Saturday, August 28, 2010

A Little Shampoo Talk

I still remember the first time I quit store-bought shampoo and switched to my own shampoo bars.  I did a lot of reading beforehand (because I was unsure of the idea), I kept all my shampoo bottles (just in case!), and I was nervous yet excited to try.

The experience turned out to be an amazing eye opener.  I had no idea that something so simple could made my hair feel so light and "free".  Yes, I had this strange feeling that I just freed my hair from something I didn't even know was there in the first place.  I liked it so much that I threw away all my shampoo bottles because I knew I'd never go back to them!

I'v shared with my friends this new found secret to healthier hair and scalp, and those who are brave enough to take the plunge all love it.  But I usually tell them a little bit about shampoo bars first so that they understand why it feels a certain way and know what to expect.

So this is what I share with my friends before they try my shampoo bars:

square_16.gif  Instructions to using a shampoo bar:  

      1.  Rinse your hair thoroughly with water.  
      2.  Rub the soap bar on your hair until it lathers enough to your liking.
      3.  Rinse off the bubbles.
      4.  Condition your hair with acidic water of your choice (more about this later).
      5.  Rinse off acidic water.
      6.  Dry your hair.

square_16.gif   Store-bought shampoo contains SLS, a type of chemical suds booster, to create bubbles that are always thick and creamy.
    The conditioning "illusion" comes from silicon oils. The only thing they do is coat your hair so they look shiny and smooth.  By coating your hair and scalp, they also trap all the bad chemicals and dirt in there.
square_16.gif  On the other hand, shampoo bars are soaps, and soaps are meant to clean, nothing more.  All it guarantees is a clean scalp and hair.

square_16.gif  If you understand how pH level affects your hair, you'll know why your hair tangles up after you rinse off the bubbles.  Since handmade soaps are measured on the alkali half of the scale,  you have to bring the pH level down so your hair returns to its natural pH state. 

square_16.gif The easiest way to do that is rinse your hair with acidic water.  
   Apple cider vinegar has always been recommended as an all natural hair conditioner, and some people prefer lemon juice.  
   Depending on the length of your hair and the hardness of your local water, you might need a different water-to-vinegar ratio, but start with 1 part vinegar and 10 parts water.  I have shoulder length hair, and it takes about 150ml each time to thoroughly rinse my hair.

square_16.gif Some people experience itchy scalps after they switch to handmade shampoo bars.  I call this the "detox stage".  I have no scientific proof to it, but I think it's because the cleaning effects of shampoo bars allow accumulated chemicals a chance to come out.  The itchiness will go away in a week or two.

Give it a try, I'm sure you'll never look at your hair the same way again!


  1. Cuando se utilizan los jabones como champu, despues no vuelves a usar otros. Besos.

  2. Yes, I agree, I have been washing my hair with my soap bars for ages and I think they are so much better, health wise and money wise as well:)

  3. Thank you so much for all the info! I have been using my shampoo bars for a few months now and I love them... love the lather... love the way my scalp feels... but I must admit to more tangles and puff... so hopefully your PH regulator/ natural hair rinse of vinegar will do the trick for me! xo Jen

  4. For a long time I use shampoo soap and I love it. This looks so much pretty!
    loves greetings Dörte

  5. Thanks everyone for sharing your experience! Isn't it nice using our own handmade shampoo soaps? My favorite ingredients for shampoo bars are camellia oil and jojoba oil, they give my hair that extra shine and softness!

    Jen, please let me know if vinegar rinse helps!

  6. Lovely pictures, Maggie :) Shampoo soap rules 4 sure. I have devoted shampoo soap customers, and like you..once you've convinced someone to be brave enough to give it a go they are likely to be hooked. I usually do the apple cider rinse as well, we have very hard water here and this rinse detangles and adds shine. My favorite shampoo at the time is a olive/laurel oil soap from Syria, the famous Aleppo soap. Just luv it and almost luv it more than my homemade brand (that's a confession)

  7. Your shampoo bar looks great. I've made one before but it was a melt and pour type and not as pretty as yours.

  8. Cocobong, your confession cracked me up! I've only tried one shampoo soap from another soap maker, I can't say I'm as lucky as you are with Aleppo soap. I love oil oil in my soap too, maybe next time I can try adding a little more to see how it feels!

    FooFooBerry, thanks for the compliment, but I can't imagine making soaps prettier than yours. Your soaps all look so delicious!