Help with hair

Soapmaking Forum

Help Support Soapmaking Forum:

Joined
Aug 24, 2019
Messages
403
Reaction score
837
Location
Idaho
Formulating a lye based shampoo bar can take a long time. Coconut oil can be very irritating - palm kernel oil and babassu oil also have cleansing attributes and are less irritating. I found many of the recipes online were not good. Dried out my hair and didn’t help much and the vinegar rinse made things worse. I kept making different changes to increase the benefits to my hair.
For several years now all of my soaps have been with some combination of lard and RBO as the two main ingredients. We love the soap on our skins and neither of us had problems using the soaps on our hair. When her implant got infected after her brain surgery I immediately thought it had to be the soap, but didn't think about changing the formula. Sometimes you can't see the forest due to the trees.

I went on the quest of finding a syndet that did not affect the implant area. I did find a gift soap in my stash that did not contain lard or RBO so she is going to use that for a few shampoos. I have my fingers crossed on this as it is so much easier to try to formulate soap than deal with all the chemicals that are hard to pronounce, and that I need a dictionary in order to figure out what they add to the recipe.

She used it yesterday for the first time and said it left her hair kind of gummy...which is the usual if you are not used to using soap on your hair...but that it would take 4-6 shampoos to see if it gets irritated. So wish me luck. I really do want to be done with the syndet bars.
 
Joined
Sep 19, 2011
Messages
12,623
Reaction score
13,202
Location
Southern California
To me, the clear implication was that the only reason some people couldn’t use lye soap on their hair, is because they are using “bad soap.” That was the context of the discussion. And since most of us here make our own soap, and many of us have tried lots of formulations, I was quite taken aback by that.

I’m not seeing what else that statement could have been intended to convey, but apparently something else was intended, and I missed it. My sincere apologies!
I read it the same way. Also good and bad soap is really personal interpretation. What I would call a bad soap some would love it. If a soap contains over 18% CO I cannot use it so in my opinion, it is bad, at least for me.
 

Zany_in_CO

Saponifier
Joined
Mar 9, 2017
Messages
8,629
Reaction score
9,574
Location
SE Denver CO
I have my fingers crossed on this as it is so much easier to try to formulate soap than deal with all the chemicals that are hard to pronounce, and that I need a dictionary in order to figure out what they add to the recipe.
Me too! Good luck!
Cross Fingers.jpg
 

M.Leffew

Member
Joined
May 3, 2022
Messages
16
Reaction score
6
Location
47250
If I may add a few comments here. I have spent a year formulating shampoo bars for my friend (thin straight hair) and myself (full, slightly curly and heavily damaged). Nothing I read worked for me.
I was determined to make the lye shampoo bar work as I didn’t want to deal with any of the fine powdery synthetic powders to make a syndet bar. Even with a good mask I worried it would get into my lungs.
I have hard water as well so started adding 2% citric acid to the lye water but the vinegar rinse just made my hair super dry. I finally settled on a recipe for myself and add honey then using a conditioner bar/conditioner I make with a touch of hair oil.
My hair is now healthy and hydrated. It has repaired decades of damage. It may take time but it is very worth it in the end.
Would you be willing to share that recipe? I make my own bar soap and have thick wavey hair with a little damage. I go one day without a wash and it looks like I dumped oil on my roots while the rest is still fine...
 

Obsidian

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 18, 2013
Messages
10,793
Reaction score
9,213
Location
Idaho, USA
For several years now all of my soaps have been with some combination of lard and RBO as the two main ingredients. We love the soap on our skins and neither of us had problems using the soaps on our hair. When her implant got infected after her brain surgery I immediately thought it had to be the soap, but didn't think about changing the formula. Sometimes you can't see the forest due to the trees.

Back when I was using soap regularly as shampoo, I learned right away that lard was a no go for hair.

I generally used a shea and avocado based recipe but for some reason, I made a batch with palm, safflower, coconut, neem and castor.
Its been 2 or 3 years now and I've been using it on my face but started shampooing with it again and it doesn't leave my hair gummy. Granted, I only have 1" hair but I don't use vinegar or conditioner and it still feels nice.

I can share the recipe if you'd like to try it. It also contains marshmellow root tea, silk and citic acid.
 

Zany_in_CO

Saponifier
Joined
Mar 9, 2017
Messages
8,629
Reaction score
9,574
Location
SE Denver CO
Back when I was using soap regularly as shampoo, I learned right away that lard was a no go for hair.
That may be true for your hair, but get this... my 50/50 Lard & PKO liquid Hair and Body Shampoo is a friends and family favorite. From my 96-year-old geezer pal back in New England, to all 9 family members, spread out from Florida to Hawaii, kids & stepkids with totally different hair.

I'm not braggin'; just saying, although it might not work for everyone, it's worth a try because so many different "hairs" tried it and liked it. 😉

For white/silver hair, my dear hubby liked Zany's Palm Olive bar soap It made his hair shiny and healthy looking with no trace of yellow.
 
Joined
Apr 11, 2022
Messages
54
Reaction score
81
Location
Buffalo ny
Would you be willing to share that recipe? I make my own bar soap and have thick wavey hair with a little damage. I go one day without a wash and it looks like I dumped oil on my roots while the rest is still fine...
I am willing.
Would you be willing to share that recipe? I make my own bar soap and have thick wavey hair with a little damage. I go one day without a wash and it looks like I dumped oil on my roots while the rest is still fine...
I am
Argan oil 5%
Camellia oil 5%
Castor oil 5%
Coconut oil 30%
Jojoba oil 5%
Neem oil 10%
Olive oil 15%
Palm oil 25%
Yogurt, goats milk, sodium lactate, honey powder, tussah silk, 2% citric acid.
This is for dry damaged hair
Canola oil 20%
Coconut oil 30%
Olive oil 20%
Castor oil 5%
Palm oil 15%
Neem oil 10%
2% citric acid, sodium lactate, sugar
This is for normal hair.
I think what really helped us adding citric acid because we have hard water in Wny.
I read changing the superfat alters the shampoo bar as well. For normal hair I have it at 0% sf but the citric acid leaves about 1-2% sf as I don’t add extra lye to cover the citric acid.
For my hair I have 3% sf. I also use a hair oil on my hair and it feels lovely.
 

Obsidian

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 18, 2013
Messages
10,793
Reaction score
9,213
Location
Idaho, USA
That may be true for your hair, but get this... my 50/50 Lard & PKO liquid Hair and Body Shampoo is a friends and family favorite. From my 96-year-old geezer pal back in New England, to all 9 family members, spread out from Florida to Hawaii, kids & stepkids with totally different hair.

I'm not braggin'; just saying, although it might not work for everyone, it's worth a try because so many different "hairs" tried it and liked it. 😉

For white/silver hair, my dear hubby liked Zany's Palm Olive bar soap It made his hair shiny and healthy looking with no trace of yellow.

You might not remember but a few years back you sent me samples of your liquid lard and flax oil shampoo. Both were extremely harsh for me, even on skin. I wasn't able to use either
 

Zany_in_CO

Saponifier
Joined
Mar 9, 2017
Messages
8,629
Reaction score
9,574
Location
SE Denver CO
I go one day without a wash and it looks like I dumped oil on my roots while the rest is still fine...
Grapeseed Oil is readily available at the grocers here. It's known to be astringent. You might want to try it instead of stinky ole Neem in either of @contrinokathy 's recipes. Just a thought. I like grapeseed oil but don't use it much in soap.

NOTE: When testing a new recipe, I make a small 300g batch and follow it exactly. Then I tweak it from there. 😉

TIP: If you have some Polysorbate 80 on hand, it works well as a "clarifier" for oily roots -- all on its own or as a pre-treatment before shampooing.
 

Zany_in_CO

Saponifier
Joined
Mar 9, 2017
Messages
8,629
Reaction score
9,574
Location
SE Denver CO
You might not remember but a few years back you sent me samples of your liquid lard and flax oil shampoo. Both were extremely harsh for me, even on skin. I wasn't able to use either
I DO remember that! Thanks for mentioning it! It's a reminder that there isn't a "One Size Fits All" when it comes to skin and hair. Everyone needs to find what works for them. Just like buying shampoo off the shelf, you might like J & J's Baby Shampoo (my dad used that) while I might choose Mane & Tail (or whatever). 🥰

In any case, your experience doesn't negate all the positive testimonials I've received over the years for both of those -- moreso the Lard & PKO liquid shampoo that is easy to make and rinses clean without stripping the hair after shampooing.

The Flaxseed & Rosin Liquid Shampoo is an advanced technique that requires more knowledge of working with rosins/resins. It is my personal fave.

When cleaning out my soaping cabinet a year or so ago, I found a sealed 4 oz bottle that was 4 years old. When I opened it, it smelled fine so I used it. I was as good as when I first made it. Probably due to the Rosin -- in addition to boosting lather, it also contains preservative qualities.

NOTES:
ROSIN saponifies much like an oil but without any resulting glycerin. It has a smooth cold cream finish to the lather and also acts as a detergent and preservative. :thumbup:
SoapCalc - When formulating, Rosin has the same SAP value as Wheat Germ Oil.
May cause contact dermatitis in sensitive individuals.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Aug 24, 2019
Messages
403
Reaction score
837
Location
Idaho
Wow! Recipes and suggestions all over the place. It will be a slow process for my daughter...usually 5-6 shampoos before her implant will get itchy or irritated. Then if it gets bad she has medication to help heal before she tries another new product. Sometimes she just isn't in the mood to be a lab rat.

I'll be saving this page to refer back to when or if I need more suggestions. We are hoping the new soap will work. But maybe that is just too simple to happen. I'll continue to post as I get the info from her.
 

Zany_in_CO

Saponifier
Joined
Mar 9, 2017
Messages
8,629
Reaction score
9,574
Location
SE Denver CO
When I first started soaping in 2004, I shampooed with whatever soap we happened to be test-driving in the shower at the time. My early mentors told me to expect an adjustment period. For some people, there's no adjustment period. For me, it took a good long while. After years of perming and coloring, my hair wasn't in the best shape to begin with. Here's a pic from waaaay back when:

1663984299244.png


I persevered though, and I'm so glad I did. My fine thin hair is much healthier and happier!

Just found this. It's a pic of my hair from 2 years ago -- posted on another SMF thread (which I'm unable to find at the moment 🤪 )

1663983576531.png


This link covers what I learned from those good people so many years ago.

TIPS WHEN ADJUSTING TO NATURAL SHAMPOO BARS
 
Last edited:

Zany_in_CO

Saponifier
Joined
Mar 9, 2017
Messages
8,629
Reaction score
9,574
Location
SE Denver CO
I only have 1" hair but I don't use vinegar or conditioner and it still feels nice.
Same here. I rarely do the vinegar rinse any more and I don't need to condition at all. If anything, I rub a few drops of argan oil on my palms and smooth it over my hair for control and shine.
 

M.Leffew

Member
Joined
May 3, 2022
Messages
16
Reaction score
6
Location
47250
I am willing.

I am
Argan oil 5%
Camellia oil 5%
Castor oil 5%
Coconut oil 30%
Jojoba oil 5%
Neem oil 10%
Olive oil 15%
Palm oil 25%
Yogurt, goats milk, sodium lactate, honey powder, tussah silk, 2% citric acid.
This is for dry damaged hair
Canola oil 20%
Coconut oil 30%
Olive oil 20%
Castor oil 5%
Palm oil 15%
Neem oil 10%
2% citric acid, sodium lactate, sugar
This is for normal hair.
I think what really helped us adding citric acid because we have hard water in Wny.
I read changing the superfat alters the shampoo bar as well. For normal hair I have it at 0% sf but the citric acid leaves about 1-2% sf as I don’t add extra lye to cover the citric acid.
For my hair I have 3% sf. I also use a hair oil on my hair and it feels lovely.
I have wavy hair, so I'll give this a try! Thank you!!
 

Latest posts

Top