Sunday, March 17, 2013

Saponification Sunday...Shampoo Bar Love

I was 16 and Herbal Essence was all the range, Any hippies worth her Doobie Brother washed her hair in the shampoo allegedly made of all things herbally groovy. Like walking  around with a head full of sage, rosemary and thyme.

Shortly after as I "matured" and took life more seriously (stopped hitchhiking), I became a Breck Girl. But I never shared my shampoo with my sisters who had to deal with mom's Suave shampoo purchases, instead hiding my stash under my mattress. Pathetic.

In my late 20's I landed my first professional nursing management job with just three years of floor nurse experience behind me. Anxious to fit in with the corporate gals, I chopped off my long hair and invested in a $4 bottle of L'Oreal. I also started wearing ugly suits with peplum bottom tops.

My bottom was already "peplumed" out enough as it was. WHAT was I thinking?

After leaving the security of a well paid job it was time to cut out the luxuries. I went back to Suave. Mom wasn't so dumb after all. Far from it. Pretty much the same chemicals as in the other more expensive shampoos just with cheaper packaging.

Then nearly three years ago I made my first shampoo bar. I was suspicious since the only experience I had with using bar soap for shampoo was  when we'd run out of Suave as kids and had to used a ZEST bar. Oh man...not good. But I did some research (snooping on others blogs) and therefore I credit all the other great soapers out there who shared  their shampoo recipes with me.

Since then, I've been hooked.  There is no clinical proof it's better for my hair, everything is indeed subjective, or if my hair is better because I've gotten too old and too cheap to mess with all the products like hairspray, mousse, volumizers , conditioners and I just want it to be better. But I figure a good amount of coconut,olive, castor oils and some shea butter has to better than the list of crud on the average shampoo bottle.

I do know it's just one less complication in my already overly complicated life. Next up ? Think I'll give up facial peels. I need the SOS pads to clean out all my soap making pans.


  1. I've never been big on shampoo brands; frankly washing-up liquid is fine by me. But I did go through a phase, back in the 70's, of using coconut shampoo. The only problem was that if left my 'longish' hair looking oily. Maybe this was a plot to make its users wash their hair more often!

  2. Cro, back then you and I had all our own natural oils and thus any extra was overkill. I can now soak my head in pure coconut oil, olive oil, hemp oil, whatever and there is nothing left over to make my hair look oily at all. There is enough leftover however for a nice vinagrette for the evenings supper salad.

  3. I was a Hair On Tap girl in my teens. Thought it was so cool that my shampoo had beer in it while I was still miles away from the drinking age. Now I have to use a special shampoo to combat the hard water from my shower pipes. Hopefully those will get changed out sometime this year, if they do, I think I might see if you have any shampoo bars left, I would like to try one.

  4. Ah, yes, the Herbal Essence days. I also had a brief fling with Gee Your Hair Smells Terrific.

    Since i've crossed into the world of colored hair now, i find i can't use the cheap shampoos without my hair feeling weird. For the first time since the Herbal Essence/Gee Your Hair Smells Terrific days, i have to care about what i use on my hair. It's always been normal to dry, so i never had the oily problem others mentioned, but i did find the spendy stuff at my hairdresser's works wonders. A little dab does me just fine, so the shampoo and conditioner will last a long time. but, when it's time for more, perhaps i can consider a shampoo bar?

  5. I love your shampoo bar! I, like you used Herbal Essence and Suave egg shampoo back in the day and since then have used commercial products UNTIL over a year ago when I purchased my first shampoo bar from you before you had Saponification Sundays.
    It is the only shampoo that I use and it is wonderful. My hairdresser asks what shampoo I use and I am very proud to tell her it is homemade and has NO chemicals in
    it. Maybe you should give samples to local hairdressers!
    Cathy in Pennsylvania.

  6. Love the shampoo bar pictures! And as always, love reading your ramblings Mrs. Farmwife!

  7. Very pretty shampoo bars, Donna! I still haven't tried to make a shampoo bar yet. My hair is so finicky and fine and it tends to be straw-like with the wrong stuff. I'll have to try a shampoo bar recipe someday and see if my hair likes it.

  8. Yay! I do a shampoo bar, too! I have tried it and liked it very much. My hair is very thin so I use a "surf spray" that volumizes after I wash, but that's it.

    I usually only superfat at 5% with shampoo bars - and regular bars are at 10%. What percentage do you superfat??

    They are very pretty!

  9. you are a mess. yup, my sis used herbal essence as a teen (i was a few years behind her and it stung my eyes). it came out again about 15 yrs ago - a younger girl at work mentioned this 'new' shampoo she was using. myself and another woman my age just laughed...