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How to prepare your hair for the transition to natural haircare 🌿

You’ve finally made the choice to go natural with your haircare but you’re still unsure what this will mean for you. So we thought we’d pull together all of the information we have on making the transition to natural haircare.

Firstly, let’s talk about what makes Solibar different from other shampoo bars or traditional shampoo. Put simply our bars are soap-based and made from natural ingredients, this means that they will work completely differently to some other bars on the market. Instead of stripping your hair of its natural sebum, our Solibars are designed to work with your hair’s own sebum production to develop a new level of clean. (This is what makes us similar to the No-Poo Method).  
Without detergents or sulphates to strip your hair, you might find that whilst moving through transition and your hair adjusts to bars you might feel a little more oily or dense than usual. This is totally normal. Remember: you’ve been washing your hair one way for your entire life, so it’s going to take time to adjust to a new way of washing. Here’s a little history on liquid shampoo and the reason why a natural shampoo bar like Solibar might not even require a conditioner. 
There are a lot of shampoo bars on the market that are advertised as natural but in reality, contain sulphates or naturally derived sulphates to do the cleaning. These bars are referred to as Syndet aka synthetic detergent and this makes them no different than using ‘salon quality shampoo’ in a bar form. We’ve written extensively on this here. In general syndet bars will work without fail, but the difference is you will feel your hair being stripped by the detergents and you will always require a conditioner to restore the moisture to your strands. They will also likely be ‘pH balanced’ as they are chemically able to be made that way. 
Without the detergents or sulphates (or other baddies), it is really important to make sure you prepare your hair for the transition to natural haircare. The biggest issue that people face with natural haircare is that previous product build-up will really impact how Solibar performs on the initial wash. (We’re now supplying a clarifying shampoo sachet with every new order to help cleanse your strands). 
The biggest offenders are silicones and they are throughout so many different types of shampoos and most conditioners. Whilst they make your hair feel incredible, silky and smooth, they are alike plastic wrap and are impossible to remove without using a chemical clarifying shampoo. Clarifying shampoos are designed to entirely strip your hair of all product buildup and should be used rarely as overuse can be quite damaging.  Here’s some more information on silicones and how to spot them. Some of you will require a clarifying shampoo to remove the years of product buildup, remembering that Solibar is so gentle that it’s unable to remove silicone that has bound with your strands. 
Another way to prepare is to use an acid rinse, this will restore your scalp to its natural baseline and help to remove any other product or sebum buildup. When we refer to acid rinses, we talk most often about apple cider vinegar however this is not the only option. You can also use white vinegar if ACV is too moisturising, or even lemon juice, bicarbonate soda, raw apple juice, orange juice and even beer. We’ve got a full list of options here. 
In addition to previous product buildup, there are also a lot of other external factors that may/may not affect the time it takes for your hair to move through the transition phase. These include such things like medications, hormonal changes, diet, pollution and smoking. Hard water can also change the way the bars work too, however, the majority of Australia’s water has had no effect including bore water. You may notice that they don’t lather as well in some areas as they do in others, but this will not make a difference to the way they work because remember they require your natural sebum to regulate in order to clean your hair. 
If you are still having a little trouble moving through the transition phase there are a couple of things that we suggest:
    1. Go natural with the acid rinses - for the next three washes in a row we suggest you try ACV at a ratio of 1:3 parts water. Feel free to up the ratio if you have thicker hair or need be. Then we suggest once a week, once a fortnight, once a month / when required. Do the ACV at the end of the wash, leave it on for a couple of minutes before flushing with water. Whilst it might smell a little the smell will disappear when dry. 
    2. Keep the conditioner to the ends only. Whether you use our conditioner bars or not, its best only on the ends. As Solibars are naturally really moisturising you will not require conditioner at the roots unless you’ve got particularly dry hair. 
    3. Avoid other products while your hair is transitioning. If you need to use a product post-wash, please make sure that it does not contain silicones or you’ll be likely to be sending yourself back to square one. 
    4. Or if you’ve recently swapped from a product with heavy silicones, grab a bottle of Redwin Tea Tree clarifying shampoo from Coles, Woolies or Chemist Warehouse for $4 and give your hair a good clarifying by double shampooing. Following this wash, move back Solibar and you should notice a big difference. Remember that clarifying shampoos are really tough on your hair, so the less use the better. 
Most people report that after their hair takes times to adjust, the change will be instantaneous. And it really does happen that way. Just remember that whenever you change hair products you will always have a period of time in which your hair will take to adjust. The important thing is that making the switch to natural haircare will be the best decision for your hair, health and the environment. 🌿
If you’re still having trouble or would like to chat with others, please reach out or jump into The Solibar Society Facebook group as they’re always chatting tips and tricks. Please have a look at our Facebook reviews too - here

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