Everything you need to know about switching to natural shampoo bars and my top tips for an easy transition.
When I started using a natural shampoo bar my hair changed texture almost immediately. I usually have fine, soft hair that doesn't have much volume. After a couple of washes with the shampoo bar it wasn’t silky soft anymore and felt coarser. This wasn’t such a bad thing as I had a bit more volume so at first it didn’t bother me. I knew there would be a transition phase, which people call ‘The Purge’, so I didn’t mind too much. After a few washes though, my hair felt waxy as if the shampoo wasn’t fully rinsing out and it was at this point I started losing faith in the shampoo bar.
I took to Google (Ecosia actually) to find out if I was doing something wrong and discovered that people recommend an ACV (apple cider vinegar) rinse with natural shampoos and this revelation was a total game changer! Suddenly there was light at the end of the tunnel and I decided to stick with it.
The ACV rinse really dealt with the build up and from that point I felt that my hair was improving each time I washed it. I’d say it took about a month for my hair to fully adjust to the natural shampoo bar but this might have been speeded up if I’d discovered the ACV rinse sooner. I’m now a convert and will never go back to chemical shampoo in plastic bottles for the sake of my hair and the planet.
My top tips for an easy transition to natural shampoo bars.
- Rinse your hair thoroughly at each wash to make sure you’re getting rid of every trace of shampoo.
- After washing and rinsing with water use an apple cider vinegar rinse instead of or as well as a conditioner. Using this rinse helps to get rid of chemical residue from ‘traditional’ shampoo and any build up from the shampoo bar. It will also restore your scalp’s pH balance and give hair a lovely shine too. Don't worry your hair won't smell of vinegar afterwards.
- Give your hair a few days off between washes to allow hair to adjust.
- If your hair is feeling oily in between washes rub a bit of cornflour or dry shampoo into your scalp and brush it through to the ends of your hair.
- Brush your hair gently morning and evening from the scalp to ends so to help redistribute your hair’s natural oils.
Three DIY hair rinses to ease the transition.
Keep a container or jug in the shower and add a capful of ACV (you might need to experiment with quantities) to a jug of warm water. Pour over the hair and after washing and then give it a good rinse out.
Apple Cider Vinegar Spritz
• 1 part apple cider vinegar (use the type with ‘mother of vinegar’)
• 4 parts water
Pour into a spray bottle and keep by the. After washing hair and rinsing thoroughly spritz with the ACV mixture. Massage into the scalp and then rinse, rinse, rinse.
Are there different types of shampoo bars for different hair types?
Does ACV make hair smell of vinegar?
No, fortunately it doesn't. After putting the ACV on you'll be rinsing with water but even if you don't and the vinegar is left in the hair the smell dissipates very quickly.
Will I need to try lots of brands to find one that works for my hair?
Hopefully not. It's personal preference just like 'traditional' shampoo brands. It's a good idea to give it at least a month, use the ACV rinse or spritz and let your hair adjust. After a month if you feel it really isn't working for you then you could try another brand. However, people usually find that hair settles down after the transition period. If you decide it's not for you pass it on to a friend to try just as you would any other product that isn't quite right.
Do natural shampoo bars work in hard water areas?
Yes but not all are suitable for hard water. Friendly Soap shampoo bars are better for soft/medium water areas while Beauty Kubes and Eco Living are fine for all water types. However, I've used Friendly Soap in a hard water areas and had no issues.
Can I get solid conditioner bars too?
Yes and the good news is that they don't really have a transition phase in the way that shampoo might. They come in solid bars and can either be lathered up and run through hair or the bar can be rubbed on the ends directly.
Shop the full range of shampoo and conditioner bars here.
I hope that helps to demystify natural shampoo a bit?! If you have any questions just drop me a message.