I certainly was . . .

Many a time someone has come up to my market stall and asked, “do you have any shampoo conditioning bars?”

I point to my shampoo bars and tell them that all the ingredients in my shampoo bars are conditioning and that in the nine plus years or so I’ve been making and using them I have never had to use a separate conditioner and my hair remains soft, full and manageable. But no, they said, they were looking for a shampoo conditioner bar and walked away!

This was where the confusion began for me, but what I did discover was that it was a combined shampoo and conditioner bar that some people where looking for. Now I understood.

I explained that such a bar, to the best of my knowledge, did not exist since combining the ingredients for the two in one bar would give you? I have no idea other than would you have a shampoo bar, or a conditioning bar with bubbles!

So, you buy a shampoo from the supermarket and you buy a conditioner because without the latter your hair will likely be very unhappy! On the other hand you could buy a conditioning (natural) shampoo, like those I make and sell and forget about the conditioner which will not only save you money but will also prevent your hair having to tolerate buildup from silicones!

My shampoo bars contain a variety of ingredients such as, (not all in the same bar of course): Coconut Oil, Olive Oil, Castor Oil, Jojoba Oil, Argan Oil, Mango Seed Butter, Shea Butter, Sunflower oil, safflower Oil Cocoa Butter, Rice Bran Oil, Lye and Distilled Water (I never use Palm Oil or Tallow, and certainly not chemicals) so I can safely say they really are natural.

That said another type of Shampoo Bar, is Syndet. Syndet bars do use an amazing array of extra ingredients creating quite a long list however, for me, and because some of you like them, I make a few using what I believe will be beneficial for the time the shampoo remains on the hair which usually isn’t very long.

Syndet Shampoo Bars and soaps have become popular one reason being that they are harder and last longer than natural soap and shampoo bars, and secondly they do not contain lye or water and are therefore ready to use within a week. However, all those extra ingredients in some bars will not work wonders for your hair, but the end product does have a hefty price tag which makes the manufacturers smile!

Despite shampoo’s not being on your hair long enough for all the ingredients to work to their full potential, commercial shampoo’s have the ability to strip your hair of all its natural oils, and some of your colour (if you colour your hair) in a heart beat!

The result being dry flaky scalp, which is where shampoo’s like Head & Shoulders come into play. They remove, or scrub off the dry skin, or dandruff until the next time and dry, frizzy and damaged hair is what you will, over time, be left with.

I always remember my hairdresser back in the UK telling me off for using Head & Shoulders for my dandruff. “You may as well use Jiff (a creme household cleanser) not only will it do the same thing but it’s cheaper!” So I stopped using it and chose instead a moisturising shampoo and voila, within a short time my dandruff disappeared!

If you have damaged hair and are looking for something to revitalise and moisturise it I would recommend a hair mask made with nourishing oils and  apply it to your hair and leave for the recommended length of time and then shampoo with a gentle and preferably natural shampoo.

I apply similar thoughts to using essential oils in shampoo/soap bars. Essential oils are fine to use for fragrance, but once again as a means of ‘doing something beneficial to your hair’ they can’t simply because the few drops used are intermixed with other ingredients including water. Within a minute, or two the essential oils, along with the shampoo or soap are rinsed away. Plus there is no scientific evidence that essential oils can do what is said they can do. They have their place in Aromatherapy but I believe they are an expensive waste in soaps and shampoos. I have passed my thinking on to customers who ask “do you use essential oils in your soaps/shampoo’s.” Their response is either one of, “you’re right I hadn’t thought of that” or they simply walk away convinced they need to find a product that contains EO’s.

And finally, I hope you found this interesting and maybe food for thought!

Thanks for reading.

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