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Shampoo Bars – are they soap?

The short answer is no! - at least they shouldn’t be. The shampoo bars you find at La Danse des Savons are syndet bars but unfortunately, many shampoo bars on the market are actual soap.

What’s a syndet bar?

Syndet is short for synthetic detergent. Its is a cleansing agent that works to dissolve oil and dirt so that they can be washed away with water. Syndets are used for shampoos, body wash, liquid soap, laundry detergent…and there are a multitude available ranging from mild to harsh. I have taken extra care to ensure I use mild syndets such as Sodium cocoyl isethionate (SCI) made from coconut oil and Sodium Lauryl Sulfoacetate (SLSa) which is of vegetable origin and meets ECOCERT standards.

Why is soap bad for your hair?

Long term use of soap will damage your hair because of its high pH which damages the cuticle. Some people get around this by using a vinegar rinse after washing their hair with a soap bar, but personally I don’t enjoy the smell or feel of vinegar nor the inconvenience. A shampoo bar made with syndets allows us to create a product with a slightly acidic pH which maintains the hair’s cuticle structure.

How can I tell if I’m buying a soap or syndet bar?

Firstly - the price! The ingredients required for a syndet bar are far more expensive than the oils used in soaps

Secondly - the ingredients. If you see Sodium Cocoate, Sodium palmate, Sodium olivate etc these are the saponified oils produced during the traditional soap making process…. So not suitable for hair.

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