Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Two Week Soap Challenge is Over (Mad Scientist Report)

Kombucha in little pitcher. I will post kombucha hair rinse when my camera comes home from 4-H Congress: )
I told you a couple of weeks ago that I was taking the all natural challenge. For two weeks I have been using my friend's natural goat milk soap for shampoo and soap. I am also using it mostly for dishes and laundry. Even for me it was an adjustment. I was born just about the time that the Monsanto plant and their counterparts discovered household detergents. Though we did use some soaps growing up, we were pretty much Johnson's and Johnson's babies and Prell after that. When I began washing my hair more often as a teen, I found I needed conditioners due to the stripping of the hair. So my whole life my hair and skin have been stripped by petrochemicals and then relubricated by a soup of MANY chemicals combined to be called conditioner. (Read and research your conditioner ingredients, particularly the ones you put on your child).

Anyway, for me, it was a difficult first 5 or 6 days. My hair was soft and shiny, but never felt clean. It was also very tangly. The skin of my face and neck was also extra oily and felt as if I hadn't showered yet. My skin was otherwise soft and pliable, even my feet seemed to soften up some. I have never needed much in the way of deodorant, and without the chemicals I seemed to need a little less deodorizing. (Anna, how is the air quality over your way?) I asked Anna, who lives a couple hours West of me to let me know if she smelled anything during the experiment.

Toward the end of the first week I was about ready to give up because of my gunky, waxy feeling hair. It was at this point that I began using a kombucha rinse on it. What a difference! I put some of my vinegarry kombucha that I keep as a household acid, fabric softener etc. in a squeeze bottle and kept it in the shower. After washing my hair and scalp well with Debbie's peppermint soap, I saturated my hair and scalp with kombucha and massaged it well. I could feel the waxiness being dissolved and my hair startng to feel a little slippery between my fingers. Voila! That was the answer. I remember my great aunt, Clara who had waist length hair into her 80's using a vinegar rinse on her hair. I didn't know why, but now I probably do. She was probably washng that beautiful silver hair with soap!

The only difficulty I had with the kombucha rinse is that it was thin and had a tendency to run down into my eyes. I  tried vinegar and it did the same thing. Also, I could smell it a little when my hair was dry. So...mad scientist that I am, I began experimenting with a Kombucha Jelly of sorts. I cooked kombucha with Certa pectin (the only one my store had without sugar) and a few blueberries, as a litmus-like indicator. I had to work on the ratios but I have come up with a thicker than syrup and not as thick as jelly, rinse that I can keep in a squeeze bottle in the shower. It is quite acidic (cranberry juice colored) but when it encounters the very alkaline soap, it is neutralized to a dull blueberry gray-blue.

I am done with shampoo and commercial conditioners. My hair is soft and tangle free. My skin is much softer and I need emollients only on my hands and feet. For this I use my Meadow Magic salve, I can spell and could eat everything I put on my body now, so I don't worry so much about absorbing phyto estrogens and other toxins through my skin. I still LOVE fragrance. My compromise there is to spray the fragrance on my hair and or clothing. That way, it is not absorbed directly into my skin. I know I still get some through my respiratory system, but that I can live with.

I also used my little daughter with waist length curly hair as a guinea pig. Her hair is lustrous and soft. The curl isn't changed, though it was a little limp before I figured out the acid rinse issue. Next guinea pig, one of my guys who is experiencing scalp and skin issues. I will report in about 2 weeks!

Buy goat milk soap and support a goat! Okay, maybe another goat that lives outside.
I think this is a win win situation. I am supporting farming/crafting families in my area. I especially love supporting Caprine (goat) culture. It is not legal in my state for my dairying friends to sell their milk or cheeses for people food (shame on you big dairy lobbyists!) but they make excellent soaps with the milk. They are not getting rich, but it helps enable them to keep goats if they can sell some of what the goats produce. Natural soap and kombucha rinse are pennies on the dollar compared to big business shampoos. Can you imagine what my friends would have to charge for their soaps if they paid for prime time ads on TV? Anyway, my home is less toxic, my skin and hair are benefitting, I am saving a lot of money with a big family and I am supporting people I know and love.Win-Win! Oh yes, I forgot. Why goat milk soap rather than milkless soap? The natural capryilic and capryonic acids in the soap are God's best antifungal agents!



Nannie said...

I have great sucess with my vinegar and vinegar jelly and have always advised people to use vinegar on their hair wether they use commercial or homemade soap to balance out our hairs hatural emblance in ph, We can sell cheese in Montana, it has to be aged 60 days and it is perfectly legal by federal law.

jntcsmith said...

Are you going to sell the soap and conditioner at the farmer's market? I want to try your regimen. My hair feels like straw lol and I just ran out of conditioner. Let me know :)

Lawana said...

I will be happy to bring you some Kombucha or a kombucha start so you can grow your own. I can also help you out with some of my thickened kombucha if you want. There are 2 goat milk vendors at the Farmer's market Both have a wide variety, come and check them out.