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Some random soap thoughts [Nov. 25th, 2008|03:48 pm]
SCA Soapers


I've been trying to make a shampoo bar that my hair will put up with and (most ambitiously) wont need to be followed by a conditioner. So far, the closest I've managed is a lard heavy, ultra conditioning favorite of my customers who have dry skin issues. This recipe INS's at 152 with a conditioning rating of 50. It seems to come closest to not opening up the cuticle layer on my hair and turning me into a haystack. The rest of the numbers are very interesting as well; Lauric - 9, Linoleic - 14, Linolenic - 0, Myristic - 4, Oleic - 36, Palmitic - 23, Ricinoleic - 0 and Stearic - 10.
It's the Ricinoleic rating that I find most interesting. Conventional wisdom (or perhaps current fashion in hair care) says that you add castor oil to your recipe to get a shampoo bar. www.hairfinder.com says "On the hair, castor oil works to coat the hair shaft and smooth the cuticle layer, sealing in moisture and leaving the hair feeling soft and silky. It is more easily absorbed by the hair, allowing for deeper penetration into the hair shaft." While organicfacts.net says: 'The germicidal, insecticidal and fungicidal properties of Ricin and Ricinoleic acid present in castor oil protect the scalp and hair from microbial and fungal infections, the two prime causes for hair loss. In addition, the fatty acids in it nourish hair and prevent the scalp from drying by retaining moisture.'
Now, you would think (at least I did) that all I'd need to do is add Castor oil to my lard heavy recipe and POOF! the shampoo bar of my dreams. Thing is, when I run the numbers it all goes a bit wahoonie shaped. INS drops to 146 while the conditioning goes up to 55, Lauric - 8, Linoleic - 13, Linolenic - 0, Myristic - 4, Oleic - 33, Palmitic - 20, Ricinoleic - 10, Stearic - 9.
At this point I'm thinking that I need to isolate exactly what it is in that list that my hair objects to and try for a bar that minimizes that property as much as possible. That's going to be a long and soap-filled process starting with that lard+castor bar.
In the mean time, I poured my first avocado oil soap today. It's a recipe from a friend that is supposed to be a shampoo bar and is only four oils. It turned out a nice color so far and is in the tube mold wrapped in a towel.
Tomorrow I'll test my new soap cutter.

[User Picture]From: akshuman
2009-04-12 03:58 pm (UTC)

Re: I know this comment is *wayyyyy* belated, but ...

It's so easy you're going to say 'That's it? Really?'
The answer; add Castor.
It's not so much about SUPERfatting (remember, whatever doesn't sopanify ends up on your hair) but what you use in your recipe. For instance, coconut oil brings a lot of Lauric fatty acid to your finished soap. That will make a straight coconut oil soap a very hard bar with a very cleansing, fluffy lather. So cleansing, in fact, that many people's skin are sensitive to it.
Castor oil brings Ricinoleic Fatty Acid to your soap. RFA will create a fluffy, bubbly, stable, creamy lather that is also very conditioning.
So take your favorite soap recipe and add Castor. You;ll end up with a bar of soap that is perfectly usable on your hair.
Go soap! And then come back and tell us all about your results!

Edited at 2009-04-12 03:59 pm (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: chaiya
2009-04-12 04:50 pm (UTC)

Re: I know this comment is *wayyyyy* belated, but ...

That's it? Really?!?


I think I'm going to try it this afternoon. :)
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