Tag-Archive for » shampoo bar «

Thursday, July 02nd, 2009 | Author:

It’s been a while! This will probably be the last shampoo bar review for a while, because I’ve settled on a routine I’m really happy with and am done playing the field, lol. This is a great bar called Fragrant Tresses from Heart of Iowa Soapworks.

Ingredients: Castor oil, Water, Coconut oil, Palm kernel oil, Olive oil, Sodium hydroxide, Rice bran oil, Fragrance oils, Jojoba

Smell: This is a synthetically fragranced bar that smells a lot like commercial shampoos. I purposely tried this one out because of dh’s smell-aversion to a lot of the shampoo bars I’ve tried.

Texture: This is a nice, hard soap that lathers up to a rich, creamy lather.

Did it clean my hair and scalp? Yes,this was a very cleansing bar — leaving that squeaky clean feeling. Great for those who don’t want anything left on their hair to weight it down.

How does my hair look and feel? Very shiny, slightly on the grabby side.

Price plus shipping: $6.50 + $2.75 shipping for a 4 oz bar

Verdict: I give this one a thumbs up :) As I mentioned earlier, it is more on the cleansing side so probably best for those with fine, limp hair.

Saturday, March 07th, 2009 | Author:

It seems there is a neverending supply of great shampoo bars out there! This time around, I’ll be reviewing the Unscented shampoo bar from Earth Muffin.

Ingredients: Saponified oils of sweet almond, Sunflower High Oleic, Avocado, Olive, Jojoba OIl and Castor, silk protein, wheat protein, panthenol

Smell: This is an unscented bar, with a nice, fresh, soapy smell.

Texture: Wow! This bar gives such a rich, creamy lather — tons and tons of it. It feels like a wonderful, indulgent treat, washing my hair with it.

Did it clean my hair and scalp? Yes, it is a balanced cleanse and is definitely more on the conditioning end of the spectrum. I could feel that my hair had just a bit of something left on it to keep it smoothed and conditioned.

How does my hair look and feel? Very soft, slightly heavy, but not in a bad way.

Price plus shipping: $5.00 + $3.00 shipping for a 4 oz bar

Verdict: Definite thumbs up :) I think this is a great bar for those with dryer hair. You definitely won’t need a separate conditioner with this one. May be too heavy for those with fine/limp hair.

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 :)

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.

Saturday, January 10th, 2009 | Author:

Here’s a shampoo bar from the maker of my favorite face cream (I’ll save that for a later post), DressGreen. Lauren offers three different scents (Chamomile and Calendula, Rosemary Peppermint and Sweet Orange), and I’ll be reviewing the unscented version, which she calls UnDressed.

Ingredients: distilled water, coconut oil, olive oil, palm oil, sodium hydroxide, castor oil, cocoa butter, jojoba oil, meadowfoam oil, wheat germ oil, vitamin E

According to Lauren, the meadowfoam seed oil “adds shine and moisture to the hair and scalp.”

Smell: This is a truly unscented soap — even the base oils don’t really come through in the smell. It just smells fresh and soapy.

Texture: This bar is very hard and glides smoothly over my hair. It works up into a nice, light lather.

Did it clean my hair and scalp? Yes, very well. This is another soap that strikes a good balance between cleansing well without being drying.

How does my hair look and feel? It feels very soft, light and clean. I love it!

Price plus shipping: $6.00 plus $2.50 for a 5 ounce bar

Verdict: Total thumbs up. I really love Lauren’s shop and this is just another example of her excellent and effective products. As an aesthetic plus, her items are beautifully packaged and labeled.

Thursday, December 18th, 2008 | Author:

As you know, I use an acid rinse when I wash with a shampoo bar. I love how smooth and shiny it makes my hair. But I figured I would ask the experts for their opinions:

Do you think a conditioner or acid rinse are necessary when using a shampoo bar?

This is a hard one to say exactly what is going to work best for everyone because there are many variables. There are plenty of people who do not use a conditioner or acid rinse so it wouldn’t hurt to start from there and see what you need. The specific shampoo can impact your decision as can whether you have soft or hard water. When I had short hair I never used any sort of a conditioner but now it is very long and sometimes I’ll skip the conditioner/acid rinse but many times I need it to keep my super long fine hair from getting tangled.

Modern shampoos contain synthetic silica and polymers. Shampoo bars will not dissolve and remove the remnants from your hair. So, for the1st couple of weeks we recommend that you use a vinegar rinse to remove these polymers. After that it won’t be necessary, but they add shine, control and help balance the ph of the scalp so why stop? We use infused horsetail (natural silica) and nettle leaf in all our shampoos & rinses for conditioning the hair and scalp.

This depends on the persons hair. For a person who is new to shampoo bars, I would say yes. IME, I had to use an acid rinse for a while before my hair became accustom to shampoo bars. Now I can wash with a shampoo bar and not have any problems with my hair. So to answer you question, I would say yes an acid/lemon rinse would be great.

Rochelle, Karess Krafters
Well, that is a good recommendation actually. All shampoo will build up on the hair eventually, so using 1 tsp of vinegar per pint of water on occasion will cleanse the hair naturally.

Using an herbal rinse is also alot of fun and healthy for your scalp.
Take a handful of your chosen herb and pour a pint of boiling water over the herb and allow to cool. Strain and add a dash of vinegar.
When using this rinse, pour it over your head and try to let it sit on your hair and scalp a couple minutes for best results.

Rosemary -sage rinses have been used for dark hair.
Chamomile has been traditionally used for blonde hair.
You could use mint, nettles, or anything you’d like to really.

This makes the hair soft also.

One person used the Wild Mane shampoo bar and wrote me and said her hair was all over the place. Some people may feel they need a conditioner after using a shampoo bar.

What I recommend is Flax Seed Gel for a natural way to calm the fluff.

Take 1 Tbsp of Flax seed and simmer in 1 cup of water until it is reduced by half. Strain the seeds, and add your own essential oils if you’d like scent to your gel.
It will be different than store bought hair gel, but actually dual purpose to help hair not be so fluffy and also condition at the same time. It is very inexpensive to make as well. Refrigerate what you dont use and toss out after a few days.

Aloe vera gel I hear will also work if your hair gets too fluffy with a shampoo bar.

You might need a conditioner or acid rinse depending on the specific shampoo and your hair type. It is said that everyone would need a rinse with most handmade shampoos but I’ve only found that I needed it when I tried a handmade liquid shampoo. And perhaps others who tried that same shampoo didn’t need it. I use a separate conditioner with my shampoo bar. I know others who use my shampoo bars don’t use conditioner. I don’t get any build up that would require the acid rinse. And I haven’t heard of any of my customers complaining of build up from my shampoo bar. I am working on a recipe now to create a conditioning shampoo bar so that I won’t need the extra conditioner.

Wednesday, December 17th, 2008 | Author:

Here’s a wonderful soap from Boondock G’s scented with yuzu fragrance. For those of you who don’t know, yuzu is a Japanese fruit, similar to a grapefruit.

Ingredients: saponified olive and coconut oils, mango butter, with goat’s milk, annatto seed for color, fragrance and tussah noil silk

Again, a soap with a nice, simple list of ingredients.

Smell: This soap has a citrusy-fruity-floral smell which is very light and refreshing. It has just enough strength to linger in my hair but not so much that it is overpowering.

Texture: This is a nice, hard bar that glides smoothly over my hair and lathers up really well.

Did it clean my hair and scalp? Definitely! This bar is on the more cleansing end of the spectrum. It left both my hair and scalp squeaky clean and very light feeling.

How does my hair look and feel? It feels very clean and light, but slightly on the squeaky/grabby side. However, a little extra leave-on conditioner counteracts this very well.

Price plus shipping: $6.00 plus $2.80 for a 3 ounce bar

Verdict: Thumbs up. This bar is less conditioning than some, but is perfect for those with finer hair that tends to look limp. I bet it’s something I’ll gravitate to during the summer. Also, this seller has the most wonderful fragrances. I got samples of a bunch, and I can tell you that in addition to the Yuzu, I also love the Green Tea and Willow, and the Currant Thyme Tea.

Sunday, December 07th, 2008 | Author:

So here’s the next installment of our deep dive into the nitty gritty of shampoo bars:

What do you find are the pros and cons of different oils when making a shampoo bar? What about olive vs. coconut oil? Also, do you think it likely that castor oil would cause build-up?

It depends on what all of the oils are that are going into the soap and what percentages they are in and thus how they will interact to make the soap. (I’m using the term soap interchangably with shampoo here.) Darn near every single soap that I make has both olive and coconut oil in it so I think that they are both good oils. The issue is the percentage that you use. Olive oil is the only oil in a pure castile soap. It’s the best soap for babies and those with sensitive skin. However, while it will clean you it’s not going to cut grease or suds up like a soap that is made from coconut oil. An all coconut oil soap would be great for washing clothes or dishes etc. but you wouldn’t want to use it on your body because it is way to harsh by it’s self. A soap that has both (so long as there wasn’t too much coconut) and maybe some other oils however would make a great general use soap. So you have to know the purpose of the soap and how the oils will interact with each other when putting together a recipe.

I am not aware of castor oil being more likly to cause build-up. Usually castor oil is added to add a little bubble power to a bar of soap above and beyond what the coconut oil will give you. Castor oil is great as an added oil and is in almost all of my soaps. It is great for conditioning and yet creates a nice bubbly lather without drying the skin.

Different oils have different properties for sure. Coconut oil will make a wonderful lather, but too much may be drying. Olive oil in my opinion is natures greatest creation, a plain castile bar will leave a protective layer on your skin, yet allow it to breathe as well. Castor oil alone may cause a build up, but used in a shampoo bar castor oil is a fabulous humectrant and will rinse away. I’ve also read somewhere that castor oil promotes new hair growth and prevents hair loss.

HeatherRai, Beautiful Soaps
Well Olive and Castor are wonderful for attracting that moisture so many of us need.
Olive oil also does not inhibit any of the normal skin processes we need to accomplish , such as shedding dead skin cells or even sweating, so this is why it is the largest percent of my soap blends.
However by itself, the lather is pretty low and also the soap is pretty soft.

Coconut oil can be pretty drying if too much is used, but it sure helps with lather and hardness so I love using it.
Sweet Almond oil is mild and is emollient and a little goes a long way in soap.
Avocado contains vitamins A, D, E, protein, and so much more nutritionally, and it remains pretty intact throughout the soapmaking process. A little goes a long way with this oil as well.
Shea Butter is the same. It makes it through the rugged change of cold process soapmaking, and come through taking good care of our skin and hair. It is such a wonderful moisturizer for all skin types and also mild.
I use an organic fair trade butter that is not refined, so it can smell a bit strong, but worth it. All the nutrients are still there using this shea.
Palm oil is often used to help a bar harden. Since using too much coconut oil in a formula will by too drying for the skin, palm oil compliments by supplying the hardness and cleaning ability to keep the soap mild.
There are many other oils that are wonderful to work with for conditioning, cleaning, or nutrition, however most do not have a long shelf life, such as hemp or flax.

Some oils have an extremely strong smell, such as that fair trade shea I was discussing earlier. Castor can be strong as well.

So, I think each soapmaker finds what they love and works with it.
For me, I love the oils I use for my work because they all have positive benefits for the skin or hair and scalp. I buy 35 pounds of organic extra virgin olive oil every month or so because it is so worth it to have that in my formulas.
It is harder to work with in soapmaking, but I want the first and finest pressing in my soap, instead of the chemically extracted third pressing.

Following your heart and finding what you love to work with I think is what each of us goes through as soapmakers, and choosing the oils is part of that for us all.
A local soapmaker in my region uses Neem oil in her soap. I thought ‘Neem Oil, how cool’. She is the first one I know that uses that.

So many oils are beneficial, and each of us are unique in our product and choose what we are drawn to.
I dont think there is so much a right or wrong oil, but just like art, what we create with what we love.

When making a shampoo bar I look at creating a hard, long-lasting, soap that lathers well but is not drying. I also look at oils that are known to be good for hair. For example hemp oil and castor oil are known to be good for your hair. I’ve stopped using coconut oil because I personally found it drying. I replaced it with Palm Kernel oil. It gives the same benefits of coconut oil (hard bar with lots of lather) but I find it less drying. Also, olive oil is always a great choice in soaps and shampoo bars. However it doesn’t create a high lather soap on its own. So it’s all about balance in creating the best bar possible. I’ve found castor oil to be a wonderful addition. I use a fairly high percentage of castor oil because of it’s lather-boosting properties. I have not found it to cause build up (at least in my shampoo bar).

Thursday, December 04th, 2008 | Author:

I’m on a roll — another shampoo bar that you can actually go and buy right now. And believe me, you’ll want to! This one is called Wild Mane and is offered by Dreamseeds Organics.

Ingredients: Extra virgin organic olive oil, infused with nettle leaf, usnea and horsetail, castor, sweet almond, avocado, coconut, palm oils, fair trade shea butter and eco friendly silk, saponified with nettle infusion; Essential oils of rosemary, peppermint, cedarwood, sage, lemon, ylang ylang and Italian lavender

Doesn’t this read like a list of all the best good-for-your-hair ingredients there are?

Smell: This shampoo bar has a stronger smell than most of the ones I’ve tested. It’s an earthy, herbal smell that I find very soothing. After washing, the smell doesn’t really linger in my hair.

Texture: This bar glides really easily over my hair and oh my, the bubbles! There are lots and lots of bubbles. It’s wonderful!

Did it clean my hair and scalp? Absolutely — it finds that balance between leaving me feeling perfectly fresh and clean, yet not too squeaky or stripped.

How does my hair look and feel? So wonderful. Ever since I started using shampoo bars, pretty much every day is a good hair day. But this bar takes it a step further and my hair is so, shiny, soft and drapey. I love it!

Price plus shipping: $6.00 plus $3.25 for a 4 ounce bar

Verdict: Double double thumbs up. I love this bar!

Tuesday, December 02nd, 2008 | Author:

You’re in for a treat — an awesome shampoo bar that is actually in-stock! Today we have a wonderful shampoo bar from Sweet Creek Herbs.

Ingredients: coconut oil, castor oil, extra virgin olive oil, jojoba, added emu oil, avocado oil, essential oils of tea tree, rosemary, and basil

If you ever get into a convo with Kathleen, you’ll find that she takes her soapmaking extremely seriously and has done a ton of research. So you can be sure that every ingredient on this list is there for a reason.

Smell: This shampoo bar has a very soft, herbal smell. I think it’s mostly tea tree and rosemary that I detect, but it is not overpowering at all. Once my hair is washed, the only thing that lingers is a comforting, soapy smell.

Texture: This is a nice, hard bar that glides really easily over my hair. It lathers up really well, with nice, long-lasting bubbles.

Did it clean my hair and scalp? You betcha — this bar does a great job and rinses away very cleanly.

How does my hair look and feel? Fantastic! I love how soft and silky my hair feels. And I think it looks even shinier than usual when using this bar.

Price plus shipping: $5.00 plus $4.80 for a 4+ ounce bar

Verdict: Absolute thumbs up, this one’s definitely a keeper. I tried the Green Herbal bar, but Kathleen also has Chamomile Ylang Ylang, Marshamallow Root, Rosemary Honey and Lavendar Shea shampoo bars listed. Yummy!