Well my friends, I think it’s time we had a little chat. This transition period people are talking about is a myth. Let me clarify. There are people out there making and selling soap, and labelling it as shampoo. It is not shampoo, it is soap.
Your hair has a pH of around 4-5. Those of you unfamilair with the pH scale it is a way of rating how acidic or basic something it. It ranges from 0-14 with 7 being neutral. Anything above 7 is basic and anything below 7 is acidic. So we can say our hair is happiest in the slightly acidic part of the scale.
Now soap sits somewhere between 8-10 on the pH scale, meaning it is a lot more basic in nature. Any ‘soap’ that claims to be below 8 is simply not soap, I would hazard a guess at it being a cleansing bar that harbours other ingredients than the ones you know and love in your favourite handmade soap. And this high pH will cause damage to your cuticles resulting in frizz, tangles and probably a lot of excess sebum on your scalp.
Of course, you know I love a great bar of soap. And in all fairness, your skin will become a bit of a soap snob once it’s found a bar it likes. More on this in a future post.
But using these soap bars on your hair will do a lot more damage than it’s worth and I would say that whatever transition period this soap maker is trying to sell you is probably just you learning not to trust what that person knows about your hair and its needs.
So does this mean you are doomed to use shampoo in plastic bottles forever?
Thankfully no. A well made shampoo bar has many qualities. The bar is pH balanced to work with your hair, instead of damaging the cuticle. It only has ingredients that serve a purpose, in other words, nothing that bulks out the bar and certainly no water. It also has less packaging (bye bye plastic bottles) and a lot easier to maneouvre around your head so there are no missed spots (you know the bit you have to contort your arm to get to, and then the liquid falls off your hand and down the drain, sigh). They last so much longer than bottled shampoo too and their smaller size means they are easier to travel with.
So please know that a good shampoo bar works from the start. Soap masquerading as shampoo is always a bad idea. While I’m at it, liquid soap is also not shampoo.
Simply put, soap is not shampoo.