Freeing your shower from toxin-laden bottles of shampoo for a natural alternative can be quite refreshing. Who doesn’t want to support the ecosystem while simultaneously improving their health?
But just like any new change, switching to a natural shampoo has its pros and cons. Most people will notice right away that using a natural shampoo bar creates a different experience. And that’s a good sign.
We’ll explain why and what to expect when you ditch the toxic goo for a natural shampoo. Let’s dive in, shall we?
Have you ever heard the adage, “It may get worse before it gets better?”
That’s what a few people claim after they ditch their chemical-rich shampoo for a natural alternative. The reality is, switching to a natural shampoo can take a little getting used to.
"I was hesitant to try a bar of shampoo, but WOW! what a great product! The very first time I used it, I was totally sold. My husband tried it and was equally impressed, especially since he has dealt with dry scalp & countless shampoos. Also, I got online again and bought a bar for everyone in my family! Thanks!!" - Lesley S.
A big reason why a transition period occurs is that shampoos packed with harsh chemicals can strip natural oils from the scalp and hair. Over time, this slow reduction in the natural oils your scalp produces can lead to negative side-effects. Two of the most common harmful side-effects include dry, splitting hair strands and flaky, itchy scalp.
What's more, mass-produced shampoos designed to rid such symptoms as dryness and flaking, often make them worse. That’s because many of the typical shampoos contain harsh chemicals - two commonly found are the sulfates, SLS and SLES.
When chemicals such as sulfates are removed from your hair care, an adjustment period could occur while the scalp tries to regulate itself.
How long will it take to see improvements? What might one experience?
This depends on the condition of the hair and scalp. Some might feel a little dry and itchy in the beginning. In contrast, others might feel oily. These transition signs usually signal a positive change toward a healthy scalp and head of hair.
Keep in mind however, some people never experience a transition period. So if you don't notice any negative transition signs, good for you!
Another difference you'll notice is that a natural shampoo bar will not create a ton of bubbly foamy lather. Don’t be too sad to see those bubbles go. A bubbly lather will typically do your body more harm than good.
The bubbles a common shampoo creates are a byproduct of emulsifiers and foaming agents. Two harsh chemicals we touched on earlier (SLS and SLES) are well-studied foaming agents responsible for the suds you commonly see in shampoos. By the way, if you look closely at labels you will notice that you’ll rarely find both SLS and SLES in one product. Typically these two ingredients are interchangeable and only one is found on the ingredients list of the shampoo label.
"Dry scalp and dry hair have disappeared. Great products. Glad I found them. Finally started reading what was in my old shampoo and bath soap. No wonder I had continual dry and irritaded scalp and skin. Am glad I found your products." - Todd P.
So, don’t freak out if there’s no foam or a mass of bubbles when using a natural shampoo bar. Less lather is a good thing.
A natural shampoo bar should create a lather similar to that of a natural bar of hand soap - visible, but not super foamy. The key to getting a shampoo bar to work well is to lather the shampoo bar first with water in your hands. Once you have a decent amount of shampoo on your hands, you’ll want to work the product diligently through your hair - no need for over application.
Just use plenty of water and massage the smaller amount of soap suds through your hair. A high-quality natural shampoo shouldn’t include any sulfates, foaming agents, or other chemicals cleansers. You’ll know you’ve got a wildly good natural shampoo bar if the lather is tame.
Another difference between a natural shampoo bar and a common shampoo is the scent. One may notice the smell of a natural shampoo isn’t as strong or overbearing as other shampoos.
That’s because soapmakers who make natural shampoo often use essential oils to scent their soap rather than use a synthetic fragrance. Although essential oils may not pack as many distinct scents, their subtle notes still smell amazing and have multiple benefits too.
One benefit is how well essential oils work for aromatherapy. Certain essential oils can help soothe respiratory inflammation, while others can stimulate the olfactory senses and help melt away stress.
Plus, certain natural essential oils remove bacteria from the scalp while increasing levels of circulation and blood flow. These are just a few of the health benefits you could experience when essential oils are in your hair routine.
Yes, please! A few weeks in to your new natural shampoo routine, you might find your hair feels thicker and has more shine.
Certain chemicals found in typical shampoos can clog your scalp, stunting hair growth. As the chemicals start to release from the scalp and hair shafts you might experience a waxy or matted feel to your hair. Unfortunately this is one of those "it might get worse before it gets better" moments.
The good news is the flaking and matting will go away and is a sign your scalp and hair is going through a revival. One key to achieving a fuller look and feel is sticking with the process. Wash your hair with the natural shampoo through the good and the bad.
Don’t bounce back and forth between natural shampoo and commercial shampoo.
"The soap lathers nicely and is amazing because my daughter’s scalp was being irritated by all other shampoos. A gold star product for sure and so great to support a small family farm business!!" - Sally B.
Step 1.Don’t take the “rip off the band-aid” approach. Before you even introduce your new natural shampoo bar, you'll want to gradually phase out your old shampoo. Yes, getting started with a healthier and cleaner way to clean can be exciting, but don’t rush it.
Your new healthier scalp and hair will be worth the wait. To begin phasing out the old, slowly back off washing your hair as often. If you're washing daily, skip a few washes and allow the detox process to begin. After a week or two of less washing with the old stuff, you can add in your new bar of natural goodness. Now you can scrub away with confidence.
Step 2.Stay positive and try not to get frustrated. Especially if your hair goes through the sticky matted transition phase, we described. Remember, it may get worse before it gets better. And for some crazy reason, if it just stays bad… then consider switching to a different natural shampoo bar or switching up the ingredient mix of your preferred brand.
Step 3. Use a high-quality natural shampoo made by a company you can trust. When it comes to choosing a natural shampoo, it’s important to know that not all natural shampoos are created equal. And when it comes to identifying the right product for your hair care, it’s a big deal.
Understanding what certain shampoo producers use and claim to be “natural” is important. Make sure you carefully read their formulas and understand how each product ingredient list varies.
A few more things to consider to make the process smoother is to brush your hair often (unless you have curly hair). And while usually one wash is enough, you may need to rinse and repeat if you experience any build up as the chemicals start to surface from the scalp and hair. But be careful with this one as you don't want to get in the habit since one wash should be sufficient.
If you’re ready to dive in and use a natural shampoo soap today, Goat Milk Stuff offers three fantastic options. Each bar is handcrafted from a simple ingredient mix for people who crave a nourishing shampoo experience. Check out the goat milk shampoo collection below.
Switching to a natural shampoo bar might seem overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be!
"I like the shampoo size, fits my hand well. Shampoo's perfume is "gentle" and dries quickly for the next use." - Catherine K.
Knowing what you're getting into is the biggest hurdle. If you experience a rough transition period - and you don't want to take your hair out into public - know that it won't last forever. Try to remember and focus on what inspired you to take action and make the leap to a natural shampoo.
Make sure you follow the steps we’ve listed here and have confidence that natural shampoo is going to be a game-changer for your hair care.
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