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3.19.2012

Shampoo In a Bar


Here's some goodness I've discovered recently: natural shampoo bars.

I discovered them a while ago, actually, but at the time I thought that not pouring shampoo into the palm of my hand seemed unnatural. Besides, I have a thing for shampoos. I get excited about shopping for shampoos and conditioners and pouring them into the palm of my hand. I have way too many bottles of them in my bathroom. The green police would not like my shampoo bottle collection.

This is my shampoo collection. I have a matching conditioner collection.

There's lots of kinds of shampoo out there: shampoo for colored hair, normal hair, limp hair, dull hair, damaged hair. And that's just the drug store shampoos. Salon shampoos may cost you an arm and a leg, but you'll feel good about your hair. Because the ads say you will. There are countless reasons marketing companies tell us we need countless kinds of shampoos. But I've discovered a very good reason not to buy all those shampoos anymore. A couple of them, actually.


First, though, I've been doing some reading about soap making. I think it would be really cool to make my own soap. You could say that in addition to my shampoo addiction, I have a soap addiction. One of the things I've learned while researching soap making is that many commercial soaps strip your skin of it's natural oils, leaving your skin dry. One of the reason that the commercial soaps do this is because they have a natural by-product removed from them, glycerin. I read about that here.

The reason I mention my love of soaps is because when I was at the store, standing spellbound, smelling all the wonderful natural soaps, I noticed a natural shampoo bar. It's actually a 'head-to-toe' bar because you can use it, well, from the top of your head to the bottom of your toes. This time I didn't balk at not being able to pour it into my hand because I'd learned about the benefits of natural soap. I decided that if natural soap was good for your skin, then natural shampoo should also be good for your scalp. And probably your hair too. And so I bought it. And used it. And loved it.

Loved it.

I have a little condition called lotsofcurlyhair. It's not curly in a cute way. It's curly in a frizzy, mind-of-it's-own way. And I have a lot of it. Every time I get my hair cut, the hair dresser will say, "wow, you have a lot of hair!" That's not a good thing. It's a lion's mane thing. I absolutely must use conditioner. And leave in conditioner. And frizz control serum. If I don't remember to use all of the above, my hair will be angry all day long.

Full disclosure: I also have a little condition called seborrheic dermatitis which sounds like something I should be awfully embarrassed about but I'm not because it's very common. I occassionally get flaky skin on my scalp - and on my nose, chin and eyebrows. I haven't had any luck with special shampoos for flaky scalps.

But now that I am using a natural shampoo bar, I do not have a flaky scalp and I don't need to use a conditioner for my hair to be happy.

This is what I was using on any given morning pre-shampoo bar discovery:



This is what I am using now:



I've not only switched shampoos, but I've eliminated my need for conditioners and prescription shampoos. Since I love my newly naturally shampooed hair, I don't want to put other products in it to goop it up and dry it out. Oh, I might spray a little bit of apple cider vinegar on it while it's wet, or smooth a tiny dab of extra virgin olive oil over it to make it shine. But those are nourishing.

At this point you must believe me that I am a normal person who is not usually prone to doing things like putting salad dressing ingredients in my hair. I do not own chickens and I occasionally microwave frozen dinners. But I have read about the benefits of natural products and am now experiencing them. Healthy hair. For the first time since I can remember.

So this switch to a natural shampoo bar has saved me money. I'm not even going to do the math. One look at what I'm using now compared to what I was using then tells me that I'm saving money. But for those who like math, the shampoo bar cost me $4.00. The soap maker says it lasts an equivelant of a 24oz. bottle of shampoo. Who doesn't want to save money and still have healthy hair? I used to think they were mutually exclusive. Guess what? They're not.

Besides my flakeless scalp, my healthy hair, and the significant cost savings, which are all major motivating factors, and the other reason for me to ditch traditional shampoos is simply the packaging. The amount of packaging waste I am no longer producing with shampoo bars convinces me that it's better from a recycling standpoint. If recycling is your sort of thing. If not, beware the green police.



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