Moving to shampoo bars definitely feels like the right thing to do. Cosy Cottage and Friendly bars are all natural and so kind on your hair, your scalp and the environment. They are easy to travel with and you don’t have to worry about taking them in your hand luggage when you go on holiday. There are so many positives but I have to admit, moving from bottled shampoo wasn’t as straight forward as I’d thought, especially as we live in a hard water area. When I first switched to bars I found that my hair felt very waxy and heavy. When I started to research it, I found out that my hair was going through a detox period and that most people experience a ‘purge’ when they first make the change. I eventually came across some hints that really helped so thought I’d share them here.
Firstly, solid shampoo bars are very concentrated unlike liquid shampoos which use a lot of water in their manufacture and neither of the bars that we stock contain detergent which means that they won’t later up as much as ‘traditional’ shampoos. The trick is to find the right amount for your hair, too much and it’s hard to rinse it all out, too little and you leave your hair feeling greasy. I wet my hair and then rub the bar directly into my hair to get a lather. Advice does vary so if you’d prefer you can work a lather onto your hands and transfer it to your hair. I always shampoo twice but again, that’s up to you, try different things to find what works best for your hair.
Once you have built your lather, it’s essential that you rinse really well. You may find that your scalp is used to fighting chemicals that strip it of it isn’t natural oil so to start with your hair may feel greasy while the scalp tries to rebalance the oil production. In my experience this didn’t last long at all and felt worse than it looked!
If you do live in a hard water area you may find that you need a final rinse with a mild acid rinse. This may only be needed during the ‘purge’ phase but some people choose to continue doing this as it gives your hair a natural shine. I tried a few different rinse but settled on using a small amount of Apple Cider Vinegar (with mother) from the health food shop. I use approximately 10% diluted with water, I add a couple of drops of tea tree essential oil and use it as a final rinse without washing out. Don’t worry, you don’t end up smelling of vinegar, as soon as your hair is dry you don’t notice it at all. Some sites recommend using dilute lemon juice, just be careful as lemon juice will naturally lighten your hair which may not be the effect you are wanting.
It make take a few days or even a few weeks for your hair to adjust to a shampoo bar but the short term pain is definitely worth it for long term gain. According to Cosy Cottage, this adjustment happens because silicones used in conventional shampoos are coated onto the hair to create the ‘shine’, it takes a few washes to remove the silicone build up and your hair will feel and look different during this ‘detox’. Don’t worry though, it doesn’t last forever. Once your hair has stopped reacting to the SLS and harsh chemicals in many commercial shampoos, it learns to be strong and shiny all on its own and your scalp and hair will flourish.
Here are some links to more tips from Cosy Cottage and Friendly sites in case you have any questions about their products. We love both of these vegan shampoo bars we stock which are free from parabens, SLS, sulphates, triclosan, phthalates, palm oil and cruelty. We wouldn’t switch back to bottled shampoo now that we’ve made the change.