Frequently asked questions
Nuebar Shampoo is easy to use. FIrst wet the hair and wet the bar. Then you can either lather up in your hands and rub the lather on to the head or rub the bar directly on to the hair a few times (6-10 swipes is generally enough). Then put the bar down and giving the hair a good physical lather up. If you don't feel like you are getting enough lather just give the hair a few more swipes and a bit more rubbing. Rinse out. There is no need to repeat unless your hair is particularly dirty or chlorine soaked.
All of the NueBar hair products are very kind to coloured hair. This is for three reasons. Firstly the mildly acidic pH, a low pH helps the hair cuticles to lay down flat and retain colour better. Secondly no sulfates, sulfates give a very strong stripping wash. The surfactants that we use fall into a milder category and are therefore less stripping. And last but not least, the conditioning agent that we add to all of our shampoos is scientifically proven to assist with colour retention. So whilst any washing of the hair at all, even in just water, will slowly remove colour, you can rest assured that NueBar will treat your coloured hair as gently as possible.
If you normally use conditioner then yes you can continue to use it. If you don't normally use it then no there is no need to add it now!
You may actually find you don't need to use conditioner when you switch to NueBar. This is because our bars give such a lovely, soft, gentle wash and because we do include a small amount of conditioning agent in all of our shampoo bars.
However shampooing and conditioning can't be done completely effectively at the same time, this is why it may still be advisable to use conditioner if you like the conditioned effect. Conditioning is especially advisable for curlies to stop frizz and for those with long hair to help protect the ends and stop fly away.
Our conditioning bar is easy to use. Simply wet and gently smooth onto wet hair. It will not lather but will impart a silky feel to the hair as you smooth it over. When you feel this textural change in the hair then you have enough on, simply distribute and leave on the hair for a minute or two (or longer for a deep condition) and then rinse out. You can even leave it in if you have very dry damaged hair.
Although NueBar may look like a bar of soap it is actually made via a completely different process and thus has completely different qualities.
Soap is made using Sodium hydroxide (also known as Lye) and various fats using a process called saponification. The outcome of the soap making process is always alkaline (usually between pH 8-10).
A lot of shampoo bars on the market (especially the cheaper ones) are made using the soap making process. (If their list of ingredients is either just a list of fats and oils or includes the words sodium hydroxide then you know it’s soap). This means that it is alkaline and will have a completely different feel when used on your hair compared to a pH balanced product.
The alkalinity of soap causes the scales on the hair shaft to stick up meaning the hair will tangle and dry out more easily, it can also leave a residue of soap scum on the hair, especially if your water is hard. The net result is not generally a nice feeling! It can be countered somewhat by using a mild vinegar rinse after washing and this is what most manufacturers of this kind of bar recommend. Some people don’t mind this, and that's fine, whatever works for you.
NueBar, because it really is pH balanced shampoo concentrated into a bar, will feel much more like the regular shampoo that you are used to. Although we think it’s even better because we have also removed so many of the nasties.
Read more about pH below.
The pH of the scalp is similar to that of the skin, around 5.5 (mildly acidic). The pH of the hair shaft is even more acidic, as low as 3.6. Using an alkaline (above 7) product like soap on the hair (see above) increases the negative electrical charge of the hair fiber surface increasing friction between the fibers. This may lead to cuticle damage, tangling, frizz and fiber breakage.
Our skin has what is called an acid mantle, this is basically a mildly acidic barrier (around pH 5.5) which helps to protect the skin from bacteria and fungi.
The acid mantle of our skin is mostly able to recover from being washed with alkaline soap, however it is much more gentle, less drying and more supportive of a healthy skin microbiome to wash with a product that has the same mildly acidic pH as the skin.
NueBar is pH balanced in a range between 4 to 6.
NueBars may look small but they pack a punch. One NueBar shampoo will last around 80-90 washes (depending upon hair length).
Did you know that 80% or more of bottled shampoo, conditioner and body wash is actually just water?
With NueBar you are getting 100% concentrated, active product and you add the water as required.
Not only that, you are getting high quality active ingredients that are palm oil free, organic and fair trade, these cost a little more in terms of dollars but a lot less in terms of impact on the environment.
For maximum value follow the care instructions above.
NueBar will have a good long life if treated well. They last longer when kept well drained and dry between use.
Don't leave sitting in a soggy pool of water or in a spot that is constantly getting splashed by water whenever the shower is on.
Place them on a flat draining dish to drip dry, one that provides good airflow all around the bar. We sell a bamboo draining dish that works well.
As NueBar starts to reach the end of its life and get very thin, it may break in two. At this point, a good thing to do is warm the pieces under a hot shower and squeeze gently together to form a rough oval. This is a nice stable shape for using up the last bits. Zero waste!
When you are travelling, pat your NueBar dry with a towel before you place it in a travel container, or wrap it in a dry face cloth.
Palm oil is a highly efficient oil, however the industry is linked to major issues such as deforestation, habitat degradation, climate change, animal cruelty, child labour and indigenous rights abuses. Currently almost 100% of shampoos and conditioners on the market (yes, even the "natural" ones) contain palm oil, hidden behind names such as Cetearyl Alcohol, Stearic Acid, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Decyl Glucoside, the list goes on and on.
Deforestation for palm oil production contributes significantly to climate change. The easiest way to clear land for palm oil production is to burn the native forests and drain peatlands, this emits immense quantities of carbon and methane and has made Indonesia (the world's major palm oil producer) the third highest greenhouse gas emitter in the world.
Whilst there have been efforts to improve the sustainability of palm oil they have been heavily criticised by many as greenwash. For example the RSPO (Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil) standards currently do not ban deforestation or destruction of peatlands for the development of oil palm plantations. NueBar really hopes that these efforts to make palm oil sustainable do succeed, but they have a long way to go yet. We believe the best way for us to apply pressure to this issue is to offer a palm oil free product choice.
Eating less processed food and using NueBar are two ways you can reduce your palm oil footprint.
At NueBar we believe that human dignity and fair trade are important issues. Where there is well known exploitation in the production of an ingredient then we try and avoid it or find a source of the product where the workers and producers are treated fairly. For example, we don't use Mica to colour our product because of problems with child labour and exploitation and instead choose to use Iron Oxides.
Cacao is another ingredient where exploitation and labour practices are highly problematic. We use a fair trade, organic Cacao butter from a cooperative in Peru.
Our Coconut Oil is a beautiful, hand pressed, organic oil from the Solomon Islands which returns 100% of the profits back to the villagers that produce the oil.
This is a great option for the environment and does work for many, but it takes a number of months for the hair to adjust and for some people, especially those with fine hair and high sebum production it never really seems to get to a point where it looks great.
So to all of you that choose to "No-poo", we salute you, go for it! For the rest of us who haven't quite managed to get to that point yet, there's NueBar.
We use carbon neutral couriers Sendle to transport all of our deliveries (except the occasional one that needs to go to a PO box). Sendle uses a combination of carbon offsetting and buying distressed space to achieve a carbon neutral service. Additionally, all of our parcels are packed 100% plastic free.