Tips for Making the Transition to Bar Shampoo
Why we love bar shampoo
Currently around nine million tons of plastic is thrown into our ocean each year. But there's hope, shampoo bars cut out the need for some of this plastic, as more often than not, they come in recycled paper instead. Also, shampoo bars usually outlast liquid shampoo by two or three bottles, meaning you get more for your money.
What’s more, most companies (like us!) that sell shampoo bars are striving to protect our oceans, wildlife and ecosystems that are affected by mass-produced and chemical-laden products in the beauty industry. Instead, many bars – like ours - contain natural ingredients and are cruelty free too. And it’s not just great for the planet and wildlife, but our hair too! Natural shampoos are much gentler than their chemical alternatives, allowing dyed hair to retain its colour and all hair types to retain its natural moisture. It's a win-win!
As with many things in life, it’s going to take some time for our hair to adjust to a new change. While some of our customers are able to swap over to bar shampoo with no issues, a few of us have to go through a transition period. For some people, this might only take a couple of washes, but for others it might even take a few months. But bear with us! It’s so worth it. How long exactly will depend on several factors such as how damaged your hair is, if there’s any residue or build-up on your hair, and even your genetics!
What chemical shampoo does
The way that liquid shampoos usually work is that the chemicals strip away our hairs’ natural oils. Ever struggled (or surely know someone who has) to get out of the habit of washing your hair every day, because by the next day it’s already greasy? Here’s why: when we use bottle shampoos, our scalp produces more oil to compensate for the stripping – what a nightmare!
When you swap over to bar shampoo your scalp will need to rebalance. Don’t worry if you find that your scalp feels itchy or oily, tangles more or even feels waxy! We promise, this doesn’t last forever. It’s our hairs’ way of learning to go chemical free, so please bear with it…
The four stages of transition
- Stage 1: Oh my gosh, this is horrible. My somehow feels both greasy around the nape of my neck but waxy on the lengths.
- Stage 2: Hm this is still a bit weird, but it’s not as bad. It feels like it won’t dry properly and generally a bit weird, but not it's a bit better.
- Stage 3: I’m okay with this. It still feels a bit more textured but looks okay.
- Stage 4: I love it, my looks and feels so much softer and more nourished!
Tips for making the transition easier
As we said, it will get better in time. But there are things you can do to your washing technique to speed up the process! After all, we’ve found that a lot of the weird waxy feeling will come from not washing the product out properly.
- If you have long hair, loosely tie it up and only wash the hair from scalp to bobble. This will help prevent product build up over the rest of your hair which doesn’t usually need to be washed anyway.
- Lather up! Bar shampoos don’t usually lather as much as chemical shampoos, so we do need to make extra effort. At first, it's probably easiest to lather up the bar in your hands – bars have an annoying habit of clinging to hair when directly applied, which contributes to the waxing feeling some users get.
- Double wash. As we just said, bar shampoo doesn't usually lather as well as liquid shampoo, which means it can often need a second wash to properly lather up.
- Rinse, rinse, rinse and rinse again. Keep going for at least a minute. To successfully switch to plastic-free shampoo, you’ll need to make sure all the product is completely washed out. It's harder to wash out the leftover residue from bar shampoo, so it's really important to give your hair time.
- Rinse off your hair with apple cider vinegar. This stuff is readily available at most supermarkets, is really cheap and normally plastic free. While your hair is in the transition period, you should use this for every wash. It will help rinse off product and leave you with soft and silky hair. Once you’ve passed transition, you can reduce the apple cider vinegar to just once every 5-6 washes.
- Squeeze your hair to remove excess water. Don’t rub, as this will cause extra tangles!
We hope this helps! Let us know in the comments below if you have any other tips or ideas.