What to Expect When Making The Transition to All Natural Shampoo

October 23, 2018

Deciding to eliminate chemicals and switch to organic hair care products isn't hard. By switching, you'll make a positive impact on the environment while improving your health. That doesn't mean that the transition itself doesn't require a little adjustment.

Going au naturel and switching from brands you've been using for years can be a little intimidating. Once you see the results, you'll wonder why you didn't make the change sooner. You may deal with a period of detox, but your hair will come out looking better than ever.

There are a thousand reasons to switch to natural shampoo, but what's it like to actually make the transition? We'll show you what to expect and how you can mitigate the side effects of going natural.

What To Expect When Making The Switch

1. Changes In Oil Production

Sulfate shampoos are designed to eliminate product build-up through the use of harsh chemical cleaners. In the process, these shampoos also strip natural oils from your hair.

When you switch to an organic shampoo, your body may initially begin producing too much or too little natural oil. This side effect can last anywhere from a few days to several weeks. This means that during the early stages of transition, you may experience dry hair or oily hair.

2. Less Suds

Traditional shampoos use sulfates such as SLS to create a rich lather with foamy suds. The main difference with natural shampoos is that there isn't much foaming action since they are typically sulfate-free. Some people overcompensate by thinking they need to use more. Instead, just apply the natural shampoo and make sure to add plenty of water to work the product through your hair.

3. Changes In Hair Thickness and Feel

Some people may experience thicker, fuller hair when making the switch. Often times, chemical-laden shampoos contain ingredients such as silicones and waxes that can build up on hair follicles. This build-up can block pores and prevent hair from growing. By eliminating this build-up, your hair may look and feel thicker as your scalp produces new hair strands.

For other people, the release of this build-up can make hair feel matted or sticky. That's because the silicones attach to the hair shaft as the natural shampoo tries to eliminate it. Fortunately, this usually only lasts a few days or weeks as the build-up is gently removed over time.

Tips for Making the Transition Easier

1. Phase Out Shampoo

One of the best ways to transition from chemical shampoos to natural hair care products is to ease your way into it. Start by phasing out your shampoo over a period of several weeks.

If you currently wash your hair every single day, start by washing it every other day. After the first week, try washing your hair every three days and continue to cut back little by little each week. Start using a natural shampoo instead of your chemical products after three weeks.  

2. Be Patient

Most people experience a short period where their hair seems unhappy with the transition. During this time, it can be tempting to switch back to a traditional shampoo. Don't give in!

Be patient and give your hair two months to adjust to the changes. You may need to reevaluate your other hair care products including hair spray, gels, and mousses as your new hair may have different needs than when it was coated with chemicals and silicones.

3. Shampoo and Rinse Well

Make sure to thoroughly rinse hair to remove all shampoo. Excess shampoo can build up on hair strands and weigh it down even more. Some natural shampoo brands recommend shampooing twice. Follow the instruction on the label for the best results.

Depending on your natural shampoo type, you may need to apply it slightly differently. Natural shampoo bars should be applied from root to tip to prevent tangling. It also helps to gently comb your fingers through hair rather than piling hair on top of your head and moving it like a washing machine.

4. Buy High Quality Natural Shampoo

The easiest way to smooth the transition from chemical products to natural ones is to buy shampoos with quality ingredients. You can find these products along with natural body wash and beauty products online at stores like Amazon.com as well as in natural offerings from your local drugstore and salon. Natural shampoos that are rich in pure essential oils will help control oil production and keep your hair looking its best.

Look for ingredients such as jojoba oil, tea tree oil, and shea butter. Jojoba oil is known to mimic the skin's sebum production, helping to minimize the body's desire to overcompensate for oil when you stop using chemical shampoos. Tea tree oil boasts antibacterial properties and helps even hair's pH balance while shea butter conditions and moisturizes hair follicles.

Coconut oil, coconut milk, and argan oil are also great options for adding extra moisture to damaged hair or dry hair stands. All natural shampoo products fortified with organic ingredients including aloe vera, amino acids, and sea buckthorn can prevent hair loss and promote hair growth.

5. Brush Your Hair

When making the change from chemical-laden shampoo to natural shampoo, your hair may be oily at the roots and dry at the ends. Brush your hair daily to help work the healthy natural oils produced by your skin down to the tips of your hair. It's best to use a large boar brush or similar vegan alternative since these have thick bristles.

6. Find A Formula For Your Hair Type

Everyone's hair is different. Just because one brand works for someone else doesn't mean it's a good fit for your hair. Try shampoos with different natural ingredients to find what works best for you. Check out some of the best natural shampoos from brands such as Acure, Rahua, John Masters, 100% Pure, and Shea Moisture. These companies use everything from palo santo and avocado seed oil to green tea and apple cider vinegar to cleanse hair naturally and condition locks.

Natural shampoos are formulated for different hair types just like traditional shampoos. You'll find hair products for color treated hair, fine hair, curly hair, and frizzy hair. There are even all natural shampoos formulated to treat hair loss and skin conditions such as dandruff and folliculitis.

Some people find that with a natural shampoo they don't need hair conditioner, others may need a little added moisture. Don't be afraid to play around and incorporate a few different natural shampoos. Your hair may need extra moisture in the winter and be fine in summer, so you'll need to pay attention to your needs for the best results.

Make The Change

It may take some time for your hair to adjust when switching to natural hair care products. Remember to be patient and try out different shampoos to find what works best for you.

With a little time, you're sure to find a new favorite brand and blend that gives you healthy, beautiful locks. You'll love the way your hair looks and knowing that these products won’t harm health and are cruelty-free and good for the environment.

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