Most shampoos on the market today are synthetic detergents. Most shampoos will clean, but they can also strip your hair and scalp. These detergents can be very drying. Some products on the market use synthetic lathering ingredients, petroleum, animal fats, sulfates, silicone, parabens, artificial scents, fragrance and artificial colors. Some detergents can be very mild others not so much. Have you ever noticed you absolutely need conditioner after using some of these shampoos? Haircare does not have to be so complicated or does it?
I made the switch to soap based naturally based shampoo in 2015. I was about 5 months pregnant and it was the start to our 100-degree summer we have here in Arizona. Natural shampoo is the last nontoxic product switch I made in my house.
I started off using Rosemary Gladstar‘s recipe in her book Herbal Recipes for Vibrant Health. I love this book she has other fantastic recipes for hair care and recipes for the whole family. Rosemary's shampoo recipe consists of herbal tea, castile soap, essential oils and jojoba oil. This shampoo recipe does need to be refrigerated.
The switch to a natural soap shampoo was not what I was expecting. I had read about a transition time where your scalp adjusts to new products. I want to say it was about 2-3 weeks of very oily hair, not stinky, not dirty just oily for about 2-3 weeks. I never had oily hair before, I always run on dry side. I was ready to give up maybe a week in. I was determined to get thru this, I used homemade dry shampoo of 2T arrowroot powder/ 2T cocoa powder applied with a makeup brush to my roots to help absorb the oils between washes. After this transition my hair is less oily between washes, I do not need to wash it as often, bouncy and just healthy. I did not need conditioner just the occasional oil at the ends. After the initial transition I started to think about what was in my commercial shampoos? What was this transition about? Did my scalp need to detox? I truly believe the products I was using before on my hair and scalp were over compensating removing too much and not leaving any of the good stuff! I really can not say, I just know that I was hooked on using the natural approach to haircare.
I used Rosemary Gladstar's recipe for several years. I did find that making it was sometimes a struggle when I have so much more to do. In 2018 I started making solid shampoos bars. Making solid shampoo is more advanced soap making if you are interested please do let me know and I will point you in the right direction. Switching to a solid does have its own challenges if you are not use to it! I recommend lathering in your hands or directly on your head. Concentrate on cleaning your scalp not your hair. You want to dry your bar between uses or it will stick to your counter. Best part of the solid bar is you get what you need you are not washing it all down the drain. No plastic waste and it really does last a lot longer. A friend of mine with long hair stated that one bar of shampoo #1 lasted 72 washes. Shampoo #1, #2 and #3 are soap based and can be found here.
There is a great debate about solid hair products out there. One being that the ph. of soap-based shampoo is too high and could possibly be damaging. I do on occasion have issues with soap build up. Soap build up could be because of our hard water in Tucson or it could just be its hard to rinse all this hair I have without a nice removable shower head! I do not color my hair, nor use heat and I wash every 2-3 days. I like to use an apple cider vinegar rinse to help with soap build up. I want to believe that synthetic detergents and all these chemical additives are not needed. Really these detergents have not been around as long as soap has in human history. In truth I can only go off my own personal experiences and I can tell you that I love solid soap-based shampoos.
Everyone has their own personal experiences and preferences. My daughter enjoys liquid, we make Rosemary Gladstar's recipe for her hair. I would love to hear about your thoughts and experiences with natural hair care and solid shampoos, please comment below!
If you do color your hair and would like to know more about more naturally derived detergent-based shampoo bars #4 and #5 check back later! Thank you :)
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