swiftcraftymonkey shampoo bars - chemicals?

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gsc

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Her website has a wealth of information, however, I am concerned that most of the ingredients she uses are chemicals. I'd like to make a conditioning shampoo but if I am going to use all those chemicals I might as well go buy a retail moisturizing shampoo. I look forward to hearing the advice from this board.
 

Navaria

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Traditional "shampoo" is not soap. It's a surfactant based detergent. What she makes is traditional shampoo. Soap has a ph level that is much higher than hair. A lot of people have trouble using it, and it causes irreparable damage to their hair. Some can use it with no problems tho. it's very much a case of YYMV with soap based shampoo. I have done tons of research both here and other sources and it seems like (long term) I find twice as many people who say they had to cut their hair off and start over than I do people who love it.
And you're right, for what it costs to buy all the chemicals to make shampoo, I can buy several bottles of salon quality shampoo. However, shampoo is mostly water. In the long run I'm sure I would save a ton of money making my own. It's just the big $ up front that deters me. Goodness knows I already spend way too much on my soap supplies lol
 

kchaystack

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Well, if you do not want to use 'chemicals' you better give up on soap. Because NaOH and KOH are chemicals. As are the salts of fatty acids and glycerin that make up soap. People really need to get over this fear of 'chemicals' because almost everything out there is a chemical. Including water.

To make shampoo, you have to use synthetic detergents. "Shampoo bars" really are just really low stripping soaps - but the pH of soaps might do a number on your hair. And to make something conditioning, you will need to include things that will bind to the hair strands.
 

lsg

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Cold process soap is made up of chemicals. Our lives are filled with chemicals. Just because something is a chemical, does not mean that it is harmful or bad. Deadly nightshade is a natural plant, but do you want to ingest it?


"Chemical" is not a bad word - it simply means something made up from elements, which means everything in the universe. You cannot have a "chemical-free" or "no chemicals" product because you cannot find anything on earth that is not composed of chemicals (I'm sure some people would argue light isn't composed of chemicals - I'm talking about substances you can hold in your hands!)."

Source: http://swiftcraftymonkey.blogspot.com/search?q=are+chemicals+bad
 

DeeAnna

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I agree with Navaria and KC's points. I'm one of those who tried to use lye-based soap on my hair and found it didn't work well at all. Before the 1950s when lye-based soap was the only option for washing one's hair, people didn't wash their hair more than once a week to once a month (or even longer), so the damage from the soap was minimal. Nowadays most people wash their hair every day to every few days -- a LOT more than in my grandmother's day -- and the damage from lye soap accumulates fast.

I understand your point about the upfront cost of the ingredients, and that's the main reason why I haven't taken the plunge into formulating my own shampoo. That said, even if I have to buy all those "chemicals" (synthetic detergents, really) to make a syndet shampoo, the advantage of making it myself is that I get to pick and choose what goes into the recipe and I can use ingredients that the commercial guys can't or won't use because of cost or availability. For example, most commercial hair care products with argan oil have only a minuscule % of this oil due to the cost. We can add whatever amount we want.

If some of the additives found in commercial products don't appeal, many can be eliminated (silicones, for example) or acceptable alternatives can be substituted. And some ingredients that sound unappealing due to their long unusual names are really pretty ordinary once a person studies how they're made.
 
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Seawolfe

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Lye is a chemical, as is sodium olivate and all the alkali salts. Essential oils are chock full of chemicals. And let us not forget the dangers of dihidrogen monoxide....

I have tried many a thing to wash my hair. I have been disappointed with "natural" liquid or solid soaps - they make me understand VERY well why our grandmothers and great grandmothers washed their hair only once a month when that's all they had available. When Im really grubby I like salt bars for shampoo, which makes sense to me with the 20% superfat and the salt limiting the crazy cleansing of the coconut, but I wont even use that very often - and I've never seen anyone else who even wants to try it.

Im excited about making my own shampoos and conditionsers from the SCM website - I can formulate it for my hair, and put in my favorite EO's.
 

cmzaha

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Yes, it is much more cost effective to purchase a quality shampoo. As mentioned above and my pet peeve, Soap is Not Shampoo... It is mainly people with long hair that will feel the effects of using soap versus true surfactant shampoo because long hair is not cut often. Short hair is cut often enough to cut off the damage. When my customers ask for shampoo I explain that if I were to make shampoo it would be the same as what they can purchase in a store or Beauty Supply and I would have to charge 3x's the price. When I see soapmakers selling soap as a shampoo bar it is like waving a red flag in front of a bull. Makes me soooooo angry, but I really try to behave and not say anything...:silent:
 

penelopejane

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I agree with cmzaha there are some products that shouldn't go on your hair and soap is one of them.

My DH is a biochemist and has eczema he uses "special" (organic herbal berbal like http://www.ausganica.com/collections/shampoo/products/lavender-soothing-shampoo) shampoos as he doesn't want to use harmful chemicals that have been known to cause effects on people's skin in particular dimethicone, benzoates, sodium laureate sulfate etc.

My point is that if someone feels they want to remove those "chemicals" from the products they put on their skin why are they ridiculed? There is scientific evidence that some chemicals are harmful and there is scientific evidence that the skin can absorb some chemicals. Rather than ridiculing others why can't we just say it doesn't matter to me that I put some harmful chemicals on my skin as I am prepared to take the risk which may be minimal compared to the smog some people have to live with in big cities?

Better yet why can't I sit here and ignore this topic when it comes up?
 
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Arimara

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I agree with cmzaha there are some products that shouldn't go on your hair and soap is one of them.

My DH is a biochemist and has eczema he uses "special" (organic herbal berbal like http://www.ausganica.com/collections/shampoo/products/lavender-soothing-shampoo) shampoos as he doesn't want to use harmful chemicals that have been known to cause effects on people's skin in particular dimethicone, benzoates, sodium laureate sulfate etc.

My point is that if someone feels they want to remove those "chemicals" from the products they put on their skin why are they ridiculed? There is scientific evidence that some chemicals are harmful and there is scientific evidence that the skin can absorb some chemicals. Rather than ridiculing others why can't we just say it doesn't matter to me that I put some harmful chemicals on my skin as I am prepared to take the risk which may be minimal compared to the smog some people have to live with in big cities?

Better yet why can't I sit here and ignore this topic when it comes up?
Now I feel you're letting this get to you. No one is ridiculing anyone but they are stating facts and opinions about chemicals. In their essence, even the foods we eat break down into chemicals to there is no avoiding them.

What everyone was trying to do is set the record straight- not all chemicals are bad and some are necessity for our crafts. It's when we use large amounts of certain classes of chemicals that we can see some problems arise.

And it's a shame I can't get my mitts on that product you linked us to. How evil you are, lady! :mrgreen: I'd love that try that with my daughter.
 

Seawolfe

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Personally, as a scientist, I object to the idea that any and all "chemicals" are bad. Chemicals are the very building blocks of life and indeed everything on this planet, and to simply say or imply that "chemicals are bad" is an incredibly simplistic and uneducated way of thinking IMHO.

Now, one can say "harmful chemicals" or "allergens" or even "things I wish to avoid" to define certain substances and I have no issue with that at all. My husband breaks out with contact dermatitis with commercial detergents or whenever he stays in a hotel, indeed that is why I make our own laundry soap now. I don't even know what he is sensitive to, and we don't feel the need for expensive testing, but I wont simply call it "chemicals". Thats my bugbear :)
 

penelopejane

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Now I feel you're letting this get to you. No one is ridiculing anyone but they are stating facts and opinions about chemicals. In their essence, even the foods we eat break down into chemicals to there is no avoiding them.

What everyone was trying to do is set the record straight- not all chemicals are bad and some are necessity for our crafts. It's when we use large amounts of certain classes of chemicals that we can see some problems arise.

And it's a shame I can't get my mitts on that product you linked us to. How evil you are, lady! :mrgreen: I'd love that try that with my daughter.
Yes, you are right. I think "ridiculing" was the wrong word to use. Too strong. I do understand the preservatives issue as well. And not everyone has super sensitive skin - lucky people.

We have a few shampoos like that here. My DH flits between them because they can be ridiculously expensive when not on sale. You still have to be careful with herbal-berbal companies because not all their products are free of some of the things you might want to avoid.

http://www.purist.com/alchemy-haircare/alchemy-treatments/shampoo
Personally, as a scientist, I object to the idea that any and all "chemicals" are bad. Chemicals are the very building blocks of life and indeed everything on this planet, and to simply say or imply that "chemicals are bad" is an incredibly simplistic and uneducated way of thinking IMHO.

Now, one can say "harmful chemicals" or "allergens" or even "things I wish to avoid" to define certain substances and I have no issue with that at all. My husband breaks out with contact dermatitis with commercial detergents or whenever he stays in a hotel, indeed that is why I make our own laundry soap now. I don't even know what he is sensitive to, and we don't feel the need for expensive testing, but I wont simply call it "chemicals". Thats my bugbear :)
Very well put. I agree entirely.
 
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Dahila

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I make my own shampoo bar , but not soap, I use mild surfacants and my hair never were better, It is shiny and smooth. I tried to use soap shampoo bar (gennies shampoo) but i ended up using it for the body. I cut my hair short and after one day it was straw like. No more cp soap for my hair. I am fan of silicones and I add dimethicone, essential oils to my shampoo bar (syndet bar), and of course follow Susan.
My best friend have a very long hair and she says my syndet bars are the best ever:))
We are chemicals, we breathe in chemicals , we drink and eat chemicals . Everything is toxic today, there is not healthy life not healthy environment. We do our best, making our own products , limiting toxic "chemicals" as much as possible.
When you look at the ingredient list on commercial shampoo and look at the swiftmonkey syndet bar you will see a huge difference. Making this kind of shampoo at home you can limit what is in there. My shampoo does not have to last 5 years on shelf. I make enough for two months. I am also suffering with awful skin condition and I have to be careful what I use. Commercial detergents cause contact dermatitis for me too, so making my own is a must..........
People who talk about chemicals probably just starting to make or plan to make products. They must learn somehow :))
 
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rainycityjen

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I think to make a shampoo, conditioner, water-based lotion, etc. you've got to do it out of a love of science, or cosmetics, or just creative control. Not so much out of love for simplicity and natural ingredients. If that's your only motivation it's way cheaper to buy retail or the indie health and beauty brands on Amazon. I recently picked up a bunch of ingredients to make a simple BTMS based conditioner. It's going to cost me about $4/bottle to make, partially because I splurged on a fancy protein and new type of preservative, but I'm excited because I love "inventing." And I use a crap ton of conditioner. Aaaaand the more things I can make rosemary-mint-flavored, the better. :)
 

Dahila

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I think to make a shampoo, conditioner, water-based lotion, etc. you've got to do it out of a love of science, or cosmetics, or just creative control. Not so much out of love for simplicity and natural ingredients. If that's your only motivation it's way cheaper to buy retail or the indie health and beauty brands on Amazon. I recently picked up a bunch of ingredients to make a simple BTMS based conditioner. It's going to cost me about $4/bottle to make, partially because I splurged on a fancy protein and new type of preservative, but I'm excited because I love "inventing." And I use a crap ton of conditioner. Aaaaand the more things I can make rosemary-mint-flavored, the better. :)
Another follower of Susan. I fancy nice protein too, have a few of them. I am actually looking for horsetail extract or powdered one too. It is an excellent herb for hair loss:)
 

Arimara

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Yes, you are right. I think "ridiculing" was the wrong word to use. Too strong. I do understand the preservatives issue as well. And not everyone has super sensitive skin - lucky people.

We have a few shampoos like that here. My DH flits between them because they can be ridiculously expensive when not on sale. You still have to be careful with herbal-berbal companies because not all their products are free of some of the things you might want to avoid.

http://www.purist.com/alchemy-haircare/alchemy-treatments/shampoo
I know. EO's have affected me negatively before and I consider my skin minimally sensitive to scents.:)
 

CaraBou

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Is that poison ivy?
Oh ya. I can't even look at it without tortuous thoughts of painful itch. I hope you're not going through it now, TOMH! It's pretty early to have grown much yet, so maybe it's just a monstrous memory to you too.
 

Steve85569

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Is that poison ivy?
Yes it is.
Not all but most people are sensitive to it. Common sense tells me to avoid it.

We all have different reasons for hand making product(s). Some are very much for self defence against the commercial products that may contain materials that we or our loved ones are sensitive to. I have had the displeasure of being exposed to SLS ( sodium laurel sulfate and sodium laureth sulfate) and they are not my friend. That does not mean that I cannot use most products that contain them BUT the concentration cannot be very high. They are excellent detergents - work a bit too well for my hair and hide.
 
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