How to transition to natural shampoo and choose the best option for your hair type

The transition to natural shampoo

Before deciding which natural shampoo suits your hair the best, if you're transitioning from hair products containing SLS and silicone (for starters), there is going to be an adjustment period where your hair may not look or feel so great. The same thing happens with natural deodorant too, which is why we suggest that one is done in cooler weather. We have no such luck with the shampoo though, so choose a time where you can live with your hair feeling and looking a little flat for a few days. ie: not the week before a big occasion.

The folks at Beauty & The Bees, who make our shampoo bars tell us the following:-

"Don't use our natural Shampoo Bars just once or twice - Give them a chance!!"

Conventional shampoo & conditioner will leave a build up of residue from synthetic polymers and silicone on your hair shaft. They leave your hair feeling smooth and slippery and what most people would refer to as 'nice'. You need to allow repeated washes for your new natural shampoo to wash these away and then let your scalp adjust to your own natural and protective conditioning oils to settle back in. They get stripped away by the SLS and can be a contributing factor in dry and itchy scalps that cause dandruff. When the scalp is dry, it then produces more natural oils to remedy the problem and then you have an excess of oil and so the circle continues.

It can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks or even longer for some people for this cycle to break. Persist and you will be glad. The same thing can happen with over washing.

Using a Clarifying Rinse or Clarifying Shampoo to assist

A clarifying shampoo is one that's formulated to cut through more stubborn dirt and grime or residue left behind by styling products. They are also great to use after the beach or swimming in a chlorine pool, but you may not want to use one every time you wash. They are more about removing deposits on the hair, not about conditioning and nurturing. If you exercise a lot, swim a lot, sweat a lot, use a lot of styling products or you're making the switch to a natural hair care regime, having a clarifying shampoo or rinse in your kit is a really good idea. They are also perfect for stripping mineral deposits from the hair shaft left behind by hard water and chlorine which can not only affect the feel of your hair but also the colour.

How often should you use a clarifying shampoo? Whenever you feel a build up or once every one to two weeks. Oily scalps can contribute to hair loss, so keeping everything 'squeaky clean' is a good plan of attack long term.

Below are our favourite clarifying shampoos and the very helpful Apple Silk Clarifying Rinse from Beauty & The Bees.

Choosing the right shampoo & conditioner for your hair type

In every category in our hair care aisle, there's a HAIR TYPE filter in the left hand column of the site. Scroll down to find your hair type and click on your type and the choices on screen will narrow. If you're taking the plastic free route with the shampoo bars, there are Healthy Hair Starter Packs with all 14 shampoo bars in a smaller size for you to try. There's one set with Beer Conditioner and another with the Honey Silk Hair Conditioner and both sets have the clarifying rinse included. That rinse is a hidden gem.

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