How to successfully use a shampoo bar.

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It turns out that using a shampoo bar alone with no conditioner was not going to work for me.

I first tried the bar for oily hair, thinking that my hair was more oily than dry, and also because I was worried the oils in the soap would make my hair oily. Turns out my hair is not oily (it mostly likely got like this after a day or so when using standard shampoo and conditioner because my hair was being stripped of everything good) and the oils from the soap did not make my hair oily. My hair actually got really oily at the roots and super dry on the ends.

I swapped to the original bar and had a much better experience but I still felt like there was something missing. My hair was no way near as dry but it was still drier than it should have been and I was still finding my hair was going nuts on producing heaps of oil.

After a chat with a group of other eco gals, I learnt about the benefits of using apple cider vinegar (ACV) in place of conditioner. I had a bit of a google to find out more and also came across the benefits of using bi-carb when transitioning from using standard shampoo and conditioner.

Thanks to the ever so helpful info on Chagrin Valley Soap and Salve's website, I was able to get a recipe for using both bi-carb and ACV and when to use them both.

Bi-Carb Rinse (

- Use 1 TB bi-carb in 1-2 cups of warm water before using your shampoo bar. Rub well into the roots and then rinse.

This helps remove built up product and helps with retaining moisture. I also found it helped reduce the big mounds of oil my scalp was producing during the transition.

Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse (

- Add 1/2TB to 4 TB raw ACV to warm water (it depends on your hair type as to how much you use, dry hair likes less, oily hair likes more. I use 1TB and that seems to be perfect) and add to the roots and ends after using your shampoo bar, let sit for 1-2 minutes and then either rinse slightly to leave some in to help with tangles or rinse all of it out. Use cold water to finish off to help hair shine.

This helps make my hair feel smooth and tangle free (it really does feel like i've used conditioner!) and has also reduced the amount of hair that comes out when i'm washing it.

Chagrin Valley recommend only using both of these rinse's 1-2 times per week and to decrease your use over time. At some point you'll find you won't need to use the bi-carb rinse to help with oil build up with every wash as your hair will be able to regulate itself as you're not stripping it completely of natural oils every time you wash your hair. Same with the ACV, over time just use when you feel you need. Saying that, you will also not need to wash your hair as often as you would have using standard shampoo and conditioner so your use of both bi-carb and ACV will naturally just decrease anyway.

I have had great success using this method and have already started noticing I can go an extra day than I usually would before I need to wash my hair because of visible oil.

But when I do notice a bit of an oil slick, I first add some homemade dry shampoo to see if that will do the trick! I couldn't believe how well this worked, and although I smelt like a chocolate muffin for the morning, the smell eventually went and you would have been none the wiser that I had cacao in my hair!

Homemade Dry Shampoo (

Apply arrowroot or organic corn flour (for light hair) or equal parts of cacao and arrowroot/cornflour (for darker hair) to oily parts using a make up powder brush or your fingers and your done! Store some in a small container for the next use.


Do you use a different method to any of these? Why not share it below so that if this method doesn't work for someone they can try yours!

1 comment

  • Margarette Anne: September 05, 2020

    Thank you for this great website. It really help a lot and please continue sharing this kind of blogs!

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