We are committed to reducing the plastic waste in our home. We’ve already been working on lowering our carbon footprint by buying in bulk, sourcing from local producers, and more, but we wanted to specifically target plastic. Shampoo bars are a great way to go zero waste!
What’s the problem with plastic?
There are so many reasons why plastic is so popular…It’s cheap to make, convenient, and pretty durable. It makes packaging and shipping liquids like shampoos and conditioners so easy!
However, almost all of the plastic produced is never recycled. Because it is not a natural product, it does not decompose naturally. Even when it does break down, it becomes microplastics that are so prevalent they are likely already in your blood.
Our world is becoming overrun with plastic and it’s time to look for little ways to cut the plastic habit!
Shampoo bars and conditioners are not only plastic-free, but they also contain no water. They are much lighter and easier to ship than bottled shampoos while still offering excellent cleaning power. They’re a perfect place to ditch the plastic!
Read more: 39 Simple, Intuitive Ways to Reduce Your Waste
Are shampoo bars the same as regular soap?
No. Shampoo bars are designed to gently cleanse your hair and scalp. They tend to be highly concentrated so a little goes a long way.
Conditioner bars are even further from regular soap bars as they are extremely rich in oils and butters.
Regular soap is not a good alternative for shampoo bars as it can make your hair feel both waxy and too dry. It’s meant for skin, not for hair.
Why did it take me so long to try shampoo bars?
I have always had an itchy scalp. In 5th Grade, I was prescribed the first medicated shampoo I’ve ever used to tackle the itch. Since then, I’ve tried so many products. So many.
Despite limiting fragrance and being really mindful of ingredients in every product I buy, I still have to keep Head & Shoulders in my bathroom because it’s the only thing that really takes away the itch.
Since I have such a fussy scalp, it seemed like shampoo bars might be a bad idea. Plus, a lot of shampoo bar companies tailor to everyone, not people with lots of flaking, itching, and dandruff.
Back in college, I even tried using soap bars and apple cider vinegar infused with herbs to target the itch. The soap bars I used back then were not effective and left my hair feeling greasy. The thought of even reopening the door and going through this mess again was not appealing!
Why did I start with Naturel Shampoo Bars?
Because I’m so committed to going plastic-free and because so many companies now offer shampoo bars, it felt like a good time to try again. What’s the worst that would happen? If it didn’t work, I’d stick with what I was doing before. If it did work…I’d save money, reduce plastic waste, AND reduce the itching and flaking!
When I found Naturel Shampoo Bars, I was impressed by the reviews for their Soothe bars. I was in an especially itchy scalp stage and was sold by the comments of people saying it completely eradicated their itching. The thought of EVER not having an itchy scalp was worth the gamble!
Plus, it wasn’t just a shampoo bar…they also offered a conditioner bar to really support my scalp and hair health.
Where to Order Naturel Shampoo Bars
There are three places to pick up Naturel shampoo bars…
- Naturel USA Website
- Amazon (fastest shipping)
Naturel Shampoo Bar Perks
- Palm Oil Free
- Each bar replaces up to 3 bottles of shampoo or conditioner (that’s so much plastic avoided!)
- Paraben and phtlate free
- Made in the US
- Artificial fragrance-free (required for me…but keep reading to learn more about this)
After reading about the products, their ingredients, and the reviews, it was worth a try. As someone extremely sensitive to fragrance, this product felt like a perfect starting point. I hit order and literally tracked the shipping every day. The second the product came in, I took some pictures, and ran to the shower!
How to Use a Shampoo Bar
The first thing to know about shampoo bars is that you use them slightly differently than regular liquid shampoo and conditioner.
Basically, you need to rub the shampoo bar in your hands to get some suds. Then rub your hands through your hair and along your scalp.
A little goes a long way! The amount of suds you feel on your hands will be less than what you feel in your hair. Always start with less and add more if needed.
How to Use a Conditioner Bar
After you rinse out the shampoo, it’s time to condition. Unlike the shampoo bars, you actually rub the conditioner bar on your wet hair like a brush.
Let it sit for a few minutes and then rinse out. Done!
Read: Biossance Review: Clean, Sensitive Skin Friendly Skincare
Naturel Shampoo Bar for Dandruff – Soothe
As I mentioned before, I started using this product the DAY it arrived. I wash my hair every two days and used Soothe exclusively.
The first thing I liked was how refreshing and cleansing the bars smell. I loved that it was fragrance-free and that it still smelled so good!
Using the bars was super easy, so that was not a barrier in any way.
I figured it might take some time for my hair to adjust to the bars. Because of that, I’ve waited to write this review until I’d used the bars for at least two months.
Although these bars are better than using a typical shampoo without anti-dandruff ingredients, I do still get itching and flaking with these bars. In fact, I get more flaking than before, but the flakes are really small.
It has been getting better the longer I use the bars, but they have not solved the itching.
I really tried to not use any other products except the bars, but I had to give in a few times and use Head & Shoulders on my most miserable scalp days.
Plus, as someone with thick, curly hair, I found that the bars were not nourishing enough for my curls. They’d fall flat and not style well at all.
|Naturel Soothe Shampoo & Conditioner Bars|
Scented with essential oils
Made in the US
|Did not remove all itching and flaking|
Still had to use conventional products to address itching
Not rich enough for curly hair
Read More: Simple Swaps to Green Your Home Today
But Naturel sells curly hair products too, right?
Yes! I actually reached out to Naturel right after I got the Soothe bars to ask about their curly line. They offered to send me the whole curly line (shampoo and conditioner bars) for free in exchange for review. This sounded perfect since I was already planning to share the whole process with you anyway!
They shipped the Relax line right away and surprised me with a large soap saver and a bar of their body soap.
My hope was that by mixing the Soothe shampoo bar and the Relax conditioner bar, I could put together a combo that would support my scalp and nourish my curls.
Naturel Shampoo Bar for Curly Hair – Relax
Okay, as soon as I opened the box, I knew this might not work for me. I am extremely sensitive to fragrance and unlike the Soothe bars, the Relax bars have a heavy scent. It is a nice, strong, kind of masculine scent but it also very potent.
I could feel some congestion right away just smelling the bars but I decided to try them anyway.
The first day, I used only the Relax line and did not use the Soothe bars at all. The conditioner bar is seriously amazing. It is so rich and nourishing; I noticed an immediate improvement in my curls.
I also used the body soap bar they sent, which also smelled nice but was clearly scented with fragrance.
That day, my whole body was itchy. I’m sure it was a response to the fragrance since I typically do not use any fragrance at all.
I didn’t bother using the soap bar after that first time since I had a reaction.
|Naturel Soothe Shampoo & Conditioner Bars|
| Reasonable price|
Made in the US
Extremely rich and nourishing conditioner (perfect for curls)
|Very strong fragrance scent|
Fragrance caused irritation & itching
My Try-to-Make-it-Work Solution
To get the benefits of the Relax conditioner bar without having a reaction, I came up with this routine. Basically, I use the Soothe shampoo bar, put the Soothe conditioner bar in the areas closest to my scalp, and then I rub the Relax conditioner bar on the rest of my hair.
This combo has been working well enough and I certainly believe in the power of shampoo and conditioner bars, but can tell I need to stop. The Relax conditioner is just so rich and nourishing that I keep wanting to use it. But, I’m dealing with low-grade irritation and itching across my upper body all the time. I also know fragrance is really not safe for the body and I need to remove this from my rotation. So sad!
I will absolutely keep using the Soothe shampoo and conditioner bars as a backup until I find an alternative that works a little bit better. I may also try rinsing my hair with apple cider vinegar after conditioning to see if that helps tackle the itch a bit better.
Even if I can make the Soothe bars work better for me, they still won’t be rich enough for my curls. This means it’s time to find something new. Although I typically like to use up my products before I replace them, this is a not a time when I can do that.
Does this mean Naturel shampoo bars are not good to use?
I think Naturel is really close to offering stellar products. The Soothe line really is strong, but it’s just not as strong as conventional products from the store. For a natural line to even work as well as it does is amazing! I’m going to keep playing with the Soothe line. It’d also be great if they switched to organic ingredients.
Since fragrance is such a problematic ingredient, I go back and forth on whether I can recommend the Relax line. If there was no fragrance or a scent from essential oils, I would say to ABSOLUTELY try these products. The Relax conditioner bar was so great that I was using it despite having a reaction to the fragrance… That says something!
However, if you are sensitive to fragrance or even if you are just trying to live a non-toxic life, I would not reorder the Relax bar. If you have no problem using fragrance and just want a plastic-free curly hair conditioner, it may be perfect for you.
If Naturel reads this…
Thank you so much for creating plastic-free hair care products! I appreciated your generosity in sharing the Relax line, the soap saver, and the bar soap. I so hoped this would be a perfect match!
As someone highly sensitive to fragrance and trying to live a non-toxic life, I would highly recommend that you remove the fragrance from your products to make sure they are just as good for our bodies as they are for the environment.
It was also unclear to me that not all of your products are fragrance-free. Because I ordered from the Soothe line and that line is fragrance-free and advertised as so, I thought that meant everything you sell was either unscented or scented using essential oils. That was not clear to me and was part of the confusion.
When you can make the Relax bars without fragrance, I would gladly try them again!
What will I try next?
There are so many things I like about Naturel shampoo bars, but I can tell that the Soothe line is not fully addressing my scalp needs and the Relax line is far too heavily fragranced for my body.
I’ve been researching other shampoo and conditioner bar lines. My requirements are that they use organic ingredients and are completely fragrance-free (essential oils are okay). Fortunately, I found a very small company out of Oregon selling zero waste soaps that I’m going to try next! I just ordered their sample set and will report back on how it goes.
I love the idea of zero waste! Thanks for the recommendation 😀
Pauline, happy to help! Thanks so much for visiting! 🙂