I'm ready to ditch plastic and chemicals – what can I expect in the transition to shampoo bar?
The first time I used a natural shampoo bar, when I was teaching myself to make them, I thought I was getting something wrong. My usually soft and great conditioned hair just seemed awful and I nearly gave up. But I REALLY wanted to give up the plastic bottles and stop using chemicals, so I did a lot of research and found out that it was a normal transition period I was experiencing. Eventually my hair found its own balance and I have not used bottled shampoo or conditioner for years. My hair and scalp are healthy.
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 re-balance scalp oil production. During this transition period, hair may feel and look extra greasy or heavy. Commercial liquid shampoos and conditioners contain synthetic silicone's and silica that coat your hair, to make it feel nice, but the leave a residue in your hair. We want to rid our hair of all that gunk.
I really want to keep using my shampoo bar but my hair feels waxy or greasy...
During transition replace your conditioner step with an apple cider vinegar rinse, a citric acid rinse, or use baking soda as a pre-wash. This helps balance the pH level of the scalp and aids transition period and will help smoothen the hair follicle down and make the hair shiny again.
After washing with a shampoo bar your wet hair may feel different and what you may find, is that your hair can be slightly knotted 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. Also, remember to brush your hair a couple of times throughout the day, this will help bring the natural oils from your scalp down the length of your hair.