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Is bar soap bad for hair?

Kviskas says…Hello, my question is: Can I use a piece of ordinary toilet soap instead of a shampoo? Some say it’s really harmful, others say something like “My grandma has been using it all her life and still has wonderful hair.” When I tried it I loved the volume it gave my blond thin hair (after soap I also used a conditioner), so I’d love to use it all the time, but afraid that it can make my hair dry and fragile. 

The Beauty Brains respond: 

You CAN use bar soap on your hair but it’s certainly not the best option. Here’s why:

Soap lacks conditioning agents

Even the best modern soap bar is not very good at depositing conditioning agents on here.  Most shampoos (except perhaps the clarifying varieties) contain some level of conditioning agents which help detangle hair and prevent snagging which can cause damage and breakage. This is less of an issue if you’re following up with a separate conditioner but it’s still something to be aware of.

Soap causes scummy build up

This is less of a problem than it used to be but if you have hard water and you use regular bar soap you may experience a build up of soap scum on your hair. (This is sometimes referred to as “bathtub ring.”) It occurs because the mineral ions in hard water displace the sodium ions from the soap which results in an insoluble gunk that won’t rinse away very easily.

Regular soap is not good for skin

Classic soap (we’re not talking about synthetic detergent bars here) has a high pH which is problematic for skin. The high pH of soap increase the amount of time required for the skin’s acid mantle to restore itself. That means your skin is more prone to dryness and infections.

The Beauty Brains bottom line

Occasional use of bar soap as shampoo is perfectly fine. However, if you make it a daily practice you’re likely to find that your hair is in worse condition than if you used a traditional shampoo.

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{ 7 comments… add one }

  • Anne April 10, 2014, 9:48 am

    Real soap is NOT problematic for all people, either on skin or on hair. Many just don’t like the feeling on hair, but if you happen to, just use shampoo every few washes to prevent buildup. And as for skin, many people have zero problem with a high PHwash off product. For those who do, there are other options yes. Sad to see this answer jump onto the bandwagon of disregarding soap without a full answer, and it just isn’t the whole truth to say that “Regular soap is not good for skin”.

  • Aubrey April 11, 2014, 11:50 am

    Well, I wouldn’t recommend using a regular bar soap as shampoo. I use a coconut oil-based shampoo bar followed by a diluted apple cider vinegar rinse every other day and I have no build-up issues and it has improved my dry scalp.
    I’ve tried countless sulfate and non-sulfate shampoos and cleansing conditioners (which leave build-up after a few uses) and find that a bar shampoo leaves my straight hair less flat looking.

  • Dead_Girl April 11, 2014, 12:26 pm

    hi, why is it hard to ask a question here? same with signing in even after making a membership couple of times ? where could I type my questions, please ?

  • Randy Schueller April 11, 2014, 12:42 pm

    We’re having a problem with thousands of bots invading the Forum right now and some “real” members may have been deleted along with the bots. I apologize for the trouble you’ve been having. Can you access the Forum now? You can also just ask your question here and I’ll see what I can do. Thanks for your patience.

  • Dead_Girl April 12, 2014, 9:04 pm

    Alright, Thanks. But it’ll be long, I promise :p
    I’ll try to retype it in a more relevant topic anyway.

    Here we go ;

    1- Is “Poly dimethyl Siloxan” a water-soluble silicone ?
    What about “bis aminopropyl dimethicone” ( wouldn’t it be useless in a Rinse-Out Conditioner if it’s water soluble anyway ! )

    2-Don’t Silicones clog pores , skin or scalp pores ?

    A compound that ends with “none” is it Silicone? In a body shower or shampoo would Silicones block moisturizers out- even after It’s all washed out ?

    Most important, for the scalp. Wouldn’t “Poly dimethyl Siloxan” clog scalp pores ? If so, Isn’t It Ironic to find it on top of the Ingredient list of a hair revitalizing serum- that recommends a “mild shampoo” to wash it off ? would a “mild shampoo” get it off scalp pores ?

    OK, Here is the thing:
    I had a big hair loss ( due to abuse of dyes, poor harsh diet- short though, .. and maybe more reasons I don’t know of )
    Doctor prescribed a hair serum that has “Poly dimethyl Siloxan” on top of it’s Ingredient list:

    Lindo spray
    * Hair Oil Spray with Topical Hair Serum. Fights hair loss. Accelerates hair growth.
    * An innovated blend of silicon power & herbs potency that optimizes hair life span.
    * Hair revitalizing solution. Highly concentrated formula. Botanical remedy.
    * Composition:
    - Poly dimethyl Siloxan.
    - Emu oil.
    - Wheat germ oil.
    - Jojoba oil.
    - Almond oil.
    - Olive oil.
    - Lavender oil.
    - Lemon oil.
    - Tea tree oil.
    - Thyme oil.
    * Application:
    – Apply to scalp & specially to the roots, massage it on the whole scalp for 2-4 minutes, once or twice per day.
    – To remove traces of Lindo spray do not use bathing soaps as they are alkaline, which in the long run tends to affect hair keratin. Always use a mild shampoo.
    – Use lukewarm water for rinsing & washing your hair as hot water dries out hair.
    * A product of Macro International Group. Made in Egypt. Produced by: Cosmopack Factories.

    I found it to have really good reviews all around the web (Unless it’s really good marketing)
    some reported a drastic hair loss, a while after they stopped using it all at once
    and some explained how you should never stop it but rather Gradually reduce the dose to once a week for life ..
    the thing that the doctor disagreed with stating that I can stop it once I see results with no side effects, reminding me that it’s all natural product with no Minoxidil involved.

    About the daily rinse required & the fact that I can’t wash too often – it takes days for my hair to dry and get back to normal.
    He said that It doesn’t have to be daily.
    I should wash my hair just as often – only with a mild shampoo.

    But right after I started using it, I wanted to know what the heck is that Silicone and how it will restore my hair back.
    As it turned out, I think I will be just fine dismissing it’s power.

    it’s been 44 day since my first application and so far, I have seen no difference.

    Same time, I wanna see the results they all swear by.
    I used a clarifying shampoo a month ago and limited the silicone to the hair follicles .. which is weird. It should be the other way around.

    how can I benefit from the serum/spray without having to daily wash my hair.
    if it’s water-soluble silicone, can I use .. like .. a wet cotton or something to take it off scalp the next morning? just to keep my hair safe.

    if it’s not, Is there any natural alternative to sulphate to wash it out daily?
    Anything other than baking soda. I really don’t like the idea of it.

    What about lemon or vinegars as a scalp cleanser- with or without cones ?

    The Big question here: can I use some essential oils (like rosemary , camphor and maybe clove oil ) diluted in some carrier oils (Just like the serum .. only discarding the silicone) as a scalp massage to stimulate hair regrowth ?
    Isn’t it how this spray supposed to work?
    what oils should or should I never use?
    what if I started using this kind of home-made serum weekly after I’m done with the silicone one ? how exactly should I use it?

    I’ve been mostly no poo for months.. only now I wanna do it right.

    Now, since I live in Egypt, I probably won’t be able to find any natural shampoo or conditioner recommended.
    I mean .. yeah, we have here things like pantene and Herbal Essences (which I eventually used to co-wash before I know anything about Silicones)
    So they’re easy to find.
    But I don’t think it’s the same with All natural alternative brands.
    You know.. It doesn’t seem like it could travel overseas just as easy.

    That’s why I’m off for a simple “primal” DIY hair and specially scalp wash.
    like pouring A spoonful of Apple cider vinegar in a 1/4cup of water.. how easy ! lets just keep it simple.

    Would natural acids cleanse my scalp regularly ? will it cause any harm? like, more hair loss ?

    I’m thinking; how about a ”cinnamon-honey-olive oil” mixture as a Hair wash.. and just some ACV to finish off with and help remove any cinnamon left.

    I’ve been using it already as a smooth hair lightener twice in two weeks.

    I know I have to wait for too long to see an actual difference in color but, eeeh .. better than chemicals anyway.
    the only problem I may have with it would be if it turned out to be drying my hair out>

    PS : I’m a 2B

    Thanks for YOUR patience.

  • admin April 13, 2014, 7:34 am

    Whew! You may have broken the record for the longest series of questions we’ve ever received at one time, but I’ll do my best to summarize an answer them in a future blog post.

    Questions like this would best be posted in our forum where the other members may have helpful suggestions for you. Did you manage to get your forum membership working properly?

  • Dead_Girl April 14, 2014, 8:53 pm

    Actually, No.
    I still can’t get my membership working properly.
    Do I have to ?

    Yeah, right. How will I know which post Is answering my questions ?
    Will you guys notify me with an e-mail ? I really hope so.

    Anyway, thanks for planning to put it out for members suggestions.
    Although all I was looking for is what The Experts would have to say about it.

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