Switching To A Natural Shampoo? Here’s What To Expect.

Shampoo Goat Milk Soap bar

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?

The Transition Period

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.

Tea Tree Goat Milk Soap Shampoo
"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!

Less Foam Is a Good Thing

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.

Indigo using Goat Milk Soap Shampoo
"I love the shampoos. The Rosemary Mint is very refreshing on the scalp and smells nice. The Tea Tree has that slight medicinal smell, but makes the scalp feel amazing and smells good on your dried hair. I haven't had one problem with dandruff, itchy scalp or hair loss since using these goat milk shampoos. It makes my long, thick, wavy hair less fuzzy and more manageable." - Paula R.

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.

The Hidden Benefits Of The Subtle Scents

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.

How About Thicker Hair With Beautiful Shine?

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.

Unscented Goat Milk Soap Shampoo
"Love it! As an older woman, some shampoos really dry my hair. Your Unscented bar cleans well, leaving my hair soft with great texture. I am tossing all my leftover bottles!" - Lesley B.

3 Steps To Make The Transition a Breeze

  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.
  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.
  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.

3 Amazing Ways To Start Your Natural Shampoo Journey

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.

  • Tea Tree Goat Milk Soap Shampoo: The Tea Tree Goat Milk Soap Shampoo contains tea tree essential oil. Tea tree is known to have antibacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-inflammatory properties. This shampoo is a favorite with our customers who struggle with acne, eczema, and psoriasis.
  • Rosemary Goat Milk Soap Shampoo: Our Rosemary Mint Goat Milk Soap Shampoo is made with rosemary, peppermint and spearmint essential oils giving it a bright and refreshing scent.
  • Unscented Goat Milk Soap Shampoo: The Unscented Goat Milk Soap Shampoo has no added essential or fragrance oils for scent, making it perfect for those who want all the goodness of our natural shampoos with no added scent.

Conditioning to Ease Your Hair Through the Transition Period

While most of our customers find they don’t need a conditioner after using our Goat Milk Soap Shampoo, some do email us and ask what we recommend as a natural conditioner as they go through the transition process of switching to a natural shampoo. Our family has been using the shampoo bar for years and never needed a conditioner during our original transition period but one of our customers kindly shared what worked for her. We’ve since shared this recipe with others and it seems to work well for them.

  1. Mix together: 1 TBSP unrefined coconut oil, 1 TBSP raw honey, and ½ tsp ground cinnamon.
  2. Wash hair as normal with Goat Milk Soap Shampoo.
  3. Rinse well.
  4. Massage 1 teaspoon of the mixture into your scalp and through your hair. (Depending on the length and thickness of your hair, you may need to use more or less than 1 teaspoon.)
  5. Let sit on your hair for about a minute or two, then rinse well.

The customer who shared this recipe with us did not experience any buildup on her comb and told us that combing her hair was very easy. She let us know that it worked well as a conditioner, removed the “waxy” feeling from her hair she experienced during the transition process, brought the shine back to her hair and both her hair and scalp look and feel healthy.

She did not experience any extra oily-ness after using this mixture, but depending on the length and thickness of your hair, you may need to adjust the amount of the mixture you try.

This recipe is not recommended for daily use but if you love it, it can be used as a weekly treatment.

Switching to a natural shampoo bar might seem overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be!

Indigo washing her hair with Goat Milk Soap Shampoo
"Highest rating for this super wonderful shampoo. It is so soothing and lathers very well. Left me feeling so calm and refreshed. Love the smell, love how soft it is. It is wonderful, I love it, I will most definitely order this Rosemary Mint Shampoo again." - Penny M.

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.

22 Responses

Goat Milk Stuff

Hi Diane – there is no definite answer to that as everyone’s skin and hair are unique. I would wash as often as you need to. Sorry I don’t have a more definitive answer! PJ

PJ Jonas

Hi Hilda – most people find that once their hair adjusts to the natural shampoo, they no longer need conditioner. I do have some people who apply a little bit of our solid lotion to their hands (not a lot!!) and run their fingers through their long hair.

Hope that helps!

Hilda Hernandez

What do I use for conditioner? I have very long hair. What would you recommend?

Thank you


How often should you wash your hair with the shampoo bars?


Do you need to use a creme rinse with the goat shampoo like you do with commercial shampoos?

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