Solid shampoo or hair soap? Here’s the difference

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Drugstores are now filling their shelves with zero-waste alternatives for classic shampoo bottles. While browsing the shelves, one or the other will have come across solid shampoo or hair soap. Although the two products appear identical at first glance, they differ in several ways. Which they are, you can find out here.

What are the differences between hair soap and shampoo?
Even though they could be the same product at first glance, a closer look reveals subtle differences. Hair soaps mainly contain classic (curd) soap as a washing substance. In other words, oils and fats have been boiled down with lyes. They also have an alkaline pH value and are therefore alkaline.

Solid shampoo, on the other hand, cleans with synthetic or near-natural foam-forming surfactants. They usually have a slightly acidic pH. In plain language, this means that hair soap – in keeping with its name – is based on the solid soap we are used to, while solid shampoos are modelled on classic hair shampoos in terms of formulation.

This is also why hair soaps are used differently than shampoo bars. Because hair soaps are alkaline, they can be combined with lime. This means the residue can attach to the hair. Like lime stains in the bathroom, the more often the hair soap has been used and the more lime has accumulated, the more difficult it becomes to remove them. According to Ökotest, the acid rinse, i.e., an acidic conditioner, provides a remedy. The rinse is supposed to remove all lime residues and shift the pH value back into the acidic range. This helps to make the hair smooth and supple.

Otherwise, the application of shampoo pieces and hair soap is the same. You take the care product and either rub it directly into wet hair or lather it up between your hands before distributing it through your hair.

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