We are all thinking of ways to reduce our plastic usage and a shampoo bar is a brilliant place to start. While many people take to the bars straightaway, for others, perhaps one in four of us, there is a transition stage of a few weeks where the hair and scalp adjusts to using a completely natural product. Those with thicker, longer hair and those who use lots of synthetic products are most likely to experience the transition. During this period your hair may feel heavy or greasy.
Liquid shampoos most often contain sulphates (chemical surfactants) that create the rich lather most of us expect when we’re washing our hair. Sulphates can irritate and dry out the skin and hair by stripping our natural oils. This can lead to a cycle where our scalp overproduces oils to compensate. The transition stage from liquid shampoos to solid bar involves your scalp re-balancing its natural oil production.
Commercial shampoos can create a build up of artificial ingredients such as silicone’s in your hair which makes it feel nice, but leaves a residue that doesn’t wash out easily without strong chemicals. It it may take a few weeks of using your shampoo bar before your hair and scalp are free from build up.
So what can you do to get through the transition stage?
- You can help remove the residue build of of synthetic ingredients from commercial shampoos by rinsing you hair with two tablespoons of baking soda dissolved in a cup of warm water and use before shampooing with your bar. This is also helpful if you live in a hard water area as it can help the shampoo bar lather better and rinse out more thoroughly.
- After using the shampoo bar, you can rinse with a solution of one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar per cup of warm water. The vinegar helps de-tangle and adds softness. Simply pour the solution across your scalp and allow it to run down your hair.
- Make sure to rinse thoroughly after washing with the shampoo bar as suds may not wash out as easily as liquid shampoos.
- You can use your usual conditioner but you may find over time you will not need it as your hair is not stripped of its natural oils. You’ll also most likely be able to wash your hair less often, have stronger, healthier hair with natural body and natural shine.