Shortly after I started learning to make soap, I started noticing other soap makers selling "shampoo bars." My hair is waist length, thick, curly and dry---not the easiest type of hair to manage. Over the years I've tried many different products on it, but it had never occurred to me that you could use bar soap on your hair.
Not just any bar soap, of course. Handmade bar soap, that was free of all those nasty, drying chemicals that seem to be universally added into every commercial brand of soap and shampoo. I'd already seen the difference using my own handmade soap makes in giving me softer, smoother skin. So I decided to be my own "guinea pig" and try shampooing my hair with it.
For the experiment, I decided to use my Pure Castile Soap because it's the purest, simplest soap there is, made of just olive oil, water, and lye. A few strokes of the bar across my wet hair, and I had enough to work up a nice gentle lather. It worked great! Why had I assumed that shampoo had to be liquid?
The thing I noticed immediately was that my hair felt clean and sleek right away. The soap rinsed out quickly and easily (as with most soap, it does sting if you get it in your eye, so be careful!). When I use commercial shampoos, I usually end up using a large handful of conditioner just to be able to get the comb through my hair afterward, but it seemed a shame to apply commercial conditioner after washing my hair with natural soap, so I decided to try skipping the conditioner entirely. To my surprise, that worked okay too!
Since then, I've been using my Castile soap every time I wash my hair. Sometimes I put a little conditioner on, sometimes I don't. Either way, my hair ends up feeling softer than usual, and I have noticed a striking decrease in the amount of hair breakage. I would estimate that I have less than half the amount of breakage than I had when using commercial shampoo. That was a complete surprise!
If you'd like to try your own shampoo experiment, you can find my homemade Castile soap in my Etsy shop.