Shampoo bars (or not to shampoo bar!)

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Hello all! After some time I put together a great recipe for shampoo bars, I have dry hair and I made it all superfatty and it smells great and I'm hopeful! I have used a lard based soap in my hair for a while to gauge its effects on my mop and while it looks great it feels a touch on the dry side, hence my having a high fat in the one I made, also I used very little palmitic oils for saponifying. It has to cure though before I can use it so my question is: How do you folks feel about shampoo bars? Would you recommend it for those with dry hair or is it purely case by case? I hadn't planned on making liquid soap but if I must to make shampoo I must...
 

shunt2011

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No no and no, I do not recommend using soap as shampoo. I tried it and it made a mess of my hair. Hair does not like high PH soap. Some can use them but eventually will find out why they are not good.
 

Obsidian

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I much preferred a bar over liquid for shampoo, the bars just seemed to clean better and last longer then a bottle of liquid. That being said, shampoo bars ruined my hair, like I had to cut it off to 1 inch long ruined. Took 2 years for the damage to accumulate but it eventually did, making it break off in chunks. If your hair seems to be getting drier then normal, stop using the bars.

As you using hand made shampoo to get away from synthetic detergents? or just because? I go to a wonderful hair forum that can help you with your hair issues but for the most, all products recommended are going to be synthetic. It's http://forums.longhaircommunity.com/forum.php if you are interested.
 

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No no and no, I do not recommend using soap as shampoo. I tried it and it made a mess of my hair. Hair does not like high PH soap. Some can use them but eventually will find out why they are not good.
All of the above. High superfat just adds to the dirt magnet and hair is normally not a clean place. I so wish people would get it right, soap is NOT SHAMPOO...
While handmade soap is wonderful it is not for everyone or everything. I have had customers that cannot use any handmade soap and not for lack of trying. One of my daughters can only use m&p in other words only surfactant based products
 

Susie

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I have to echo the "not in my hair" theme, sorry. I lost 16 inches learning the hard way that soap does not belong in my hair. And I looked into making my own shampoo, only to find out that I can buy the good stuff for WAY less than making it myself.
 
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Well that answers that!! So thank you all, the shampoo bars will be soap bars! I went to soapqueens' site and she had a recipe for Argan oil shampoo. So I will try for that. Which leads to another question; the recipe calls for sodium cocoate which I'm sure y'all know is potassium hydroxide and coconut oil only. I'd like to make this myself, am I correct in assuming I just make it like any other liquid soap? Insofar as process, I mean? And thanks for all the help; I'm really trying to get away from the chemicals and weird crap in the store stuff!
 

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You will spend a lot more money trying to make shampoo than purchasing a nice high quality shampoo. Some things just better made in a manufacturing environment when they purchase in bulk and have their own testing labs. This includes sunscreens. sorry I know that was off subject.
 

Obsidian

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Liquid shampoo is just as bad as shampoo bars. It's the high pH of lye soap that is damaging, doesn't matter what form it take.

Not all chemicals are bad, some are safer then natural alternates. Shampoo and conditioner are two products I will never try to replace with home made stuff.

High coconut oil shampoo is even worse. It strips all the oil from your hair. Soap queen is well known for having bad recipes simply as a sales tactic.
 
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IrishLass

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Right here, silly!
Which leads to another question; the recipe calls for sodium cocoate which I'm sure y'all know is potassium hydroxide and coconut oil only.
Sodium cocoate is actually made from sodium hydroxide (NaOH) and coconut oil.

It would be called potassium cocoate if it were made from potassium hydroxide (KOH).


IrishLass :)
 

DeeAnna

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I'm not sure we're getting the point across that we want to make. Whether bar or liquid soap, it doesn't matter -- they both damage hair in much the same way. Liquid soap made with KOH and bar soap made with NaOH are both high pH lye-based soaps. Choose one or choose the other, but you will still end up with the same problem.

I'm yet another who lost inches of hair after a year of using lye-based soap to wash my hair. Sure, my hair seemed okay at first, but the damage accumulated until I could not ignore it any longer. Even my husband's much shorter hair looked dull and lifeless after that same year.

The only solution is to cut off the damaged hair and switch to a shampoo based on synthetic detergents (syndets). A syndet shampoo has an acidic to neutral pH, doesn't leave sticky soap scum on the hair, and doesn't damage the cuticle of the hair strand like lye soap does.
 
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Thanks for the tip! The cocoate thing is confusing but it appeared that you'd only need two ounces of it for a bottle. I would stick with store bought but it's astronomically expensive for the only brand I found that doesn't have stuff like propylene glycol and 200 sulfates... It's like 13 dollars a bottle, and they aren't big. Obviously I need to do more research. If I come across anything I think is viable I'll share it, I know I'm not the only one in this boat, heh. Thanks again..
 
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Also I rechecked the site and it is potassium cocoate, dunno why I confused it. I found where some folks suggested adding citric acid to things to bring the ph down. So I have a lot to consider...
 
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I'm not sure we're getting the point across that we want to make. Whether bar or liquid soap, it doesn't matter -- they both damage hair in much the same way. Liquid soap made with KOH and bar soap made with NaOH are both high pH lye-based soaps. Choose one or choose the other, but you will still end up with the same problem.

I'm yet another who lost inches of hair after a year of using lye-based soap to wash my hair. Sure, my hair seemed okay at first, but the damage accumulated until I could not ignore it any longer. Even my husband's much shorter hair looked dull and lifeless after that same year.

The only solution is to cut off the damaged hair and switch to a shampoo based on synthetic detergents (syndets). A syndet shampoo has an acidic to neutral pH, doesn't leave sticky soap scum on the hair, and doesn't damage the cuticle of the hair strand like lye soap does.
Do you have any ingredients to suggest? I thought the potassium cocoate had been rendered into a surfactant once it had been properly cooked and diluted, but I'm not a chemist; that was my impression...
 

Obsidian

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Doesn't matter what the potassium cocoate is rendered into, it still has a high PH which will damage your hair. Sulfates aren't inherently bad, did you have trouble with them? What brand of shampoo were you using? I might be able to get you some good suggestions from the hair forum.

Edit: citric acid won't bring down the PH to acceptable levels for hair. Too low of a PH and the soap stops being soap and turns into goo, no lathering, no cleansing icky stuff.
 
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DeeAnna

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"...I found where some folks suggested adding citric acid to things to bring the ph down...."

Most people who offer this advice don't realize that soap doesn't do what their "common sense" suggests it should do -- it does not meekly allow the pH to drop in direct response to the acid. Soap instead breaks down chemically in an attempt to maintain its alkaline pH. If you add citric acid to a solid (NaOH) soap, the soap will end up with a higher superfat than you intended. If done to excess, the soap will become a soft mush. Add citric acid to a liquid (KOH) soap and it will form a thick layer of fatty acid floating on top of the remaining soap.

Edit -- Lye based soap IS a surfactant. Synthetic detergents are surfactants too. What soap is NOT is a synthetic detergent. Making soap with KOH vs NaOH doesn't change the fact that you are saponifying a triglyceride fat with an alkali -- it's still soap regardless of the alkali used.
 
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reflection

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I'm yet another who lost inches of hair after a year of using lye-based soap to wash my hair. Sure, my hair seemed okay at first, but the damage accumulated until I could not ignore it any longer. Even my husband's much shorter hair looked dull and lifeless after that same year.
deeanna, i was reading something recently about hair porosity and it mentioned some issues that i am wondering if it relates to the shampoo bar damage you and others experienced, in addition to a lot of other issues i'll mention. i read that porosity refers to how well one's hair absorbs moisture and also has to do with how flat the cuticle lies.

low porosity hair doesn't absorb moisture well. it does tend to have the hair cuticle lie flatter which is good though. people with low porosity hair can have problems with protein buildup which over time dries the hair and eventually causes breakage. i can't seem to remember if most with low porosity hair have dry hair or not, i do, and so the tendency is to use lots of conditioning products but if the wrong kind they will cause this protein buildup which long term can cause strawlike hair & breakage.

high porosity hair absorbs moisture really easily. this can be due to hair being damaged or just an inherent property of the hair type. high porosity hair seems to already have the cuticle raised a fair amount so people with high porosity hair really are in danger of hair damage with shampoo bars with the mechanical damage that can happen due to the high pH of the bars raising the cuticle.

medium porosity hair seems to be the healthiest.

so, we have 2 problems here: protein buildup for the low porosity types, and poo bars seem to cause issues with buildup, and mechanical damage for high porosity hair that already is vulnerable with the cuticle raised so much. two different hair types and two different problems.

some who use a higher SF in shampoo bars get buildup from all the fats (although i'm not sure how fat causes protein buildup when it doesn't contain protein but this is what i read especially with things like hot oil treatments). the protein buildup will eventually damage the hair, dry it out and eventually cause breakage.

this is all in addition to hard water issues and the buildup problems it can cause. i'm not sure if that buildup is just the oils not fully rinsing off or also mineral deposits too.

i had asked the author of one of my books what SF she used in her shampoo bar recipes and she had some interesting comments:

"I usually calculate the superfat right into the recipe & most often use 6%, but sometimes use 5%. For shampoo bars, some people like to go with a lower superfat (4% or 5%) which makes them more cleansing (but, also possibly too drying for dry hair types). On the flip side, some like to have a higher superfat of around 8% so the bar is more moisturizing, but you risk weighing your hair down if it tends to be oily or you have hard water. What superfat you end up liking best will really depend on your hair and water type & sometimes takes a bit of experimenting."

lastly, some don't do well with too much coconut oil and a low SF as that strips the hair and they get the strawlike hair. when i was reading about the j.r. liggett's coconut bars some people seemed to experience this immediately. maybe for others it happens over time.

so, i'm thinking there are many issues to consider if using shampoo bars: whether or not one has hard water and the types of buildup it can cause, hair porosity and both protein buildup issues & cuticle damage issues, SF and whether one has dry or oily hair in combination with water type, using too much coconut oil and whether or not one uses an ACV rinse to help with removing buildup & possible mineral deposits and to close the cuticle. i have no idea if with more understanding a poo bar can be customized for one's hair that works longterm but there do seem to be many factors at play.

so, am i completely offbase in all this or do you think all this is relevant? :)
 
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Yeah over the last few years my hair haaaaates being washed but looks too dirty to let it slide. I tried all kinds of shampoos and whatnot and the only thing I can think of to do is try to make my own and be in charge of what goes in it. It's terrible in the winter.
 

The Efficacious Gentleman

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You've been given great advice.

If store-bought shampoo that fits your needs is too expensive, you might be better off making your own synthetic shampoo with slsa and whatnot. I think that Susan at swift craft monkey has a good section on making your own non-lye based shampoo.

For many people, it works out too expensive as the cheaper store shampoos work fine. But for you it might be worth a look at least.

I agree with the general flow on this one - lye is not for hair
 

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. I would stick with store bought but it's astronomically expensive for the only brand I found that doesn't have stuff like propylene glycol and 200 sulfates... It's like 13 dollars a bottle, and they aren't big. Obviously I need to do more research. If I come across anything I think is viable I'll share it, I know I'm not the only one in this boat, heh. Thanks again..
In Oz, not sure that it is the same for you, pharmacies have regular sales of the good herbal berbal shampoos. I have seen 50% off sales! It makes a huge difference.
 
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