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Expert advice needed on shampoo bar....

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Malleebird

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I've been going back through old posts and read some pretty scary stuff about CP shampoo bars 😬
I haven't used a commercial shampoo or conditioner since I started on soap making about 4 years ago. In fact that was the main reason I got back into soaping... my supply had almost run out. I've never had any issues at all, my hair is thick and healthy. My hairdresser knows that I only use my soap and I often ask him about the condition of my hair and he always says.... "whatever you're doing, keep doing it...!"
Now, this is going to date me 😝....but I can remember a time when there was no such thing as shampoo, let alone conditioner! We had Velvet soap in the laundry and Palmolive in the bathroom and that was it ! So the Palmolive was always used on our hair ! This is why I've never been concerned at all about using my own.
I used to make what I called a shampoo bar, but that ran out so I just used the first soap I grabbed, not having a clue what was in it. I was initially spritzing my wet hair with 50/50 apple cider vinegar & water... but found it made my hair a bit oily so I stopped.
Now, I'm in panic mode as I've been using my new soaps (3-4 weeks curing) and I've noticed my hair breaking !! This is when I got onto the forum and researched.... and as I said "scary stuff" out there ! Maybe it's because my soap is too fresh... I hope so. But I am worried... devastated in fact because I don't want to use store bought shampoo ever again... but it look likes I might have to :( Expert advice would be greatly appreciated.
Btw, I have found Genny's Shampoo bar recipe so I intend to try that.... before I give up!
 

Zany_in_CO

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Hiya Malleebird!

I haven't used a commercial shampoo or conditioner since I started making soap either. I was standing in line a while ago and the gal behind me said, "Your hair is beautiful." Turns out, she was a hairdresser! She almost fell over when I told her I use my homemade soap to wash my hair. Haha.

A high percentage of our members use syndets (synthetic/detergent) bars but there's a few of us who make lye-based shampoo bars.

"I've been using my new soaps (3-4 weeks curing) and I've noticed my hair breaking !!"
You're correct. It is probably because the soap is fresh and needs to cure longer, the longer, the better -- 6-8 weeks. I've not tried Genny's Shampoo Bar but others have. Hopefully they will see this and respond.

I also make liquid shampoo. I just made a batch of 50/50 lard and PKO. I rinse with increasingly cool water and then with an ounce of ACV in 15 oz water to get all the soap scum out. My hair comes out soft, shiny and this time it had more volume than ever. That's the main thing about lye-based shampoo, bars or liquid. You have to get all the soap residue out so maybe you could try that next time you use one of your bars.
 

Malleebird

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:thumbs: Thanks Zany.... that's what I wanted to hear ! I've read about syndets and didn't want to go down that path... but will look into the liquid shampoo.
I smiled when I saw it was you who responded because my next post was going to be about one of your recipes (two actually) that I tried yesterday... Castile with brine and bi-carb. I'll wait for the two days to be up... :)
 

Zany_in_CO

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:thumbs: Thanks Zany.... that's what I wanted to hear ! I've read about syndets and didn't want to go down that path... but will look into the liquid shampoo.
I smiled when I saw it was you who responded because my next post was going to be about one of your recipes (two actually) that I tried yesterday... Castile with brine and bi-carb. I'll wait for the two days to be up... :)
You're welcome. Aw, I'm happy to hear you tried the No Slime Castile! Try it on your hair for sure. I like it! I do 85% olive, 10% coconut and 5% castor. It's really good for dry, mature, sensitive skin. I use it to wash my face AM and PM.
 

cmzaha

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I am not sure if Palmolive is still a surfactant-based bar but it was originally and I think it may still be, which means it was not a lye-based soap.
 

Malleebird

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You're welcome. Aw, I'm happy to hear you tried the No Slime Castile! Try it on your hair for sure. I like it! I do 85% olive, 10% coconut and 5% castor. It's really good for dry, mature, sensitive skin. I use it to wash my face AM and PM.
Thanks again Zany....something else I wanted to hear 🤗 I know this is changing the thread (sorry admin).... but the one with added coconut and castor is in a log and looking great ! The other was the 100% olive...still using the brine & bi-carb. All looked good, it did all the right things...poured into individual moulds...24 hours later showing no sign of hardening at all. I'm convinced I must have done something wrong...although there's so little involved when you're only using one oil and no additives other than b & b... don't know where I made the mistake ? I don't give up easily though so I'll be trying again. Unless you tell me I just have to be patient.....

I am not sure if Palmolive is still a surfactant-based bar but it was originally and I think it may still be, which means it was not a lye-based soap.
Interesting point....these are the currently listed ingredients. I can't comment because I have no science background.
Sodium Palmate, Sodium Palm Kernelate, Sodium Cocoate, Water, Talc, Glycerin, Fragrance, Palmitic Acid, Titanium Dioxide, Nonfat Dry Milk, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Ci 74260
 

bonnyny

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I too, have been using Genny's shampoo bar recipe (with a substitution of goat milk for the water) for 7 years, absolutely love it, and will never go back to all the different shampoos and conditioners. Shoulder length fine hair, washing every 4 days, no rinse, no conditioner. I have never seen any breakage or splits. Definitely try Genny's before you give up!
 

Malleebird

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I too, have been using Genny's shampoo bar recipe (with a substitution of goat milk for the water) for 7 years, absolutely love it, and will never go back to all the different shampoos and conditioners. Shoulder length fine hair, washing every 4 days, no rinse, no conditioner. I have never seen any breakage or splits. Definitely try Genny's before you give up!
Great !! Thanks bonnyny... so pleased to hear ! I'm actually planning to make Genny's bar tomorrow and I must have been reading one of your previous posts because I've made a note to replace water with goats milk :)
I've also made a note to add some sugar to create more suds.... perhaps this was your suggestion too, I can't remember ? If not, do you think I need to or is it sudsy enough?
I love this forum... I'm learning SO much !!
 

bonnyny

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Yes - I add a little sugar too - dissolve it in a little goat milk before adding. Be sure the rest of the goat milk is frozen before slowly adding and stirring in the lye (otherwise it will heat too much and turn orange) & then add the sugar milk last (before combining with the oils). Some people put ice cubes underneath the bowl to keep it cool as well. Good luck! Hope it works for you! (Kisses to you, Genny!)
 

Zany_in_CO

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The other was the 100% olive...still using the brine & bi-carb. All looked good, it did all the right things...poured into individual moulds...24 hours later showing no sign of hardening at all. I'm convinced I must have done something wrong...although there's so little involved when you're only using one oil and no additives other than b & b... don't know where I made the mistake ? I don't give up easily though so I'll be trying again. Unless you tell me I just have to be patient.....
Hmmm. It should be ready to unmold the next day. It may be that the individual molds prevented gelling. (1) I would review the directions to see if you missed something. (2) And, yes, at this point PATIENCE is your best weapon. Don't unmold until it's solid enough to do so. Plan on a 3-month cure. (3) Cross fingers.
Cross Fingers.jpg
 

PieBorg

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I'm so glad I found this thread! After looking back at older threads about Genny's shampoo bar, I'm going to give this a try. I've been looking for something that's gentle and nourishing on post-chemotherapy hair. There's nothing available commercially (that I know of) that would work for this type of hair, which is more like peach fuzz except that it grows longer and is extremely brittle.

There was also a recent thread about leave-in conditioner/lotion bars that piqued my interest. I've ordered the ingredients for that too, and can't wait to make both the shampoo and conditioner bars and try them out. If I get good results, a whole lotta patients at the cancer center are gonna get some freebies from me. They're going through such a tough time, and one of the most discouraging things about cancer is losing your hair. Then, when it comes back in, IF it comes back in, it's not at all like it was before and never will be. So I'd like to offer these folks a tiny bit of help in that department.

Fingers crossed... Now, if I could just find something that would help my poor, crumbling fingernails...
 

shunt2011

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I'm so glad I found this thread! After looking back at older threads about Genny's shampoo bar, I'm going to give this a try. I've been looking for something that's gentle and nourishing on post-chemotherapy hair. There's nothing available commercially (that I know of) that would work for this type of hair, which is more like peach fuzz except that it grows longer and is extremely brittle.

There was also a recent thread about leave-in conditioner/lotion bars that piqued my interest. I've ordered the ingredients for that too, and can't wait to make both the shampoo and conditioner bars and try them out. If I get good results, a whole lotta patients at the cancer center are gonna get some freebies from me. They're going through such a tough time, and one of the most discouraging things about cancer is losing your hair. Then, when it comes back in, IF it comes back in, it's not at all like it was before and never will be. So I'd like to offer these folks a tiny bit of help in that department.

Fingers crossed... Now, if I could just find something that would help my poor, crumbling fingernails...
I would never use CP soap on post chemo hair ever. It's not nourishing in any way. It's high ph and your hair is already damaged. Genny's recipe is what ruined my hair and had to cut it off from shoulder length to darn near a pixie. You need a gentle syndet that will gently cleanse. My mom used baby shampoo. Genny's recipe is awesome as a gentle facial/body soap though.
 

cmzaha

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@PieBorg Please do not use Lye based soap of any type on Post chemo hair ever. It is not worth the risk. I am sorry Zany but the percentage of people that can get away with soap on their hair is tiny. Maybe it works for you and that is fine. But folks with hair just coming back after months of hair loss it is not fair to lead them to believe it is okay. A mild shampoo is Not going to hurt the hair. If it bothers the scalp there are conditioning shampoos available that are based on cleansing conditioners, so most are pretty gentle even on the scalp.

I am stating this from someone that was in the Cosmetology business for 30+ yrs and my mom for over 50 yrs and believe me see say many many fads. We also saw damage from people using soap coming in wanting us to fix their hair. We had to fix it by cutting it. This was during the hippy era. My mom also dealt with soap damage after the war when shampoo was hard to get.

Just remember Hair is Dead and you cannot fix Dead. So if you destroy it cutting is the only fix. So you all have to make up your own minds. I simply value my hair too much and went through a year + of really bad condition hair due to stress. My hair was just like a person going through chemo and I would do nothing to worsen it. It is just now getting somewhat back to normal. You would be surprised at what just stress can do to hair. People would comment on my tight curly hair how pretty it was. Not it was really dried fuzzy hair that not conditioner would help, just constantly cutting. Caused by severe stress.

ETA: Palmolive has changed from the original apparently. I could not find the listing for the newest formulation. It originally started out as surfactant based. Granted I did not put a lot of effort into finding out when and if it changed.
 
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Zany_in_CO

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I am sorry Zany
No need to apologize, Carolyn. None at all. You have valuable information to share and should do so without feeling the need to say "sorry". ;)

I'm going to give this a try. I've been looking for something that's gentle and nourishing on post-chemotherapy hair. ... Now, if I could just find something that would help my poor, crumbling fingernails...
Whatever else you decide to do, dear heart, you may want to try healing from the inside out. Taking Biotin supplements is good for healthy hair and fingernails. Do a little research to learn more about dosage amounts and side effects. :thumbs: Just in case no one mentions it, I grew a mustache while on the stuff! LOL

Biotin is a B vitamin often recommended for hair health. Since biotin deficiency can lead to thinning of the hair, proponents claim that taking biotin supplements—in pill or tablet form—or using biotin-enriched shampoo and hair products can thicken hair and stimulate hair and nail growth.
Source: https://www.verywellhealth.com/biotin-for-hair-growth-89236
 

Malleebird

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Thank you everyone for your input on this subject. I was so hoping to be able to help my post chemo friends too, but there's no way now that I will suggest that they can use my soap as anything but a body or facial bar. I know I'm going to have some great soaps though :)
I know everyone's hair is different.... and if it hadn't been for mine breaking recently... I would have continued to use my lye based soaps, but sadly I'm not prepared to take the risk any more.
Will be looking into syndet now.... Hope it's not too tricky... I can just see a whole lot of ingredients that I don't have :(
Sorry to hear that you're having such a bad time with your hair Pieborg....my friend's hair, 6 months post chemo is beautiful. It started as frizzy fuzz and she wouldn't take her wig off...now it is lovely soft curls (she had straight hair)....and in my option better than the original. I'll ask her what she's using.

Btw Zany...cut my No Slime Castile this morning...looking lovely, hope I can hang out for 6 weeks !!
....now off to make Genny's bar :) Thanks for the tips bonnyny.
 

Obsidian

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Glad you changed your mind about lye shampoo. I was another one who had my hair ruined from genny's bar, it took two years but I eventually had to shave my head due to severe breakage.

Syndet bars aren't difficult per say but they are expensive and formulating your own recipe is confusing.
I was lucky and found a kit on etsy. Everything was premeasured, I just had to melt it, color and scent. The kit also included a recipe so I can just buy ingredients and make my own which I'll never do, I like liquid shampoo too much.

I'd suggest buying a bar or two from etsy and see if you like them before buying all the ingredients.
 

Malleebird

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Hmmm. It should be ready to unmold the next day. It may be that the individual molds prevented gelling. (1) I would review the directions to see if you missed something. (2) And, yes, at this point PATIENCE is your best weapon. Don't unmold until it's solid enough to do so. Plan on a 3-month cure. (3) Cross fingers.
Hi Zany...have tipped back into the jug and am working on it. It's like a thick banana custard... without the banana :) So smooth and creamy....a thick trace...but getting thinner as I stir. Left it for a while...hoping it would warm up a bit and go to gel stage. Wish I had more understanding of how the whole process works ! It's sitting at 24C... which is 4 degrees above room temp here.
 

Malleebird

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I'd suggest buying a bar or two from etsy and see if you like them before buying all the ingredients.
Easier said than done...mostly sellers from the US...shipping cost prohibitive ! I think there is only one Australian seller that seems to have the genuine article.
So...just wondering if there is an Aussie on the forum who sells syndet bars ?
 

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Hi there -

I'm in New Zealand but I do make syndet bars. I would be super happy to send you a bar to try for free if I can get it across the Tasman to you (assuming you don't have a response from someone more conveniently located in Aus). Pretty sure that we will be able to send stuff very soon. So sorry to hear that you have this to contend with! Take care, Jenny
 
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