Often it is hard to determine whether that itchy, funky feeling is the result of nerves, your body chemistry, or the hair products you're using.
Or perhaps you are looking for a gentle shampoo for your beloved dog.
The decision to steer away from commercially made shampoos usually stems from scalp sensitivity and/or the growing awareness of the potentially toxic chemicals often added to skin and hair care products.
Emulsifiers, preservatives, solvents, and fragrances are all used to achieve the thick, creamy consistency we want and a long shelf life for the commercial market. However, they have their drawbacks and risks of toxicity.
Examples of common additives are as follows:
Propylene glycol is an inexpensive phytochemical that serves as a solvent and skin conditioner. The concern is that it alters skin structure, allowing the penetration of other chemicals into the bloodstream.
Methylparaben is a common synthetic preservative with concerns being possible hormonal changes and its link to certain types of cancer.
Sodium Laureth Sulfate is a surfactant which means it helps emulsify and blend different liquids. It can cause problems with skin irritation and again is a substance which alters skin structure.
Phthalates are fragrances which can effect the immune system, respiratory and endocrine function.
Shampoos advertised as leaving your hair squeaky clean do so but eventually may strip away protective oils and dry out the hair. Problems such as overproduction of sebum and dandruff are often a part of the cycle of washing the hair on a daily basis, which may not always be necessary.
Soaps and detergents are not the same thing. Both are what are called surfactants, which means a washing compound that mixes grease and water. The purpose is to act as a solvent in removing oil and grime.
Soap is made with fats originating from either animals or vegetable sources. This fat is combined with an alkali to create what is called saponification. All soaps are made with some form of alkali (Potassium Hydroxide).
Soaps are made of natural materials and have less environmental impact.
Even though some of the ingredients in detergents may be natural, basically detergents are synthetic.
We also have to take into consideration what gets washed down the drains into our water supply and the bio-accumulative effects on our wildlife.
Our choice as the base for our shampoo is Dr. Bronner's liquid castile soap.
This is an olive oil based soap made without additional chemicals, coloring agents, preservatives, and artificial scents.
Ingredients in castile soap are:
Water, Organic Coconut Oil*, Potassium Hydroxide**, Organic Olive Oil*, Organic Hemp Oil, Organic Jojoba Oil, Citric Acid, Vit. E.
* CERTIFIED FAIR TRADE INGREDIENTS
** None remains after saponifying oils into soap and glycerin
This Gentle Hair Care Shampoo will help restore a healthy pH of between 4.0 and 6.0 as well as leave your hair clean, soft and conditioned. Castile soap alone has a higher alkaline of 8.9 but blended with the Aloe vera gel which has the same pH as human skin brings the pH down to between the desired 5.5 - 6.
Whereas normally much of the glycerin is removed from soaps and sold as moisturizers, the glycerin remains in castile soap.
Jojoba oil isn't really an oil, but rather a liquid wax ester that resembles human sebum, excellent for hair and skin care.
If you feel you have oily hair and would prefer this additional moisturizer left out, please let me know upon ordering.
Aloe vera gel is extremely soothing and healing for the scalp.
The essential oil blend used for this shampoo is a combination of Rosemary, Patchouli, and Cedarwood. These plants contain antiseptic and astringent properties that are helpful in balancing oil production and very therapeutic for irritating skin conditions.
"A common misconception about dandruff is that dry skin is the root cause of this condition. Dry skin rarely produces flakes that are visible to the naked eye. Dandruff can be the result of an excessively oily scalp or a yeast infection of the scalp. An oily scalp can be freed from dandruff with regular shampooing by massaging the shampoo into the scalp for five minutes and thoroughly rinsing the shampoo out. The scalp massage loosens the dead skin cells while the shampoo removes excess oil. Both the shampoo and dead skin are washed away when the hair is rinsed. However, for dandruff caused by yeast or seborrheic dermatitis, anti-dandruff shampoos are needed to fight the fungal infection and dissolve the dead skin. Before treating any scalp condition, consult a doctor to rule out any underlying health causes for your dandruff." Source; ShawnTe Pierce, eHow Contributor
The earthy scent makes a great deodorizing shampoo for your dog as well.
Useful as a gentle circulation-stimulating effect beneficial for the health of your dog's skin and coat.
Do not use on cats.
This shampoo will not result in a billowing sudsy foam being it lacks detergents, nor does it have the thick, pouring consistency of commercial shampoos. However, the high coconut oil content does make for a rich lather and it is concentrated so you don't need very much at a time.
If you have hard water you may find that the castile doesn't rinse cleanly and your hair may feel tangly or gunky. If a water softener isn't an option you can try a water filter for the shower or rinse with distilled water or rainwater. Here is a good article on how hard water affects hair.
Should the shampoo be exposed to temperatures dropping to about 50 degrees F, you will notice a cloudy appearance. Put the soap in a warm room, or warm water, and it will clear up at round 70 degrees F. Clear or cloudy, the soap is fine.
Avoid contact with the eyes as it may irritate.
Also available in a 2 oz. travel size
This Gentle Scalp Funk Shampoo comes in an 8 oz. plastic flip top bottle. If you have a preference of the bottle please let me know.
Pictured above are the white #2 HDPE or blue #1 PET plastic, all easily recyclable.
"Fantastic shampoo! My scalp is always itching me and when I used this, it felt so much better. I'm going to be stocking up on this."
Natural, environmentally friendly and affordable home remedies and personal body care for the family. Homemade, handmade, organic when possible, all with a touch of the love and wisdom from past generations. Knowledge of what is in your products is the start to taking back control as a consumer.