Saturday, April 10, 2021

Hair Care is Self-Care - shampoo experiments

 Sometime over the last week or so, I managed to catch a cold - sneezing, runny nose, a bit of a cough (I always have a cough due to one of my meds), just feeling ick. Out of an abundance of caution, I took a couple of days off to look after myself. And, if you know me at all, any opportunity I have to play in my soap kitchen is more than okay with me. 

This week, it was shampoo bars. I've recently discovered that my go to recipe is a little top heavy with one of the ingredients. It's upper usage rate is about 50% and the recipe uses 73%. That is not too say that it's bad for your hair; I've been using this recipe for the past three years and my hairdresser told me that my hair is VERY healthy. However, I do want to stay within guidelines so I started doing more research into shampoo bars. I've made three different variations this week.

One of the dilemmas I have is that I tend to make things that are suitable for me; my hair is dry, fine, and wavy so I need a shampoo that cleans gently and doesn't leave it feeling like straw. I recognize that not everyone has hair like mine so I need to keep that in mind when I'm creating. So, ingredients are important. What will be best for the most people? Do I create shampoo bars geared to specific hair needs or do I stay in the middle of the road and gear the bars to "normal" hair with different fragrances and additives?

To that end, three varieties. Two of them are especially geared to my and John's hair and one is one I'm hoping will be a good, all 'round shampoo bar that will appeal to a broader base.

#1 -  A Conditioning Bar with Botanical Extracts. It's made with Hydrolized Oat Protein, Panthenol, Chamomile Extract, and Grapeseed Extract. Both Chamomile and Grapeseed extracts are great for hair and the Grapeseed extract also gives the bar its colour. My first impression of this one is that it would likely be a good contender for a shampoo for Normal to Dry hair. 

#2 - A Conditioning and Hydrating Shampoo Bar with Humectants. It uses Propanediol 1,3 (from the New Directions website:

With a plant-based origin, Propanediol is a biodegradable and petrochemical-free solvent that is NPA approved, making it an excellent corn sugar-derived alternative to petroleum-based Glycols for hair- and skincare formulations. It offers benefits and functionalities that include improved emollience, enhanced viscosity, non-irritating properties, exceptional sensory characteristics, clarity, and anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties, among many more).
I also added Foaming Oats, Hydrolized Rice Protein and scented it with a fragrance called Caribbean Escape. My first impression of this one is that it lathers up quickly and it's beautiful, thick lather. My hair feels fuller and thicker, right down to the ends. 

#3 - Basic Shampoo Bar with Mango Butter. This one has most of the same ingredients as the other two, with the addition of a bit of Mango Butter. I scented it with on of my more popular shampoo bar fragrances, a blend I call Fresh (equal parts Lavender, Peppermint, and Rosemary). I just made this one this morning so I haven't tested it yet but once I do, I'll add my impressions here.

So, you see my dilemma, right? What would you do? Make several varieties or make a middle of the road, "Normal Hair" shampoo bar? 

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