3 Things to Look For in a Conditioner Bar
If you have been trying to make some switches to more eco-friendly or sustainable products, then you have probably already looked into conditioner bars. Good news - there are lots of options out here. Bad news - there are lots of options out there. So how do you choose the best one??
1. Beware the Lotion Bar Masquerading as Conditioner
Unfortunately not everyone formulating products, has taken formal training on how to do so correctly or safely. I have come across many different brands selling conditioner bars, but upon closer inspection of the ingredient list, have discovered that there isn't a single conditioning agent in the formula.
Ummmm... what? Isn't that, like, an essential component? Butters and oils are very moisturizing yes, but they are not conditioning agents, and will leave your hair feeling coated or greasy.
There are many different conditioning agents out there, and the most effective conditioner bars will contain a couple of different ones. Look for conditioning agents that are derived from natural ingredients, and if you are unsure about a certain ingredient there are databases and apps that can help inform you.
Using a lotion bar on your hair might not do any harm, but it certainly won't provide you with the results you are looking for, and will be difficult to rinse out. Lotion bars are a great alternative to bottled lotions, but let's just use them on our skin where they are meant to be used!
2. Synthetic Fragrances Stink!
While synthetic fragrances can allow a product to smell like almost anything (cupcakes or cotton candy anyone?), you actually don't know what the ingredients of the fragrance are.
"The Consumer Product Safety Commission, which regulates cleaning supplies, air fresheners, and laundry products, currently does not require manufacturers to disclose any ingredients on the label, including fragrances in these products. The same is true for fragrances in personal care items, which are overseen by the Food and Drug Administration." (Potera, 2011: Indoor Air Quality: Scented Products Emit a Bouquet of VOCs).
That's right, they can simply label the blend of whatever makes up the fragrance as "parfum", no matter what it contains. Some of the biggest shampoo and conditioner bar players use synthetic fragrance - but not to worry, there are other options!
Look instead for products made with blends of pure essential oils, you will be amazed at the variety of scents that blends of essential oils can make. Or, if you prefer, there are unscented products out there as well.
So why on earth would any companies use synthetic fragrances when there are natural alternatives available, you wonder? Because its cheap. Like with anything else in life, you often get what you paid for, so choose wisely!
3. Soft Shiny Hair That Feels Great
When it comes down to it, this is what you came for - soft and shiny moisturized hair that feels amazing! You don't need a liquid conditioner to accomplish this, some of the best conditioners out there are bars that are formulated well.
Fancy pictures and marketing aside, the true test is if the product works. Read the reviews, research the ingredients, and feel good knowing that your choice to move to conditioner bars will take a few more plastic bottles out of the equation!