Hair conditioner bars are little blocks of concentrated hair conditioner without the water content. They are a great zero waste hair care product as they don't need to be packaged in a plastic bottle, they're really light weight and the lack of water content means there's no need for any artificial preservatives.
Liquid conditioner refills are a great way to save plastic in your hair care routine, but the best way to avoid any plastic altogether is to switch to a solid conditioner bar. Hairy Jayne conditioner bars are wrapped entirely in paper-based packaging, and paper is both widely recycled and biodegradable.
Using a traditional liquid conditioner comes very naturally to most of us as they have been around for a long time now. Their creamy, liquid texture makes detangling your hair pretty straightforward – just squidge a dollop into your palms, run it though the mid-lengths and ends, leave a minute and then rinse.
But maybe you've already made the switch from traditional liquid shampoo to a shampoo bar so you fancy trying a solid hair conditioner bar. Or maybe you'd like to free up some space in your plastic free bathroom, or you're looking for a conditioner that's easier to carry to the gym or swimming pool.
How to switch over to a conditioner bar and go plastic free
As conditioner bars are a completely different format to traditional conditioners, they do require a bit of an initial adjustment to your usual conditioning method. Conditioner bars are different to shampoo bars which are designed to be used in a similar way to soap. Shampoo bars work by rubbing them in your hands or on the scalp to create a lather.
Some conditioner bars are designed to be rubbed or stroked along wet hair or in the palms, creating a small lather which you then comb or work throughout the hair.
Hairy Jayne conditioner bars, however, are different to other conditioner bars out there
Personally, we found that the usual conditioner bar method could be quite hit-and-miss, especially for different hair lengths. So we created a vegan solid conditioner bar that could be easily worked into a cream conditioner in the shower.
1. The first method – the one we originally intended to be used
When you buy your Hairy Jayne conditioner bar, it comes with a little leaflet with some instructions that read:
• Pinch a small piece off of the conditioner bar.
• Rub it between wet palms until it melts and makes a cream, adding in water if necessary.
• Run through mid-lengths and ends of wet hair, avoiding scalp and roots.
• Leave for a few minutes, rinse well.
So as you can see, rather than run the actual bar down your hair, you just work a small piece of the bar into a cream first. This makes it more like a traditional conditioner and easier to work though the ends of your hair.
Then we found out a surprising second way to use our bars...
2. The second method – from a tip-off from a customer
A customer emailed us to ask a question. "I buy your conditioner bars from a local zero waste store. Somebody mentioned putting them in boiling water to make a liquid conditioner again, do you have any advice regarding this?"
Wow. Ok. Game changer.
Admittedly, we hadn’t even thought to do this. But we tried it out ourselves and... it works really well. And this is why we love customer feedback!
To magically turn your Hairy Jayne vegan solid conditioner bar into a liquid conditioner...
• Chop the bar into quarters with a clean knife. It's best to do this in four pieces as the conditioner bars contain no preservatives, so once water is added to make the liquid, the conditioner will only stay fresh for a few weeks.
• Place the cube in a small glass or container. Add roughly the same amount of boiling water as the size of the piece. Use a clean spoon or stirrer to swill it around and help it to dissolve.
• Let the mixture cool for a few minutes and it will thicken up slightly.
• Gradually add more cool water to the mixture and stir well until it is the consistency you want.
What to expect when you use our conditioner bars
Once you've decided which of our conditioner bar methods suits your hair washing routine best, will your hair feel any different from using a bar? Yes and no.
The consistency does feel different in your hair. The first thing to say is that when you wet your hair and put the conditioner in, it does feel lighter and less slippery (or slimy, for want of a better word!) than any other conditioners you may have used previously. This makes it easy to over-do it with the quantity the first few times you use it, it just takes a little practise to get the exact amount right.
The real results of how well it has conditioned your hair aren't completely apparent until your hair is completely dry again. Then it will feel smooth and soft. It should't feel at all coated or waxy, if for any reason it does then we'd suggest spending just a bit longer on really working the product with some water from paste stage into a smoother cream. And rinsing very well with warm water for the final rinse.
Do conditioner bars work if you're doing the reverse hair washing method?
Yes, you can still use a conditioner bar successfully if you're reverse washing. Reverse hair washing is great for fine hair that is easily weighed down by conditioner. We'd suggest the easiest way to do so is:
• Wet your hair before you hop in the shower
• Use either of the two methods to create the conditioner bar cream
• Apply to your hair, comb though and leave for 15-20 minutes to really soak in
• Rinse in the shower and shampoo as usual.
So there you have it, everything you need to know about zero waste conditioner bars. If you've never tried one but you're curious, you can always try one of our samples first. It may take a few goes to get the hang of, but it'll be worth having a go if you're serious about your sustainable beauty routine!
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