Friday, April 20, 2012

Something to Share

It should come as no surprise to so many of us that there are some not-so-friendly chemicals in our shampoo and other detergents we use on our bodies. The main offender that I know of off the top of my head is sodium lauryl sulfate - a known skin irritant at the very least.

Sodium lauryl sulfate is a "foaming agent" in... well a lot of shampoos and conditioners out there. While there have been mixed responses about the healthiness of using sodium lauryl sulfate, I know just reading what could be is enough to scare me into using all-natural products.

I've sung praise for this shampoo before, but for over 2 years, we've been using J.R. Liggett's shampoo bars. Unfortunately, they often get pricey and they're not something you can pick up at the local grocer. We order about 20 bars a year. (On an unrelated note, I'm set on figuring out how they make this shampoo bar, too! It's really nothing more than lye soap with varied oils as the base. I make lye soap at least 3 times a year and it's all we use in this house. When I figure it out, I'll share it here!)

The one thing I noticed with prolonged use of this shampoo is that my hair needs a little conditioning. The other day, I decided I would try something that I had tried before, but change it up a little bit: I would use apple cider vinegar as my conditioner.

In the past, I had used raw apple cider vinegar, undiluted. I know. I'll give you a minute to gasp and think that one over. It hurt. Needless to say, my hair was left in an unbalanced, greasy mess. I decided those chicken ladies didn't know anything and gave up on the concept of conditioning with vinegar. Until recently.

I ran out of bottled conditioner that I had been milking for about a month. I used the bottle (score one for recycling), put in about half a cup or so of apple cider vinegar and filled the rest with water.

I used it with perfect. success. The most wonderful, most natural conditioner I've ever had! The shampoo bar and the vinegar solution have honestly made my hair the happiest it has ever been. No joke.

I want to urge you to try and find an alternative to sodium lauryl sulfate. There are a lot of mixed messages out there about what's good for your hair, what's bad for the environment, and what should have never ever been put on the shelves to begin with. I don't think it would hurt to try and curb our habits, even if the chemicals are up for debate. (Myself, I try to avoid as many chemicals as I can on principle. As close to nature as I can get without too much effort. Sometimes, chemicals are good.)

Unfortunately, if you don't like talking about health and beauty products (yeah right I know you do), I'm going to address lye soap and the wonderful things it's done for my life next. Stay tuned!


Nicole said...

Great post! What size bottle did your use for the apple cider conditioner?
Is the soap available in any specialty stores? the town we just moced from had an organic store and this soap sounds like something they would carry or order.

Danielle McCauley said...

I bet they'd carry it Nicole! Some Whole Foods carry it, some others don't. You can always request your store carry it, too. Every year when we go up to Portland, Maine, we get our shampoo at the Whole Foods there. Our local doesn't carry it, so when we run out, we have to order online.

BTW: $7 a bar is way too much for us to pay, even as a "luxury" item. You can get it for less than $4 on Amazon through HerbPro shops. I'd send you some if I could!

For the apple vinegar conditioner, I am presently using an old, regular-size Pantene ProV conditioner bottle. (12.6 fl oz) I think 1 part apple cider vinegar and 3 parts water would make for a good solution in any bottle, though!

Made by Hand on Planet Earth said...

I use this soap, too, but not the apple cider vinegar. I'll have to try it, though! Do you have any idea how it interacts with well water? I'll have to research that... Thanks for the info. Very nice post.