Why Do Shampoo Bars Leave Residue?


“Why does my hair feel weird after using a shampoo bar?” “Do Shampoo Bars Wax Your Hair?” “Why does the residue stick to my hair?”

These are just some of the many questions people ask after using shampoo bars. This is because the unique properties of shampoo bars leave a residue on the hair, which can be irritating to some people.

But before you turn your back on shampoo bars, read this article and decide later.

What is a Shampoo Bar?

Simply put, shampoo bars are an alternative to traditional bottled shampoo. Shampoo bars have been around for a while, but it’s only recently that consumers are starting to notice them.

As the name suggests, shampoo bars are solid bars of shampoo that are more concentrated than liquid shampoos. So what makes it compact and powerful?

This is because the moisture in the liquid component is removed. As a result, only the basic ingredients in their purest form remain. Also, most shampoo bars are made with natural ingredients such as juice, rosemary extract, aloe vera, shea butter, charcoal, and more.

Also, just like traditional shampoos, bars are also versatile. Some of these kinds are:

  • Cold working: They are usually homemade, contain natural oils, and have a high pH.
  • Solid surfactants: Surfactants are chemicals that produce a lot of foam. It also helps maintain pH balance.
  • pH Balanced or Glycerin-Based Bars: This is a mild and gentle shampoo bar. Just add glycerin-based soap to a fast-draining dish. Otherwise, the next time you bathe, you won’t find it anymore. It is also easier to melt compared to other rods.

What will happen to your hair if you use a shampoo bar instead of regular shampoo?

Those new to shampoo bars can expect their hair to adapt to the changes. For example, some users experience dryness and brittleness. Meanwhile, others feel there is a coating or wax build-up. However, this is the body’s natural response to sudden changes.

Shampoo bars also remove the residue left on your hair from old shampoo. As a result, the adjustment period can vary from a few days to several weeks, depending on the condition of the hair.

Also, let’s say that hairstyling chemicals and harsh shampoos cause more chemicals to build up in your hair. Adjustments may take longer in this case.

Why do shampoo bars leave residue?

Most people who use shampoo bars for the first time complain that their hair feels weird, waxy, or dry. This is because the shampoo bar removes the residue from the previous shampoo from the hair.

Also, these residues are by-products of saponified oils present in solid shampoos. Also, since your hair is in transition, it may take some time to get rid of the build-up on your scalp. Especially because it tries to balance the oil production in the hair.

How to reduce residue build-up?

If residue is bothering you, there are a few ways you can reduce it. That said, here are a few tips for getting rid of these chemical residue build-ups, especially while getting used to your new shampoo.

Use a shampoo bar to lather well.

One of the quickest ways to get rid of any residue left on your hair is to lather it with a shampoo bar. This will distribute them evenly along the hair and remove any chemical residue left on the hair.

However, to prevent a build-up of rich ingredients in the shampoo bar, apply it to your hands before massaging your hair and scalp. Also, it’s best to remember that organic shampoo bars don’t usually create lather and thick lather like commercial shampoos do.

So if not, don’t worry and avoid using the product too much as it can make it harder to rinse off later.

Consider rinsing your hair with apple cider vinegar.

Apple cider vinegar can be a great addition to your hair care regimen, especially if you’re still getting used to using a shampoo bar.

This is because ACV is known to have balancing properties that balance out oil production on the scalp and balance the pH level, while also freeing the chemical residue of commercial shampoos.

In addition to this, it is excellent for purification purposes due to its unique acidic properties. ACV can reduce greasy and greasy hair without removing the natural oils, unlike commercial shampoos.

Use a boar bristle brush to remove excess oil from your hair and scalp.

Dry brushing is another way to remove any leftover chemicals from your hair and scalp. This will help distribute the oil more evenly along the strands.

In fact, a boar hair brush is a great brush to use for this task as it absorbs excess oil that is not dispersed into the hair.

But always keep it clean to prevent old oil from getting on your locks again. Dry brushing your hair will not only remove excess oil, but will also keep your hair in top condition.

Prepare your hair with a baking soda solution before washing

Another great way to get rid of these residues is to prep your hair with a solution of baking soda before washing. Baking soda helps absorb and remove excess oils, residues, and other chemicals left on your hair.

Then, after rinsing, it also washes away any residue and other build-up, but does not dry out your hair or scalp. Baking soda can also exfoliate the scalp, removing dead skin cells that contribute to excess oil production in the scalp.

Consider using aloe vera

Aloe vera is truly versatile, as it can not only hydrate and soothe the skin, but also deep cleanse the hair and scalp. In fact, aloe vera is known to effectively remove excess oil and residue from the scalp without damaging it.

As a result, you can gently remove any remaining chemical build-up and strengthen and repair your hair.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between traditional shampoo and shampoo bar?

Besides the obvious differences, there are many differences between the two classifications of shampoos.

  • Traditional liquid shampoos contain a poisonous chemical called sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS). In contrast, shampoo bars are usually made from sodium coco sulfate, a coconut derivative that lathers.
  • Shampoo bars last 3x longer than bottled shampoos, so using a bar can save you a dollar or two on shampoo purchases.
  • Depending on the different hair types, the types of liquid shampoos are unlimited. In contrast, shampoo bars come in limited variety and do not address a wide range of hair problems. However, more companies are now experimenting with other ingredients.
  • Liquid shampoos remove natural oils from the scalp due to the harsh chemicals. In contrast, shampoo bars are mostly made from natural ingredients. Therefore, it is soft and gentle on the hair.
  • What makes shampoo bars better than liquid shampoos is that they are suitable for people who travel frequently. You can easily put it in your suitcase without worrying about it spilling out.

Why should I switch to a shampoo bar?

Whether or not you switch to a shampoo bar is entirely up to you, but choosing a shampoo bar over a conventional shampoo will undoubtedly help you. Here are some common reasons people use shampoo bars:

  • First, conventional bottled shampoos are already damaging the environment. The use of plastic bottles results in millions of tonnes of non-recycled plastic being dumped in landfills. Throw away bottled shampoo and save Mother Earth.
  • Second, in addition to saving the earth, it can also protect your scalp and hair from further damage from the harmful chemicals in liquid shampoo.
  • Shampoo bars are more cost-effective than liquid shampoos.
  • A well-formed shampoo bar provides hair with the benefits of a liquid shampoo without harsh chemicals.

How often should I use the shampoo bar to wash my hair?

In general, it is not recommended to wash your hair daily as it can remove natural oils from your hair and scalp. However, the shampoo bar is mild enough for daily use without damaging the hair.

Nevertheless, ideally you should only wash your hair with the shampoo bar up to 3-4 times a week. This way, your scalp can only produce the amount of oil it needs to keep your hair healthy. This process is greatly affected by washing your hair too often.

Do I need conditioner after using the shampoo bar?

The good news is that you don’t need to use conditioner anymore after using the shampoo bar. This is because shampoo bars are softer and more natural than commercial shampoos. In other words, it does not remove natural oils that can make your hair dull and dry.

In fact, commercial shampoos often require a conditioner after use because they contain oil that actually dries the hair and scalp.

However, if your hair seems too dry or dull after using the shampoo bar, it’s a good idea to rinse your hair and scalp with apple cider vinegar. ACV can help keep hair shiny and smooth without leaving any chemical residue on the hair.

Are solid shampoo and hair soap the same?

No, solid shampoo and hair soap are different. Solid shampoos are the concrete counterparts of liquid shampoos.

However, like liquid shampoos, solid shampoos are made up of surfactants, oils and perfumes. Similarly, hair soap is made up of saponified oils and fats and has an alkaline pH value.


Change most often faces some degree of resistance. Of course, changing the shampoo you use is no exception. However, if this change can lead to better and more beneficial results, it is worth a try.

For example, you might think about Mother Nature’s environmental benefits by switching to a natural, plastic-free shampoo. You can also consider the numerous health benefits it can provide to your hair in the long run.


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