Difference between shampoo and soap bars.
Updated: Jan 23, 2019
Do you know the difference between the shampoo bar and the soap bar?
The nature of hair says that we must not use soap to wash our hair. Our hair needs products which have PH below 6.5, things that are acidic.
Soap is alkaline with PH over 8.0 - and our hair cannot survive that kind of PH.
Using something out of the pH range of what our hair likes can lead to all kinds of damage due to the cuticle scales not lying down flat and getting tangled.
You might also have less shiny or dull looking hair. Once we damage our hair, we cannot revive it. We can mitigate it with conditioners and moisturisers, but the damage remains there!
People are often thinking that the handmade soap equals natural, therefore good and surfactants equals processed, therefore bad, but there are good reasons we don't use even the most moisturising cold process soaps as shampoos.
Shampoos are generally around pH 6.0, whereas soap is alkaline, over 8.0 (some traditional soaps can be pH 10). This means soap is not pH balanced for our hair. After shampooing with products out of the right pH range, the cuticle of our hair doesn't lie down, and this can lead to abrasion between the hairs. This is a serious cause of mechanical hair damage, and once you have damage, it's hard to repair it, even with the most intense conditioners.
Soap is not as soluble in hard water as most surfactants. Soap molecules in hard water are converted by double decomposition to form insoluble non-foaming salts like lime, calcium, or magnesium salts of fatty acids. This isn't a big deal on your skin, but it can lead to build up on your hair, leaving it looking dull and feeling crunchy. Soap will not foam well if there are metal ions in your water - and most water contains metal ions - and it will not foam well in the presence of sebum. Given these properties, soap is not going to remove all the stuff you've put on your hair and you will not get a feeling of being clean (or, your hair might feel too squeaky clean, which is not good).
As for natural vs synthetic or processed- the things people put on their hair as an attempt to avoid "non-natural" ingredients are striking. We all want beautiful, shiny, healthy hair, yet so many people are doing things that will ensure quite the opposite. People defending the use of products that simply don't work for them (hair is tangly or doesn't feel soft) - but they continue to do so in the misguided notion that natural equals better.
We prefer the term "minimally processed" instead of natural.
If we used olives without processing, we would have to rub the whole fruit on our skin.
Almost all the ingredients we consider natural are processed in some way, and that's a good thing because you never know what's living in non-processed!
Natural doesn't always equal better - it can, but we need to look at the product and the ingredients.(credit to Susan Barclay).
Would you use the soap on your hair after reading this? If yes why?