There’s always been a debate between shampoo and a bar of soap for hair. This is because, with the ever-evolving beauty market, both of these products are starting to look and foam the same. There are many brands that have started to make both shampoos and soaps in bar forms and liquid forms. So what’s the difference between soap and shampoo? We’re here to tell you.
Shampoo Vs Soap:
What you use nowadays isn’t considered a “soap” technically. Real soap is quite a simple combination of animal or vegetable fat mixed with an alkaline solution. So basically, real soap can be made without any artificial ingredients. Most soaps that we use today aren’t made naturally. They’re mostly made with a surfactant (a detergent that increases water’s ability to spread and thoroughly wet something) like Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (SLS) and a combination of other chemicals that make the soap look and smell good. So what you’re using, is mainly a detergent, not a soap.
Similar to these soap-like detergents, most shampoos also contain SLS to clean your hair. This surfactant makes your shampoo lather or foam up nicely when you rub it into your wet hair. SLS works the same in soaps and shampoos, as its main job is to take the oil and dirt along with it and clean your scalp and hair.
Earlier in the day, people actually used bar soap to clean their hair. Soon, liquid coconut oils became available. The oil helped liquify soap and eventually, a liquid soap that could lather was invented. These days though, bar soap isn’t quite recommended to wash your hair. If you were to use bar soap instead of shampoo, it would immediately leave soap scum behind. And to top it, if you were taking a hair wash with hard water, it’d be very difficult to rinse it off of your hair and scalp.
Even certain shower gels aren’t recommended for your hair as they contain a higher percentage of surfactants. Shampoos have a lower percentage of surfactants which allows them to easily rinse out of your hair. It also means that fewer oils are being pulled out of your hair, which is important to keep your scalp moisturised.
If you wash your hair with just soap, it will definitely remove all of the oil and dirt, but it will also leave your hair dull, dry, frizzy and hard to style. Commercial shampoos with SLS, on the other hand, clean your hair and then repair the damage they’ve done. They do this by adding some sort of conditioner to their formula that gives your hair a shine, making it more manageable and reducing the frizz.
While most commercial soaps and shampoos are various combinations of detergents designed to lift all oil and dirt off your hair, they still have many different properties that make shampoo better for your hair. The best way to treat your hair is to avoid all products with SLS, whether it’s soap or shampoo, and wash your hair with a formula that doesn’t strip the protective oils while conditioning your hair in the process.
So, can you use bar soap on hair? Well, it’s honestly a bad idea but it’s totally up to you if you can find a chemical-free bar soap. But we’d always recommend choosing a natural hair cleanser that doesn’t contain any chemicals like sulphates, parabens or carcinogens. One such product is the Pure Sense Relaxing Macadamia Deep Nourishing Hair Cleanser. The macadamia shampoo is capable of gently cleansing and nourishing your scalp. It is packed with vitamin E and B5 that softens your hair and even controls frizz. The sweet and nutty fragrance of this hair cleanser soothes and calms your senses. You can use this shampoo on dry and chemically-treated hair.