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  • Writer's pictureThe Refill Pantry

The Wonderful World of Shampoo Bars!

Updated: Sep 17, 2020

Our Favourites Celina - Beauty Kubes Normal to Dry Shampoo Cubes (Pink) Livvie - Beauty Kubes Oily Shampoo Kubes (Green) Emma - Soul & Soap Oh So Silver/Alternative Lavender & Geranium

Our selection of Shampoo Bars

Hello and welcome to our collection of shampoo bars at The Refill Pantry. There are so many shampoo bars available that it can be hard to know which one suits you and your needs. In this blog we'll explain the different brands of shampoo bars we have for you to try. You can learn information on the brands, their shampoo bars and which one to choose for your type of hair.

This is a long post but we believe it's important to give you as much information as possible about our products :)

Firstly, we'll explain what some of the wording in this blog means so the descriptions of the different bars make a bit more sense.

What is Hard Water? 

Places where the water has a high mineral content. Minerals make the follicles on the hair strands stand up. Soap molecules will pull the minerals in to the hair strands. This makes it harder to wash out natural shampoo from your hair, and will affect how your hair feels afterwards. Some shampoo bars work the best in soft water where the mineral content is lower, but there are bars that work well in hard water too.

What are SLS, SLES and Parabens?

SLS - Sodium lauryl sulphate is a chemical which is commonly found in soaps, shampoos, showers gels and toothpastes. It traps oil-based dirt so it can be washed away with water. It also foams very well, it makes the lather that most people expect from products when washing our face, hair and body.

The problem with SLS is that it is very drying and stripping on your skin and hair. This is the likely cause of conditions such as eczema, psoriasis and dermatitis. Sulphates overtime can break down the proteins in the skin and can have a bad effect on cell membranes. 

SLES - Sodium lauryl ether sulphate starts as SLS but ethylene oxide is added. This is claimed to be gentle and moisturising on the skin but both SLS and SLES can irritate your eyes and skin, it can be harmful to aquatic life after being washed down the drain. They both can be produced from coconut oil but they are usually made from palm oil, or petroleum as it's cheaper. These both can be unsustainable and bad for your skin. 

Parabens are chemicals that have been used in personal hygiene products since the 1950's as a preservative and to prevent mould and bacteria. Studies have shown some parabens can mimic activity of the hormone estrogen in the body's cells. Estogenic activity is associates with some forms of breast cancer, parabens have been found in breast tumors. Although, there is no scientific evidence to prove parabens are linked to the cause of cancer. Parabens dry out hair, cause scalp irritation and can strip the colour in colour treated hair. 

Soul and Soap Shampoo Bars - £7 Each

These bars are suitable for normal, dry, curly, oily and colour treated hair. They are SLS and Paraben Free but do contain SLES. All of these are suitable for vegetarians, however some contain beeswax/honey so they wouldn't be suitable for vegans. Soul and Soap are a Cruelty Free brand so they do not test on animals. The bars works well in hard water.

Jasmine Vegan Shampoo Bar

Gently cleanses with Cocoa Butter and Keravis protein (plant extract), to moisturise the hair and keep it healthy and strong.

Oh So Silver Bar

Combats yellow, brassy tones of bleached blonde or grey hair.

Uses gentle cleansing ingredients with Cocoa Butter and Keravis protein (plant extract), to moisturise the hair and keep it healthy and strong.

Peppermint and Tea Tree Bar

Peppermint: Stimulates circulation, refreshes the hair and slightly tingles the scalp. Natural antibacterial - great for dandruff.

Tea Tree: natural anti fungal and anti inflammatory, prevents build up of dead skin keeping hair healthy and moisturised therefore leaving to less hair loss, prevents dandruff.

Passion Fruit Shampoo Bar       Wild Coconut Shampoo Bar       Floral Fressia Shampoo Bar

Vitamin B5: Moisturises and shines hair, protects against environmental damage.

Cacao Butter: Heals and softens hair.

Honey Extracts: Strengthens hair and locks in moisture.

Spirulina Extract: High protein algae to help prevent hair thinning, adds volume, helps treat dandruff. Balances oils in hair and scalp.

Fresh Lemongrass Bar

Lemongrass: Great from scalp care as it is a natural anti-inflammatory, scent can be used to help relieve anxiety. Aids in hair loss, thinning and stimulates the hair follicles for healthier hair

Beauty Kubes - £9.50

Made in Cornwall, UK. Their manufacturing facility is powered by energy from solar and wind turbines (very sustainable). Their products are suitable for vegans. The brand is Cruelty, SLS, plastic, sulphate, silicone and palm oil free. Inside each box there is 27 Kubes. 1 Kube = 1 Wash. All Kubes are wrapped in either paper or 100% plastic free, plant based, compostable film, made from the cellulose of wood pulp.

How To Use

Take one Beauty Kube into the shower or bath. Crush the kube in wet hands and rub them together to make a paste. Rub into your roots and keep adding water until you work up a nice lather to cleanse your hair. Make sure to rinse all the product out so your hair dries soft, smooth and feels clean.

Shampoo for normal to dry hair

Cleansing, moisturising and gently balancing. Best for those who are lean towards the drier hair.

Rose Extract: Mild astringent and anti-inflammatory, which can help reduce oil and dandruff in hair.

Key Ingredients:

Coconut Milk: Natural fatty acids are extremely moisturising. Restores dry hair and scalp. Strong conditioner for damaged hair.

Meadow foam (flower native to North America) seed oil: Adds shine, retains moisture, controls frizz and deeply conditions. Provides Ultraviolet protection from the sun.

Shampoo for oily hair

Ultra gentle, great for people who feel they have to wash their hair more. cleanses scalp and hair but doesn’t strip the natural oils

Key Ingredients: 

Safflower Oil: Rich in oleic acid which stimulates the scalp, encouraging hair growth.

Nettle Powder: Antistriqgent treats oily scalp, dandruff, build up and itchiness. Anti-inflammatory promotes good scalp condition. Antioxidants which protect the hair, encouraging hair growth.

Shampoo for normal hair

Refreshing and zingy. Moisturises and protects the hair. Great for hair that's in the middle of dry and oily. 

Key Ingredients:

Jojoba oil: Rich in vitamin E, C, B and minerals that promotes strong hair, moisturises, protects hair against frizz and split ends, reduces dandruff.

Lemongrass, bergamot, cedar wood and sweet orange essential oils.

Juliet Rose Shampoo Bars - £4 Each

These half sized bars are handmade by the owner in the UK. They are Cruelty, SLS, SLES and Paraben Free. These are suitable for vegetarians as beeswax and honey are used in some products. 

Thyme and Lemongrass

Cleansing and soothing. Helps with hair loss, thinning and growth. Perfect for people with oilier hair.

Key Ingredients:

Thyme: Anti-fungal, anti inflammatory, anti bacterial, stimulates the scalp and encourages hair growth, treats itchy scalp and dandruff.

Lemongrass: Great from scalp care as it is a natural anti-inflammatory, scent can be used to help relieve anxiety.

Apple, Jojoba and Sweet Almond Oil

This bar refreshes, cleanses and moisturises your hair. Amazing for product build up and oily hair.

Key Ingredients:

Apple: Lowers the hair pH which makes it healthier and brighter, controls bacterial that causes scalp problems, rich in vitamins C, B.

Jojoba: Rich in vitamin E, C, B and minerals that promotes strong hair, moisturises, protects hair against frizz and split ends, reduces dandruff.

Sweet Almond Oil: Strengthens hair and adds silkiness and shine. Nourishes the scalp.

Refreshing, Cleansing and moisturising

Neem and Avocado

Soothes, gently cleanses and moisturises the hair and scalp. Brilliant for problems like sensitive and itchy scalps. Also helps treat Psoriasis and Eczema.

Key Ingredients:

Neem: Anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory so helps treat scalp problems. Adds shine, rehydrates hair and stimulates hair growth.

Avocado: contains Vitamin D, promotes hair growth, provides deep moisturisation, fights dandruff, helps with certain skin disorders such as Acne, Eczema and Psoriasis

After lathering up, leave the suds on for a couple of minutes to get the full affect of the soothing ingredients.

Alter Native Shampoo Bars - £4.50 Each

Handmade in the UK. They are Cruelty, SLS, SLES, Paraben, Plastic and Palm Oil Free. These bars are suitable for vegans. All of these bars are gentle enough to wash your body as well as your hair.

Lavender and Geranium


Key Ingredients:

Lavender: Calming and cleansing

Geranium: Regulates oil and dryness. Improves hair overall condition.

Tea Tree: Natural anti inflammatory and anti-septic, helps treat itchy scalps

Coconut and Argan Oil


Key Ingredients:

Argan Oil: Rich in fatty acids, penetrates deep into the hair to give shine and soft silky hair. Helps treat dry and damaged hair.

Coconut oil: Makes hair softer, silkier and shinier and is the ultimate hair conditioner.

Ylang Ylang: Stimulates scalp to encourage hair growth. Improves hair texture and helps reduce breakage.

Rose and Geranium


Key Ingredients:

Rose: Mild astringent and anti-inflammatory, which can help reduce oil and dandruff in hair.

Geranium: Regulates oil and dryness. Improves hair overall condition.

Transitioning To Shampoo Bars

If you are using a shampoo bar for the first time there is a few things to note for the "transition period" of 2-3 weeks. After using chemical based shampoo, your hair will take some time to get used to the new natural ingredients in shampoo bars, your hair is literally detoxing from the toxins in previous shampoos. Your hair may feel not as soft or as completely clean as you may initially think it might. Some people say their hair felt waxy, thick or not quite right. The reason it may feel oilier or dryer in this period is due to your scalp and hair learning how to rebalance the natural oil production. 

Chemical shampoos can strip your natural oil therefore your scalp has learned to overproduce oil to combat this. With natural shampoos, the oils aren't being stripped away, therefore you might start with too much oil until your scalp has learned to regulate the production.

Have patience and give your scalp time to get used to the better way of washing your hair. After the transition period you will instantly find that your hair is softer, shiner, feels cleansed but is not stripped bare.

There is no need to wash the lengths of your hair with the shampoo bar (unless it's covered in dirt), lather the bar all over your roots and massage the shampoo in. Make sure you are rinsing completely until you are sure there is no product remaining. Under rinsing can make it seem like the shampoo bar is making your hair oilier but the trick is to rinse out all of the shampoo.

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Christopher David
Christopher David
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