Updated: Oct 7
You excitedly try your new shampoo or conditioner bar, not only are they plastic free but full of lovely natural ingredients, no harsh chemicals in sight. Get you!
Safe in the knowledge these are better for your hair, you give your barnet a quick blow dry, but wait….what is this greasy mess you’re greeted with?
Welcome my friend, to what is called ‘The Transition Period’.
But what is causing your luscious locks to flop?
It’s a twofold effect: Regular shampoos contain harsh chemicals, such as sulphates, parabens, sodium lauryl sulphate, potassium sorbate, that strip your hair of its natural oils. These oils actually keep your hair healthy and happy, but totally stripping your hair of these oils has caused production to get out of whack with what you need, usually resulting in too much oil.
The second effect is regular shampoos, and conditioners tend to coat your hair with chemicals, making it superficially feel silky smooth. Leaving you with a toxic build up of years of residue.
Your hair is going to have to go through toxic rehab, cold turkey. Stick with it, don't be tempted to go back to your regular shampoo as you'll have to start the process all over again.
The transition period can last a few days or a few weeks, and some lucky ladies don’t have a transition period at all. Don’t worry, there are things you can do to help.
Top 5 ways to Combat the Grease
1. Remove Residue
You can help remove your toxic build up by rinsing you hair with 2 tablespoons of baking soda dissolved in a cup of warm water before you shampoo. Not just for the transition period either, especially if you use products like hairspray, dry shampoo, or leave-in conditioner.
2. Keep Oil Production in Check
Apple cider vinegar will help keep your natural oil production under control and also helps with removing product build up. Don’t worry, you won’t smell like vinegar afterwards! Mix 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar per cup of warm water. Apply after shampoo and condition (if using) and rinse out thoroughly. If you’re worried about the smell try applying using a spray bottle, to give you great coverage while only using a small amount of vinegar
3. Take a Break from Over Washing
It sounds counterintuitive but washing your hair too often will make it greaser, as it overproduces oils to combat the drying effect on your scalp that washing has. It may be hard but break the habit of washing too often will leave your hair less greasy not more.
4. Less is More
Applying more shampoo may sound like you’ll get a better clean, but past a certain point you’ll be created a product build up in your hair that’s difficult to wash out. Try playing around with how much of your shampoo you use to find what’s right for you.
5. Get to Know your Conditioner Bar
You may be used to lathering on the liquid conditioner in order to get any hint of moisture in your hair. Whereas conditioner bars contain a very high concentration of moisturising oils so you only need a small amount. How much? That will depend on your hair type, frizziness and length so start small and build up over a few washes until you find your sweet spot. To get the best out of your conditioner bar skip the roots and only condition the ends of your hair, and use a comb in the shower to distribute the conditioner evenly.
Here are a few of our favourites:
Rosemary and Lavender Shampoo Bar - Good all rounder, smells amazing and made with lots of lovely cold pressed UK Rapeseed oil and Organic Apple Cider Vinegar to help control your natural oil production.
Avocado Conditioner Bar - mix of cocoa butter, argan and avocado oil to leave you hair smooth and shiny. You only need a tiny amount so the bar will last ages!
If none of this helps your natural shampoo may just not suit your hair type. Everyone's hair is different and what works for someone wont work for everyone. Here are a few of our favourites alternatives to bars...
Word on the street is these little cubes of loveliness avoid any transition at all. They come in a box of 27 cubes, use one per wash. Crumble into your hand to make a lathery paste.
Not into conditioner bars? This luscious conditioner is for you. Made with cold pressed Organic Broccoli seed oil, packed full of antioxidants which help keep hair healthy and give a natural shine.
If your ends are needing a little extra help you can use hair oil to lock in natural moisture and leave your hair smooth and shiny.