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How Well Do Shampoo Bars Work for Dry, Thick Curls? We Find Out

Shampoo bars are all the hype right now—not only because they’re eco-friendly, but also due to the fact that most of them are free of toxic chemicals like sulfates and parabens. 

As appealing as this all sounds, curly-haired folks (like myself) might be slightly skeptical. Curls often need significantly higher levels of moisture than straighter locks and I’ll be first to admit that I wasn’t too sure these little bars would have what it takes. Add in the fact that my own strands are extremely thick and I almost gave up on the idea altogether.

But, in the name of science (and the environment), I decided to put them to the test—how well do shampoo and conditioning bars really work for dry, thick curls? The lovely folks at HiBar were kind enough to send along their Moisture Shampoo and Conditioner for me to use and find the answers we all need. These two products are formulated specifically for coarse, dry hair so that alone may be enough for a few of you to smash the buy button. But if you’re not quite convinced yet, read on below for my honest thoughts on the products.

HiBar Moisture Shampoo: $13.95

The first impressive thing about the packaging of these products is that it’s made entirely of recyclable and compostable paper. Major kudos as we celebrate Earth Month. I have to say, though, if fragrance is something that’s important to you, these might not be the products for you. As I opened them, I noticed quite an odd smell that didn’t bring anything pleasant to mind, TBH. But, I didn’t let the scent stop me and you shouldn’t either.

To work the product in, the directions say to rub the angled end of the bar onto your scalp. Once I began doing this, the texture was heavenly. It felt buttery soft and glided through my thick tresses with ease—something that doesn’t happen often when you have as much hair as I do. Keep in mind, since it’s formulated without things like sulfates, it doesn’t lather much. I noticed this as I was working it through my strands, but it didn’t make my hair feel any less clean, it actually just felt richly hydrated. I was pretty happy with the amount of slip my hair had after solely using the shampoo and was excited to move on to the conditioning bar.

(via HiBar)

HiBar Moisture Conditioner: $13.95

As enthusiastic as I was to slap on further moisture, I had a lot more trouble getting enough product on my scalp with this one. Granted, I imagine they design them this way to avoid too much product loss in the shower, but it took some major effort on my part to feel like I got even a small amount of conditioner through my locks, ugh. That being said, once I did manage to get a decent amount into my hair, I loved the silkiness of the formula. The shampoo didn’t leave my locks thirsty or feeling soapy, which was refreshing, and the conditioner also sat quite nicely. It’s packed with ingredients like coconut oil, rice protein, ginger root oil and more.

(via HiBar)

Final Verdict

I really enjoyed these two products for their formula, but found the amount of scrubbing it took to get enough product on my hands slightly frustrating. That’s definitely something to note if you have thick or curly locks and are considering making the switch. For me personally, I like to use quite a bit of product to make sure my hair will be fully nourished and that was pretty difficult with bars. Overall, I love how sustainable they are and the ultra-glossy formula so I’ll definitely continue to use them. I will say, though, if you also have thick, dry or curly hair, wash day won’t exactly be easy or quick with these. If you do have extra time and are willing to take on the task, then go forth and shampoo bar, my friend.

Want step-by-step instructions on how to get perfect curls, straight from Shakira’s stylist? Find out how, HERE.

2 minutes

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