Archive for » February, 2009 «

Saturday, February 28th, 2009 | Author:

If you are looking for an amazing variety of shampoo bars, and an incredible wealth of information about them as well, look no further than Chagrin Valley Soap and Craft Company. Ida has created 16 different shampoo bars, along with a general guide for which ones work best for what type of hair here. Seriously, there is so much information on this site, that you could spend hours happily reading about shampoo bars.

I purchased four sample bars, and will be reviewing my current favorite, the Summer Sunshine bar.

Ingredients: Saponified oils of castor bean, coconut, palm kernel, wheat germ, sunflower, babassu, jojoba, palm, and expeller pressed canola; filtered rainwater; coconut milk; essential oils of lavender, sweet orange, pink grapefruit, lime, rosemary, and ylang ylang; sea kelp; vitamin E oil; and rosemary oil extract.

Smell: I truly love the smell of this shampoo bar. First of all, I’m a sucker for citrus. And it also turns out that I *love* ylang ylang. I never knew that about myself. This scent is such a nice blend of the fruity and the floral — it really makes me feel pampered and lingers lightly in my hair for most of the day.

Texture: This is a medium-hard bar that lathers really nicely. I get lots of rich lather which enhances the spa-feeling I’m already getting from the scent.

Did it clean my hair and scalp? Absolutely! I find it is a balanced clean, not too dry or stripping. I have read on other boards that many people find this to be a cleansing and drying bar, so your mileage may definitely vary.

How does my hair look and feel? So soft, silky and shiny!

Price plus shipping: $6.60 + $5.70 flat-rate shipping (for orders up to $41.00) for a 6-7 oz bar

Verdict: Huge double thumbs up! This is quickly becoming one of my favorite bars :)

Tuesday, February 17th, 2009 | Author:

So, in all my obsession about shampoo bars, I’ve happened along some amazing forum threads with tons of information. For example, the Long Hair Forums has a massive shampoo bar thread (244 pages and counting!!), the Everyday Minerals forums has a long thread dedicated the Chagrin Valley bars (I’ll be reviewing some of those soon!), and there’s been a lot of talk at Naturally Curly as well. There is an incredible wealth of experience buried in these threads, if anyone is so inclined to read through them.

It occurred to me the other day how cool it would be if we had one central location to leave and read reviews about shampoo bars. So, being not only obsessed with shampoo bars, but also a code geek, I coded up an annex to this blog as a place where everyone can join in and leave reviews. You can check it out here:

I think it’s pretty self-explanatory, but please leave a comment if you have any questions. Please consider leaving your reviews on the above site for posterity’s sake and so future shoppers can benefit from your experience. Thanks!

Tuesday, February 03rd, 2009 | Author:

Here are some soaper’s responses to this question:

What do you think are the best ingredients in a shampoo bar for those with dry or oily hair?

I think that this is really something that is hard to say what exactly is going to be the “best” because there are so many variables. My favorite though is a shampoo with sunflower seed oil. It is very moisturizing and yet it doesn’t weigh down my super fine hair. Beyond that I think that a good amount of coconut and/or palm kernel oil are good to have in a shampoo because they are oils that have great cleansing properties in soap. You just don’t want too much or else it will dry out your hair and scalp.

I wish I could recommend the perfect shampoo bar for everyone, but to be honest most everyone’s hair and scalp are unique and react different to shampoo bars. I guess my recommendations would be for the type of rinse after shampooing. I have found that Citrus oils tend to help with dry hair and scalp so I normally recommend Chamomile & Citrus Vinegar Rinse and for oily hair I recommend an apple cider rinse with a few drops of rosemary, lavender, peppermint or tea tree.

For dry hair, an infusion of marshmallow root, nettle and burdock would help combat dryness along with a balance vegetable oil blend of jojoba, olive, cocoa butter and sunflower. For oily hair, a shampoo bar with citrus essential oils would be good

Rochelle, Karess Krafters
Well for dry hair, I like the castor and olive oil combinations mostly for that reason. Then of course essential oils.
In Wild Mane shampoo bar I use rosemary, peppermint, cedarwood, sage, lemon, ylang ylang and Italian lavender for scalp and hair care. These essential oils are good for normal to dry scalp and hair.

For oily hair, lemon and rosemary can be used for that as well interestingly enough. I would also probably include geranium as well because that is known to help the hair and scalp not be so oily.

I think good circulation is also important to scalp health which is why I like the peppermint and rosemary in Wild Mane.

The nettles and horsetail I gathered from the wild and these ingredients work well for all hair types,strengthening the hair. Horsetail is an amazing herb for nails too.

I don’t know much about customizing shampoos for dry or oily hair. I would only suggest if you’re looking for one or the other then use the same guidelines you would use when looking for soap for dry or oily skin. For example I know that lemon essential oil is a good ingredient for soaps meant for oily skin. I imagine this would also be true for a shampoo bar but I haven’t heard any testimony of that.

Dry hair might enjoy such additives as avocado oil, any butter, emu oil, and such.
Oily hair might enjoy sweet almond oil, apricot kernel oil, macadamia nut oil, etc.

Monday, February 02nd, 2009 | Author:

I purchased a bunch of samples from Mema’s Cold Process soaps because she has so many lovely-sounding fragrances like Ginger Lime, Plumeria, and Pomegranate. The ones I’ve tried so far are the Cucumber Aloe and Plumeria.

Ingredients: olive oil, canola, jojoba, goat milk, glycerin, coconut, palm, avocado, sweet almond, kernel, rice bran, nettle oil, sodium hydroxide.

Mema’s shampoo bars have mostly the same base ingredients with different fragrances and extras added in.

Smell: This soap has a very very mild scent — even the scented ones. Mostly what I smell are the base oil, which have a soft, cake batter smell. The fragrance is really only noticeable during the lather-up, and not so much as a smell that would linger in your hair after it’s dry.

Texture: These bars are quite a bit softer than most of the other I’ve tried. The lather is maybe not as bubbly as some, but still enough to get the job done.

Did it clean my hair and scalp? Yes! As I’ve tested more and more bars, the thing I’ve honed in on to really check is for any waxiness or residue deep under all that hair (like close to the scalp, halfway between the nape of my neck and the crown of my head). This bar cleans well, and no residue left behind.

How does my hair look and feel? This is a nice, conditioning bar, and my hair feels nice and soft without being weighed down or greasy feeling.

Price plus shipping: $4.50 to 5.00 plus ~$2.00 shipping for a 4 oz bar

Verdict: Thumbs up :) This bar is more on the conditioning end, but also cleanses well. I would say it’s good for normal to dry hair.