Shiny. Bouncy. Nourished. Healthy. That’s how my hair is right now. But, that’s not how the journey began. I remember the first time I washed my hair with a Natural Shampoo Bar, my hair felt so weird. Waxy. Dry. Unmanageable. “WHY?!” I screamed internally. But, I persevered and within a week, I knew I was never going back to those toxic shampoos again. Now, I recommend shampoo bars to everyone. But, the experience is unique to all. Based on my own research and experience, here’s what I’d love to share with y’all for a smooth ‘transition period’:
What is ‘Transition Period’?
Overtime, our scalp has become addicted to the toxins. That’s probably one of the reasons why we wash our hair every other day when using a toxic shampoo. When you take away those toxins, our scalp is essentially being forced into rehab. If you don’t have a transition period when you switch to shampoo bars, either your bar probably contains the same toxins. OR you have amazing hair that totally digs the groovy vibes you get from natural bars. The latter is less likely 😉
When we say rehab, it means your scalp will act out. More oily, more dry, more frizzy, more tangled, more waxy. Hang in there, it’s totally worth it – I promise! It’s just your hair adjusting to something healthy. Toxic shampoos contain harsh detergents and chemicals that strip away natural oils from your scalp and often replace it with a smooth coating of silicone. And so, our scalps don’t know how much sebum to produce.
Research shows the transition period lasts anywhere between 2 weeks to 4 weeks. But, guuuuurrrlll, after that, it’ll all be magic. Your hair and scalp will be much healthier and ready to absorb additional goodness in natural shampoo bars.
Four Reasons why Transition Period lasts longer than it needs to
1. Insufficient Lather and Rinsing
Shampoo bars work totally different from liquid shampoos. They don’t have harsh surfactants that give you massive bubbles and squeaky clean rinse. A little more care is needed when it comes to rinsing natural shampoo bars since they’re milder, creamier and give bubbles, but not the ‘stripping you away of natural oils’ kind. Lather well and rinse even better.
2. Hard Water
If you use hard water to rinse your hair, let me be very clear; shampoo bars don’t like hard water, at all. Hard water is full of minerals, specifically, calcium and magnesium ions. These minerals cause the soap to “stick” to your hair. In any case, soft water is softer on your hair. To deal with hard water, you can use a natural ACV Hair Rinse—like Mint Condition.
Try not to shampoo wash your hair more than 2-3 times a week. Over-shampooing can lead to unnecessary dryness.
4. Wrong Shampoo Bars
Every scalp is unique, it has it’s unique problems. If you hit the jackpot the first time around, good on you! But, others, you need to experiment. Each of our natural shampoo bar recipes is unique, try them out before deciding on the one that suits your type. Check them out here- All Natural Shampoo Bars.
How to reduce this Transition Period?
Provide extra nourishment to your hair and scalp by oiling your hair 30 minutes before washing. Gently massage onto your scalp. Sometimes, I warm up my oil for the massage. Wash it, pat dry and style as normal. You can check out our before bath and after bath oil blends here: Natural Hair Oils
2. Comb Yo Hair
Never ever everrrrr comb your hair right after washing. Your hair is really vulnerable and soft after a wash and more susceptible to breakage. Always comb before washing to avoid breakage.
3. ACV Hair Rinse
Rinse your hair with a Natural Hair Rinse Concentrate like ACV (Mint Condition). Dilute one part of ACV solution with 40 parts water Make sure you dilute the solution as per your hair type. Dry hair type would ideally need lesser ACV concentrate.
4. Eat Healthy
It’s important that your body be healthy from the inside to be welcoming to the healthy things you apply on the outside.
After a bit of experimenting, we believe you can find a natural shampoo bar that lathers well, rinses out completely, and leaves your hair feeling clean, soft, bouncy and healthy.