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
Note for those with a coconut allergy:
Dr. Bronner's castile soap does contain coconut oil. For those who need an alternative due to a coconut allergy, request the 100% olive oil and castor oil castile soap.
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 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.
Aloe vera gel is extremely soothing and healing for the scalp.
Lavender and Peppermint essential oils simultaneously treat the hair and stimulate the scalp. Helps you achieve a beautiful head of hair by maintaining a healthy scalp.
If using on a child younger than 5 let me know and we will leave out the peppermint essential oil or substitute. Lavender, chamomile, tea tree, mandarin, tangerine and sweet orange are safe essential oils for younger children.
This gentle shampoo can also be used on your dog to keep his/her coat soft, clean and fresh smelling. Lavender and peppermint also help repel mosquitoes, and lavender is said to help deter fleas and ticks as well. Please 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.
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 around 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
Gentle Hair Care 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.
Also available in a 16 oz. size available upon request for $22. As a natural product meant to be used up within 3 - 4 months, ideally this larger size is best for multiple users or if bought as a refill size keep in the refrigerator for long term storage. Aloe vera can be kept in the refrigerator for two years.
"When I couldn't use her products that contained Castile soap because it contained coconut oil she actually purchased a coconut free Castile soap and made my products just for me so that I could use them without worrying about an allergic reaction."