Saturday, February 16, 2013

Weekend wonderings: Using CP soap as shampoo, making products and scenting them later, daily use conditioners, and damage to our hair!

Sorry for the lack of posts this week! I was doing research - aka having great fun - in the workshop, and I wanted to do just that little bit more, and that ate into my post writing time. Plus I have a ton of products out for testing, so that's going to take another week or so to get those results. I do have some neat hair and facial care recipes coming up once I get those reviews! Plus, I have three physics assignments due on Monday and a mid-term for which I have to study, so life got busy this week! I will be getting to the slip and glide in conditioners post this week and the comparison of various esters as well! 

In this post, Puntacoco Soaps said: I want to make shampoo. I already make liquid soaps out of virgin coconut oil. can i make shampoo with this liquid soap instead of using a surfactant?

I wouldn't make shampoo out of CP soap. In this post, I go into great detail as to why this isn't a good idea, but I'll summarize it here. Our hair likes things that have a pH below 6.5, things that are acidic. CP soap is alkaline - over pH 8 - and our hair doesn't like that kind of pH. (Soap is slippery feeling because alkaline things feel slippery!) 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 can't undamage it. We can mitigate it with awesome conditioners and moisturizers, but the damage remains done!

Before you write, I know some people love CP soap as shampoo. The biology of our hair says that we shouldn't, so your preference puts you in the minority. I love hearing about your experiences and hope you share, but I don't want this to turn into a post filled with insults and generally mean things because I don't agree with the way you wash your hair! 

Related posts:
Chemistry of our skin: pH and the acid mantle (explains pH and adjusting it)

In this post, Yvonne said: You comment on how you left some unscented, that you will scent later...I did not realize you could do this...could you explain how you scent it later and can this also be done with lotion? Thanks.

Yes, you can! I go into great detail in this post - can I make up batches of product to scent later? - but I'll summarize it here. I'll make up a large batch of lotion with all the ingredients, except the fragrance oils, and store them in a clean ice cream container with a tight lid. When I'm in the mood for smelling more like Christmas than a cupcake, I remove the amount I want (generally 125 ml) and add the correct amount of fragrance (I like to use around 1% but you can go slightly higher or lower). I mix it with my stick blender, then funnel or pipe into my bottle. Ta-da!

I like to buy giant bottles - HDPE, usually as they are inexpensive - and store my products in those so I can squish some out when it's time to share or use in the shower! Always write the name of your product and any other details, like the date, on the bottle with an indelible marker so you know what it is and when you made it. I know this sounds very elementary but you would be surprised at how many things I throw away because I think it might be body wash but I'm not sure if it is or how long it has been there.

If you don't like the look of this, get some cheap labels from store, put them on the bottle and cover them in packing tape to prevent them from getting damp and unreadable.

Related posts:
Creating products: Packaging - too many choices

In this same post, Rosi asks: Is BTMS 50, BTMS 25 and BTMS 255 gentle enought to use as i everyday leave in, as i have frizzy dry hair i need to apply a lot of leave in every other day to keep it down. Another question is what causes the tips of certain hair to be lighter than the rest of the hair ( brown hair).

Question the first: The quick answer is yes, they are gentle enough for every day leave in - it's all about concentration. When you take a look at conditioner recipes, you'll see that there are different amounts of the cationic emulsifier (Incroquat BTMS-50, Ritamulse BTMS-225, cetrimonium bromide, BTMS-25, and so on) depending upon the purpose. An intense conditioner will generally have more cationic emulsifier than an every day conditioner, which will have more than a leave in conditioner. The amount you use will also depend upon what needs emulsifying. For instance, if you're using a ton of oils, you'll need more emulsifier than if you're using a bit or none.

Yes, making a conditioner means you are making a lotion! It is an oil in water product, which makes it a lotion! You will notice it has all the properties of a lotion - a heated water phase, a heated oil phase, and a cool down phase - and you have an emulsifier in the form of your cationic quaternary compound or the Incroquat BTMS-50, etc. A lotion is something with an oil phase and a water phase that we bring together through the process of emulsification. If you've been scared of making a lotion but like making conditioners, you've already made lotions! So make some more! I have lots on the blog using BTMS-50 as the emulsifier, so you don't even need to buy anything new! What's your excuse now? :-)

For instance, for my frizzy, oily hair, I like to use no more than 7% in a rinse off product and generally no more than 2% in a leave in product (although I often use 1%). This is because at over 7%, I notice my hair gets oily very quickly. I'm finding that I like 3.5% BTMS-50 or BTMS-225 these days. And my hair is way too oily to handle more than 1% BTMS-50 or BTMS-22 in a leave in conditioner.

If you have really dry hair, you might find that 10% BTMS-50 isn't enough and 5% in a leave in conditioner is barely making a dent. If you can handle using a leave in conditioner every day, then use it! Just make sure that you wash your hair well when you get into the shower again!

There are always concerns about build up of conditioner on our hair. If you are using a good shampoo, this isn't an issue. If you aren't using shampoo or a surfactant based cleanser on your hair, this can be an issue. If you aren't using shampoo, consult the website of the procedure you're following to learn more. 

Related posts:
Conditioner: What's that then?
Conditioners: Defining our conditioners
Hair care section of the blog

Question the second: I have this issue! My hair is light brown above my shoulders, but it gets blonder towards the ends, around my waist. The colour of our hair comes from the melanin found in the cortex or shaft of our hair that surrounds the medulla. As our hair sustains more damage, including normal wear and tear as it grows longer, the colour gets lighter. This can be because we're damaging the cuticle! It doesn't matter how well you've taken care of your hair, daily friction from hair strand rubbing against hair strand can leave your cortex a little less protected, resulting in the loss of some melanin. Some of this has to do with refraction of light  as well - how the light bounces off our hair to make our hair look shinier, for instance - but the key culprit is the wear and tear on longer hairs!

If you really want to grow your hair long, please use a good conditioner. What you do to your hair today might be living with you seven years from now! Your hair might be short and not need it, but every single day your hair is experiencing friction from your hair strands rubbing against each other or the hair band you're wearing or a million other reasons, and we reduce that friction by using a nice conditioner. It doesn't have to be a major one - if your hair is fine, try a 1% BTMS-50 or 1% BTMS-225 or a 1% Incroquat CR cream rinse to reduce that friction. I really do know what it means to be living with the damage I caused years and years ago! I know some people say you only need to condition below your ears, but there's a whole lot of hair above those ears that are experiencing damage through styling, dying, perming, straightening, and rubbing that you want to be healthy by the time they get to your shoulders!

I have some serious first hand experience with hair damage. The front bit of my hair was caught in a Dremel drill a few years ago, and it is very very spiral curled and extremely blond at the end. You don't need to lecture me about putting my hair back when I craft - I know to do this, but I can't due to muscle spasms in my head that cause me great pain when I put on a hair net, put it in a pony tail, etc. But thank you for worrying about me! The point is that once damaged, that section of hair will never ever be the same! Which is why I worry so much about damaging our hair! 

Related posts:
An overview of the chemistry of our hair
Chemistry of our hair: Medulla and cortex
Chemistry of our hair: The cuticle! 
Chemistry of our hair: Straight, curly, or frizzy!
Chemistry of our hair: Good condition
Chemistry of our hair: Quick summary of damaged hair

Have a question you'd like answered? Click here for the weekend wonderings wonderings post and comment there!


Michele Clarke said...

I am reviewing a hairline product for my blog. I have discovered oat protein doesn't make my hair frizz but Keratin does. Thanks to your post I understand why.
Oat protein tends to be a higher molecular weight, so it's not going to be as penetrative as something like silk or or phytokeratin (coming up soon!)

Just like you posted in the phytokeratin post, My hair was frizzing too. When wet my curls were defined and too cute. As the day went on my hair more than tripled in volume and the curls weren't controlled.

Now this product I am reviewing did cause less fall out in the shower than my own conditioner adapted from your recipes. What could cause less or more fall out?

Marjo said...

Thankyouthankyou for this post! For one i found the afterscenting part i never read and two: the conditionerbreakdown did a lot for me :)) tried the conditionerbar just now and am curious if i like it better than the storebought ones (yes i did buy my careproducts in a store ..)
Upping the dimethicone for i am running out of it now i use it in everything

Marjo said...

I never will buy them now i do homemaking them :))

Fluffy Suds said...

What about if you use a vinegar rinse every time you shampoo with cp? Would that still damage your hair? I used them in the past but I am going back to them because commercial shampoo is awful on my scalp and making my own is expensive.

Lyn said...

Another reason for lighter color towards the ends of your hair is bleaching from the sun.

Alexis said...

A few years ago I used cp shampoo, a purchased product from calben. It was ok. I rationalized that it would work better if we could afford a water conditioner, but I really don't know if that's true. Yes, the product would clean better since the salt would bind the minerals in the water, but whether or not it would be better or more conditioning for my hair is just a guess!

I definitely had less breakouts using it as a face wash, but now that I'm older I find it too drying. My husband still prefers it.

Another very unpleasant effect was the massive matting that occurred after I had my hair highlighted the first time. It was truly an impossible product to use with my hair highlighted! But it made my daughter's hair mat and her hair was not colored. Actually, I think using cp shampoo was why I started making my own conditioners because I couldn't find any store bought or salon ones that helped all that much.

I plan on making true soap one day, but I read all the warnings on potassium and sodium hydroxide and I chicken out! Don't have any plans on using it on my hair, but knowing me if I had access to softened water, I'd try it.

As an aside my daughter has a tendency towards oily hair with a touch of dandruff. A year ago the crevice behind her ear became inflamed, and hydrocortisone made it worse. The doctor said it was a fungal infection, and also that her oily hair and dandruff were caused by that same fungus. She had to use a prescription shampoo, 2% ketoconazole, twice a week to clear the infection. Now she uses a 1% otc version as maintenance once a week that's a pain to find! As it was explained to me, everyone has this fungus on their scalp, but for some people it causes oily hair and dandruff. It's very similar to how the bacteria that cause acne only affect certain individuals even though everyone has those bacteria on their skin.