Switching from a bottled shampoo to a shampoo bar can be tricky for some of us, leaving hair feeling waxy, but don’t give up! Here are some tips to make it a bit easier...
Before switching to a barred shampoo use up all your bottled shampoo - yep, even all those little travel bottles.
The good news seems to be that of you’re male, a child (pre-puberty), a post-menopausal lady or live in a soft water area the switch should be pretty fuss free. However most of the UK has pretty hard water and if you don’t fall into one of the above categories the transition to a shampoo bar might be a bit tough going.
The length of the transition period seems to vary - it could take 5 washes or more than 10. That may be related to how much product you previously used on your hair and your hair type / length. But here are some tips which may make the transition a bit easier...
Do NOT be tempted to wash your hair more often - leave it as long as possible between washes. If you can tie it up that might be the best option for a while, but make sure to still brush it regularly. You can also use a natural dry shampoo like Primal Suds or KiteNest.
Don’t apply the bar directly to your hair. Lather in your hand first and then apply to hair.
Be sure to give your scalp a good scrub and rinse well.
If you have thick hair take a wide toothed comb with you into the shower and use this to help rinse the shampoo out of your hair - it will make a big difference! If you don’t have a comb already, you can get wooden or bamboo combs, but be sure to leave it to fully dry between use. It may also help to brush your hair before showering.
Use a cider vinegar rinse. So after shampooing and combing your hair, pour a cup of diluted apple cider vinegar (think making orange squash) over your hair and rinse. This seems to help wash out any shampoo residue and leaves hair softer. It will not leave your hair smelling of vinegar.
If you’re really struggling consider trying a different bar. A shampoo bar with SLS, like Lush, or soap-free brands like Lamazuna and Ethique, seem to have less transition issues. Or trying a baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) rinse before shampooing. Add 1 tsp of baking soda to a cup of warm water.
Remember to take your bar with you on holiday and in your gym bag so you aren’t tempted to use liquid shampoo
When visiting the hairdresser, either wash your hair before and go for a wet cut (which is normally cheaper) or take your shampoo bar with you
It is worth sticking with it as benefits include...
Your hair will be healthier after the transition, and if you’re using a natural shampoo bar then there’s none of the chemicals found in regular bottled shampoo
You should be able to go longer between washes, saving time
You may not need to use a conditioner anymore, saving money
You’re getting better value from your shampoo as with bar as we’re no longer paying for the water in shampoo (or the extra CO2 to ship it to us)
and of course, a lot less plastic waste!
For more information (and some of the science!) there is a great guide to switching to natural shampoo bars by The Good Soap.
This information is provided as a guide only and is accurate to the best of our knowledge.