Your scalp is naturally more acidic than other parts of the skin on your body, to prevent bacterial and fungal growth. Shampoo bars are more alkaline than usual soap, which means you need an acid to counter balance the pH.
You will find you don’t need to condition after every wash, because the shampoo bars already contain many moisturising oils. However, about once a week, it is useful to use an acidic rinse to remove the waxy residue build-up from the soap. Below are some options, always patch test first if you have sensitive skin (like me!).
Natural Conditioners and Rinses
🍏 Apple Cider Vinegar
Good old ACV is antibacterial and scalp clarifying, and removes excess product buildup. An ACV rinse is a simple way to detangle your hair and restore natural shine. Its very important to dilute with lots of water so you don’t strip your hair or burn your scalp. Anywhere between 1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon of ACV per cup of water is a good place to start. Leave on for a minute or so, then rinse thoroughly.
🍋 Lemon Juice
The natural citric acid and vitamin C of lemon juice helps to reduce residue and is a natural degreaser. Lemon is anti-inflammatory and can be used to treat dandruff and promote healthy hair growth. Equal amounts ½ lemon juice to ½ water ratio.
🥣 Bicarb soda
Bicarb is extremely clarifying and provides a deep exfoliating clean. Bicarb has a high PH and is quite alkaline, so you don’t want to be using this regularly as it will disrupt your hair and scalp. It can be used instead of shampoo once a month or as a conditioner when you notice build up. Either add 3-4 parts water to make a rinse, or on its own as a massaging scrub.
🧼 Conditioner Bar
Solid conditioner bars are made using only natural oils which have been chosen for their hair nourishing and hydrating properties. They are extremely economical, you only need a tiny bit so they end up lasting what seems like forever! Swipe from root to tip down the length of your hair or beard enough times to cover most of your head, and you’ll see a little goes a long way. Rinse thoroughly (like shampoo bars, they need a lot of rinsing or you’ll end up with residue).
If you’re having trouble getting the right balance, check out some troubleshooting tips here.