Have you recently bought a conditioner bar in an attempt to be more sustainable, and then thought, now what? How do I use this thing?
Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Conditioner bars are a fantastic alternative to traditional liquid conditioner, boycotting the plastic packaging and helping you look fresh while helping the planet.
In this article, we’ll run you through a step by step guide on how to use your conditioner bar, the benefits of making the switch to solid conditioner, and the best storage methods to help you get the most out of your bar.
What is a conditioner bar?
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 lightweight and the lack of water content means there's no need for any artificial preservatives.
Similar to liquid conditioner, you can get conditioner bars for different hair types. This includes hair conditioner bars for dry, fine or curly hair.
How to use a conditioner bar?It’s super easy to use a conditioner bar. Simply follow the steps below:
- 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.
“Rather than run the actual bar down your hair, you just work a small piece of the bar into a cream first.”
Says Jayne, a former hairdresser of 20 years and founder of the natural hair care company Hairy Jayne.
“This makes it more like a traditional conditioner and easier to work though the ends of your hair.”
If you’re more of a visual learner, follow the step by step video tutorial on how to use a conditioner bar below.
How often should you use a conditioner bar?
How often you should use your conditioner bar will vary depending on your hair type and scalp sensitivity.
Commonly, most people wash their hair 2-3 times a week. If you have a dry or sensitive scalp, you may want to space out the times between washes. Or, if your hair gets greasy quickly, you might prefer to wash your hair more often.
Similar to traditional liquid conditioner, you should use your conditioner bar every time you shampoo your hair. Just because the conditioner is a solid conditioner, it doesn’t mean you need to use it more or less frequently.
How to store your hair conditioner bar
Because hair conditioner bars don’t use plastic packaging, it’s important to consider how to store your bar.
After you’ve finished washing your hair, we recommend leaving your conditioner bar somewhere where it won’t come into contact with water.
If you leave your bar where it’s likely to get splashed or dripped on, it can become mushy and jeopardise the longevity of your conditioner bar.
The most convenient way to store your conditioner bar is on a shampoo or conditioner bar holder that sits away from your shower. This could be on the edge of your bath, or near the sink if your shower isn’t in close proximity.
Your conditioner bar holder should have feet so it’s raised off the surface it’s sitting on, alongside drainage holes. This ensures that it doesn’t sit in a pool of water and can dry out between uses.
If you don’t have somewhere to store your conditioner bar already, check out Hairy Jayne’s handmade shampoo and conditioner bar holders.
Is a conditioner bar better than liquid conditioner?
Using a traditional liquid conditioner comes very naturally to most of us as they have been around for a long time now.
However, solid conditioner bars have more natural ingredients and work just as well. An added bonus is that they remove the need for plastic packaging, making them a great sustainable alternative.
If using a conditioner bar feels strange the first time you use it, we recommend trying the bar for up to 5 washes to see if it’s for you.
If you find that you generally prefer the feel of liquid conditioner but don’t want the plastic packaging, you can also try turning your conditioner bar into a liquid.
What’s the difference between shampoo and conditioner bars?
While it might seem obvious, the main difference between shampoo and conditioner bars are their ingredients - the same as their liquid counterparts.
Shampoo is a cleansing agent. It works to remove sebum, excess oils and dead skin from the scalp. This helps keep hair healthy and reduces the build up of dirt and excess oil, which can dull hairs shine.
Conditioner helps moisturise the hair, and generally makes it easier to manage. When using conditioner without added chemicals, it can also aid in hair growth and prevent breakage.
The other main difference between the two bars is the way you use them. Shampoo bars are designed to be used in a similar way to soap. They work by rubbing the bar in your hands or on the scalp to create a lather.
Conditioner bars on the other hand can be broken off and worked into a cream in your hands, as mentioned previously in this article.
What to do if a conditioner bar isn’t right for your hairEvery head of hair is different and sometimes a conditioner bar might not be for everyone.
“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.” Says Jayne.
If you find your hair conditioner bar is making your hair oily, dry or lacking shine after a number of washes, we recommend trying a different bar before removing it from your hair care routine altogether.
Even though conditioner bars are packed with more conditioning agents than liquid conditioner, it can take some time to find one that’s right for your hair type. So shop around and see which conditioner bar is right for you.
If you do decide to ditch hair conditioner bars altogether, don’t fear, there are still other eco friendly alternatives to liquid conditioner available, such as liquid conditioner refills.
Liquid conditioner refills are a great way to reduce the amount of plastic packaging you’re using. Hairy Jayne’s conditioner refills come in a biodegradable pouch and cardboard packaging, and you can choose from three different formulas for fine hair, dry hair and damaged hair.
So there you have it, everything you need to know about how to use a conditioner bar. If you've never tried a solid conditioner 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 hair care routine!
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