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Personal blatherings, living simply, gardening, cooking, canning, dehydrating, knitting, spinning and more.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Shampoo Bar Soap Update

I had read quite a bit before trying a shampoo bar soap. It was common for people to report if you had hard water, you would end up with icky-feeling hair. Hard water? Then you were "...stuck with detergents!", was the common thread. Those who know me, know I take things of that nature as a challenge to overcome.

First thing I did with the favorite recipe was to dump the 1 oz. of beeswax in the recipe. Wax? I do not think I want that on my hair, even in minute amounts. I cut down the cocoa butter by half and made it up with shea butter, and altered the 3 oz. of jojoba oil to 1 oz, adding 1 oz. each of grapeseed and apricot kernel oils. Jojoba is too expensive these days to use too much. The latter two oils are nourishing without leaving a greasy feeling.

Did I mention, at my age, I still have mostly oily skin and hair? The trend to let it go and it would resolve itself is silly and not true, at least it is not for me. I must wash my hair at least every other day, daily in the summer.

The other thing posted was if one had hard water, one must use an apple cider rinse. I tried the basic recipe and it was too strong. I took the advice of a dear friend, putting 2 tbsp. in an old 16 oz. bottle and filling the rest of the way with water. She also said to not use it more than once or twice a week, at most.

I went into various combinations of washing my hair and using the rinse. Note: No matter what I did, my fine-toothed wooden comb went through with no trouble through my thick, medium-length hair.
  • The rinse, shampooing, end with the rinse. Ew. I cannot describe how my hair felt. Sticky? Left a residue in my comb. Double "Ew!"
  • Shampooing, end with the rinse. Repeat comment above, but even stickier with a triple "Ew!".
  • Shampooing, bathing, shampoo again. Same as below, so no point of shampooing twice.
  • Shampooing and nothing else. My hair was okay.
  • The rinse, bathing, rinsing the rinse out then shampooing. Best of all. My hair felt wonderful, not sticky and I could go a day or two before washing, it still being the cooler season here.
And there you have it, my take on using a shampoo bar soap when one has hard water... and oily hair. I like shampoo bar, I just had to find what would work for me, personally. If you have trouble with them, try the various ways mentioned above. One person commented they use lemon juice instead of red cider vinegar. Being a blond, I may try that version. Someone else may have the opposite results I did. You will not know until you try.

I will be trying other recipes that use less "sticky" oils like olive oil and cocoa butter. Both tend to float on top of the skin, so why not hair? One recipe uses shea butter instead of the cocoa butter and more coconut oil. Coconut oil is nourishing, if not used over 30%. Having oily skin and hair, it may be the right one for me. It also has tallow, a great fat to add to soap. I will post my thoughts and the link to the author of the recipe I am going to use next. She does use walnut oil in a tiny amount in one of her shampoo bar recipes. I will substitute a different oil, not having dark hair like she does. Also... My daughter is allergic to walnuts. I could not share them with her if I did use walnut oil.

I noticed a trend to abstain from bathing lately. Ew. Eons ago, there used to be a show on TV called, "That's Incredible!" I believe the host's name was John Davidson? He had bleached, blinding white teeth and feathered hair, shellacked into the "perfect" feathered wings on the side of his head, common for the era. (We were not any weirder than the previous or following generations).

Anyway... He did an episode about what comes to light when we are put under a microscope. It showed we had little bugs eating our "dirt" and cooties. He ran to the shower and started bathing with the proper looks of horror and scratching, when the over-voice person relayed that the cleaner we are, the more "bugs" we have. Eek! Scrub faster!

But! The dirtier we are, the less we have. Whew! That sounds good, yes? No. It went on to relate that the less of these things we had, the more skin problems we had and those who bathed less tended to get sick a lot more. Those who bathed daily had the most and tended to be the healthiest. Nature is a weird creature, no? We are hosts to little micro-worlds with a symbiotic relationship.

Scratch... scratch... I think there are some things I wish I never learned. I will stick with every other day during the late fall and winter, daily for the warmer seasons, especially after being in the garden.  I do not normally think of that old program. I think the ancient, and unhealthy custom of not bathing coming back into vogue is why it came to mind.

That said, I will post my tried and true recipe for Pit Cream, more nicely called Deodorant. I did tests, by skipping baths to test its strength on odor. It worked!, even on Himself, who also tested it by skipping his normal bathing schedule to see if it really worked. What a good sport, yes?

That is it for now. Have a good week.

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