There is a ton of content on the topic of using natural soap as a shampoo. Here we'll do our best to give you straightforward information & tips to make your transition to our natural Hair & Body Bars as painless as possible. But since everyone's hair (and water!) is different, you may need to do some experimenting. We hope you'll stick with it; if you can make the transition, you're significantly reducing your exposure to the synthetic ingredients found in many bottled shampoos, and you're reducing your plastic use. It's a win-win!
What to Expect
Conventional bottled shampoos often contain many of the ingredients named in David Suzuki's Dirty Dozen list of 12 common cosmetic ingredients to avoid. While our Hair & Body Bars produce enough lather to get the job done, we don't use synthetic "Dirty Dozen" foaming agents like sodium laureth sulfate or its derivatives, so you may find that our lather isn't as thick & fluffy as synthetic shampoos or detergents. And since our natural Hair & Body Bars won't strip the natural oils from your hair, you might also find that you don't need the conditioners your hair used to need to replace the natural oils stripped by synthetic shampoos.
As your scalp returns to being its own naturally amazing self - without the added waxes, synthetic additives or silicone found in many bottled shampoos - different things can happen.
- If your hair feels dry & straw-like after washing, try this simple after-wash rinse. You can rinse the rinse out right away or try letting it soak in for a few minutes before rinsing. Or you can try your usual conditioner and see how that feels.
- If your hair feels greasy after washing, try a more diluted version of the after-wash rinse or skip the rinse all together.
- If your hair feels like there's a buildup or waxiness after washing, you may have hard water. Hard water can have an impact on how your natural Hair & Body Bar behaves because the calcium and magnesium in hard water react with the soap. This can leave behind a soap film, which can be difficult to rinse cleanly. If you have hard water, you could try using a baking soda cleanse periodically to help reduce any waxy buildup.
Some feel that vinegar rinses can be drying if used more than a couple of times per week; you'll have to see what works for you. And you might feel like it's not working, but hang in there. Once your hair and scalp have adjusted to this new natural cleansing routine, you probably won't need to use conditioner or anything else. Anytime your hair feels dry or oily, just redo the rinse or cleanse.
My Transition to Natural Shampoo
I've started this section with my own experience, but if you've had success transitioning to our natural Hair & Body Bar, please send us an email and tell us what worked for you so we can add it to this page!
I have untreated hair that is short & baby fine, and doesn't have much body.
We have a water softener, so I wash my hair with softened water at home. I timed the transition to happen while I was at the cabin for a week, just in case I had a struggle; there we use rainwater for the shower.
When I first made the transition to our Hair & Body Bar, my hair felt dry like straw after the first wash. So I whipped up a batch of smoothing rinse using apple cider vinegar and started using that after each wash. After about five washes, my hair started feeling a bit greasy, so I stopped using the vinegar rinse. I also stopped using conditioner, and my usual styling wax no longer worked with my hair.
Smoothing After-Wash Rinse
- 2 to 4 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar or lemon juice
- about 1 cup water from the shower head
Measure the vinegar or lemon juice into a cup you can take into the shower; I use plastic simply because glass in the bath/shower isn't always a great idea. My favourite rinse cup is the plastic sippy cup I got when I ordered a glass of wine at intermission at the Stratford Festival a few years ago! The sippy cup holes let me dribble the rinse slowly over my hair.
In the shower, after you've washed your hair and rinsed the shampoo away, add warm water to the rinse cup and swirl to combine. Pour the rinse on your hair and massage your scalp; avoid getting the rinse in your eyes. If you have long hair, you can dip your hair into the cup before pouring its contents over your head.
Rinse your hair and scalp and dry & style as usual. Be aware that many styling products are formulated to work with the waxes & silicones left behind by bottled shampoos & conditioners, so they may behave differently on your new, naturally clean hair!
Wax Busting Hair Cleanse
Option 1: Dilution
- 1 tablespoon baking soda
- 1 - 2 cups warm water
Combine the ingredients in a cup and wait for the soda to stop fizzing. Wet hair and pour the rinse on your hair and work it through. Rinse thoroughly with warm water, then shampoo with your Hair & Body Bar.
Option 2: Just Baking Soda
Add a small amount (less than a teaspoon) of baking soda to the Hair & Body Bar lather already in your hair. Add a bit more water and shampoo to help thoroughly distribute the baking soda. Rinse thoroughly.