May 21, 2009

Essential Oils & Castile Soap


I've been on the side lines watching the product-bandwagon go by until I browsed through Np's forum for product reviews from locked heads about variuos products. After reading Dee's interview about her hair care regimen and updating myself on her top 10 listed ingredients to avoid putting on our hair, she really had me thinking about the health of my hair and scalp. She mentioned how she uses castile shampoo and I heard many good things about this product, but I never tried it before. My curiosity nudged me to do a search and find one from a health food store. I feel limited to using my Selsun Blue shampoo sometimes because my seb.derm. is a problem, but this shampoo just isn't strong enough and i'm not sure about some of its ingredients. Anyway, I went to W.hole.F.oods. and bought their travel sized bottle of Dr. Bronner's Almond Castile Soap in liquid form and I will use it this week. I also bought a small bottle of peppermint oil at my local health/herb store and a new spritz bottle. My plan is to add one or two drops to my bottle and spritz my locks so that they will smell great. I want to avoid spritzing my scalp just because I don't want to irritate my skin knowing my situation. I always read about people who freely spritz their locks with sweet smelling essential oils and I just wanted to do the same but felt restricted because of my scalp condition. I'm not expecting my scalp to react positively, but I can still remain hopeful about trying a more natural product. If the almond castile soap works out well, then I may try the peppermint soap and consider switching to this shampoo. I'll see how well my locks react to both products and then i'll post an update after I use them.
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SOAP UPDATE: So I washed my hair tonight and I wasn't exactly sure how to use this soap, so I tried using it two different ways. At first I dropped several drops in another spritz bottle full of water to dilute it, drenched my locks in water and began spritzing my roots with the mix. It worked just a little but seemed too watery for my liking. So I just dunked the remainder of the watery mix all over my locks. I scrubbed my scalp and this gunky white residue formed and got caught under my finger nails. I wasn't sure if I was doing this right so then I grabbed the liquid soap, squirted a few drops in my hands and rubbed them together until they formed suds. Then I rubbed my hands along my roots and it felt more sudsy like shampoo. I scrubbed, rubbed, massaged etc. This time I didn't experience any gunk and so I think doing it this way was better. I thoroughly rinsed my locks and towel dried them. My goodness! My roots are CLEAN! No flakes or debris had been embedded in my roots from scrubbing (which usually happens with my other shampoo). However, there is only one thing that I didn't like and that is you can see most of my white bulbs. This soap cleansed my locks so well that it exposed my hair bulbs from
previously shedded hair. I am amazed. I don't want people to mistaken these bulbs for flakes and that is my only concern. Anyway, I need to wait a few more days to assess my scalp's reaction to this soap and then I can determine its continued use. What I like most is how very little soap I had to use to wash my scalp, only a few drops for each section.
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OIL UPDATE: I dropped a few drops of my peppermint oil into my new water filled spritz bottle and spritzed my locks. Initially my locks smell very nice when slightly damp, but the scent does not really linger after they dry. Oh well, maybe I should add more drops but I think I put enough (8-10). However, I do love the way that my spritz bottle sprays because it gives a very nice mist rather than this leaky squirt like my last bottle, so i'm excited about this.


6/13/09 UPDATE: I've decided not to continue using castile soap because my scalp is not reacting to it as positively as I had hoped it would. I guess i'm back to using my medicated shampoo.

23 comments:

PhePhi said...

i luv dr. bronner's castille soap. i've only tried the peppermint one though. i'm in luv w/peppermint...lol

the way my hair feels after i wash my hair is awesome. i also spritz my hair w/a water-peppermint oil combo EVERY morning. my braidlocz look fresh & healthy once i do so...u'r making a great decision!

Natasha said...

I agree with PhePhi. I too use Dr. Bronner's; my fav is the lavender shampoo. I also use a spritz of water and a few drops of lavender oil. haven't tried the almond oil version yet, plz let us know if you like it.

Sissi said...

I use the peppermint soap as well.
It is so good, I use it for EVERYTHING I wash (face, body and hair!!!).

What a panacea!!
Sissi
(locked for 2mos and 3 weeks!!)

dewdrop said...

This is really good information. I read that the almond oil is the most moisturizing so I guess I made a good choice. I'll try it as a shampoo first and then if my skin tolerates it pretty well then i'll try it as a body wash.

I'm not exactly sure how to dilute this. I know it's equal parts soap and water, but do I need to mix it in a separate bottle first? I plan to use an old spray bottle (similar in size to the green one), fill it with water and add 2 squirts or something of the soap. Is this correct?

msfullroller said...

That's what I've been doing, heck I'm notorious for not measuring anything the only difference is I'm using the lavender one. The last couple of weeks I've substituted aloe vera gel then juice for the water.

Chinue*s LLL Philosophy said...

My entire time locked, I have, for the most part, only used my clarifying shampoo and ACV rinse once. I think I should prob start exploring other products now. I have often heard the praises of Dr. Bronner's soap for locks. I have only used it for showering never for my locks, so I definitely want to try it! I certainly like the tinkly feeling it gives my skin, so I can imagine my scalp Whoop! Tell me how it goes for you!

Meikmeika said...

I'm also a Dr. Bronner's fan.. Due to having scalp issues I use either the peppermint or tea tree soaps and I have no complaints.

YingYangGurl said...

I love their products and use them before I was locked. I will stick with the SL shampoo for six months then switch back (favorites: peppermint & lavender)

Kris said...

I think I am the only person on the planet who has had a negative reaction to Dr. Bonner's. I've used the lavender and peppermint liquid soap, both diluted and not, and both leave my locks with terrible white/gray residue that does not wash out. No matter how good I rinse. My consultant, told me to just keep with in for a while, but after 4 months I gave up on Dr. Bonner's and started using an anti-residue soap to actually get my scalp clean. I haven't used Dr. Bonner's for over six months now, so maybe I should give it a try again. But I'm surprised I am the only person who has had this effect.

Moosiko said...

I've used both the lavender and peppermint soaps (diluted in a spray bottle) when I wash my hair. I've had good results thus far and they really get my hair clean. A little goes a long way. I've found them to be drying though if not diluted first.

dewdrop said...

@Kris: Actually, there are several people on NP that have experienced similar things, so don't worry, you're not the only one. The majority of those with problems said that they had white residue or build up too.

Susu said...

I JUST bought my first bottle of Dr. Bronner's, RIGHT before reading your blog! What a coincidence. I have used it once as a shampoo, and so far my dandruff has SIGNIFICANTY reduced. I think the harsh shampoo chemicals were taking their toll, so I'm happy so far.
But now I'm worried about residue...?? I didn't even think about that, but if there are lots of people experiencing buildup, that makes me worried...

Kicukalah said...

I'm really interested in the reaction your scalp had on the shampoo. I have a scalp condition similiar to yours. I don't have inflammation but lots of flakes that can get out of control. Even after shampooing my hair I still have some flakes, especially embedded in my locs. If you look at some of the pics I've posted you can see a very light white line along my hair line. That's my scalp having a fit from not using something to put on my scalp. I use to use a hair grease with menthyol. The menthyol seem to control the build up of scaly flakes that also was painful. But the hair grease also contain petroleum in which I've learn could also be part of the problem. Do you use any oil on your locs? If so, which ones. Just for your info, my locs are only 5 months old. Still babies!

dewdrop said...

@Susu: I did notice a slightly grey film left on my roots, but i'll have to see what happens next time.

@Kichukalah: A few days after using this soap, flakes appeared and my scalp felt a little itchy and I have a feeling that the soap caused this. I had to go back yesterday and wash my scalp with my medicated shampoo because there were flakes everywhere. I can't determine if it happened because i'm switching products or if my scalp reacts poorly to the soap, but i'll have to see the next time I use it. I don't use any oils on my locs for the same reason.

Anonymous said...

Are you still using the castile soap to wash your hair? I'm curious as to how you like it.
Thanks!

dewdrop said...

@Anon: No, i'm not using the castile soap anymore because my scalp isn't reacting to it very well.

sissi said...

I think the residue is actually oil, dirt and debris that wasn't rinsed out enough... I see it in the tub after I shower and have to clean it. I always use the castle soap on an 1::2 ratio soap to water dilution. I wash twice and rinse about 4-6 times, I use a spray nozzle...
try and see if that helps...
:-)

Tisha said...

okay....reading this is SO helpful. i'm making an appointment to see a dermatologist right away. i've had dry scalp and eczema all of my life, and it seems somehow worse after i got my SL. i'm only 2 months in and i love my hair but i am exhausted from fighting with my scalp. it seems like my scalp doesn't like any shampoo--the SL stuff, the fantasia tea tree, the dr. bronner's tea tree OR peppermint...nothing! i love how the dr. bronner's makes my scalp feel, but then i'm stuck with the icky white stuff that i have to beat and rub off of my locs. ugh!!!! i'm so frustrated. kalia--do you out anything on your scalp after you wash it? i read your post about the sd you're dealing with and i almost cried because it's JUST like what i'm going through!

dewdrop said...

Hi Tisha, I don't put anything on my scalp after I wash it. I only use my Selsun Blue shampoo and that's it. It can be frustrating but you must learn how to deal with SD. I've had it all my life and i've learned how to work with it so that things are a little less frustrating. What do you normally use that works for you?

Anonymous said...

@ anyone with residue issues:

Apparently some people use VERY DILUTED vinegar as a final rinse.

(It's 1 part white vinegar / apple cider vinegar to 10 parts water, I believe)

This may be worth a try, although I have no idea how this might affect dreads.

ink said...

I found many many castile soap from online shops. I read their customer review. Many reviews are helpful. So, It is hard for me how and which brands can I castile soap

Anonymous said...

I have to say I do not like Dr. Bronner's soap. I have tried both the liquid and the bar soap. And you know how I can tell it leaves build up or residue? Because after a couple days of using it, get out of the tub or shower, dry off and look at your fingernails. Mine have a white powdery residue coated all over them. Then you realize this is what is being left all over your body that you can't see. Disgusting. What I can't understand is why after reading so many reviews why nobody else has noticed this. It's very obvious it's on your toenails too. I love the idea of using an all natural soap but not at this expense so please Dr. Bronner's family fix this so I can use your soaps.

dewdrop said...

@Anon1: Thanks for sharing.
@Anon2: I've actually experienced this, which is why i've avoided using castille soap.