When I was preparing to open my shop in 2019, the last thing I wanted to stock was shampoo and conditioner bars. I had never found one I liked. ...Then I found out that all I could afford at the time happened to be shampoo and conditioner bars so I revisited the notion out of necessity. Begrudgingly I resigned myself to horrible hair days for the sake of the planet but I wasn't happy about it.

After trying MANY of the brands available to no avail, I stumbled on Hibar. Hibar blew me away. This small teardrop shaped bar was BETTER than any liquid I had ever loved. How was this possible?? It left my hair with that "I just left the salon" feeling and after I used it for months I noticed my hair was longer, stronger, and SHINIER than ever before. The best part? No plastic bottle, and it lasted longer than liquid so I was SAVING money on quality products. It was a Eureka moment in every sense. 

From that day forward I was a very picky person when it came to bar haircare and stocked my shelves accordingly. For the first few years I ONLY carried Hibar and eventually I happily stumbled upon our most recent company DIP. After some test runs I quickly discovered that DIP absolutely cleared the "bar" (see what I did there?) and we added them to our picky haircare shelf. 

If you are new here, or a self proclaimed shampoo bar hater like I was, let’s talk about how these bars work and why some don’t.

Step 1. Wet your hair. REALLY SOAKING Wet. Once your hair is sopping, grab your shampoo bar and LIGHTLY scrub (I even hate to use the word "Scrub" because it sounds too aggressive) the bar over your hair. For my long thick hair I usually do a light scrub over each temple, top of my head, nape of my neck. My husband on the other hand, can swipe the bar over his head once and he's good to go. After LIGHTLY scrubbing with the bar, you should be able to set the bar down and enjoy a lovely lather!

Step 2. Rinse...Repeat? I went through a phase as a teenager where I was shampooing my hair twice. I am no longer in that season but if you want and your hair warrants the extra 'poo have at it! 

Step 3. Grab your conditioner bar. Making sure that your hair is still sopping wet, there are two ways to go about conditioning. My usual method is to run the bar through the ends of my hair and then let the product sit in my hair while I do my other shower routines and rinse. When I want to turn up the pampering power, I slick the conditioner bar over my WHOLE HEAD and let it sit 5 minutes before I rinse out. Be aware for my fine hair folks, conditioning your whole head is a much heavier treatment so if you aren't fighting frizzy big hair and don't want to be weighed down, always avoid the roots during this step! 

Step 4. This is optional but it's a lot of fun AND a big money saver so of course I have to include it. Both Hibar AND Dip conditioner bars double as a leave in conditioner and Dip is a fantastic post swim detangler. For a leave in conditioner, apply a little conditioner to your ends/curls and LEAVE IT IN. When you get out of the shower gently scrunch your hair to dry it and let your curls live their best life. For detangling, keep a dip conditioner bar in your beach/pool bag and run it through your ends after swimming and comb through gently with your favorite wide tooth comb or your fingers. 

If you've tried shampoo bars before and been left with a residue or flat hair it can actually be due to heavy soaps and sometimes toxic ingredients that can strip your hair. The bars we stock are soap free, sulfate free, paraben free, phthalate free, and COLOR SAFE. Of course we don't want toxins and residue but we ALSO don't want to strip the lovely color that you or your stylist worked hard on!


Lastly I want to talk about how long these bars last. When I first started using Hibar it was late August (I will never forget this timeline). I started using them every other day and my husband used them on the off days. WE DIDNT'T BUY ANOTHER BAR UNTIL CHRISTMAS THAT YEAR. I was shocked. A liquid bottle of shampoo of the same quality would have been gone in a month or two but this bar lasted almost twice as long. The conditioner? It lasted TWICE as long as the shampoo! When I started using dip I was pleased to discover their bars are actually a bit larger so they go even further with SOME customers excitedly sharing that their conditioner bars have lasted them over a year! When I look at the cost of good quality hair care (I'm looking at you expensive personalized subscription services in a tiny bottle) I am flabbergasted at the value and quality that our bar hair care offers and I am in awe of the incredible detail oriented makers that have created this magic. 


Speaking of makers, I of course have to give a shout out to Kate the founder of dip who we teamed up with to create our limited edition LILAC SHAMPOO & CONDITIONER BARS just in time for lilac season. A few months back we were gushing about great sustainable hair care, and we dreamed up a set of bars to celebrate lilac season in our city. They came out better than expected and have been lovingly packaged in our Marilla's "Blurble" (blue/purple) in a limited edition design that makes us feel like we've done something very official and fun. This collaboration has been a joy and has left my heart warm, my hair bouncy, and my bathroom smelling like a lilac grove. I hope you have a chance to grab a bar before we sell out because they are divine.

I promise I'm winding down but I can't leave this without saying OF COURSE THEY ARE ALL PLASTIC FREE. Both Hibar and dip are packaged responsibly in stunning compostable paper boxes and paper liners. The intention and thought behind both of these brands is something that we cherish at Marilla's even more than good hair days. 

From one picky hair person to another, I hope this blog has answered some questions and assured you that you do not have to have awful hair for the planet's sake. At Marilla's you can always find a planet friendly plastic free option and have the best hair day ever.

If you have any plastic free hair-care questions, send them my way, I'm always on the other end of the social media dm's, or our email! 


Be well, happy hair days, talk soon. 




ONE MORE THING: I also use my conditioner bar as a shaving bar in a pinch. BOOM. 4 products in one bar. 

 Want to try our Dip exclusive shampoo and conditioner yourself? Get them here!!

May 16, 2024 — Marilla Gonzalez

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