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Hair transition: how to keep your hair squeaky clean

Switching from conventional beauty products to organic, natural ones is not complicated on paper. However, in practice, it can often bring some inconvenient and unpleasant surprises, like dirty hair.  

What is the hair transition? 

Today, more and more people are turning their backs on conventional hair care products in favour of natural shampoos and conditioners. The transition period we’re talking about is this shift to a more natural hair care routine.   

Watch out, though, because this period can easily turned into a nightmare. Any difficulties encountered can often put people off and it’s all too easy to go back to your old habits. Conventional beauty products give your hair a beautiful artificial appearance. Silicones, sulphates and quats coat and smother the hair fibre. While your hair will look great and seem perfectly healthy, the exact opposite is true. When you give up the chemical products to go natural, your hair needs time to adjust. It is not uncommon for your hair to become dry, or at the opposite end of the spectrum, greasy, tangled, hard to manage and fragile or…. sticky!  

Why does your hair get sticky? 

It is not rare to get sticky hair when making the switch to organic and natural products. Rest assured, this phase, while unpleasant, is completely normal and doesn’t mean that your shampoo is not washing your hair. 

Bear in mind that chemical ingredients, which are present in large quantities in conventional shampoo and hair care products merely mask your hair’s imperfections rather than repairing them. As a result, your hair is smothered and damaged but the silicones and other harmful ingredients do a great job of covering it up, giving your hair a soft, healthy and silky appearance.  

The silicones, mineral oils and quaternium that we find in conventional beauty products create an occlusive barrier that suffocates and asphyxiates the hair. The surfactants present in these products are aggressive enough to clean the hair in spite of this barrier. However, the mild surfactants used in organic natural products take longer to pass through this barrier and break it down. This is why your hair can seem unclean for a while during your hair care transition.  

What can you do about it? 

As you can see, the important thing at this stage in the transition is to detoxify your hair. For that, one of the best solutions is a clarifying treatment.  

This involves deep cleaning your hair by opening the scales of the hair in order to remove all residue (from products, pollution, etc.). This process purifies the hair so you can start the transition process on the right footing and with healthy hair.  

There are several options available:  

  • A clay based (white or green) detox mask to regulate excess sebum and clean the hair. You can apply this treatment as soon as you feel it is needed. 
  • Bicarbonate of soda shampoo, which is very effective for deep cleaning the hair. Known for its “stripping” qualities, it should be used sparingly and not too often to eliminate residue. Make sure not to use too much or you risk damaging and drying out your hair.  

To limit the dirty hair effect, you can also apply your liquid shampoo on dry hair in the “sticky” area, with your head upturned. Once applied, rinse well while keeping your head down and ensuring you focus on the roots. Rinsing will be quicker and more effective.   

And then what? 

Rid of all the silicones, sulphates and all the other ingredients that are coating it, your hair will go back to its original appearance. Except that because silicones are good at masking imperfections but not at repairing your hair, you could find yourself with dull, dry and damaged hair. The transition to natural products allows you to see your hair in its natural state so you can then give it what it needs.  

Once your hair has been deep cleaned, it is essential to moisturize and nourish it. To do that, opt for organic and natural products, which are milder and gentler on your hair.  

This is also a good moment to make a trip to the hairdresser to get off to a fresh start by trimming the damaged ends.  

Next wash your hair with a natural, mild shampoo and then rinse well with apple cider vinegar to close the cuticle scales to give your hair its shine back.  

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