Shampoo bars have become quite a trend lately. And with all the news about reducing plastic waste, it's easy to see why.
An average person can go through quite a number of plastic shampoo bottles every year, and that excludes hair conditioners and other products we use on a daily basis.
At the end of the day, they can all add up. That's how shampoo bars come into the picture.
It is simply a solid version of shampoo without plastic packaging.
Not only do you remove the plastic bottle, but the bar is usually made of natural ingredients instead of chemicals found in traditional liquid shampoos.
But aside from 'saving the earth', are they actually any good for our hair?
We decided to try out several affordable Malaysian-made shampoo bars and here's what we thought:
1. Lave Republic
After doing some research, Lave Republic seemed to have the most popular reputation for shampoo bars. And it was easy to see why.
The bars are infused with essential oils making them smell great, they have a variety of bars for different hair types (curly, greasy, dandruff, etc) and it was easy to work up a lather. There are also separate conditioner bars to go with the shampoos.
My curly-haired friend tested out their 'Curly Sue Sulfate-Free Shampoo Bar', and loved it. He mentioned that it was gentle enough and did not leave their hair feeling dry - a common issue for most curly hair people!
Each bar is between RM15 to RM24.50. You can get them here. For an added RM15, you can get it with a tin to make it easier for travelling!
2. The Sabonete
I discovered this Malaysian-made shampoo bar on Instagram and was pretty impressed by the quality of their products.
The soap bars from The Sabonete are free of palm oil and artificial fragrances. One of them came in a simple recyclable tin and had a really nice minty smell.
It lathered up quickly, was easy to wash my hair with, and the spearmint essential oil in the product left my scalp feeling refreshed after a long day.
On top of it, the founder, who explained that she does this on a part-time basis, makes pretty minimalist designs that make good gifts!
Each shampoo bar costs RM19. You can also get free shipping if you buy three items and above.
Get it here.
Another shampoo bar that we tried was this plant-based 2-in-1 natural conditioning shampoo bar by Hello Natural Co.
It didn't lather up like The Sabonete for me but it did leave my hair feeling clean. The type of lather is just a matter of preference though, and I still preferred to use a conditioner after each wash.
For my sister, this bar was the easiest to use in terms of lather and washing off residue. After trying out the hair serum, she recommends using that as well - adding that the combo made her crispy bleached hair feel silky soft for at least a day.
You can get the shampoo bar for RM45.99 here.
Claire has made quite a name for themselves in Malaysia for their organic skincare and bath products - so I just had to try out one of their shampoo bars.
The 'Camellia' left my hair feeling soft and super clean, plus the smell was not too strong. A good choice if you're looking for something simple and easy to find.
My only note is to rinse thoroughly to avoid any residue!
They have booths at different malls in Klang Valley. Or you can also purchase it for RM23 here.
5. Zene Handmade
Made with spices directly from India, Zene Handmade shampoo bars have distinct scents that are unique from the rest.
My colleague, Alyssa, who has an oily scalp and curly hair, tested out the 'Henna' shampoo bar and here's what she thought:
"The soap has a great, earthy smell. In the beginning, it was weird using it because it made my hair feel very stiff (which is normal for natural shampoo bars) but I noticed this isn't a problem after a few weeks of using it. Just slap on conditioner and your hair will be a-okay! My scalp also seems to itch lesser now with the shampoo bar."
Another colleague, Sadho, shared that it made his hair and beard feel much thicker in a good way. He washed his hair almost every day and the shampoo bar lasted him about three weeks.
You can find their shampoo bars for RM21.50 at The Hive outlets or online here.
Bear in mind that if you usually use liquid shampoos, then you'll need to give your scalp some time to get adjusted to a shampoo bar
After testing these out, I learnt that you might also need to rinse your hair quite thoroughly compared to liquid shampoos - or at least until your hair and scalp get accustomed to it!
Other than that, shampoo bars are a great option to start using. Save the environment while saving your hair from chemicals!
Have you tried any of these products? Let us know what you think in the comments section.
Also, look out for more #SAYSbeauty tips and trends!