Why some Shampoo Bars may not be working for you

Have you tried a shampoo or conditioner bar and decided it’s not for you?

Perhaps it’s left your hair feeling dry, straw like texture, which is hard to manage and just doesn’t sit right?

Or perhaps you’ve felt a waxy residue, which weighs your hair down.

Or you found the bars irritating on your scalp and skin, leaving it feeling uncomfortable, or worse, dry and sore.

There are some ingredients in commercially made (and we dare say ‘cheap’) shampoo bars and conditioners which may not be right for you. Made for mass production, the formulations of these products don’t necessarily support a sensitive scalp or curly or dry hair.

Today we look at a few of the ingredients which may be found in the mass-produced brands, which will effect your hair and scalp, for the worse.

It could be soap-based

Firstly, the problems you encountered could be because the bar you tried is soap based. 

  • Soap, is very alkaline, means that on the pH scale, it’s quite different from the pH level of our hair and skin.
  • Washing your hair with a product that disrupts the pH balance of your hair and scalp can potentially leave your hair feeling irritated and dry.
  • If you are prone to issues such dandruff or fungal infections, a soap-based shampoo can aggravate and worsen the symptoms, preventing healing.
  • When washing your hair, the idea is to find a balance in pH level to support  healthy hair and scalp.
  • Choosing soap free, pH balanced brand such as NueBar may be a solution to going plastic free, whilst enjoying the benefits of a gentle cleanse for your hair.

Sensitivities to Fragrances

If you have particularly sensitive skin, shampoos and conditioners which contain a fragrance may also be the issue.

  • Many hair care products use artificial fragrances or parfums to make them smell, well, 'delicious'.
  • Made in a laboratory, these sneaky chemicals can wreak havoc with sensitive skin, promoting skin irritation, eczema, hives, psoriasis and even asthma and migraines.
  • Natural botanical essential oils can also be a problem, even when used in very small quantities. This is why we created a fragrance-free range especially for those with sensitive skin.


Surfactants for Machine Production

Surfactants are in all shampoo bars. They support the integrity (hardness) of the bar as well as the lathering ability and blending capability of the other ingredients. Much like the ingredients of a cake, they have their role to play in a shampoo or conditioner formula.

However too much of one type of surfactant may not be a good thing.

  • Some surfactants, such as sulphate-based surfactants such as Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS), Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES), can be very harsh stripping the skin and hair of its natural oils, resulting in dry, irritated scalp and hair aggravating inflammatory skin reactions such as dandruff, eczema and dermatitis.
  • Curly hair is naturally quite dry, which is why the curly girl method omits these surfactants from its product recommendations.

In following the Naturopath philosophy towards prevention, NueBar is formulated with a balance of naturally derived surfactants in minimal quantities. In fact, the quantities are so low that we choose to pour our bars by hand, rather than use the higher levels of surfactants required for machine production. Because, it is important to us that our bars remain as gentle as possible to benefit the health of your hair and skin as well as your holistic wellbeing.

So, if you are still hoping to pursue the plastic free movement with hair and face bars, all may not be lost. NueBar might just be the gentle and more balanced plastic free bar to support your sensitive skin and hair.