Nourished Journal

The terrible things that happened when I switched to clean hair care

Nov 26, 2021

Nourished, Nourished Nederland, Ere Perez, Sans [ceuticals], {SIMPLE as that}, sans ceuticals, simple as that, eco tan, face tan water, hurraw, soapwalla, bondi wash, kester black, jack n jill, pure papaya, papaya, Biologi, Inika, Inika Organic, Jonny

My hair sucked when I made the switch to clean hair care. It literally was the worst hair day of my life that day & every day for the next 1-2 months. 

My hair was limp, it lost all of its curl & volume, it was no longer shiny and it would go through days where it would feel extremely dry to other days where it would feel greasy. Not to mention my scalp became itchy and even started flaking. I just couldn't work it out. Wasn't switching to clean hair care meant to make my hair healthier??!! 

So after time & turmoil I did some investigation and what I found was that I was experiencing was a normal set of symptoms, and these symptoms were even a good sign that my hair was indeed becoming healthier! I had been using conventional hair care for almost my entire life and when you stop putting those chemicals, harsh surfactants & silicones on your hair it is almost like going through a 'hair detox'. Your hair & scalp have to purge the months & years of crap you have you have been putting on them including plastics, silicones & toxic chemicals. 

Some things you may experience when making the switch:

Changes to the oiliness of your hair & scalp

Most conventional shampoos are made with harsh sulfates & surfactants including sodium lauryl sulfate, ammonium laureth sulfate and sodium laureth sulfate, that literally strip your hair and scalp of its natural oils. When you make the switch to a natural shampoo that uses milder sufactants, your hair & scalp need to find their natural oil balance once more and this can mean that your hair is a little greasy or dry during the early stages of your transition. 

Less foam

Sulfates are included in shampoo formulations as the primary surfactant. This ingredient is in almost every single shampoo on the planet and creates that foaming action. Unfortunately many of these harsh sulfates are also regular offenders for causing skin & scalp irritation. These harsh sulfates can also dry hair out by stripping it of its natural oils. This creates a vicious cycle of needing more and more hair products to make it feel smooth & silky once more. Clean hair care products use mild naturally derived sulfates and other gentle surfactants. These low-poo shampoo's as they are often referred to as, may have less foam but are nonetheless just as effective at cleaning your hair. 

Changes in hair texture & volume 

As your hair is detoxing the silicones, harsh sulfates & waxes that conventional hair products often contain, it may experience a change in its texture & volume. Some people experience more lift, volume & frizz and others will find their hair limp or greasy. If you are experiencing any of these changes keep calm & carry on! This will slow and calm over the coming weeks as your hair eliminates these nasties and finds its healthy balance once more. 

Looking for more curl or volume? Check out our Curly Girl friendly article 'How to get great curls'

Scalp itchiness & flaking 

This is often the case initially when making the switch as your own balance of natural oils that help to nourish the scalp have been stripped by the harsh surfactants in your regular hair care. When you switch to clean hair care you leave these harsh surfactants behind along with silicones that coat the hair and scalp making them 'feel' moisturised. These silicones coat the hair and scalp, almost like cling-wrap and suffocating them from absorbing nutrients, water & air. Once you no longer have this film on your hair and scalp it will need a little time to return to its natural production and balance of oils. 

Hacks to make the transition easier:

Phase out shampoo 

If you are having difficulty with the transition, try phasing your conventional shampoo out slowly. Trial shampooing every second, third or fourth wash and using your natural hair wash in-between . This will allow a slower detox with likely less 'severe' detox symptoms. It will also take you a little longer to make the switch but is a sustainable option.  

Be patient 

Like making any change with our health & our life, changing from conventional to clean hair care takes time & consistency. There are no short cuts however you can be guaranteed if you are persistent despite any less than desirable symptoms initially you will be forever a clean hair care convert!

Rinse Well 

Ensure your greasy limp roots aren't residual hair wash products by making sure you rinse well! Remember, your clean hair care won't have the foam that your previous shampoo did so it can take a few washes to learn as to when you have rinsed it completely. 

Brush Your Hair 

Brushing your hair daily with a thick bristle brush will allow you to encourage the healthy oils your scalp has started to produce again to travel to your hair ends. This should help to reduce the oily scalp, dry ends problem. Brushing also helps to stimulate your scalp to turn over dead skin cells which will assist with any flaking or itchiness you may be experiencing and returning your scalp health to normal. 

Find your perfect match

Finding your perfect match in clean hair care is a little like finding your perfect match in life. You may have to go on a few dates before you find 'the one'. Explore our range of Clean & Natural Hair Wash and send us a message via our webchat, an insta DM or an email if you need any help deciding which one is going to best match your hair type.

You may also find that your hair has different needs throughout the seasons. Your hair may need extra hydration in winter and perhaps a treatment masque or infusion in summer with the sun, salt & sea.

The good news is that many all of natural hair washes & conditioners come in sample sizes so you can try a few without having to commit on the first date!


Explore the complete range of clean & natural hair care options at Nourished