Soap is a NOPE for Hair

Soap is a NOPE for Hair

At HiBAR, we are on a mission to inspire less use of single-use plastics. We all want to do better, and awareness of plastic pollution and our climate situation is growing.  One of the first swaps people are making is the switch from bottled hair care to shampoo and conditioner bars. We love the trend and are all for any brand that is helping eliminate plastic, but some of the bars our there are soap disguised as shampoo, which can be less than ideal for healthy hair. 

Why is Soap a NOPE for hair?

Ask any stylist and they’ll tell you that soap can wreak havoc on some hair. A healthy pH is essential for hair health and the pH of soap is higher than shampoo.  Hair contains a high level of a protein called keratin. Soaps can damage keratin which makes hair brittle and prone to damage. It can also make hair more porous allowing chemicals and pollutants to penetrate hair.  Soap also can’t deliver nutrients to hair in the same way a shampoo does.  The process of making soap creates a lot of heat which nullifies the benefits of its inherent nutrients.  

Did you know there is a difference between soap and shampoo?

Both soap and shampoo lower the surface tension of water. This pulls dirt off and suspends it in the water droplet that is washed away in a rinse.  The difference is in the cleaning agent used to do so.  Shampoos are made with surfactants, not soap. Surfactants are more gentle using fatty alcohols from natural oils (we use coconut oil as the natural oil in our bars). The base of soap is lye, which is much harsher, and too alkaline to match hair.  A soap is also not able to get to specific hair needs as a shampoo.  The process of creating soap eliminates the benefits of the oils used in the recipe.  Salon brand shampoos deliver nutrients and reparative ingredients improving hair health and delivering a great hair day.   

The only way to tell the difference between soap and shampoo is to read the ingredients.   

Ingredients to watch for to identify soap.

  • ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† Saponified coconut, or any other oil with the word saponified in front of it.
  • ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† Sodium Hydroxide.¬† Used to saponify oils into¬†soap.
  • ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†¬†Sodium palmitate (Lye and Palmitic Acid)
  • ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†¬†Sodium stearate (Lye and Stearic Acid)
  • ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†¬†Sodium oleate (Lye and Oleic Acid)
  • ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†¬†Sodium cocoate (Lye and coconut oil)
  • ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†¬†Sodium palmate (Lye and palm oil)
  • ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†¬†Potassium palmitate (Potassium Hydroxide and Palmitic Acid)
  • ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†¬†Potassium stearate (Potassium Hydroxide and Stearic Acid)
  • ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†¬†Potassium oleate (Potassium Hydroxide and Oleic Acid)
  • ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†¬†Potassium cocoate (Potassium Hydroxide and coconut oil)
  • ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†¬†Potassium palmate (Potassium Hydroxide and palm oil)

 How HiBAR fits in.

We proved that it IS possible to make a high-performing, surfactant-based  hair care line in a solid formulation.  We did this because we knew it would take nothing less than beautiful hair to convince a wide audience of people to ditch their plastic bottle. HiBAR is the world’s first Salon-Quality shampoo and conditioner, and we are very proud of that.  At HiBAR, we are on a mission to inspire people to use less single-use plastic.  We are doing this by making personal care products that are beautiful, functional, and plastic-free.   

We take those words seriously and we have thousands of five-star reviews to show for it. Using HiBAR gives you beautiful, manageable, shiny and healthy hair.   

#GoodHairDaysForever #SaveThePlanetandLookGoodDoingIt.


by Nora Schaper

Nora Schaper is an eco-preneur and a co-founder of HiBAR, the world's first salon-quality, plastic-free hair care. A lover of nature, Nora despises plastic more than the average person, but believes in the power of many people taking little steps to inspire a big movement.


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