How To Choose A Shampoo Bar

How To Choose A Shampoo Bar

Cold process shampoo bars verses syndet shampoo bars: What’s the difference? In the realm of hair care, the rising popularity of shampoo bars has sparked a significant conversation among natural skincare enthusiasts. Their eco-friendly packaging, minimalistic ingredients, and long-lasting nature make them an attractive choice for those seeking natural and sustainable alternatives. However, when it comes to selecting the ideal shampoo bar, the choice between soap-based and syndet-based options can be bewildering. In this guide, “how to choose a shampoo bar”, we’ll delve into the nuances of both types to help you make an informed decision that aligns with your values and hair care needs.

For several years now, we’ve been making soap-based shampoo bars using the same cold process soap making methods. Recently, there’s been a surge in interest in shampoo bars, particularly those utilizing detergent-based or “syndet” formulations. While both are designed to wash your hair, soap-based shampoo bars and syndet shampoo bars are not the same. Each are made from different ingredients, work differently on your hair, and have pros and cons.

What Are Soap-Based Shampoo Bars?

Soap-based shampoo bars have a rich heritage dating back to a time before the advent of liquid shampoos. Crafted with care, these bars follow traditional soap-making methods. But, they are uniquely formulated to cater to your hair and scalp needs, unlike standard soap bars. Like standard soap bars, they undergo saponification a chemical process involving oils and sodium hydroxide. After saponification, you have a cleansing and nourishing product. Our brand at Natural Skin Revival embraces this legacy. Our soap-based shampoo bars are crafted with quality ingredients for a wholesome hair care experience.

What Are The Benefits of Using Soap-Based Shampoo Bars?

  1. Natural Ingredients: Soap-based bars typically boast a simple ingredient list, free from harsh chemicals and synthetic additives, making them gentle on both your hair and the environment.

  2. Moisturizing Properties: The presence of natural oils in soap-based bars helps to nourish and hydrate the hair, leaving it soft, smooth, and manageable.

  3. Cost Effective: Soap-based shampoo bars are generally cheaper to buy than syndet bars, as the ingredients used to make these bars are less expensive for manufacturers to purchase.

  4. Environmentally Friendly: With minimal packaging and biodegradable formulas, soap-based shampoo bars contribute to reducing plastic waste and promoting sustainability.

The Cons of Using Soap-Based Shampoo Bars

  1. Residue Build-Up: Some users may experience residue build-up on their hair especially if the water in their area is hard. Wetting and rinsing hair is extremely important too, you cannot rush through the wetting and rinsing process. These can leave the hair feeling weighed down or gummy.

  2. pH Imbalance: Soap-based bars have a higher pH (9-10). This doesn’t always align with the natural pH of the scalp (4.5-5.5.), which can lead to dryness or irritation. After using a soap-based bar, some prefer an acidic rinse like apple cider vinegar or a quality conditioner.

    Soap-based bar formulas are tricky to formulate and manufacture. Our unique formula allowed us to bring the pH to 8 which is slightly lower than most soap-based shampoo bars.

What Is a Syndet Based Shampoo?

Syndet bars offer a modern twist, ditching traditional soap for a detergent-based cleanse akin to liquid shampoos. They are a non-soap-based detergent cleanser made from surfactants, like the ones found in liquid shampoos. “Syndet” is short for synthetic detergent. Syndet is a blend of synthetic detergent, crafted by combining plant oils with water-friendly molecules in labs. As a result, syndet shampoo bars generally contain similar ingredients to liquid shampoos, just without the water content.

What are Syndet Shampoo Bars Made With?

Syndet bars often contain surfactants like sodium cocoyl isethionate (SCI), sodium lauryl sulfoacetate (SLSA), or sodium coco sulfate (SCS), along with conditioning agents, preservatives, and fragrances.

The Benefits of Using a Syndet Shampoo Bar

  1. Gentle Cleansing: Syndet bars typically have a lower pH level. That’s what makes them milder and less likely to strip the hair of its natural oils like liquid shampoos. This makes them suitable for individuals with sensitive or dry scalps.

  2. Reduced Residue: Syndet formulas are less prone to leaving residue on the hair because they are made with surfactant.

  3. Customizable Formulas: Manufacturers can tailor syndet formulations to address specific hair concerns, such as color protection, volumizing, or dandruff control.

  4. Lower pH: Syndet shampoo bars have a lower pH than soap-based shampoos. Syndet shampoo bars’ pH is adjustable during production using diverse surfactants.

The Cons of Using Syndet Shampoo Bars

  1. Synthetic Ingredients: Though gentler than liquid shampoos, syndet bars are still chemical-based, and individual skin reactions vary warranting awareness.

    The compounds in syndet shampoo bars can be just as drying as in liquid shampoos. This is an issue for those who have dry, processed or afro hair. Especially for people who suffer from skin conditions like eczema, dermatitis or psoriasis. This, by itself, is the main reason we have decided “not” to make syndet shampoo bars. Learn more about our soap-based shampoo bars.

  2. Potential Environmental Impact: Syndet bars may come in plastic-free packaging, however the production methods and raw material sourcing can have environmental implications.

  3. Syndet Shampoo Bars Are More Expensive: The ingredients to make syndet bars are more costly, so these shampoo bars are generally more expensive than the soap-based ones.

What is Sodium Coco Sulfate and Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate?

Sodium coco sulfate (SCS) and Sodium cocoyl isethionate (SCI) are synthetic surfactant derived from coconut oil. They function as foaming agents and cleansing agents in shampoo bars and other personal care products.

The Difference Between Sodium Coco Sulfate and Sodium Lauryl Sulfate

While both sodium coco sulfate (SCS) and sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) are surfactants commonly used in personal care products, they differ in their chemical composition and properties. SCS is derived from coconut oil and is often considered milder and less irritating compared to SLS, which is derived from petroleum or palm oil.

Why Do Companies Use Sodium Coco Sulfate?

SCS is favored by some companies for its foaming and cleansing abilities, as well as its biodegradability and compatibility with natural and organic formulations.

Is Sodium Coco Sulfate Safe?

The safety of SCS has been a subject of debate among consumers and industry experts. While some studies suggest that SCS is relatively safe for use in personal care products, others raise concerns about potential skin irritation and environmental impact. As with any ingredient, it’s essential to consider individual sensitivities and preferences when choosing products.

Soap-Based vs Syndet Shampoo Bars

The choice between soap-based and syndet-based shampoo bars ultimately comes down to personal preference. Whether you opt for the natural simplicity of soap-based bars or the customized formulations of syndet bars, both offer viable options for sustainable hair care.

Understanding ingredients and properties will help you make an informed decision that aligns with your values and hair care needs. Learn tips and techniques using a soap-based shampoo bar.

Natural Skin Revival Soap-Based Shampoo Bars:

Written By: Mary Ellen Wank, Wellness Advocate and Founder of LATIV, Natural Skin Revival DISCLAIMER

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March 28, 2024 10:47 am

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