Natural hair washing: Is hair soap a sensible or pointless alternative to shampoo?

Body soap has been used for daily hygiene for thousands of years, while hair soap is just starting a new trend.

Natural hair washing: Is hair soap a sensible or pointless alternative to shampoo?

Body soap has been used for daily hygiene for thousands of years, while hair soap is just starting a new trend. The reason for this is the increasing awareness of many people in terms of sustainability. Because the fact is that conventional shampoos produce huge amounts of plastic waste: On average, we use 787 bottles of shampoo in our lifetime. In addition, most products contain synthetic surfactants, preservatives and silicones - ingredients that are unhealthy and can also attack or dry out the scalp. Ordinary industrial soap can also contain substances that are harmful to health, so it is not suitable for washing hair. Hair soaps, on the other hand, have noticeably fewer fats, such as glycerine or palm oil, so your hair doesn't feel greasy after washing. And that is by no means the only advantage that hair soap offers.

In contrast to ordinary soap, hair soap is declared as "slightly superfat", which means translated: It contains no more than three to five percent pure fat. Instead, vegetable oils that have a foam-promoting effect make up the majority (about 40 percent) - such as coconut oil. On the other hand, castor oil, olive oil or avocado oil are used in significantly lower doses, they usually only make up ten percent of a hair soap. While aloe vera, almond oil and grape seed oil moisturize the scalp, other ingredients such as shea and cocoa butter or babassu care for the hair. All in all, every hair soap contains only natural ingredients and no synthetic ones.

The fact that hair soap contains no preservatives, parabens, silicones or surfactants is definitely a big plus. The same goes for their virtually non-existent packaging, which can save you tons of plastic waste. But that's not all a hair soap has to offer: on the one hand, it's much more economical than a conventional shampoo, so it lasts much longer - which also justifies the higher price for a bar of soap. On the other hand, the ingredients of the scalp benefit because they promote the natural environment and thus preserve the body's own fat. For this reason, hair soap is also particularly mild.

Due to the mild ingredients, hair soap is suitable for all skin types - despite all misconceptions. It is important for you to know that you should still choose a product that is tailored to your specific needs. In other words: if you tend to have greasy hair, you need a hair soap that is not too greasy. If your hair often feels very dry, you need a hair soap with a higher level of excess fat. In both cases there is a small selection of suitable products for every skin type, so that there is always something for you. Regardless of which shampoo you have already used beforehand.

As already mentioned, the fat content is an important indication of the right hair care - this also applies to hair soap. So if you tend to have a dry scalp, possibly even suffer from psoriasis or neurodermatitis, we recommend Carenesse Aleppo with 60 percent olive oil and 40 percent laurel oil. It is highly moisturizing and therefore ideal for dry hair. The same applies to Asavo, a natural soap made from olive oil and cold-pressed coconut or castor oil with ten percent excess fat. It was also developed for sensitive and dry skin types, but can also be used on all other skin types without any problems. If you suffer from oily skin or breakouts , maybe Dudu-Osun hair soap from Nigeria is for you - it is made with palm kernel oil, the ash of burnt cocoa bean pods and shea butter.

Before you use hair soap for the first time, you should test the degree of hardness of the water. The more calcareous and hard it is, the more difficult it is to care for the hair. This is sometimes due to the fact that when water, lime and soap combine, small white flakes, known as lime soap, form on the scalp and make your hair feel rough. The softer and less limescale the water is, the better the hair soap can be used. You can avoid this problem by using a shower head with a water filter: it filters the limescale out of the water so that no soap flakes form on your scalp. On the other hand, you can care for your hair after washing it with an acidic rinse made from apple cider vinegar - this does not even have to be washed out. You can find out how this works in detail here.

Other tips to keep in mind when washing with hair soap:

Even if more and more manufacturers are bringing hair soap onto the market, the selection is currently still manageable. If you don't like a common product, you can make your own hair soap - you only need four different ingredients: 300 grams of curd soap, olive oil, an essential oil of your choice (e.g. lavender oil) and water. Then proceed as follows:

Step 1: First, the curd soap is finely grated over a saucepan using a coarse kitchen grater. The contents are then heated on the stove with a little water (best bit by bit) and stirred until the soap has melted and a homogeneous mass has formed.

Step 2: Only now add about two tablespoons of olive oil and stir the liquid soap until the individual components have combined. Then you can lift ten to twelve drops of the essential oil under the mass - and stir everything well again.

Step 3: If you would like to color the soap purple to match the scent, you can add the appropriate food coloring. Finally, the liquid soap is poured into a mold (e.g. made of silicone) and left to rest overnight - preferably at room temperature.

The next day you can use the finished hair soap directly.

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