So - you’re thinking about making the switch to natural shampoo bars, but you aren’t sure what to expect? Perfect - you’re in the right place!
Let’s start with the basics:
How Do I Know If A Shampoo Bar Is Right For Me?
Part of the magic of shampoo bars (and organic products in general) is that they provide a uniquely personal experience. They may work wonders for one person… while for another… well, they may not be a perfect match. And that’s totally ok! The shampoo bar experience is all about tuning in to your own personal body chemistry and listening to your body - especially if you’re a newbie to natural products and are making the “transition” for the first time!
Here are a few ways to know if a shampoo bar is right for you:
1. You are ready to commit (or have already committed) to a completely natural hair care routine. This means no synthetic styling products, no products or conditioners with silicones or any other "cones", and not over-manipulating your hair with excessive heat. It may sound scary at first - but once you liberate yourself from the addiction to the "fake shine" of the synthetics and the constant heat damage from styling tools - you will get to enjoy the BEST HAIR OF YOUR LIFE! Not to mention, a pretty rockin' air dry!
2. You don't currently over-process, or heat style your hair daily. (OR, you are ready to make a change to a more natural approach to beautiful hair.)
3. You are interested in tuning in to your body's natural rhythms, helping your hair to heal and take care of itself the way nature intended.
If you think the above describes you - then welcome to the tribe!
WILL I EXPERIENCE A “PURGE” OR “TRANSITION” PERIOD?
Only a percentage of shampoo bar users experience a true “transition" or "purge period”, but yes - this is possible. When first using a shampoo bar, you may experience a "waxy" feel to the hair after washing. This is often referred to as "the purge" or "the waxies" in the shampoo bar community - and could be the result of one of two things: a bad reaction with hard water, OR an adjustment to balancing out your scalp's oil production. Both "the purge" and "the waxies" can usually be remedied with an Apple Cider Vinegar rinse or by using our Matcha Clarifying Rinse. The good news is that the "waxy feel" is TEMPORARY and simply a brief phase on the path to the healthiest hair of your life! More information on "The Purge" and "The Waxies" can be found here https://www.
For best results using a shampoo bar, we suggest you follow The Super Bar Method.
What is The Super Bar Method?
The Super Bar Method is a holistic shampoo bar regimen focused on supporting natural hair health, by tuning in to the body's innate rhythms and nourishing both scalp and strands with exclusively plant powered products.
Step 1: Dry Brushing
The first and arguably most important step in a successful shampoo bar regimen is to start with a healthy dose of dry brushing using a mixed bristle brush like this one from our friend Roxie at How To Hair Girl. Often we are so accustomed to depending on a "product" to "fix" our hair woes that it can come as a surprise that our scalp actually holds the key to our own personal hair health!
This dry brushing step essentially "pre-conditions" your hair by distributing the nourishing natural oils produced by your scalp. Trust that your body knows what you need - and it will provide it for you if you give it a chance! Simply brush hair thoroughly from roots to tips - and yes, this goes for ALL hair types, even kinks and curls! It's also a great way to work through tangles while your hair is dry (detangling wet hair leads to breakage). To elevate the experience, use this dry brushing time to mindfully "brush out" any negative thoughts, heavy energy, or that which does not serve you. Consider it a little meditative moment of self-care, and enjoy the ritual - a great mixed bristle brush feels SO GOOD on the scalp!
For Curly Manes: If the idea of taking a brush to your kinks or curls sounds a bit scary, try to "scritch and preen" manually just using your hands to work your natural scalp sebum from your roots to the rest of your hair. The Goddess over at Green Beauty has a wonderful video on "The Science of Sebum" where she goes into detail about the science of this method, and how to perform a scritch and preen manually.
Step 2: Lather Up!
Choose your shampoo bar wisely. There are plenty of non-organic shampoo bars on the market posing as good for you that are chock full of SLS and other harmful detergents and synthetic chemicals. Buyer beware - and be sure to read the labels!
We recommend using The Super Bar, our nourishing and hydrating solution that we developed in partnership with professional chemists over the course of more than a year. We wanted a bar that was exquisite for our hair, and also worked flawlessly as a moisturizing body wash and shave lather. I'm so proud to say that We Did It! The Super Bar is now literally the ONLY everyday product in our shower. And the kicker - it's made with organic, wildcrafted, and fair trade ingredients!
Once in the shower, wet hair and rub The Super Bar between your hands to create a lather, then distribute it evenly onto the roots of your hair. Gently massage into scalp and allow the lather to cascade down to the tips of your hair, and don’t pile your hair on top of your head (as this leads to tangles). Repeat if necessary. We do not encourage a direct application of the shampoo bar to your hair - as this directly deposits the rich super fats and butters onto your strands - which can be a bit heavy and difficult to rinse out for most hair types. That being said, some customers prefer a direct application - so as always, make the ritual your own by trying different methods to see what works best for you!
Step 3: Clarify
This step is recommended once every other week for most users. However, your hair may tell you it needs this step more often, or less - we encourage you to tune in to what your body tells you it needs.
Simply follow your cleanse with our Matcha Green Tea Clarifying Rinse or a DIY Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse. This step gently removes product residue, smooths the hair cuticle, and soothes the scalp - resulting in shinier, healthier, more voluminous hair!
Our recommendation is to use the Matcha Green Tea Clarifying Rinse or a DIY Apple Cider Vinegar rinse after every shampoo during the "transition period" (see below). These rinses help to break up and remove product residue so it washes clean away, as well as add slip to the hair to reduce tangles. If you have color-treated hair, you'll want to use a rinse after every wash to help seal the cuticle and balance the pH of your hair - both key factors in helping to prevent color fade. (See more about shampoo bars and color-treated hair in the FAQs below.)
Step 4: Hydrate & Style Naturally
Follow your natural cleansing experience with a light, quick absorbing, and nourishing natural oil like our organic Ritual Oil.
It is important to commit fully to a natural regimen in order for your hair to begin to take care of itself - so PLEASE do not sabotage the process by using synthetic/chemical hair products. Using synthetic styling products will counteract all the nourishment the shampoo bar provides, and the "purge period" will never end. So be kind to yourself, and the planet, by committing to a fully natural styling routine.
Be sure to go easy on the oil - a little goes a long way! For everyday styling, simply work 1-2 pumps of Ritual Oil into the ends of your hair to tame frizzies and nourish dry ends.
If your hair is short or particularly thin or oily, try starting out with just a half a pump or no oil at all - you may find you don't need it!
If your scalp is feeling dry or itchy due to weather or other stress, try using the Ritual Oil as a deep scalp treatment - directions can be found here.
Here's a wrap-up of The Super Bar Method:
- Dry Brush Hair from roots to tips to distribute natural oils using a mixed bristle brush
- Lather Up with The Super Bar
- Clarify (every 2 weeks or as needed for your hair type) with our Matcha Green Tea Clarifying Rinse or a DIY Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse.
- Hydrate & Style Naturally with Ritual Oil as needed for your hair type
We would really like to help you on your journey toward a natural and organic hair care routine. If you'd like to try any of the products linked above, use code SUPERBARMETHOD for 20% off your entire order at checkout!
What else can I do to have the best shampoo bar experience?
I would highly recommend incorporating these blissful rituals into your routine to truly make the most of your shampoo bar experience - and enjoy the BEST hair of your life!
- Use ONLY Soft Water! Did you know nearly 85% of the U.S. has HARD WATER? This leads to mineral build-up in the hair, which can feel gunky and cause hair to look lifeless and dull. Bottom line: shampoo bars + hard water can lead to a bad case of "the waxies" - where your hair feels waxy or straw-like, and no one wants that! You can easily prevent "the waxies" by installing a water softening system or a much more budget-friendly showerhead filter (bonus, it also helps to clear up skin!) Another alternative is to do monthly or bi-monthly "chelating" washes. We recommend Hairprint's Chelating Shampoo. Interested in learning more about how to remedy Hard Water in your home? Check out this helpful resource here.
- Don't forget to Dry Brush! Seriously - this step is VITAL to a fantastic experience with shampoo bars.
- Monthly Deep Treatments: These should be introduced once the purge period has ended as a means to keep your hair and scalp in ultra-nourished condition. We recommend using our Meditation Tea Treatment for a holistic approach to mind, body, and hair health. We also recommend our Ritual Oil for a deep scalp treatment, or try a DIY hair mask like this one from Sedona Christina.
- Ditch The Heat: One of the fabulous benefits of shampoo bars is that they result in the most magically perfect air-dry! You will get to enjoy that enviable "effortless" look with silky locks, body and it will require absolutely NO effort. We highly recommend you let your natural hair texture shine by using heat tools as little as possible. The less you use them, the faster your hair will heal, and the less you will find you need them.
Still have questions? Check out our blog post all about The Shampoo Bar Experience which addresses all the questions you didn't even know you had about making the switch PLUS a ton of helpful tips and tricks!
And don't forget to use code SUPERBARMETHOD for 20% off your entire Wildand Organics order!
Wishing you many blessings on your natural hair journey,
Marisa & Daane