Today’s review marks my official journey with testing shampoo bars! My hair has been feeling lackluster in the cleansing department lately and with many brands releasing shampoo bars that have caught my eye (they’re affordable too!), I’m finding myself feeling drawn towards this cleansing concept.
I’ll stop myself right there, because I HAVE tried one shampoo bar in the past from a small indie brand and I initially thought the experience was good, but I didn’t go on to finish the bar because I wasn’t dedicated to the method and the time it takes to cleanse with a shampoo bar. Also, after I became acquainted with the bar I’m reviewing today, I realized it completely blew the old one out of the water and that it just wasn’t as good as I initially thought.
Abhati Suisse, founded by Anju Rupal, creates next generation skincare and haircare that blends advanced Swiss technology with the Indian tradition of Ayurveda.
So, what is this magical shampoo bar that I’m reviewing today? My journey begins with Abhati Suisse’s SURYA Balancing Shampoo Bar* which purifies from root to tip, conditioning the scalp while cleansing it of buildup and flakes. Abhati Suisse took notice to my Instagram stories where I was chatting on their shampoo bars and Detangling Comb, and later asked if I’d like to try one of their shampoo bars. Alongside it they included the adorable Small Pocket Comb, a smaller version of their large comb.
Why switch to a shampoo bar? Most shampoo bars are housed in plastic-free packaging, so it’s one less plastic bottle to be thrown away, or one less bottle to have to recycle. Most bars are surfactant-free and are a gentle alternative to conventional liquid shampoos.
Before I get into the nitty gritty, check out these tips on making your shampoo bar experience the most effective one.
shampoo bar tips & tricks:
- Firstly, go into your first experience with the understanding that a shampoo bar provides a cleanse that feels “different” compared to liquid shampoos. Much like a bar of soap, a shampoo bar may leave your hair with a rubbery, traction-like feeling while it’s wet – but as your hair dries, it will feel soft and clean, just as your skin does after a bar cleanse. With natural beauty products, half of the battle can be an adjustment in your thinking while you get used to the idea that they operate differently compared to conventional products (i.e. deodorant).
- Secondly, consider cutting your shampoo bar in half. Even with soap holders, bars have a tendency to get mushy. This doesn’t impact its performance, but the bar can go to waste quicker as its more dissolved.
- Helpful tools/items to complete the shampoo bar experience: a tin or plastic soap holder to store your bar, a widetooth comb, or a scalp massager.
- STEP 1: LATHER. With shampoo bars, we work the top of the head first, moving onto the ends last to avoid tangling. Wet your hair thoroughly, wet your hands, and work the bar between your hands for a moment to generate lather. Starting at your hairline, glide the bar over your hair towards the base of your neck, and repeat this movement all over until you can feel that there’s plenty of lather to work with. This process can feel timely especially if you have a lot of hair, but over time as you become accustomed you’ll find yourself naturally working quicker.
- STEP 2: MASSAGE. Focusing on the scalp, massage the lather in thoroughly with fingers and periodically take a break to quickly wet your hair (or wet your hands) to keep the lather from drying out. If you feel like you don’t have enough lather to work with, glide the bar over your hair again to generate more lather. A scalp massager would be a great tool to include in this process for those suffering from build up and flakes.
- STEP 3: RAKE. After your scalp is thoroughly massaged, start working on the ends. Consider bringing a wide tooth comb into the shower for this part. Bring the lather down from the top of your head (or create new lather with your bar) and run your hands over your hair from mid-shaft to the ends. Rake the comb through your ends first, then comb from the mid-shaft down, and then comb from your roots to the ends to finish.
- Consider double cleansing if it’s your first time using a shampoo bar. Previously applied shampoos and conditioners can leave residue and build up behind. If it’s your first time using a shampoo bar or are switching to a new bar – cleanse using the above method, rinse, and repeat.
- Conditioning: Many brands offer conditioner bar companions to their shampoo bars and the conditioning process is similar, except you will focus the bar more so on the ends than the scalp. I haven’t tried this technique yet, but I hear that ACV (apple cider vinegar) rinses are really beneficial as it optimizes your scalp’s pH level and can make your hair more sleek and shiny.
ABHATI SUISSE SURYA SHAMPOO BAR
» ideal for fine & sensitive hair types that are prone to build up, flakes and excess oil.
» purifies from root to tip; gently conditions
» pH balanced
» contains astringent lemongrass oil, calming calendula, clarifying sage
» 58 g / $24.50 retail value
My hair type: Fine, naturally wavy; prone to build up, flakes and excess oil. I wash my hair every other day in effort to remove build up that leads to a raw, itchy scalp when left untreated. (Also, many reading this may be thinking that my issues stem from cleansing often. I’ve always had scalp issues, even when I used to wash my hair once a week. I’ve tried numerous times to train my hair, with no luck. Washing every other day produces the best results in hair health for me.)
For my cleansing technique, see the above tips & tricks section. The first time that I shampooed with the Abhati Suisse Surya Shampoo Bar, I still felt remaining build up/flakes on my scalp after my hair was dry. I did double cleanse, but determined that my hair needed time to adjust and that I also needed to work on massaging my scalp better. My scalp and hair were also drier than usual, but I anticipated this because I knew that there would be an adjustment period while the bar worked to balance my scalp. Because my scalp/hair were dry, I switched to washing my hair every two days (instead of every other day) for a two week period.
Ever since the two week mark, it’s been smooth sailing! The excess build up and flakes were actually gone by my second or third shampoo, and after the first two weeks my scalp balanced out its oil production. Once the initial dryness surpassed, my scalp started producing a healthy amount of oil but not in excess. I just love how healthy, clean, soft and shiny my hair has been looking, and this bar seems to boost my hair’s natural tone. I did however go back to washing my hair every other day, because I have the unfortunate issue of having scalp odor (again, something else I have always dealt with – odor is caused by sweat/oil/build up) and the smell was just too much even by the second day. I’m considering checking out natural hair perfumes, or seeing if ACV rinses, or diluted essential oil blends, can be something that can quell the odor. This issue is more so to do with me and not a bad mark on this shampoo bar.
One downside is that I used up my shampoo way too quickly – these should last you months and I used mine up in under a month. Using up shampoo quickly is per normal for me, with having a lot of long hair and washing it frequently. Again, not a bad mark on the shampoo bar, but something I need to personally work on for myself in using less product.
So, what’s next on the testing plate? I have a couple of shampoo and conditioner bars from another brand currently making their way to me and I will be sharing the details on those over on my Instagram stories after they arrive. The only reason that I’m not repurchasing Surya just yet is simply because my curiosity gets the better of me (beauty blogger probs!) but pending that my shampoo bar testing doesn’t work out, I’m heading right back to Surya.
I also want to try Abhati Suisse’s Nanda Detoxifying Shampoo Bar as it sounds similar to Surya and may be a good fit for my hair type.