Submitted Date 07/02/2020

Natural shampoo bars are the best, but just like any other shampoo, it does take a little time to find the right one for your hair type. I've gone through a ton of shampoo bars in the past, and not because they ran out on me (because they last essentially forever-ish) but because I was just trying to find the right bar, and a company I could trust was only using natural ingredients. On top of this, I was concerned about sustainability. Shampoo bars replace plastic shampoo bottles, but it kind of defeats the purpose when you order one online that's wrapped in tons of unnecessary plastics. I admit, I'm a culprit to that too, because back then I also tried finding the right bar on Amazon.

Basically, it took a while. I also learned the hard way that just because I'm buying a shampoo bar, doesn't mean it's all natural and doesn't have toxic ingredients. I used to merely skim a bar's ingredients or ignore it because I had that correlation in my brain that a shampoo bar = all natural. Not the case! Especially with Lush, unfortunately, which carries shampoo bars with Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, which has been said to be a gentler ingredient than sulfates, but when there are a ton of all natural 0 SLS bars out there, why settle for this? I've found that after I transitioned and tried their bars, my scalp felt irritated, and I felt like I had converted back to toxic bottled shampoos. My hair also ended up getting oily much quicker. It was disappointing, since I went through that transition phase with the no-poo method and I felt like I backtracked.

So my hair type before transitioning was oily, straight, and a medium thickness. This is before transitioning to natural shampoo/hair products and doing anything chemical to my hair like hair dye. When I was younger, I loved using Herbal Essences shampoo and conditioner – the bottle with the roses on it. I loved wasting money on a ton of shampoo/conditioner because the bottles claims intrigued me, like promising to bring body/volume to my hair or cause straight hair to be beachy and wavy, and of course, getting rid of oil. I used things like Bed Head, Tresseme, and much more. I also picked up brands that I no longer remember at stores like Marshalls and TJ Maxx, some bottles saying they were natural, too (but looking back it's hard to believe that was true).

I went through my oily transitioning phase when I was fifteen. I'm twenty-three now and I have to admit that I have had times where I've fallen out of using natural shampoo. A huge reason why is because it became so hard for me to find a shampoo bar that I liked. Although I loved that my hair was less oily, had more body, and was a lot more healthy, I didn't really enjoy the way it looked sometimes with the shampoo bars. I tried J.R Liggett's original shampoo bar which I felt like made my hair feel waxy and oily. I picked up a shampoo bar at my local co-op which was tulsi-spice and a ayurvedic blend. It cleaned my hair well, but I still felt like my hair looked a bit dull and I wanted something that smelled nice. When I tried lush, it made my scalp irritated and I realized I had just introduced my scalp to not the best ingredients again and I felt discouraged and decided to find a bottled shampoo at Target that said things like 'natural', 'SLS free', and 'paraben free', but the issue with these bottled shampoos is that sometimes they're still not the best choice for hair, or they use replacement ingredients that are 'less bad' but not natural. And not to mention, these bottled shampoos don't last that long, anyway.

A shampoo bar, if taken care of, will last an exceptionally long time, probably longer than six months. Bars are concentrated and generally last longer than shampoo bottles. If you are also washing your hair less after teaching your hair to stop producing excess oil, it will last you a very, very long time. I get my shampoo bars from Chagrin Valley, I order online and love their bars. This company is transparent in how they prepare their products and what they put in it. They also have an option to buy sample bars so you can try them out before buying the large size. This was god-send since a lot of bars did not work for me in the past. Their products are also fresh, which is awesome. The sample bar sizes really shocked me. The size is very generous and if you have short hair, it'll last you plenty washes. My hair goes down to the small of my back, and I still feel like these sample bars will last me six or more months since I also don't wash my hair as much with shampoo. They have a large variety of bars to choose from and they elaborate on how the ingredients can help your hair.

Chagrin Valley also offers products like apple cider vinegar hair rinses that are premade with additional beneficial ingredients and even skin care. All I want is to have all my skin products from them and all my bathroom products.

I recommend giving their site a peek, which I'll insert a link from at the end of this article, but I encourage anyone who has gone from baking soda water + apple cider vinegar and is feeling a bit discouraged or upset at not being able to find the right natural products for their hair to take a look at their products. Today, my hair type is what I believe is my true natural hair type. It's coarse, thick, and very voluminous. My texture is wavy, which is amazing since for all my life I thought it was just pin straight, but that was from all the product build up and oil. I also have a sensitive scalp, because I went through a phase of chemically dying and bleaching my hair in college, and I stayed away from natural products and washed my hair with a lot of stripping shampoos like coal tar – because I needed help with my scabby, irritated scalp. Despite this, I was able to transition back with no baking soda, with no issues but just a little bit of oil. I have never had an issue with Chagrin Valley shampoo bars with my sensitive scalp. I also recommend cutting small pieces from a large shampoo bar to use in the shower instead of wetting the whole bar to make it last even longer. Happy searching!

Chagrin Valley Website:

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  • Jen Parrilli 1 month ago

    Thanks for the advice! I didn't use shampoo for a year. My hair is naturally thick, wavy, and a little oily. The lack of shampoo made it pretty gross after a while and I succumbed to the bottle again. Apple cider vinegar was a no-go since it made my hair brittle like straw. I've just bought a shampoo bar from a company that's not around anymore (thanks to COVID). I can't wait to try it! If it doesn't work out, I'm going to Chagrin Valley next.

    • Melanie 1 month ago

      Aw no I hate when my favorite products disappear! Chagrin Valley has some good moisturizing bars, like their coconut milk bar, that I think are great and help with that straw feeling apple cider vinegar can give sometimes :) Since I got a sample pack from Chagrin Valley I usually will use a moisturizing bar when I want to do a ACV rinse and then my regular favorites when I don't, it's great!