Friday, June 17, 2011

Soap is not Shampoo

I think when people decide they want to use natural skin care products, the first obstacle they come up against is how to care for their hair. There are an abundance of natural hair care products and methods out there, I'm just going to share with you my views on the matter.

I have naturally curly hair, and I have had great success in the "no poo" method, which I found in the book Curly Girl. If you have naturally curly hair, and want to wear it natural, I highly recommend this book!

After a while, I felt my hair could benefit from an occasional shampoo, but what to use? I was already well into making soap and lotions at that time, and thought I'd research natural hair care products. This is when I came across some information that I'd never heard before. Soap, real soap, is bad for your hair. Hmm. So many of the natural hair products I found were shampoo soap bars, castille liquid soaps and the like. How could this be?

Well, it's true, some people do have great success in washing their hair with real soap. It's not the best thing for it. The pH of most castile soap ranges between 9 to 11. This high pH causes the cuticle cells of hair to swell up and get rougher which can leave your hair looking dull and lifeless. Additionally, castile soap often leaves "soap scum" on your hair, leaving behind deposits of calcium and magnesium.

I then realized that some of the shampoo bars I'd found where not real soap, but in fact syndent bars made with surfactants. This is the type of shampoo bar I eventually developed. 

The mild sufactants I used produce abundant lather, clean gently and all are eco-friendly! I'm now working on a liquid shampoo & conditioner for the store using gentle surfactants and botanical extracts. 

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