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How long do shampoo bars last?

How long do shampoo bars last?

Shampoo bars are now a popular choice when it comes to hair washing because of their compact size and minimal packaging.

But you might be wondering: how long do shampoo bars last? Are they worth switching to? Shampoo bars have certainly come a long way since their first appearance in the late 80s and nowadays are less soap-like, and work more like an actual shampoo. 

Shampoo bars are as easy to use as soap bars are. And they’re great for chucking into a wash bag for travelling or taking to the gym.

At home, a standard 50g bar also takes up less space in the bathroom compared to it’s liquid equivalent – a regular 250ml shampoo. The answer to the question of how long do shampoo bars last is: both will last roughly the same amount of time.

Shampoo bars today are semi-to-solid blocks of concentrated shampoo ingredients. All of the water content is removed.

In traditional liquid shampoos the water content can be around 80-90% of the formula. The water was originally added by shampoo makers to bulk out the product in order to make the bottles nice and big on retail shelves.

But the water content also added significantly to the weight of the shampoo and the amount of packaging needed, increasing the carbon footprint and making it a less eco-friendly.

Not to mention that the water content of a liquid shampoo only ends up down the drain anyway – waste of both resources and money.

How are shampoo bars made? 

Removing the water content of a liquid shampoo to create a solid shampoo bar makes sense. The remaining shampoo ingredients that are wet – usually sulfate free detergents, detanglers, moisturisers and fragrance – are combined with dry and solidifying ingredients that harden (typically butters and waxes) to create solid bars. 

The solidifying ingredients that we use in our shampoo bars are palm-free stearic acid wax, an emulsifying wax derived from olives and nourishing mango butter.

The dry ingredients that we use in our shampoo bars are green clay, which is cleanses, balances and purifies the scalp, and powdered aloe vera to hydrate and moisturise.

Because of the absence of water, our shampoo bars can be made without a synthetic preservative, which makes them more natural. It also means that the lovely natural ingredients that we use are much more concentrated, and effective, as they aren’t watered down. 

How long does a shampoo bar last? 

Shampoo bars might be compact but they’re very concentrated. Small and mighty, a little goes a long way.

Much less product is needed compared to a liquid shampoo. A standard 50g size shampoo bar will last around 50-60 washes on average. Our shampoo bars will last 4-6 months when used every few days, as recommended.  

Do shampoo bars go bad? 

Even without a preservative, the shelf life of a shampoo bar is very long. This is because waterless products are much less likely to go bad.

Microorganisms like germs, bacteria and mould grow readily and thrive in water which is why preservatives are only really needed in water-based liquid shampoos.

Over time, the natural ingredients in shampoo bars will become less effective as they biodegrade. But this is a very slow process, so we’re talking years not months, and these ingredients will fade rather than go ‘bad’. For that reason our shampoo bars have a best-before-end date of two years. 

How you store your shampoo bar between uses is vital to their lifespan. Because they are in and out of water, it is essential that they are left to dry between uses.

This also prevents a ‘soggy bottom’ for your shampoo bar. To keep your shampoo bar in tip-top shape and effective for as long as possible, read our how to store shampoo bars article.

A zero waste shampoo bar and handmade shampoo bar holder to keep it on. The triangular keeps the bar up out of puddles, allowing it to dry between uses. Suitable for all hair types, this makes a great gift for anyone wishing for a zero waste lifestyle.

How long do shampoo bars last? The conclusion

Look after your shampoo bar well and it will certainly look after you! Expect to get a lot of uses from a little bar. When used correctly a shampoo bar will keep your hair clean and shiny for a good few months. Making shampoo bars both sustainable and economical in the long run. 

Got question about shampoo bars? Please do get in touch. Or give us a follow on Instagram to learn more about us and our zero waste hair care range.