At the beginning of 2018, I tried and failed at the natural shampoo method AKA 'The No Poo Method'. I picked up a bog standard completely natural shampoo bar and thought I could switch from my Lush bar just like that. But wow, how wrong was I...! My hair was sticky and really heavy. That lasted a couple of days and I went back to my Lush bar...sound familiar?!
How to use Natural Shampoo Bars
First of all, if you have swapped to a solid shampoo bar, that's a great start in reducing plastic packaging, but you now just need to kick a couple more nasty chemicals from your shampoo routine and you'll have thicker, shinier hair in no time. You won't find Sodium Laurel Sulfate or other synthetic ingredients in a truly natural shampoo bar.
For the purest 'no poo' method, you ditch shampoos altogether and use just water or natural ingredients such as flour, vinegar etc to wash your hair but this still involves a transition period and isn't for me.
I have carried out a lot of research into this area so you don't have to and as always, all products have been tried and tested by me. I have very fine, flat and straight hair but this underlying method is universal - you may just need to tweak a few things to suit as everybody's hair is different.
Firstly, you need a shampoo bar that works and doesn't leave your hair sticky or waxy. I have tried a lot which any many didn't but it which is why our selection is limited to the best.
Lamazuna Solid Shampoo Bar
I had heard such good reviews about the Lamazuna bar and although I was initially put off by the price (£10), and the seemingly smaller than usual bar size, I went for it after hearing all of the amazing results.
I simply use the bar in place of normal liquid or a Lush shampoo bar and it works perfectly. Yes it doesn't foam up so much (due to no SLS) however it still cleans your hair and doesn't leave any synthetic ingredients in your hair weighing it down nor using any harsh chemicals stripping hair of its natural oils or sebum resulting in a process that actually makes hair greasier, encouraging you to wash your hair more frequently.
I like to combine the shampoo bar with more natural ingredients through the other steps and I don't know if it's down to the Lamazuna shampoo bar, or my method, or a combination of both, but after my first 100% natural wash with the Lamazuna bar, my hair felt just like normal, even a little more thicker and glossier! I really couldn't believe it and here's how I did it.
Natural Shampoo Method...that works the first time!
1. Comb hair ready to wash
2. Mix 1 tablespoon of bicarbonate of soda with 1-2 cups of warm water (approx 400ml) and pour this over your hair. Gentle massage your scalp for a minute and wash out. (I do this rinse around once a month, otherwise go straight in with a conditioner bar).
3. Shampoo bar time - run the shampoo bar from top to bottom on wet hair. You only need to use a really small amount. Massage the shampoo into your hair, trying not to tangle it too much. The Lamazuna bar really foams up without any artificial foaming agents. Pay particular attention to your crown where your hair gets the most dirty.
4. Wash out the shampoo like normal
5. Mix 2 tablespoons of Apple Cider Vinegar (Raw and unfiltered, with The 'Mother') with 1.5 cups (400ml) of luke warm water. I put this in a 500ml Amber Spray Bottle ad spray this on my hair and let it soak in for two minutes. The vinegar rinse acts as a conditioner. If you have blonde hair, when I made my vinegar rinse, I boiled the water and added butterfly pea flowers to make a purple vinegar rinse (remove the flowers before use!)
6. After soaking, wash out with fairly cold water.
7. Make sure you brush your hair a couple of times a day from the root to brush the natural oils through your hair.
Once a week, instead of the vinegar rinse, I use our Lavender and Rose Geranium liquid conditioner which comes in a glass bottle. This has the most gorgeous and long lasting scent and you only need a pea sized amount so the bottle lasts ages!
If I'm away, I'll instead use our Spearmint and Rosemary Conditioner Bar as it has added ACV and you can also use this as a body wash bar too.
Instead of a shampoo bar, you can replace with a water free shampoo kube. I will follow the same method and follow with vinegar and use a 'proper' conditioner once a week, whether its a Beauty Kube conditioner, liquid conditioner or conditioner bar. Beauty Kubes are amazing for travelling too!
My Top Tips
1. I honestly recommend the Lamazuna bar. I feel so lucky to have skipped the entire transition period which can take up to three months of sticky and heavy hair.
2. Buy your baking soda plastic free at a bulk buy store or online from a plastic free retailer such as plasticfreepantry.co.uk or zerowasteclub.com. Remember it's bicarbonate of soda (not baking powder).
3. Keep your shampoo bar somewhere it can dry out like a wooden or ceramic soap dish so it lasts a long time.
4. Use Raw and Unfiltered ACV from the 'Mother'. It contains strands of proteins, enzymes and friendly bacteria that give the product a murky appearance. Refined and clear vinegars are great for household cleaning as they don’t leave residue but raw, unfiltered and unrefined versions contain many more beneficial properties and you can then use the same bottle for eating and drinking.
5. Mix up the ACV rinse into a spray bottle if you wish so you always have some to hand to spray onto your hair after the shampoo bar.
6. Use your time wisely whilst letting the ACV soak in. This is when I use my Salt and Sulphur body scrub (I'm all about multi tasking).
7. If you have time, let your hair dry naturally. My hair is really fine and tangles so easily but if I let my hair dry naturally, it is then so easy to brush through.
8. Try to wash your hair with the above method a few hours before going to bed. You can then let it dry naturally in the evening and then tie it up right on top of your head if you can (like a pineapple) overnight. This will give it some extra volume the next day.
9. In the morning, you shouldn't need to use any products however you could use a little natural dry shampoo powder to add a little more volume, or on following days to soak up any excess oil.
I really hope the above method and top tips are useful. As always, I would love to hear how you get on and I'm always hear to answer any questions.
I can't wait for more and more people to discover the benefits of natural shampoo.