hand as a backup option). But I now prefer to use shampoo bars because I find it easier for me to concentrate on cleansing my scalp with the bar. My favorite shampoo bars - which have become a staple in my hair care regimen - are the all natural solid shampoo bars that I order from Chagrin Valley Soap. I love that these particular shampoo bars are relatively inexpensive, and I don't have to re-order them too often because each bar is huge and lasts a really long time with once-a-week use (I am still using a bar that I ordered six months ago at the end of December 2010!).

Other than the nourishing ingredients that are packed into each sulfate-free bar (see pic below for a snapshot of the listed ingredients), I also love the element of control I get when using the bar to focus on cleansing my scalp.

How I Use Shampoo Bars
Prior to cleansing, I usually like to prepare my hair for the cleansing process (generally referred to as the pre-shampoo or "pre-poo" process) by coating it with a mix of oils and allowing it to penetrate my strands under a plastic cap for at least 30 minutes prior starting the cleansing process. I will sometimes pre-poo for hours or even overnight if I am short on time during the day or if I am feeling too lazy to deal with shampooing my hair right away. I use whatever oils I have on hand, but my favorite oils to use are Jojoba oil, Castor oil, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, and Vitamin E oil. Incorporating this pre-shampoo step in my regimen ensures that my hair wont feel super stripped after I cleanse it. As with everything else I do with my hair, I shampoo my hair in sections in the shower to prevent tangling. To concentrate on cleaning my scalp, I grip the length of the hair in each section with one hand while gently rubbing the bar on the exposed scalp area around that section. Continuing to firmly grip the length of hair in that section, I then use the tips of my fingers to scrub and massage the scalp area of that section - pushing my fingers between the strands of hair at the base of that section to scrub the entire scalp area. To rinse, I just let the water run the shampoo down the length of hair in that section.  

July 2012 UPDATE: Check out my hair washing video to see how I use this shampoo bar!

Before trying out shampoo bars for myself, many of the people in the reviews I watched and read complained that shampoo bars don't "sud up " like regular shampoo in the bottle, making the overall experience feel a little weird for some. But that has not been my experience with the Chagrin Valley shampoo bars at all. They sud up just fine for me and leave my hair feeling squeaky clean!

(Click pic for a larger view & to see ingredients list)

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