Sharing Your "How To Use A Natural Shampoo Bar" Techniques
With the increasing concerns for healthy hair and a healthy environment, our natural shampoo bar sales have soared. As a result, we have been inundated with questions about how to successfully use a shampoo bar.
For some people, there is no adjustment period. For most people, there is a small adjustment period. For others, the adjustment period can become an arduous task.
The problem is that there are so many variables that can affect the way in which a shampoo bar will work for each individual that it is often difficult to pinpoint the proper solution.
As you read the tips for adjusting to shampoo bars and the other shampoo bar information on our website (I will include links below) you will learn that your hair, your water, the products you use or used on your hair, the specific shampoo bar and even your hair washing technique can affect the adjustment period.
But I feel like I have failed my customers when I cannot provide the perfect answer for their problem.
Last week as I was replying to a someone whose hair was not cooperating, I was explaining a natural shampoo bar technique shared with me by another customer. All of a sudden I had an "aha" moment--the realization that I was not using my most valuable resource, you, our customers.
As a veteran teacher, the one piece of advice I would share with new teachers was to always take the time to listen and learn from your students! I forgot to use my own advice in my business.
So, I am asking for your help--to help others.
- What is your hair type (length, color, processed)?
- Do you have hard water or soft water?
- Did you have an adjustment period? If yes, please provide a brief description.
- What techniques did you use to find success with our bars? Please share what you did (even if it seems unconventional).
- How long did it take you to find the right bar and enjoy using it regularly?
- Which bars have been the most successful?
- What tips can you give someone who is just beginning their journey with natural shampoo bars?
Ida's Story: Before turning grey, I had medium-long, blondish, color processed hair. At first, my shampoo bars worked beautifully, and then our water softener broke. After that, it took about a month for my hair to adjust.
During that time I used a vinegar rinse and periodically added a dollop of old-fashioned conditioner to combat the dryness. After a few weeks I no longer needed the conditioner and after a month or so I only needed a vinegar rinse about once every two weeks.
I also developed my own hair washing technique that keeps my scalp and hair clean without that funky feeling on my hair length. My favorite shampoo bars, which have changed as my hair has "aged," are the Coconut Milk, Summer Sunshine, and Rosemary Lavender.
Stephanie's Story: Last year or so I had a customer whose hair had the hardest time adjusting. She had shoulder-length thick brown hair which she washed every other day. She could not get rid of the build-up even with a vinegar or a baking soda rinse. She was absolutely determined to make shampoo bars work and when she succeeded she shared her story with me. Her technique seemed extremely counterintuitive, but it worked for her.
She continued with her regular washing schedule but began by washing her hair 3 different times with her old shampoo until she said it felt “normal.” She then started on a regimen of alternating our shampoo bars with her regular shampoo. She began by using a natural shampoo bar for 2 washings, then one with her bottled shampoo. Then she did 4 shampoo bar washings and one with the bottled shampoo. She kept increasing the shampoo bar washings while decreasing the bottled shampoo. She said that it took almost two months but she was finally able to throw the bottled shampoo away. She has now been using our shampoo bars for over a year.
My concern is that many of these companies use synthetic detergents or surfactants in their shampoo bars. You will notice that they go out of their way to state that these ingredients are "derived" from natural ingredients--like coconut oil.
Beware of shampoo bars that claim to be "soap-free." Soap is a natural surfactant. If there is no soap, there must be some synthetic ingredient acting as a surfactant to create lather and cleanse hair. I am not here to debate whether or not these ingredients are considered "safe," but they are NOT natural ingredients.
These "syndets," synthetic detergent bars, are simply a solid form of a detergent shampoo.
Basically, you are using a bottled shampoo without the added water or the bottle. So, if your hair is used to bottled detergent shampoo, you may have no adjustment period to detergent shampoo bars because they clean with the same detergent ingredients.
If your goal is simply to help decrease the number of plastic bottles thrown into our landfills, then any shampoo bar will do.
But if you are also looking for a natural alternative to bottled shampoo, know that while these bars may contain some natural ingredients, they still contain synthetic detergents and other synthetic chemicals that end up on your skin, in your hair, and in our groundwater.
I believe that it is not enough for a shampoo bar to contain natural ingredients. It is important for a shampoo bar to contain ONLY natural ingredients!
Thank you to our Chagrin Valley Soap community for helping us create a "library" of shampoo bar techniques.
We know that for some, the adjustment period can be a bit frustrating, but the resulting success and outcome is the reward!
Please share your shampoo bar success stories below!