The most common email I receive from customers is regarding our shampoo bars. Although we have many customers who have no adjustment problems at all, weird or gummy feeling hair is not an uncommon issue, even after several weeks of use. Anytime you switch to a new shampoo, there is an adjustment period. Adjustment periods can range from a few days to a few weeks.

What is hair detox? And Why is it important?

Seaside Spa Soleseife Shampoo made with Salt Water, Rosemary, Neem, Tea Tree, Hemp, and Jojoba
Seaside Spa Soleseife Shampoo made with Salt Water, Rosemary, Neem, Tea Tree, Hemp, and Jojoba

Hair detoxes when you switch to a new product, just like your skin does. Why? Because commercial shampoos and products are made from synthetic silicones and silicas, to make it “feel” nice and soft. What you don’t realize is that these silicones will be purged from hair and scalp when you switch to a shampoo that doesn’t have them. So often it will take a few days, a week, a month or sometimes a little longer to completely purge your hair of your old shampoo. This is the most common complaint with shampoo bars. Even some natural liquid shampoos contain these silicones, because they don’t have to say what percentage of the shampoo is natural. 10% could be natural, and the rest synthetic–and they can still label it natural. Our shampoos are all-natural and 100% handmade. An adjustment period or detox can usually last a week, sometimes longer. So when you switch to our shampoo, you will notice that your hair “feels” different when wet. It feels different because it does not contain stripping ingredients like a liquid shampoo or the silicones that trick you. This different feeling is perfectly normal, and you will love how it feels when dry!
Detergent shampoos are really good at stripping EVERYTHING (even those natural oils we want!), so you may not notice residue as readily with a commercial shampoo. Our shampoo bars are very gentle cleansers, and are not made to strip hair or scalp.

So what do I do to help my hair adjust?

Get your hair REALLY clean before first using a shampoo bar. Either use an apple cider vinegar hair rinse or a baking soda rinse to deep clean your hair before you wash it. Try to do a weekly hair rinse along with it. I do recommend ACV rinses as your normal conditioner after washing hair each time.

Hard Water: Hard water affects a lot more than you think, especially when it comes to natural shampoos. It is the biggest troublemaker that makes your hair feel weird or gummy after washing. Hard water can make it difficult to wash all the shampoo out of your hair, leaving behind a gummy feeling. Some customers suggest rinsing your hair with rainwater instead. I suggest an apple cider vinegar rinse, or using herbal tea. One of my customers suggests using a rinse made from citric acid crystals dissolved in water. She sprays it on her hair just like an ACV rinse.

Shampoo Technique:

Organic Argan Oil and Marshmallow Root Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo Bar
Organic Argan Oil and Marshmallow Root Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo Bar

My shampoo bars are superfatted and thus contain extra oils and butters to nourish your hair. If you rub the shampoo bar directly in hair (like I do), then you are coating the hair with superfatted soap. If you do not lather up really well, you will have areas that remain coated with the oils. This results in hair looking or feeling “gummy”.

The Wrong ‘Poo for YOU!!

If you are not using the right shampoo bar for your hair, you may notice your hair not reacting well or feeling weird. Each shampoo bar recipe is made differently, with different herbs, butters, oils, and essential oils. No two shampoos are alike, just as no one’s hair or scalp is the same. My best suggestion is to try a sampler of my shampoo bars of those that work well for most hair types.

Hair Balance:

If hair is used to being stripped, then your oil production is probably higher than it would be naturally. Once you stop using a stripping detergent in your hair, your hair may feel weighed down, heavy, or oily. In this case, your hair simply needs time to adjust to being “normal”.


The Mad Soap Artist,
Alicia Bella Joubert

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Published in Allergies / Intolerances, Illness / Disability