I fully admit it: I am an extreme diva when it comes to my hair. I have only met my match once while backpacking in Costa Rica and I met a young man who brought more hair products than me. Hard to belive when my hair products bag alone weighed 7 pounds. Sadly I’m not exaggerating.
Anyway, yes, I am crazy when it comes to my hair. I’ve been growing it out for years and now I’m at bra strap level with waist being my next goal. Tail-bone length might by in my future, but we’ll see how my hair handles it at waist length.
The most expensive thing I have ever bought for any beauty product in my regime has been a hair conditioner (yes, it is more expensive than my facial moisturizer…shocking, I know). And although my salon stopped carrying it I have been faithful to the brand and continue to buy it online for an outrageous price. Recently I have been introduced to the wonderful world of shampoo bars. I can’t begin to tell you how hesitant I was about using soap on my hair made entirely of oils and not using my holy grail conditioner afterwards. Because that’s the whole idea of shampoo bars: wash with it and maybe use a detangler or vinegar rinse afterwards.
But in the quest to become more eco-friendly in all of my personal care products, and to ditch the silicone and horrible chemcials in my holy grail conditioner, I hesitantly gave shampoo bars a try.
Warning: They are really hard to find. In all of the health food stores in my city of 3.5 million people there is one brand to be found. One. And this is it:
The ingredients: Distilled Water, Palm Oil (doesn’t say if it is sustainably farmed or not), Coconut Oil, Olive Oil, Sea Buckthorn Extract, Sea Buckthorn Oil, Castor Seed Oil, and Sodium Hydroxide (this is used to extract the oil from the various plants. None of this, or a very infintesimal amount remains in the product.
How to use: Step 1: get your hair wet…really, really wet. Step 2: create a lather either in your hands or on your hair. I wouldn’t rub it in circles on your hair so you don’t damage anything, but long downward strokes worked well for me. Step 3: massage the lather around. It won’t lather like a traditional shampoo because it doesn’t have the sodium lauryl sulphate. All of the LUSH shampoo bars have sulphates, which is why I avoided them. Step 4: Rinse well. Step 5: Rinse Again. Step 6: Did I mention that you should rinse it well? Seriously, you cannot rinse enough with these. That has been the most important thing that I’ve learned. Step 7. Rinse a prepared mixture of either apple cider vinegar and water or lemon juice and water to return the pH balance of your hair and close down the cuticle.
Everywhere you look online they talk about the adjustment period. Even though I was ‘prepared’ for an adjustment period I almost couldn’t wait it out. The first time I washed my hair with this shampoo bar it felt like someone had doused my hair in candle wax. My entire head of hair moved as a unit. Oh ya, and it looked greasy..really greasy. After letting my hair dry to see if things improved and discovering that nothing changed I jumped right back in the shower and rinsed again. The next few days were brutal. I have never had my hair feel like that in my life, even after going 8 days without washing it and hiking every day. Long story short, it was disgusting.
But now here I am on day 7 and I am seeing a light at the end of the tunnel. I almost didn’t make it. Yesterday I was sorely tempted to go back to my SLS containing Live Clean shampoo. But I stuck it out. My hair, although still feeling very waxy, is improving. It’s lighter, and rinsing cleaner and doesn’t look like I rinsed my hair in lard. I also haven’t used any conditioner at all in the past week and I am sticking to my normal dime sized amount of hemp oil and I have to say I’m impressed. My hair has a ridiculous amount of volume for having absolutely no product in it, and is fairly soft and gets softer every day. I may be converted yet…
One more thing to mention is the hardness of your water will affect the efficacy of shampoo bars. The harder your water, the more you’ll have to rinse and the less success you’ll have overall. I live in an apartment so adding water softener is out of my control, but there are a variety of individual shower filters that you can buy to attach right to your shower. Some of them have filters that can be 100% recycled! This has made a huge difference for me, so if you’re new to shampoo bars and you’re struggling, I’d recommend trying this.
When you think you’ve rinsed every bit of that shampoo bar lather out of your hair, keep going. I promise it takes more vigorous rinsing than you’d think.