February 03, 2021 3 min read
If you aren't already familiar with solid shampoo and conditioner, it can be a little difficult to wrap your mind around the concept initially.
It may be best to explain what solid hair care is by starting with what it's not. Solid shampoo is not a bar of soap, and solid conditioner is not a bar of solid butters. To meet the specific needs of hair, it is important to choose the right ingredients. Typically, bottled shampoos and conditioners are comprised of more than 90% water, with less than 10% of the ingredients that cleanse, condition and nourish our hair. Using my practice of modern alchemy, I take plant-based active ingredients and make a concentrated bar that will emulsify with the water you will already be using in your shower.
Our hair is very sensitive to changes in pH. The pH scale measures how acidic or how neutral something is and ranges from 0 (very acidic, think battery acid) to 14 (very alkaline, think drain cleaner or lye). Hair naturally falls around a pH of 5-5.5, and our solid shampoo is formulated to be right within that range. Soap, on the other hand, is a very alkaline product usually clocking in above a 9 on the pH scale, but never below 8. While our hand and body skin can handle the pH change, our hair cannot. Using an alkaline cleanser like bar soap on your hair will cause irreparable damage as it causes the cuticles of the hair shaft to open up, inundating the strands with water. Over time, this will increase theporosity of your hair which will cause it to have trouble staying properly hydrated, will increase frizz as it is constantly reaching out into the air looking for hydration, and will cause any hair dye to be stripped out or prevent dye from taking to your hair in the first place. If your hair iscurlyto any degree, exposing your hair to an alkaline pH will break down the proteins, weakening your curl pattern. Even with an acidic rinse, to "restore" the pH, the damage will only be camouflaged as nothing but new growth not subjected to the radical pH change can remedy the damage. This is why pH is such an important factor for every hair care product we make.
Our solid shampoo is made with mild, coconut derived cleansers, fortified with B vitamins and various levels of conditioning agents. Each shampoo bar is concentrated and equal to about an 18-24oz bottle of liquid shampoo.
Our conditioners are made with all the necessary components to make a true conditioner, plus a bunch of extras to really feed your hair. Each bar is concentratd and equal to an 18-24 oz bottle of liquid conditioner. In order for a product to be considered conditioning, there must be more going on than just butters and oils. Alone, butters and oils are emollients, which lay on the surface of hair trapping in moisture (or preventing hydration from penetrating the hair strand if it is lacking in hydration). There must also be an emulsifier, which is an ingredient that will bind the molecules of the butters and oils together with water to make them small enough to actually penetrate into the hair shaft. Finally, there must be an ingredient with a positive charge, or cationic. Our hair is negatively charged, and in order for conditioning to technically be taking place, the conditioner must adsorb (not absorb) to the hair strand, which means laying along the hair shaft to help the cuticles all lay flat. Without this positively charged (cationic) ingredient, you just have hair lotion. These three components are the basic necessities for a conditioner to be a conditioner. Each of our conditioning bars also include various combinations ofproteins to replenish the hair for different results.
Navigating the chemistry involved in hair care can be an overwhelming task. The demand for clean, safe personal care products is higher than ever, but without studying the chemistry involved, it can be confusing to know what is going to work for your hair. While we strive to be asnatural as possible it is important to balance that desire with efficacy and scientific literature about the complex needs of the different parts of our bodies.
Next, read about which Shampooand Conditioner is right for you!
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