What to do When Shampoo Bars are Working Against You
Updated: Oct 4
Here are some trouble shooting tips and tricks as well as answers to a few of the most common questions asked.
· Hard Water? There are so many options out there if you don’t want to go out and get a full-blown water softener. There are smaller adapters available at all major hardware stores that attach right to your shower head and filter all kinds of minerals and other deposits out of the water. Another option is to rinse your hair in cool water – this is what works best for me. I hop out of the shower, turn the water to arctic freeze and rinse, rinse rinse!
· Heavy, waxy build up? – The first time that I washed my hair with shampoo bars my hair moved as one big unit; I had the ultimate helmet head. I found this was due in part to the products I was using at the time as well as the products I had used prior to using shampoo bars. Because shampoo bars are so gentle, it takes them a while to remove all of the silicones, heavy oils, and petroleum based products that have been put on your hair for years. It was also due to the fact that I was trying to create a lather using the shampoo bar right on my hair and instead of creating a lather, I was just depositing the super-fatted soap directly on to my hair. Lesson learned – lather in my hands.
· Greasy looking hair, but smells clean? – This had three different causes for me. First, apple cider vinegar rinses work better for me and my fine hair if I used them before I shampoo. This helps to remove any excess buildup, but it also prevents the stringy, greasy look for me. Something about the rinse causes fine hair to slick right down and look very greasy and stringy. And it’s not just me. Other fine-haired beauties have reported to me that they experienced the same thing. My hair also became greasy when I wasn’t rinsing it well enough – the best thing I did to combat this was section my hair as I was rinsing it out. Finally, heat styling can be the devil. Avoid using heat to dry your hair – it re-solidifies the soap. But if you must heat style (and believe me, I still do) use a lower setting, and dry your hair as much with a towel prior to using the hair dryer, curling iron, straight iron, etc.
· Sections of my hair feel heavy and greasy, while others are light and clean – Especially as my hair has gotten even longer I notice that the top of my head and my crown get clean, but the sides feel heavy and greasy. The best thing I have done to combat this is to pull up the top half of my hair prior to getting in the shower, wash the sides first, then let the rest of my hair down and wash the top.
· Dry, crispy, frizzy ends – You aren’t ready to get rid of your conditioner yet, you need a heavier conditioner for your ends, or probably the most likely culprit is that you are in a phase of the transition period where the gently cleansing shampoo bars are slowly removing the build-up in your hair. The best way to help this phase end faster is to ensure that you are rinsing thoroughly and try a clarifying shampoo or an apple cider vinegar rinse prior to using your shampoo bar.
· No matter what I try the shampoo bar just doesn’t seem to rinse from my hair! – This was a huge challenge for me for several months. I think that the main culprit here is that the dry sections of my hair were hanging on to the bar like it was a lifeline. Here are some of the things that I tried to get me through it each time it happened (or continues to happen, occasionally).
1. Wash your hair upside down – yes, you heard me right. Section off your hair starting at your ears, heading up to your crown. Flip over, and allow that section to fall. Apply your shampoo bar lather to the crown of your head, working minimally down your part or towards the front of your head. Rinse while still upside down, then stand up normally and rinse from the top as well.
2. Apply a little Nourishing oil or non-toxic heavy conditioner to the parts of your hair that don’t seem to rinse clean prior to shampooing. The section of my hair that gave me the most trouble were the strands at the front that probably saw the most heat styling over the years. They were the most prone to frizz and required the most conditioner/oil. I applied a little nourishing hair oil to these parts prior to shampooing and the problem was solved!
3. Comb your hair prior to showering to prevent the lather from settling in your tangles. I use a gentle detangler to help with this process if it's needed. I am just super gentle and aware that my hair has a higher chance of being stretched and broken in this fragile state. But having a clear avenue for the lather to run off my hair has made a world of difference.
· Everything was going fine, but now my hair is getting heavy and greasy again. What gives? – Congrats! The most likely reason behind this outcome is that your hair is getting more healthy and doesn’t require as much conditioner or hair oils anymore (if any at all!). Try going without conditioner for a day or two and see what happens.
Hope this helps! Let me know if you have any questions!