Busting Myths - Are Shampoo Bars Just Soap?

An insightful article comparing the best shampoo bar in Australia with regular soap so you can learn the difference. 

Are Shampoo Bars Just Soap?

Natural shampoo bars are sometimes confused with regular soaps due to their physical appearance, but they have key aspects that can create different results for your hair and body. Things like their ingredients list and pH level can make or break your hair care routine, which is why we felt the need to spend some time gathering information and writing this post to educate our customers.

In this article, we share some light on how eco-friendly Australian shampoo bars are great for both your scalp and skin and why you should stay away from using soap as a replacement for washing your hair.

Below you can find detailed information about shampoo bars and soap’s composition, and their main differences, as well as the recommended ways to use each and finally, what to look for on a shampoo bar to ensure the best results for your hair and body. 

Eco-Friendly Soap Bars


Shampoo Bars Vs Soap Bars

When it comes to talking about shampoo bars, the number one myth people always tend to believe is that they’re just simple soaps when in reality, they’re not alike. The main difference between natural shampoo bars and regular soap relies on their ingredient list.  

Most soap bars (and also many shampoos still) contain sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) as a surfactant, which can be harsh on hair and can strip the oils too much leaving hair dry. 

High quality shampoo bars such as Australia’s favourite shampoo bars, Hair Cooki’s don’t use SLS, but use Sodium coco sulfate to help the shampoo foam up and clean, this is derived from coconuts and is much more gentle on hair (as well as the environment). Most shampoo bars are eco-friendly and contain very few but nourishing ingredients that look after your hair and scalp, which help to repair your damaged hair without striping the essential healthy oils. The best shampoo bars also contain many additional natural ingredients which help hair thrive. Some ingredients of the best shampoo bar in Australia are hemp seed oil, extra virgin olive oil, organic cocoa butter, argan oil, and more.  They have different benefits such as conditioning, moisturising, conditioning, helping make hair soft, shiny, and less frizzy. 

As for soap bars, depending on the brand and type of soap, they contain more ingredients that are not meant to be used in your hair, even if they’re natural and ecological. Taking as an example our own cold processed and natural hand and body soap, it contains great elements that nourish your skin, such as essential and natural oils, but it does not contain the sodium coco sulfate to help it foam, as it isn’t needed to clean deep in between hair and roots to remove the buildup of direct and oils.

The way soap is formed is different from shampoo bars, and they also include certain components that are not good for hair in the long run, for example our cold processed soap bars have a high percentage of olive oil, which would be too much for your hair and you after rinsing you will feel that your hair feels oily and greasy. 

Shampoo bars have a different pH balance than regular soaps, normally within the range of 6-7, which results in the perfect product to use on your hair. Contrary, hand and body soaps tend to have a pH level in the range of 9-10, and frequently using soap to wash your hair can cause a sudden change in its natural pH balance. 

Using Shampoo Bars Compared To Regular Soap

Shampoo bars may look the same as soaps, but how you use them can say a lot about their composition and possible results. To begin, whether you choose a natural or mass-produced soap, it won’t lather as much as a quality shampoo bar, therefore if you try to use it in your hair you’ll likely feel your hair doesn’t feel very clean after, and can also feel oily or greasy after washing. 

On the other hand, since shampoo bars are designed for your hair, scalp, and skin (since rinsing will make the product fall all the way through your body), they’re perfectly safe for you to use. Many people use our Hair Cooki shampoo bars as a 2 in 1 when travelling so it can double up as a shower body bar too. 

Shampoo Bars Vs Soap Bars


What To Look For In A Shampoo Bar

Quality shampoo bars do the same job as liquid shampoo (and conditioners, with conditioner bars) and there are a few things we recommend you have in mind when searching for natural shampoo bars in Australia.

A short and plant-based list of ingredients is what you should lay your eyes on first, taking as reference names you know or can easily be pronounced. Essential and natural oils are always present in the best shampoo bars in Australia. We recommend avoiding sodium lauryl sulfate, as it is made with palm oil so isn’t very good on the environment, but also people can find that their scalps are sensitive to SLS. We use sodium coco sulfate which is derived from coconuts and tends to be a gentler option. 

Apart from this, eco-friendly packaging is always important to consider. Hair Cooki’s natural shampoo bars come in refillable tins which are great for the environment since they do not contaminate nor get disposed of as fast as plastic.

If animal rights are important to you, selecting a shampoo bar and brand that prioritises not testing on animals is another key thing to have in mind. We are against this practice and we’re proud to say that our products of our products are all free from animal testing. We’re also filled with pride that our items are plant-based and look after the environment. 

Hair Cooki’s Mission & Compromise

Hair Cooki is a woman-run and Australian-owned company that sells sustainable products that include shampoo and conditioner bars, cold-pressed soaps as well as eco-friendly accessories like reusable makeup remover pads and bamboo hair brushes, among others. 

We strive to educate users about the benefits of switching to natural shampoo and conditioner bars, and we’re confident in the results you’ll get by using our products. Furthermore, your purchase shows support for women-run businesses that care for their consumers and want to make a difference on the planet. If you're new to solid eco friendly hair care, and want to read an in depth article about shampoo and conditioner bars, read this blog here 

Here you can take a look at our full catalogue of products and begin your zero-waste journey accompanied by quality goods that will restore your hair and body in little to no time. We also have incredible gift boxes and bundles for those who are just hearing about the eco-friendly lifestyle and want to have some products to begin with; they also make a great present for friends and family!


natural hand soap mineral mud

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