The Essential Homemaker
Essential Homemaker Shampoo Bars
Many conventional shampoos are harsh on hair. They use strong petroleum-based detergents that strip the hair of its natural protective oils. Silicone-based ingredients are then added to give hair a glossy shine for a healthy appearance (since all the natural oils have been stripped). Over time this may cause hair to thin and require more intervention.
Enter an all natural shampoo bar! Because it is in bar form, it doesn’t require the harsh preservatives like liquid shampoo does in order to prevent it from going bad. The soap is able to lift dirt and surplus oils from your hair. The coconut and other natural oils help it to lather, giving the user that frothy hair washing experience. A shampoo bar can be full of nourishing ingredients in order to vitalize hair and help repair damage to both the scalp and the hair.
Shampoo bars are different from liquid shampoos in a couple key ways: the Essential Homemaker shampoo bars do not have any preservatives, sulfates, and parabens. Toxic preservatives keep the shampoo from going rancid. Shampoo bars can lather differently based on ingredients. My shampoo bars don’t have any foaming agents. SLS and other sulfates are very harsh on your hair, scalp and skin. SLS may also be listed as sodium dodecyl sulfate, sulfuric acid, monododecyl ester, sodium salt, sodium salt sulfuric acid, sodium dodecyl sulfate, aquarex me or aquarex methy. Related chemicals include sodium laureth sulfate, or SLES, which has a higher foaming ability and is slightly less irritating than SLS. Ammonium lauryl sulfate, or ALS, is similar to SLS and poses similar risks. SLS is usually derived from petroleum oils, but can also be made from palm or coconut oils... which leads us to its trickiest alternative name: sodium coco sulfate. Just because the starting oil came from a coconut instead of petroleum doesn't make the finished chemical any more natural or less harmful. Testing will in fact show SLS as a large component of SCS. Some companies will proudly label their products "SLS free!" but a look at their ingredient list will show sodium coco sulfate. Parabens give hair a silky feeling but are in essence stripping the hair of its natural oil and coating it in PLASTIC!
I use the old-fashioned soap making techniques and not the fast and easy melt and pour route. This does take me a lot longer to produce shampoo bars, but the majority of melt and pour mixes contain most of the same nasty ingredients as liquid shampoo. My shampoo bars are made from the highest quality oils I can resource, water and lye which is removed with saponification.
It is very important to understand a couple things when using a shampoo bar: first, there is a transitionary period that may occur when switching to a natural, non-toxic shampoo bar from liquid store bought. Some users experience heavy, dull, or greasy hair for the first 2-4 weeks. Why? Commercial shampoos and conditioners contain detergents that strip hair of it’s natural oils, and silicones to make hair shiny. Residue build up takes time to get broken down and off the hair, as well as it can take a little while for the scalp to rebalance its natural oil production. After all, it is accustomed to its oils being completely stripped away every time it was washed. This is new and sometimes new things need time to adjust. And remember, hair is unique and finding out what works best for it takes a little time and effort to find.
How to use a shampoo bar:
1. Wet hair with lots and lots and lots of water. Ensure that the water saturates your hair.
2. Create a foamy lather with the bar in your hands by wetting your hands and the bar as necessary.
3. Add lather to the hair, thoroughly rubbing the foam into your roots. Avoid washing the length of your hair with a shampoo bar, just rinsing over the length and ends will be sufficient
4. Rinse, rinse, rinse and rinse again. Lift up sections of your hair if it is thick or long to ensure that all of the shampoo bar residue is rinsed completely. The rinsing process should take longer than the time it took for you to lather. I cannot stress enough how important it is to shampoo bar success to make sure your hair is COMPMLETELY rinsed.
5. Repeat if necessary, but I find that as I got better with the bars I only needed one round of soap.
6. Condition as required or use an Apple Cider Vinegar rinse of 1-2 Tbsp ACV in 1 cup of water.
The Essential Homemaker currently offers 2 different shampoo bars: Moisture Lock and Herbal Growth. Moisture lock is very similar to the Restoring Oil Hair Mask with incredibly rich organic, unrefined oils that support hair strength while repairing damage. Herbal Growth focuses on setting the hair up for success to grow while reducing shedding.
If you have any questions, please let me know!