When I (Dom) first set out to use low-waste products, I purchased a shampoo bar that was actually soap. I didn't know that long-term use of the soap-shampoo bar could actually really damage my hair.
The soap simply said "for best results, rinse hair with Apple Cider Vinegar after washing". Being someone is easily nauseated by the smell of ACV, I was not about to do that "for best results". Had I known that it was absolutely vital to do, I of course would have. The soap-shampoo did not stress the importance of rinsing with ACV (or why to do it) and I don't even want to know what would have happened to my hair had I not set out to start making my own products.
See, this is the issue with soap-shampoo bars. Soap has a very high pH (around 9-10), you simply cannot lower the pH of soap, or else it's not soap anymore. Our hair, on the other hand, prefers a lower pH (around 4.5 to 5.5). This means it thrives in a slightly acidic environment. A difference in pH from 5 to 10 is huge. In fact, it's a pH of 10 is 100,000x's more basic that a pH of 5. That's kind of a big deal for our hair.
When you wash your hair with soap-shampoo, it will open up the cuticle, which is why you then need to rinse it with an acid, to re-close the cuticle. This process can be quite harsh for the hair and can throw things way out of whack.
Our shampoo bars are unique for their ingredients. While we don't make soap. we also don't use sulfates or silicones. Instead, we use a combination of natural, as well as naturally-derived, gentle surfactants that won't strip or disrupt your scalp or hair's pH. They will help to bring you back into balance rather than throwing things off.
How to identify soap-shampoo bars
- If the label says "saponified oils" its soap
- If the label says "Lye" its soap
- If the label says "Sodium hydroxide" that's lye, and it's soap
- If the label says "Soda Ash" it's soap
- If the label says "Sodium carbonate" that's soda ash, and it's soap.
- If the label says "Soap" it's soap