I may have found my new favorite way to wash my hair. If you remember my DIY shampoo tutorial, I said I was willing to try some natural shampoo products and review it. One form of shampooing your hair I was fearful of was a shampoo bar. I knew about shampoo bars from Lush and I was uninterested because Lush was the only company I knew that had shampoo bars and I was skeptical if it was all natural (Lush has been called out for not being 100% all natural). As I discovered more about “zero waste” and using natural beauty products, a shampoo bar was playing in my head a little more. Then one day I finally decided to buy the shampoo bar that was being sold at PackageFreeShop.com- Meow Meow Tweet Rosemary Avocado shampoo bar.
What is Meow Meow Tweet mission?
Meow Meow Tweet values creating their goodies as safe and natural as possible to help individuals and the environment’s health. They use a lot of organic and safe ingredients and some of which are actually Fair Trade. If you buy their products from their website, they use as little plastic and packaging as possible. They also donate to a good number of organizations that are helping the environment, which you can look up on their website.
What’s in their shampoo bar?
The Ingredients List:
- Aqua (water)
- Cocosnifra oil (Coconut oil that is Fair Trade certified :)!!!)
- Europea Fruit Oil (Olives)
- Ricinus Communis Seed Oil (Castor)
- Persia Gratissima Oil (Avocado)
- Citrus Sinensis Peel Oil (Orange)
- Rosmarinus Officinalis Oil (Rosemary)
- Aloe Barbadersis Lead (Aloe Vera)
- Humulus Lupulus Flower (Hop)
- Sodium Hydroxide
The only ingredient worth looking up was sodium hydroxide. So what is sodium hydroxide?
Sodium hydroxide (some know as lye) is an ingredient that creates the foaminess and is found in most cleansing products such as liquid face powders, soaps, shampoos, shaving soaps, and creams.
Is it safe?
As long as you are not eating it than for the most part, yes. One side effect of sodium hydroxide is dermatitis of the scape. If you inhale it, it can cause lung damage and getting sodium hydroxide into your eyes can cause blindness (I’m just summarizing my research. I’m no scientist on this blog). The EU did calm that only professionals should use this ingredient.
Should I risk using this shampoo then?
The good news is that after writing down the ingredient list from PackFreeShop.com, and being informed by a couple of soap makers, there isn’t any sodium hydroxide in the final product of soap. All soap is made with lye (sodium hydroxide or potassium hydroxide) and with the oils from the shampoo bar, the process of saponification happens to create the final product being soap! There is no lye in the soap itself and according to my helpful app ThinkDirty, it gave sodium hydroxide a rating of 2!
(Couldn’t find the exact shampoo bar I reviewed but Meow Meow Tweet products were getting an average rating of 2)
Straight up sodium hydroxide is harmful, and soap makers advice using gloves when handling it. When I did dig deeper on this ingredient and how soap makers use it, I discovered it safe and really, soap without lye is impossible.
So how do you use a shampoo bar?
Some may think it is a silly question to ask how do you use a shampoo bar but I was thinking the same thing before I got a shampoo bar. Lauren Singer (Trash is for Tossers blogger; the lady with the 5 years worth of trash in one mason jar) said in a video the way to use a shampoo bar is to rub the bar on your scalp and as it becomes foamy to just rub the rest of it in your hair.
Best way to use the shampoo bar
I tried the method Singer suggested and it was only good if I had a lot of conditioner in my hair before washing it off.
FYI: using no condition will also dry out your hair. My first use of the bar proved that.
The best way to use the shampoo bar is to have some conditioner in your hair and rub some of the shampoo in your hands and then to apply it to your hair. Using conditioner before shampoo is also known as washing your hair backward.
What is washing your hair backward?
The first time I heard about washing your hair backward was from No More Dirty Looks, written by Siobhan O’Connor and Alexandra Spunt. I started to do this and it has made a difference in my hair softness. Think about putting lotion on your hands that are not dry. Your hands will feel greasy and after washing your hands they are clean and feel soft, same concept with washing your hair backward.
After some thought into using a shampoo bar, I was excited to try my first shampoo bar that was promoted by a zero-waste fellow and I would recommand the product to anyone who is looking for a more natural product and/or someone who is looking to find a beauty product that is waste free.
Zero Waste Hair Care
A Consumer’s Dictionary of Cosmetics Ingredients By Ruth Winter
No More Diry Looks by Siobhan O’Connor & Alexandra Spunt
Lush Bath Bomb Are Not What You Think
Cheat Sheet | The Chemistry of Soap