Don’t be upset if you go to try natural shampoo for the first time and aren’t pleased with the results. For those that have tried natural shampoo already, you know how frustrating using a natural shampoo can be. Enter the acclimation period. Every time we make a change to our rituals or our habits, our body always needs a little time to catch up. Once I realized that results were not going to be instant I calmed down a touch. I had also experienced this acclimation period with natural deodorant and was met with success, so I knew there was hope if I stuck it out. When it comes to hair, sometimes acclimation can take two weeks, sometimes a month or more. The pain point here is that it sucks to have a bad hair day out in public for an extended period of time. Luckily I have a few hair care tricks and perspective shifts to push you through it!
1. Natural Toxin-free Dry Shampoo
If you fall into the greasy hair crowd, this one's for you! Dry shampoo can also be a godsend for those days where you are crunched on time and don’t want to wash your hair. Personally I’ve used a simple 1:1 combo of baking soda and kaolin clay powder sprinkled along the part line on my scalp, let it sit for 5 minutes or even sleep with it in, then brush it out. Go that route if you are a DIYer. Otherwise, non-toxic brands that come highly recommended are Lulu Organics and Fat and the Moon.
2. A Month of Buns!
No, this tip is not for butt-people. Challenge yourself to try an extended period of up-does - go braided or twisted, piled high or pulled low. My arsenal of bobby pins grew during my acclimation period as I challenged myself to experiment more with having my hair up. Pinterest is a never ending resources for this my friends. If you have shorter hair, this can still apply with pulling your face-framing pieces away from your face with cute twists and braids.
3. Follow your Shampoo Routine with an Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse
Balancing the pH of your hair can do a lot for its visual appeal. Apple Cider Vinegar is a natural conditioner as its pH is similar to that of human hair. The ecosystem of our scalp likes a pH between 4.5 and 5.5, which is slightly acidic. Our actual hair has an acidity of 3.67. This level of acidity helps prevent bacterial and fungal overgrowth as well as keeps our hair cuticles closed and smooth. There was even a major study that tested over 120 shampoos based on their pH and found that the higher the acidity in the shampoos, the more the hair cuticles were tightly closed and smooth aka shiny healthy looking hair. My hair did much better when I started incorporating this into my shower routine. I literally keep a huge bottle of ACV in my bathroom cabinet with an empty pint size mason jar. I’ll fill it up about halfway with ACV and then top it off with warm water once I jump in the shower.
4. Hard Water or Soft Water?
The hardness or softness of your water can directly affect the end result of your hair care routine. Hard water has a high mineral content that will interact directly with your shampoos and soaps, consequently altering their effectiveness in you getting clean manageable hair. Figure out if you have hard or soft water by using this WikiHOW guide (you observe how your water reacts with soap haha). If you have hard water, consider adding a water-softening shower head to remedy the issue and continue on your natural hair care journey.
5. Nobody Notices But You
It’s natural for us to hyperfocus on ourselves and the way we look, but ask yourself do you remember what your coworker’s hair looked like today? Your boss’ hair? The lady who took your coffee order this morning? Don’t remember? My point exactly. We are our toughest critics and it’s important to [gently] remind yourself that nobody cares! They are all too busy obsessing over their own greasy hair as they go through their own acclimation period. ;) If someone does say something petty, just send them all my Natural Hair Care Routine posts with a wink and a nod.
Let the Acclimation Period Begin!
As you switch over to natural shampoo, remember these tips and tricks to help you through the bad hair days. Do you have any other pointers to get your locks looking lovely during this in-between time? Comment below!
In my next post in the Natural Hair Care Series, I give you my top five favorite natural and toxin free shampoos. I've used each of these shampoos personally and can vouch for their success. Read on to get your natural hair care routine off on the the right foot!
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