Now that we've talked about what a shampoo and conditioner bar is (and isn't) and you've picked out which shampoo and conditioner would be right for your hair and scalp, let's talk about how to use these cute, concentrated platic-free bars. Probably the second most common question I get is usually asked with a perplexed look and some funny hand gestures mimiking rubbing a bar of soap vigorously on the scalp. I mean, it does get the job done, at least for the shampoo, but that is not really the best method of application. I admit, using a concentrated hair bar is not something we know how to do intuitively so we will go over the method that I use.
1. Wet hair thoroughly. I mean it, get your hair really really wet.
While this may seem intuitive, I find that often we do not use enough water even in the shower where water is freely streaming down on us. There are different levels of porosity for hair, which basically means how open the cuticles are along the hair shaft. I will write an article about porosity at a later time, for now it will suffice to understand that this is a measure of how quickly your hair absorbs and loses moisture. Higher porosity means the cuticles are more open, allowing water to pass through (both ways) more easily so your hair will get fully saturated faster, but will also lose water faster. Lower porosity means the cuticles of your hair are closed more tightly and it is harder for water (or any hair care ingredient) to pass through into the center of the hair shaft, and also that it will take longer for your hair to dry once this barrier has been breeched. To make sure your hair is completely saturated, I find it best to work upside down. Throw your head over and let that water hit the back of your neck down to the tips, you can even scrunch in that water to make sure it's getting all the way in.
2. Apply shampoo to the length of your hair, gliding it along the length of hair along the scalp.
Again, I keep my head upside down to avoid friction at the crown. If you wear your hair natural and have a curly/wavy pattern that struggles with frizz, the manner in which you treat your hair is the number one factor in handling that crown halo frizz. So, with your head upside down, swipe the shampoo bar from the nape of your neck down along the scalp a few times. If your hair is longer, you might want to swipe it along the length a couple of times as well. From here, lather in, massaging at the scalp. I also rake my fingers through to work that lather up but avoid friction.
3. Rinse it out. Rinse it alllllllll out.
Use the same method as step 1. Make sure you get all the shampoo out, and keep your hair completely saturated for the conditioner application. Your hair should be dripping wet when you go to apply conditioner with no signs of bubbles or shampoo foam.
4. Glide conditioner along length of hair in smaller sections
Still, head is down and hair thrown over. Take the conditioner bar in the palm of your hand and use your fingers to rake through your hair while gliding the bar from the roots to the tips. Repeat this process throughout your hair going section at a time. Put the bar down then work the conditioner into your hair. You should see the conditioner begin to emulsify with the water in your hair to produce a cream. The thickness depends on which bar you are using (Aqua and Spirit will produce a thick cream, Silver will produce a medium cream, Apple and Angel will produce a thinner, watery cream). I like to use a wet brush to work the conditioner in evenmore, it really helps to use less product.
I keep my head, you guessed it, down with my hair thrown over and brush outward to get the roots off the scalp and create some volume. If you have a curly/wavy pattern to your hair, then scrunch your hair upward working that conditioner into the cuticle of the hair.
When you are ready, rinse out to your satisfaction. I like to leave a little in before I apply my styling cream and gel.
This is my routine for using the shampoo and conditioner bars. I do have very curly hair, which requires some extra attention to the manner in which products are applied. If your hair is straight, or short then you can simplify by just swiping the shampoo over wet hair, rinse, then glide the conditioner, and rinse.
I made a little video of my process here, using the Spirit Shampoo and Conditioner.
I hope this helps! If you have any questions please feel free to email me email@example.com If you've used the shampoo and conditioner bars I'd love to hear your experience. Let me know if you've developed a different method in the comments, or feel free to leave a review!
Alchemist and Owner