Top Tips for Making the Switch to Shampoo Bars

Making the switch from plastic bottled shampoo to our Solid Shampoo Bars can feel like a big leap. Because of this, this week we have spent some time writing out a few of our thoughts, hints and tips about how to get the most from your shampoo bars. Read on for information to help you to make the switch from liquid shampoo and to ditch products containing SLS, SLES and other detergents.

Solid Shampoo Instructions

1. Small Amounts.

We've found that most of us tend to use too much product when we make the switch from liquid shampoo to solid shampoo bars. We're used to taking a handful of liquid shampoo (which is mostly water) which produces a very large volume of lather (which is the detergents found in most commercially produced shampoos). Now, we don't use either of these ingredients (water or detergent) so we will have a slightly different experience using the solid shampoo. The secret is to only use only a very small volume of the very concentrated Cosy Cottage solid, detergent free shampoo bars that is necessary to clean the hair and scalp, and that's a pretty small volume. 

2. Gentle Lather.

We recommend building a gentle lather on your hands and then massaging into the hair and scalp rather than rubbing the bars onto the hair. Don't expect as large a volume of lather as you would get from the detergent (usually SLS or sometimes SLES); a high volume of lather is not essential to clean the hair. Our shampoo bars, like all of our products, do not contain any detergent nor any other non-naturally derived ingredients. As we've said, SLS and SLES are detergents and will wash oils and fats out of hair, skin and anywhere else; a bit like washing a greasy dinner plate in Fairy Liquid! SLS does also dry out the skin and the hair and there have been documented studies linking the use of SLS to various health and skin conditions too. We have previously written about the troubles of using SLS in our blog post 'Dry, irritated skin? Is your soap to blame?'. With regard to liquid shampoos and some shampoo bars which do contain SLS, the SLS will definitely wash away any shampoo and other product residues very quickly and will lather very freely, as you would expect from a detergent (think Fairy Liquid). Unfortunately, it will also wash away a lot of other things too! 

3. Rinse Away.

With a non-SLS containing hair product, such as Cosy Cottage Shampoo Bars, you do need to rinse thoroughly. Usually this presents no problems but we have found that a slightly acid rinse (water with a little lemon juice or a little cider vinegar, about 10% as a guide) is sometimes helpful in the final rinsing, if you are struggling to rinse out all of the product, especially if you live in a hard water area.

4. Adjustment.

We have found too that perseverance pays! Some of us have a coating of products on our hair before we start and as this washes away, this can feel like an unpleasant residue in the hair for a short time. The most common issues are with silicones which coat the hair to create a 'shininess'. Most people report positive results after 1 or 2 washes but more may be needed to fully remove the silicone build up from commercial shampoos, during which your hair may look and feel different. Allow enough time for this detox and adjustment period.

Also, there's a period of adjustment, for some of us, which our hair has gone through, as it gets used to no longer having to 'fight' with SLS and similar harsh chemicals and instead learn to be strong and shine all by itself. SLS strips away your hair's natural coating which can cause your scalp and hair to become dry. Your scalp may try to compensate for this by producing more natural oil (sebum) which, in turn, can lead to a harsher shampoo being used to combat the greasy hair. When we stop using SLS shampoos, our hair and scalp are no longer being stripped of their natural oils. Our hair may now take some time to re-balance its oil production. This can take place from a few days to a few weeks.

It pays to be patient and you will be rewarded with healthy hair and scalp.    

All of us here at The Cosy Cottage Soap Company HQ have been using the shampoo bars now for many weeks (some of us years). Some of us have been through a learning curve as we've made the switch away from liquid shampoo and SLS containing products. One thing is for certain though, we're all complete converts now, and our hair ranges from very short (gentlemen's) hair, through curly and straight to long and thick.   

Don't hesitate to comment below with any queries you have about the products.

We hope that sharing our own experience helps you as you make the switch away from plastic and SLS to our beautiful, natural, vegan, additive free shampoo bars. 


  • Julie Perkins

    I think I have finally cracked it!! I live in the south east and we have very hard water. When I first used the shampoo bar it felt like I was rinsing off in chip fat, my hair felt greasy and horrible. I tried for 2-3 weeks before giving up. Then I finally read the comments and reviews about it on fb and the suggestion of rinsing with vinegar or lemon juice. Well it works, however if you don’t want to smell like a chip shop or buy loads of lemons, try buying citric acid. I got some food grade citric acid online and although I am still experimenting with the amount I need, it really does work and my hair feels clean, less frizzy and the curles are coming back!! I used to have quite greasy hair but the time between washes is increasing as my hair is readjusting to its natural state.

  • Sarah wood


    I’ve been suffering with a dry and itchy scalp for a very long time and I have just switched to the shampoo and the conditioner bars. I have only used them twice but I’m already loving the feeling of a scalp that does not itch (it was unbearable at time even with a medicated shampoo). However I am finding that my hair looks and feels very greasy after using them. I feel like I am rinsing very thoroughly. Should I be using the vinegar rinse after the conditioner?
    Thank you!

  • Cosy Cottage Soap

    Hi Ursula, great to hear you are getting on with the Shampoo Bar well. We find the principles of using the Conditioner much the same but we do urge customers to use a very small amount on the ends of hair only. We will shortly be writing a similar blog to this one specifically for the Conditioner so do keep an eye out for that too. Thanks and best wishes

  • Ursula Nias

    I’m fine with the shampoo bar, it’s brilliant but I can’t get the conditioner bar right. My hair seems to be very greasy after I’ve used it.

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