Friday, 12 August 2011

Great Shampoo Bar Exchange – Great Cakes Soapworks

The first shampoo bar, other than my own, that I have tried for the Shampoo Bar Exchange was the lighter soap sent to me by Amy of Great Cakes Soapworks. It is called “The Original Opus”.

Impressions before using it – beautiful natural colour & texture,nice size and I LOOOOOOVE the scent.

The ingredients list: Saponified Olive Oil, Coconut Oil, Lard, rice Bran Oil, Castor Oil, Shea Butter, Cocoa Butter, Beer, Aloe Vera Juice and Essential Oils of Lemongrass, Lavender, Rosemary and Peppermint.

When I began using it, I was sooooo surprised at just how different it was from mine. It lathered instantly and abundantly. Wonderful, thick, sudsy lather. I just kept washing & lathering and lathering... like I didn’t want it to end!! I also adore the scent. It smells wonderful dry but even better when washing!

I used a simple Vinegar rinse (1 part Apple Cidar Vinegar to 10 parts water) after each wash.

My hair combed through very nicely after Amy’s shampoo. Not like the slick chemical & silicone-loaded commercial shampoo and conditioner comb-throughs... but much nicer that with my shampoo bar.

So, for the first few times I used this shampoo bar... I was in love!

Unfortunately, it didn’t last as my hair started getting greasy after about 5 days, then on day 7, I washed with it for the last time as the whole back of my hair was greasy.

What factors are involved? The four of us - Becky from The Soap Sister, Amy from Great Cakes Soapworks, Michele from Tierra Verde and I - have all agreed that we think there may be many factors that affect the Shampoo bar when using - Water type, hair type, scalp type, and rinse or conditioner type.

I have extremely hard water - full of Calcium. Most people here have dry itchy scalp dandruff because of the water. I have medium thick, totally dyed hair. (I wish I could get away from dying my hair as I know it is not good for it, but I am not prepared to leave it grey...) My dandruff has gone away since I began using shampoo bars about a year ago, and for the most part, my scalp isn't itchy any more.

So, as for Amy's bar:

The good? The Abundant Suds, the Awesome Scent, the Wonderful Comb-Through.
The not-so-good? The greasy hair. Unfortunately this is a biggy - and I can't continue using this bar. Could this be improved by simply lowering the superfat?


Amy Warden said...

That's what we'll need to find out! That, plus something to deal with the hard water...borax, perhaps? I have soft water, so this hasn't been an issue for me. When I took this bar to Arizona on vacation, the water was so hard there I couldn't continue to use it either. My bet is on the water hardness factor!

Anne-Marie said...

Super interesting! I still am not a fan of shampoo bars but I love the idea of them.

Between Friends said...

This shampoo bar mystery is very interesting, and it seems to puzzle soap lovers everywhere. I share some of my shampoo bars with friends here in Toronto, and some of them encounter the greasy problem while the other don't feel anything at all. Intriguing....

Donna OShaughnessy said...

Great review! I started using my own soap as shampoo bars before making an actual "shampoo" bar and found my dry grey 52 year old hair loved it. I also found I only need to wash every three days. Are all of you washing your hair with the same frequency ? Another variable to consider.

Jennifer Young said...

Amy, I LOOOOVE the scent in this soap. I have never tried borax in soap... but I use it in my laundry detergent. Are you eventually up for round 2 of the shampoo bar exchange? I made another shampoo yesterday...

Anne-Marie, Thanks Anne Marie!!

Between Friends, Maybe in our testing... we will get to the bottom of the mystery? Or maybe, as for all of my alkanet experiments, it still remains a mystery? Would love to try your shampoo one day.

Donna, Thank you for contributing yet another possible factor - wash frequency!! You are right. I wash my hair every other day... but the results could be different if I washed at a different frequency. xoxo Jen

tenth avenue soapworks said...

I have found that even the time of year affects how I like a shampoo bar. I thought I'd created the perfect recipe and used it all winter, but when summer came around--yuck! I think the change in humidity had something to do with it.