How to use a shampoo bar for coloured hair.

There’s a current craze for planet-friendly, penny-saving, hair cleansers on the scene. But how do you use a shampoo bar? And are they safe for coloured hair? Here’s everything you need to know about how to use a shampoo bar for coloured hair.

Slowly but surely, an exciting new revolution in coloured hair care is creeping up on us.

They’re firm, they’re pretty, they smell out of this world! AND they can outlive your favourite coloured hair shampoos by three bottles!

It’s common to feel confused about them. After all, they’re a completely different way of cleaning your hair than what you’ve probably been using for years.

It can be hard to know how much or how little product to use when switching over, which can lead to some initial frustration and confusion.

We’re here with everything you need to know about these small but perfectly formed miracles and how to use them in a way that works for you.

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What is a shampoo bar?

These are nifty little blocks of wonder that look just like soap.

They’re not soap because they contain loads of lush making ingredients for you hair and are not drying like soap bars for your skin can be.

Most of them boast all-natural ingredients with no chemicals or nasties like sulphates that strip your colour and damage your locks.

Their sophisticated ingredients are high on quality and luxury and produce wonderful, natural perfumes that smell amazing too.

You can even make them yourself!

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Why should I use a shampoo bar?

There are lots of benefits for using shampoo bars for dyed hair in place of your normal colour shampoo – at home or while travelling.


  • They’re a compact size and handy to carry around to work, the gym and on your travels.
  • They contain no nasty chemicals or additives.
  • Some can be used on your body.
  • They’re eco-friendly with no plastic packaging.
  • They’re budget friendly too.
  • They last so much longer than bottle shampoos.


  • It can take some time for your hair to adjust to using it.
  • Some have a waxy consistency which can build up in your hair.
  • They can cause tangles in very long or fine hair.
  • They can leave you hair with a ‘coated’ feeling.

Are shampoo bars safe for colour treated hair?

Absolutely! In fact, they’re safer for coloured hair than most ordinary shampoos.

They’re bursting with natural oils, which help condition your hair, and are typically free of sulphates which are the paint strippers for your colour. 

Shampoo bars are super kind to your colour while cleansing your hair and that’s why we adore them.

Which is the best shampoo bar for coloured hair?

We are totally in love with the wholesome J.R. Liggett range of products that are great for coloured hair. You can find out more about it and our other top recommended buys in Best shampoos bars for coloured hair.


J.R. Liggett Bar Shampoo, Virgin Coconut Argan Oil

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Best for: Much-needed moisture

J.R Liggetts offering is a charmingly old fashioned looking bar that resembles a pack of butter! It smells good enough to eat too!

We found this one hard to get the quantity right so as not to leave a residue, but if you nail it, the results are fab. This bar is infused with argan oil which our stressed coloured tresses loved and left them feeling superbly soft and moisturised. There’s also a handy mini version for travelling too.

How to use a shampoo bar.

So now we’ll get down with how to use these beauties on your colour treated hair for the best results. It’s easy! Just follow our step-by-step guide.

STEP ONE: Wet your hair.

Shampooing your hair starts with getting your hair wet! Step in the shower and soak your locks.

STEP TWO: Massage through.

It’s time to lather up. Grab your soap and start to rub it through your hair to foam it up. Once you have a decent amount of suds, massage it through your hair to get every strand clean.

STEP THREE: Rinse and repeat!

Because you’re only washing your coloured hair once a week – as instructed in How to look after coloured hair and keep it looking fabulous! – you’ll need to give it two shampoos to cut through the grease and grime that will have built up in a week.

The next wash should lather up even more. Then rinse until the water runs clean.

STEP FOUR: Condition and nourish your hair.

After you’ve used it, your hair will still need a great conditioner to keep it moisturised and help keep the tangles away and the colour locked in.

how to use a shampoo bar

Watch and learn.

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How do you store shampoo bars in the shower?

Without a bottle to protect it and keep it fresh, your bar will need some protective packaging to stop it drying out.

These eco-friendly containers are perfect for that and come in a range of great colours Ethique Eco-Friendly in-Shower Storage Container.

How often should you wash your hair with a shampoo bar?

This is the question we’re often asked, but there are no clear-cut answers.

Some say every day, some say once a week.

In reality, it depends on your lifestyle and how healthy or oily your scalp is. We recommend experimenting to find what works best for you!

Why does my hair feel greasy after using a shampoo bar?

For those of you who have been using shampoo bars to wash your hair, we’re here to tell you why the greasy feeling may be happening.

It’s quite common for people with oily roots and dry ends (which is a lot of us) to experience this type of problem after switching out their regular liquid shampoo for a bar.

First things first: don’t panic! It’s not because there’s something wrong with your hair; rather, it has more to do with the pH balance of our scalps than anything else.

The problem with many commercial shampoos is they strip the natural oils from our scalp leaving us with an overproduction of oil in order to compensate.

So what happens when you start using a bar is that those oils aren’t stripped and are left to help nourish and condition your hair. Which can leave your hair feeling greasy!

But it doesn’t take long for your hair to get used to it and stop overproducing oils at all. You just have to stick with it until then!

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Why do shampoo bars leave residue?

Your hair might also feel greasy because there is residue left on your hair.

You might notice this if you live in an area with hard water. You apply what seems like half of the shampoo bar onto your wet hair and scalp, which doesn’t lather up as much as your usual sulfate-filled bottle of shampoo does.

Then you wash it off and notice little white flakes left behind…not so pleasant looking or feeling!

What you need to know about hair products is that there are two types of ingredients: surfactants and conditioners.

Surfactants work by lathering up on your head in order to reduce oiliness and scalp dryness while conditioning agents add shine and lock out frizzes. The problem with shampoo bars is that they’re often high in surfactants but low in conditioning agents.

Which means the oils in their ingredients leave behind a residue that can make your hair feel waxy.

Rinsing your hair thoroughly and use a good, colour-safe conditioner can usually take care of the problem.

How long does it take for hair to adjust to shampoo bar?

You might have heard horror stories of people who tried switching from regular shampoos and conditioners, only to find out that their hair is a frizzy mess.

Well, this doesn’t necessarily apply to all of us!

Different types of hair can take different lengths of time before they become fully adjusted with the changes in products we use on them.

Some may experience better results than others because there are factors like thickness and texture that come into play when it comes down to finding the best match for you and your locks!

So what does it really take? Here’s an estimate:

It usually takes about three weeks (minimum) before one starts seeing the positive benefits we’re telling you will happen!

Stick with it – it’s worth it!


These clever little bars are very versatile. If you want a deep cleanse, use more of the shampoo bar and really work it through. If you want a milder wash, just use less!

Rinse it well so you’re not left with any residue on your hair.

If you don’t fancy rubbing it straight onto your hair, you can soap it up in your hands first and then apply it to your hair with your hands.

Don’t expect it to lather up as much as your regular shampoo, that doesn’t mean that the natural ingredients aren’t getting to work.

It’s a completely new formula for your hair that’s used to harsh chemicals, so it’ll take a while to get used to and for the benefits to really show. Stick with it and be patient! You’ll never look back.