Some time ago we did an article that highlighted some of the harmful ingredients found in hair products. In that article we learned that sodium lauryl sulphate is so harsh that factory workers have to cover all exposed skin or risk developing health problems. This ingredient is mainly found in shampoo and causes the suds that we are so fond of when we are lathering our hair, unfortunately it is not a very good product to use on your body or heads. Today we look at a very good alternative to shampoos containing sodium lauryl sulphate.
Those who want a sodium lauryl sulphate shampoo can consider using castile soap. Castile soap is not a brand but a soap that is made of vegetable oil and lye (used instead of animal fat). The most prominent oil that is used in castile soap is olive oil. The soap itself is made in a manner similar that used in the Castile region of Spain, which is where the name originated. Castile soap is not to be confused with brands such as Kirk’s Castile Soap or Castile Soap with Cocoa Butter.
Because castile soap was originally made with a 100% olive oil, persons are skeptical whenever any other oil is used to make the soap. But not to worry, many other vegetable oils are safe substitutes for olive oil. They include coconut, jojoba, hemp and almond oil.
Why is Castile Soap Different from other soaps?
One of the main advantages that castile soap has over many others is the fact that it is biodegradable, which means that it does not produce as much harmful waste as regular soaps. It is also gentle on the skin too; gentle enough that mothers usually use it as the first soap for their babies. It is a very versatile soap as well and can be used in body washes and shampoos. When used as a shampoo you can add herbs and essence oils, as you like. A cautionary note though, when you are using essence oils a little goes a long way, so be stingy as using too much can cause skin irritations.
Where can I get castile soap?
You can get castile soap from specialty stores or at online retailers who cater to consumers who likes to use natural products, better yet; you can make it yourself. Making liquid castile soap is a bit technical but there are recipes posted online and step-by-step instructions if you are so inclined to do it for yourself. Personally, I think it is much easier to buy it in bulk and to try it with different essence oils and herb combinations.
Cristiani Richard S., Perfumery and kindred arts: A Comprehensive Treatise on Perfumery, 1877, H. C. Baird, pg- 281-284