Switching to Shampoo Bars
So, you’ve decided to start your Zero Waste journey and one of the first things you decide you are going to swap is your shampoo. Easy you think, I can stop buying plastic bottles full of shampoo and switch to a lovely shampoo bar for my Zero Waste Haircare routine.
But, so many people make this switch and after only one or two washes they decide shampoo bars aren’t for them. When you first start using a shampoo bar your hair may feel oily, waxy or even sticky. And, that’s not something you want.
But don’t despair this is just usually a short transition period whilst your hair is getting used to the new shampoo bar and the build-up of residue from your old shampoo products is being washed away.
Shampoo Bar Transition Period
So, what is the transition period and how long will it last?
If you’ve been using commercial bottled shampoos for a long time they’ve probably stripped your hair of their natural oils and created a build-up of wax and synthetic silicones. Switching to a milder shampoo bar will allow your hair to restore its natural oils but this may take a little bit of time.
This will be different for everyone and will depend on your hair type, what type of products you’ve used previously and the length of your hair.
Some people won’t even notice a transition period and for some it may take over 10 washes for hair to adjust. But, on average it’s usually around 5 washes.
How to Use A Solid Shampoo Bar
Firstly, make sure you choose the right shampoo bar for your hair type. And, you may need to try out a couple of different ones before you find the perfect one for your hair.
When you first start using a shampoo bar you may want to lather the soap up in your hands first and then add foam to your hair. Once you’ve done this wash as normal.
If you live in a hard water area you may need to rinse or spray hair with a vinegar rinse of 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar (ACV) per cup of warm water and rinse out.
Hints + Tips
To help with the transition period you can help remove the build up from your old shampoo and hair care products by rinsing your hair with 2 tablespoons of bicarbonate of soda dissolved in a cup of warm water.
Another trick if you live in a hard water area is to add a tablespoon of bicarbonate of soda to a pint of warm water. Use this solution to wet hair before shampooing. It can help the shampoo bar lather better and rinse out more thoroughly.
And, rinse, rinse, rinse – always make sure you have rinsed your hair thoroughly after shampooing.
Caring for your shampoo bar
Since handmade shampoo bars and soaps have no chemical preservatives, they deserve a little bit of attention to keep them happy and prolong their life.
When you are not using your shampoo bar it’s best to keep it out of water on a well-drained surface so that it completely dries between uses. Use a soap dish (wooden dishes with open slats are perfect) or you could even use a few pebbles in a dish, you just need something to allow it to drain.
This will help make your shampoo bar last, so you can get the most from it and keep it feeling naturally fresh and fragrant for as long as possible!