Swapping to a Shampoo Bar
How to use your new bar.......
The Good Soap shampoo bars are a 'soap based' shampoo, with a slight alkalinity. They do not contain sulphates or silicones. If you are looking for a natural and additive free, environmentally friendly option to wash your hair then these are a great option.
It can take a little getting used to using a bar on your hair, after all, we are so used to squeezing that blob of liquid into our hands. It is worth it though to get rid of your plastic bottles, and the chemicals out of your hair and off your scalp.
Wet the bar, wet your hair and rub the bar onto your hair starting with the length if you have long hair. I always rub around my hairline, along under my fringe and under my hair line along the nape of my neck, and then just rub whatever soap is left on the head thoroughly into my scalp. Don't be afraid to give it all a good scrub. Do this twice and rinse well both times. No need for conditioner, the bars contain a conditioning oil that does the job. Comb through gently with a wide tooth comb and style as normal :)
Your bar may not foam as much as liquid shampoo, it doesn't need to foam wildly to clean your hair. You will hopefully find with the bars that you need to wash your hair less, as it is doing it's natural job and not fighting against the chemicals in the bottled products.
The advice below is for those few people who have a transition period as the hair gets used to the new format.
I really want to keep using my bar but my hair feels waxy or greasy......
The majority of people can switch to a chemical free shampoo smoothly, but what can you do if you are one that experiences the transition period? After all, no one wants waxy or greasy hair! Yuk!
The first time I used a Good Soap shampoo bar, when I was teaching myself to make them, I thought I was getting something wrong. My usually soft and great condition hair just seemed awful and I nearly gave up. But I REALLY wanted to give up the plastic bottles so I had a read around and learnt that it was a normal transition period I was experiencing. So I persevered, wearing my long hair up most days whilst it learnt to chill out. Eventually my hair found it's own balance and I have not used bottled shampoo or conditioner for 2 years now, and my hair is in great condition.
But of course, not everyone wants to wear their hair up all of the time during this patch, or it is not possible due to length - so what can be done to prevent this?
Why does this happen? As detergent shampoos strip away the natural protective oils, your scalp produces more oil to compensate. Your scalp becomes conditioned to this vicious cycle of excess oil production. As you transition to a natural shampoo bar, your scalp needs time to rebalance scalp oil production. During this transition period, hair may feel and look extra greasy or heavy. Commercial liquid shampoos and conditioners contain synthetic silicones and silica that coat your hair, to make it feel nice, but leave a residue in your hair. We want to rid our hair of those.
During transition replace your conditioner step with an apple cider vinegar rinse. This helps balance the pH level of the scalp and aids transition. Even when your hair is used to the bar I recommend an occasional rinse with diluted apple cider vinegar to balance the pH level of your scalp. I apple cider vinegar rinse mine every third or fourth wash.
If you live in a hard water area, or if apple cider vinegar is not working for you you may want to wet your hair first with a spoonful of bicarb in warm water - why? It can help your bar foam better. And then after washing twice with the shampoo bar use more bicarb in your final rinse. And rinse, rinse, rinse. This can help the transition phase where apple cider vinegar is not quite doing the trick.
After washing with a shampoo bar your wet hair may feel different and you may find is that your hair can be slightly more knotty before you comb it out. Use a wide tooth comb to gently comb through and then style as normal. It won't stay knotty! Conditioner is a chemical compound and therefore cannot be directly replicated. However, in my bars I always use Castor Oil which does the same job.
You are basically teaching your hair to stand on it's own two feet.......
Since starting selling The Good Soap shampoo bars I have done lots and lots of research on transitioning, and talked many customers through the process. A small handful have given up of course, but for those who have stuck it out there are no regrets, finding the benefits of less chemicals on the scalp, and of course no more plastic bottles.
- Men and Children do not have a transition patch
- It doesn't seem to make any difference whether your hair is coloured or uncoloured. However, naturally grey hair never has a problem!
- Ladies in hard water areas can take a little longer to transition.
- It seems to be ladies within a certain age range that sometimes experience these issues. Ladies after the menopause don't seem to get this transition period which leads me to the conclusion that hormones play a part. This would make sense as we all know our hair can feel different at certain times.
- Ladies post pregnancy can also have a trickier transition time, again due to hormones.
- Medication affects hair, and therefore certain medications can slow down the transition process.
I promise though, we can get you there.......
- I often advise people to start with a bar that suits all hair types, and an Aloe Vera bar is perfect for this. It suits the most sensitive skins, has no active essential oils in and suits all hair types. Alternatively a Shea Butter bar is a good place to start.
- I believe in giving your scalp a jolly good scrub, don't be shy with this bar. Once the soap is on your hair scrub your scalp with your fingers just the way you normally would. This stimulates your scalp to start doing it's job.
- One of the most effective ways to cut through the 'grease' is to do a final rinse with Apple Cider Vinegar in warm water at the point you would normally condition. Just look at it that this is your new conditioner for now until you can go without........1 tablespoon of Apple Cider Vinegar in a half pint of warm water will be enough. Pour over your hair after doing 2 shampoos, then massage in and rinse off.
- The temptation is to wash your hair more but this has the opposite effect. I know it's not always possible but if you can wash your hair less it will transition quicker - wear a hat or a ponytail!
- After a while you will start to find that you are making progress and that your hair will feel much better, even better than before.
- I take my bar to the hair salon with me, my hairdresser is more than happy to use it - even when I have my hair highlighted.
My advice is just keep at it - it's a little bit like teaching a toddler to walk......it takes time but it will just get better and better. Dawn xx