I’d read about using castile soap and coconut milk for hair, and I wanted to give it a shot.
I’ve been on a no ‘poo craze for the past few weeks. Now three weeks since I last dropped a drop of conventional, commercial shampoo on my hair and counting.
I was very happy with bentonite clay (not so much the shikakai, but you can read about why in this post on shikakai) but, just as people who use ordinary shampoos have a grand variety of hundreds of shampoos to choose from, why couldn’t we no ‘poo-ers also enjoy that luxury? So I wanted to try out new methods.
I’d used natural, handmade shampoo bars before, but they are hard to get where I live and I have to order online from the US. Well, I’m sure natural, handmade soaps are available online from Europe as well, but I wasn’t going to go to the bother of thumping about all over the internet for them. (I know Lush have them, but some of them contain sodium lauryl sulfate which is a chemical we are definitely trying to avoid.)
I could occasionally find some at handicraft or medieval fairs, but those only come by about once a year and then what will you do to get natural handmade shampoo bars in between?
So I turned to castile soap and coconut milk.
Now, I might add that the famous Dr Bronners castile soap is NOT available here in Spain. Or at least not in my city. Perhaps if you live in Madrid you can find it, you can get anything in Madrid.
But I live several hours away from Madrid, so going shopping there is not an option for me.
However, I could easily get a hold of natural soap bars, castile soap bars. Local housewives here make them with olive oil and sell them to local drugstores for a very low price.
And Jabón Lagarto, another natural choice for those of us who live in Spain (although it’s made from beef tallow so vegetarians might want to avoid it), can be obtained for literally pennies (or, well, cents) at any bazaar or supermarket.
So I decided to melt Jabón Lagarto (but it could have worked just as well with the local handmade olive oil soaps—which, when you come right down to it, is indeed the original pure olive oil soap that gives its name to castile soap (Castile being a region in Spain)) in hot water.
I chose Jabón Lagarto because it is available in soap flakes, whereas if I were to use a bar of local handmade all-natural castile soap, I would have had to grate it by hand, since I don’t own a food processor.
I used a proportion of one cup of soap flakes to one cup of hot water. That turned out to be too much, since it’s a strong soap, and next time I will use only ½ a cup of soap flakes to 4 cups of liquid (taking into account that coconut milk is a liquid too).
When you use too much soap, the resulting liquid soap is not liquid! It’s solid. Hence the need for the right proportion of soap flakes. But if you use too much, just add more liquid.
I boiled 2 cups of water on the stove. Then I poured in the soap flakes and stirred and stirred and stirred. I took the water off the stove, but the soap didn’t melt and in the end I had to leave it simmering on the stove on low heat.
When all the soap had melted, I poured in a can of coconut milk. The can contained 2 cups of coconut milk, thus making a total of 4 cups of water and 1 cup of soap flakes. When it cooled down, it was solid, and I needed to pour in 3 more cups of water to get it to the consistency that I wanted. Hence, the correct proportion, at least for my soap, was ½ cup of soap to 4 cups of liquid.
The original mixture was a semi-transparent pale yellow liquid, sort of like thick apple juice. But with the addition of the coconut milk, when it dried it turned into a thick white liquidy thing.
I poured it into empty shampoo bottles that we happened to have lying around.
You can also add in a few drops of oil or essential oils for added benefits and fragrance. I’m too lazy to do that haha.
However, you can read up on a few of the natural, plant-based oils that I use in skin care in this post:
Last night I washed my hair—just my scalp, not the length—with a few drops of this natural liquid soap. And the results?
I love my hair! It’s soft, bouncy, doesn’t feel or look in the least bit greasy and my curls are well defined.
Castile soap with coconut milk is definitely going to form a regular part of my natural, no ‘poo hair care arsenal.
And in addition, I’m now getting my kids to wash their skin and hair with the natural liquid soap that I made, so we get the additional benefit of weaning the whole family off of chemicals.
And while we’re at it, not to sound like a sleazy saleslady but I’ve written a few thrillers so, if you’re into creepy, scary, suspenseful novels, I’d love it if you’d check them out, here: Thrillers by Moi.
So what about you? Have you tried the no ‘poo method yet? Are you also weaning your family off of chemicals? What results have you been getting? Do tell tell! As you know, I LURRVE to receive (positive, non-spammy) comments!
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