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How To Choose A Shampoo & Conditioner?

Jump to the main sections of this article:

Beginner’s Foundation

Other Hair Treatments and Products?

Hair Texture & Thickness

Hair Length

Hair Color

Dandruff ? Dryness ? Irritations ?

Oily Hair?

Hair Loss or Balding

Scalp Psoriasis or Other Diseases

What is the MOST Nourishing Shampoo?

End Notes

Beginner’s Foundation

It’s one of the first questions that comes to mind when looking upon our vast selection: “How do I choose the haircare products that are right for me?” The good news is that you can rarely go wrong with combining our shampoos and conditioners – when using them correctly and regularly with no other shampoo cleanser or conditioner. If you are a beginner, we suggest reading these 3 articles in order:

Why Use Shampoo Soap? – all the benefits of our shampoo soaps that users experience! From more hair growth, less washes, better hair health, and more! Also includes links to common questions like Why No Liquid Soap?

How To Use Shampoo Soap – proper use and practice makes ALL the difference!

The Beginner’s Detox Period – very important so you don’t feel like our natural soaps are failing you!

After reading those articles, let’s get back to the question “Which shampoos and conditioners will be the absolute best for me?” It’s the most requested inquiry and we can help narrow it down, but it will ultimately be up to you! Using this article, you can narrow the selection down based on your knowledge of wants and needs.

Let’s get started with some disclaimers!

Do You Use Other Hair Products?

Before we can begin to narrow it down, we have to share some disclaimers about combining our products with others and expecting a huge difference. Remember, you are here for a reason and are probably fed up with how other products haven’t lived up to their claims. That is because many mainstream haircare products can cause problems over time that leave you confused and wanting to fix the problems with more products! But there is hope…

Many of our customers eliminate most or all other haircare products after they switch to our shampoo soaps and conditioners! Click here to learn why!

We highly suggest not using any other shampoo (besides an occasional natural dry shampoo between washes, check out ours here) and also not any other conditioners unless approved by us (we look for no detergents, silicones, sulfates, surfactants, or other damaging chemicals). If you have to get a regular shampoo at a salon once in a while, remember that there might be a slight detox process again.

Our haircare products work well with permanent color treatments and other permanent hair treatmentsclick here to jump to this part of the article about color. However, if your hair was damaged by using chemical treatments, please do not attribute this to our products. Permanent damage might be helped, but cannot be undone. Thank you for your understanding.

If you are wondering whether or not to try our products because you will still be using other chemical products, it is still fine to use our products with others, BUT we just can’t guarantee the absolute best results since those products might be damaging your hair or conflicting with optimal health.

If you continue to use chemical hair spray (we have developed our own natural hair spray and texture spray!), chemical hair dye/bleach, dry chemical shampoo (check out our natural dry shampoo here), chemical gels (here is our natural gel pump), or other chemical haircare products – we can’t fully guarantee the best results. We also offer an amazing leave-in conditioning spray, or you can even use our conditioner bars or liquid as leave-in! We recommend only using our shampoo and conditioners for at least 3 months to see the full transformation. And remember, if you hair is so damaged beyond repair, pay attention to the new hair growth to determine how our products have treated your freshly grown hair after 3 months.

With all that said – let’s get to it!

Hair Texture & Thickness

We’ll start with the most common question first: “What if I have curly/thick hair? What if I have straight/thin hair?” There’s a simple answer: Our shampoo soaps will work great for any hair texture and thickness!

The main answer to this question actually has to do with using our conditioners. The thicker and more textured/curly/frizzy your hair is, the more conditioner you will want to apply and the longer you will want to leave it in before rinsing out. Our conditioners work well as leave-in products too! Additionally, our hair oil would be a wonderful daily or weekly treatment for these hair types.

Thinner/straighter hair types might need less conditioner or maybe even no conditioner at all since it may weigh their hair down too much. The best suggestion we have for these hair types is to try using our conditioner bar or liquid compared to not using them and see which one you prefer! This brings us to our next factor…

Hair Length

Again, our shampoo soaps will work great with any hair length too! The main thing for long hair types to consider is to apply enough conditioner and to thoroughly read our directions as the longer the hair gets, the more patience and time you will need to wash your hair correctly.

Short hair may not need any conditioner, but we still suggest it for some – especially dry or flaky scalps. This takes us to our next consideration!

Do You Have Dandruff, Dryness, or Other Irritations?


This is another common concern: “Which shampoo is best for my dry, flaky, irritated, itchy, or painful scalp?”

First of all, avoid our fragranced haircare products and try to start with unscented to avoid any possible scent irritants. If you must have scent, try our essential oil scented like peppermint, rosemary, lavender, or cedarwood.

Secondly, do your dry scalp the nicest favor of applying some of our awesome conditioner to your scalp after washing.

There is another reason that our shampoo soaps can help too…

Buckle up buttercup, because we’re gonna hit this one head-on!

The reason why our buttermilk shampoo soaps can do so much good for dandruff hair types is that most dandruff is caused by the microbiome being out of whack – an overabundance of fungi on the scalp is the main culprit! But don’t fret, buttermilk is naturally anti-fungal and will help to balance the fungus on the scalp.

Buttermilk is also full of lactic acid, which overturns skin cells faster, rejuvenating the scalp and helping to shed dead skin cells at a more proficient rate. To beginners, this can seem like more dandruff at first, but remember that your microbiome is adjusting to a completely new cleanser and your body is going to be in for a little ride until it reaches a healthier destination.

Pasture-Raised Lard is the main ingredient in ALL of our shampoo soaps because it is super high in Vitamin D3, which is essential for hair nutrient synthesis, some trace minerals for scalp health, plus (importantly) nourishing fatty acids in balanced proportions for haircare. Read more about lard vs. tallow here.

Since our shampoo soaps eliminate most sources of irritation (detergents, surfactants, parabens, phthalates, preservatives, etc.) and instead provide more nourishment than any other type of haircare product in the world, our customers experience the A-HA! moment of realizing how amazing our traditional soap shampoos are for a plethora of issues. Try them and see! Also take our hair oil into consideration for a weekly scalp treatment too.

Additionally, there are some ingredients that may help with dandruff and dryness and irritations a little bit more than just our “normal” shampoo soaps (that are still absolutely amazing by themselves). A few key ingredients to look for – using our hand-dandy search bar (magnifying glass icon):

  • Aloe Vera – used since ancient times for a myriad of skin and hair issues – including dryness and dandruff.
  • Honey – a natural humectant and great for dry/frizzy hair types! May weigh down very thin hair types.
  • Egg Yolk – brimming with a ton of nutrients and healthy fats for haircare, can help with extra moisturization and feeding your hair and scalp with the most nutrients possible. High in biotin, choline, healthy fats, vitamins, minerals, and more.
  • Specific Essential Oils like Mint, Rosemary, Cedar, Tea Tree, Lavender, Frankincense, and many others can be very calming, soothing, antibacterial, anti inflammatory, and antifungal.
  • Nettle – an herb for dandruff and stimulating circulation – great for all hair types!
  • Horsetail – an herb high in biotin and helps to stimulate blood flow. Great for hair growth as well – leading us to our next topic!!

Oily Scalp?

Alternatively, our shampoo soaps work great for oily scalps as well because they actually cleanse your hair and scalp without stripping them! Oily scalps may need to wash their hair every other day or every day to get the best results. Most customers do see a reduction in oiliness and the frequency of washing needs because our shampoo soaps do not strip like normal surfactant/detergents that cause an overproduction of sebum and hence more oily issues.

Some great ingredients for oily scalps include:

Hair Color

This is a common concern since so many dye their hair today and we are happy to say that permanently treated hair colors are NOT negatively affected by our shampoo soaps – according to our thousands of happy customers! In fact, our shampoo soaps may help preserve permanent hair colors and treatments for longer. Although there have been some customers with the “complaint” of having to dye or treat their roots more often because of faster hair growth!

Our customers with brassy tones have loved the reduction of brass color using any of our haircare products! We do recommend our products with blue or purple Vitamin B5 for those concerned about brassiness, but this may or may not help – the jury is still out! We refuse to use the carcinogenic purple dyes in our products.

We do NOT recommend using our shampoo with semi-permanent hair treatments. We ask our customers to weigh the benefits of having healthier hair using our products to having semi-permanent treatments – the 2 usually do not mix. This is due to the extra vigor needed to wash one’s hair with natural soaps, which causes the surface-based semi-permanent colorants to wash out faster.

Hair Loss or Balding

Wow, do we get this question a lot! Because Yes, we have helped hundreds of people grow their hair back with any of our shampoo soaps! We think it is because of our high quality farm-fresh LARD and BUTTERMILK (click on the words to learn more) which are so very high in nutrients along with other hair growth stimulating oils like organic castor oil. We highly recommend our hair growth serum to supplement your hair in conjunction with our hair oil for feeding your hair the best in topical nourishment.

BUT even the most nourishing shampoos in the world might NOT be able to solve your hair loss or balding issues because it could be controlled by hormones and other factors!

For genetic or age-related balding – you may need to change more than just your shampoo to see dramatic effects. If you don’t take any medications that could alter your hair, maybe consider your diet and lifestyle. Try these tips…

Lifestyle Hair Growth Tips:

  • Switching to a nutrient, bioavailable diet rich in free-range farm-fresh eggs and healthy, high quality meats like seafood and farm-fresh organs (with your healthcare practitioner’s approval of course) can work wonders for more than just your hair. Zinc, copper, iron, magnesium, and some trace minerals are now very hard to get from diet alone (due to environmental degradations) and may have to be supplemented. Anti-nutrient foods that suck nutrients from your body (such as processed sugar and some vegetables) may also be a contributing factor. Some people may need to balance their intake of certain foods – experiment and see what works best for you! I have heard people say they needed more non-processed carbs than they previously thought to grow more hair, or that they needed more healthy balanced fat ratios, or more healthy proteins, and so on.
  • I have heard from many haircare professionals that iron and biotin supplementation is where it’s at – so I guess it’s worth a shot – with your healthcare practitioner’s approval of course!
  • Being as stress-free as humanly possible!! I know, some of you are laughing right now saying “Yeah, right!”… But seriously, stress can completely impact your hair growth/loss. In fact, it’s been scientifically proven that even up to 12 months after a traumatic event, people can experience significant hair loss due to stress. So, take relaxation into top consideration and make it one of your priorities when scheduling your time!
  • Eliminate other potentially damaging hair products or treatments. That bleached hair or Brazilian blowout may turn heads, but if you are experiencing some major hair thinning – you may want to hold back on those chemical treatments to see if it improves your hair growth. The same goes with other harsh hair treatments and products with questionable ingredients.

In the future, I do plan on writing an entire article about this topic alone, but back to our shampoo soaps! There are certain ingredients you can search for using our handy search tool that may help more than others…

Beneficial Shampoo Ingredients:

  • Egg Yolks – extra nourishing with nutrients that are known to help regrow hair like B Vitamins, Zinc, and Biotin!
  • Nettle – stimulates circulation and hair growth.
  • Green Tea – gentle amounts of caffeine stimulates circulation and nutrient delivery while its EGCG content can reduce the body’s production of hair loss hormones, antioxidants can help the body utilize and produce collagen, a building block of hair.
  • Coffee – high amounts of caffeine stimulates circulation and nutrient delivery.
  • Horsetail – high in biotin and also stimulates blood circulation and hair growth.
  • Keratin – feeds the scalp with a building block of hair – works synergistically with the Vitamin D3 content in the lard and other nutrients in the buttermilk.
  • Silk – helps to provide extra strength and proteins to the hair and scalp.
  • Collagen – helps to retain moisture and nutrients on the scalp, also a building block of hair.
  • Gotu Kola – an ayurvedic herb for stimulating hair growth and circulation.

Scalp Psoriasis or Other Diseases

While we can’t say that our shampoos will or are intended to definitely heal, treat, or prevent any disease (*these statements are not approved by the FDA), we can say that our shampoo soaps and conditioners have helped countless people with “issues” – and we have some theories as to why!

Lard and Buttermilk are both high in Vitamin D3, which may have a positive impact on seasonal or chronic psoriasis.*

Eczema? Using the proper fats and nutrients while also eliminating triggering factors may help those who suffer significantly.*

Keratosis Pilarsis? The high lactic acid in buttermilk can help release the excess keratin and skin cell layers on the scalp.*

Some essential oils and herbs have been shown to help with certain diseases.* Please see our essential oil shampoo listings for more details!

More nutrients = more ability for the body to fight disease.*

What are our MOST Nourishing Shampoos/Conditioners?

We can almost 100% guarantee that any of our shampoo soaps and conditioners will be the most nourishing products your hair has ever experienced. However, the answer to this question is very similar to the prior few. The more nourishing ingredients create the most nourishing products! However, the more ingredients = more expense. Take advantage of our amazingly useful search tool (magnifying glass icon) and search our website for these key terms:

  • Egg or Egg Yolk
  • Keratin
  • Silk
  • Aloe or Aloe Vera
  • Collagen
  • Vitamin B5 or Pro-B5 (pantothenic acid)
  • Horsetail
  • Nettle
  • Beer or Ale
  • Gotu Kola
  • Saw Palmetto

We do not create a shampoo bar or conditioner with EVERYTHING in it because there is only so much you can fit into a shampoo soap – we can recommend that you switch between shampoos and conditioners to determine which one your hair might do best with – or stick with a combination/alternation of the most nourishing ones!

End Notes

You really can’t go wrong with any of our shampoo soaps or conditioners because we make each one similar in their basic, highly nourishing, tried and true ingredients that usually assist with all concerns. We are always improving, updating, and creating new and fun scents and nourishing additions that our customers will love! Our optimistic hope is to settle into a basic line of always available scents (like our unscented line – we always have an unscented option or two!).

But times change, trends change, people’s tastes and desires change and the world goes on. So even though we do not link specific products in this article, you may use our highly valuable search tool to see which products we have available now with the ingredients or specific supplements listed above!

We have our menu sectioned out into essential oils, fragrances, and unscented for easier narrowing of choices.

If having a strong, long-lasting scent is your main concern, then we suggest choosing one of our non-toxic fragrances that sounds good to you! We have scent descriptions and intensity in each listing. If you can’t find them, please let us know and we can help locate them.

If you love essential oils and their therapeutic values, go with an essential oil scent that sounds good to you based on the description! Feel free to mix the two as well, for example: use a peppermint essential oil shampoo soap for the cooling and soothing effects, and then use an apple fragranced conditioner for a long-lasting sweet fragrance.

If you just want the basics or have extreme sensitivities, then it may be wiser to stick with our unscented products.

It is helpful to read the description of each listing to see what might be best for you – that alone can help narrow it down! If you are still unsure after reading the descriptions, reach out to use and we will do our best to determine what might be the most complimentary fit for you based on your requests and concerns 🙂

Thank you for reading our guide to choosing our haircare products, that’s it for now! If you have any other questions, please contact us – we’re always happy to help.

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Tear-Free Natural Soap?

In This Article:

What Is Natural Soap?

What Makes A Tear-Free Cleanser?

Can You Make Natural Soap Tear-Free?

How To Use Soap Safely Around Eyes


What Is Natural Soap?

What Is Natural Soap? It’s not often what you see in the supermarkets!

Most of what people mistakenly call “soap” sitting pretty on store shelves *is technically not real soap*. Did that blow your mind? It should!

The term “soap” is an FDA-protected term. If it is not true soap, legally the manufacturer cannot call it “soap”. Instead of “soap” they must use other terms such as: “wash”, “cleanser”, “bar”, “washing liquid”, “shampoo”, “body wash”, et cetera.

Only true, natural soap can legally be called “soap”. So, how does the FDA define soap?

The term SOAP is a legally protected and specifically defined term by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: Food and Drug Administration.

To meet the definition of soap in FDA’s regulations, a product has to meet three conditions: 

What it’s made of: To be regulated as “soap,” the product must be composed mainly of the “alkali salts of fatty acids,” that is, the material you get when you combine fats or oils with an alkali, such as lye.

What ingredients cause its cleaning action: To be regulated as “soap,” those “alkali salts of fatty acids” must be the only material that results in the product’s cleaning action. If the product contains synthetic detergents, it’s a cosmetic, not a soap. You still can use the word “soap” on the label.

How it’s intended to be used: To be regulated as soap, it must be labeled and marketed only for use as soap. If it is intended for purposes such as moisturizing the skin, making the user smell nice, or deodorizing the user’s body, it’s a cosmetic. Or, if the product is intended to treat or prevent disease, such as by killing germs, or treating skin conditions, such as acne or eczema, it’s a drug. You still can use the word “soap” on the label.

You can read the entire regulation at 21 CFR 701.20

This is exactly why we have to have a disclaimer with any beneficial claims (other than cleansing) on our website that states “These statements are not approved by the FDA. This product is not intended to treat, mitigate, prevent, or cure any disease.”

How are traditional soaps and synthetic detergents different?

Ordinary soap is made by combining fats or oils and an alkali, such as lye. The fats and oils, which may be from animal, vegetable, or mineral sources, are degraded into free fatty acids, which then combine with the alkali to form crude soap. The lye reacts with the oils, turning what starts out as liquid into blocks of soap. When made properly, no lye remains in the finished product. In the past, people commonly made their own soap using animal fats and lye that had been extracted from wood ashes. 

Today there are very few true soaps on the market. Most body cleansers, both liquid and solid, are actually synthetic detergent products. Detergent cleansers are popular because they make suds easily in water and don’t form gummy deposits. Some of these detergent products are actually marketed as “soap” but are not true soap according to the regulatory definition of the word.

You can find all of this information here on the FDA’s website: https://www.fda.gov/cosmetics/cosmetic-products/frequently-asked-questions-soap

Most of what you see on store shelves are just detergents, or another word for detergents are surfactants.

 What Makes A Tear-Free Cleanser?

The answer lies in a few subtle changes in chemical formulas of detergent cleansers.

Adult and baby detergent shampoos contain surfactants (short for “surface active agents”). One end of the surfactant molecule is attracted to water. The other is repelled by water but attracted to oily substances. Surfactants work by reducing the surface tension of a liquid, allowing the shampoo to spread and penetrate better, and remove the thin layer of oil known as sebum from the hair and scalp [source: Schwarcz]. Baby shampoos use detergents with long chain surfactants, such as sodium trideceth sulfate or nonionic polymers that are less harsh than normal detergents, and they use only small amounts of these cleansers in their shampoos.

Tear-free formulas also leave out surfactants such sodium lauryl sulfate, which can be irritating to the eyes and scalp. This does create a trade-off, though. Sodium lauryl sulfates — formed in part from coconut fat or palm kernel oil — are the chemical agents in shampoos that get hair really clean (and give a nice lather) [source: Schwarcz]. Although tear-free shampoos still clean hair, they don’t remove oil as thoroughly. But since most babies don’t do more than look cute and occasionally smear food into their hair, this usually works out just fine.

You may read more about this here: https://science.howstuffworks.com/science-vs-myth/everyday-myths/tear-free-shampoo-not-sting-eyes.htm

Soap made for the body and hair will not permanently harm or damage the eyes, but it may sting and cause some irritation until it is rinsed off!

Can You Make Natural Soap Tear-Free?

Due to the very definition and make-up of natural soap, the answer is a resounding and unfortunate no. Because soap is naturally an alkali (this is how it cleanses) – it cannot NOT irritate the eyes when they come into direct contact with soap.

Can you make soap less alkali? Trying to making a soap more acidic would cause it to cease being or acting like a good soap, so it’s a no on that too. Since soap has a hydrophilic (water-attracting) side to it’s saponified molecules, the other half is hydrophobic (water-repelling), this is what makes it great at washing away dirt and grime when mixed with water! If we made soap less of a base and more of an acid by adding more acidic ingredients, it would significantly weaken its cleansing abilities (and cause an icky mess).

We add just enough excess fats (bases) to not dry the skin and hair, and also just enough lye (alkali) to be able to cleanse the skin and hair. This is a very fine balance called a superfat percentage carefully measured with highly sensitive scales each time we make soaps.

The good news is, you can use natural soap safely with babies, children, and adults!

How To Use Soap Safely Around Eyes

Can you use soap safely around the eyes? Yes you can! You just have to be careful and patient, especially while washing a baby or toddler. Baths are the safest way to do this since you can dilute the soap in the bathwater first before applying it to the hair or skin around the face. Leaning the child back or asking the child to lean back while seated during the wash and rinse of their hair makes it much easier to avoid getting soap in their eyes. They can also use the edge of the bathtub or baby bathtub for better back and neck support during the wash and rinse. Use the edge of your thumb, palm, and index finger all pressed snugly against their eyebrow area to shield sensitive eyes from the soapy water when you rinse their hair. This looks just like when you are shielding your eyes from the sunlight.

Soap made for the body and hair will not permanently harm or damage the eyes, but it may sting and cause some irritation until it is rinsed off!

Keep this in mind: most bathwater — without the use of tear-free cleansers — could still cause tears to sensitive eyes. It all depends on the pH level of the water, which is a measurement of the free hydrogen and hydroxyl ions in the water. A pH level measures water on a scale of 0 to 14, with 7 being neutral. If the number drops below 7, the water is increasingly more acidic, which means it has a greater amount of free hydrogen ions. Above 7, and the water is increasingly less acidic (or more basic), which means it has a greater number of free hydroxyl ions [source: USGS]. The pH range for human eyes is 6.5 to 7.6, with 7 being optimal. Any variation from neutral may cause your eyes to tear, and it has little to do with the tear-free shampoo [sources: Kiechle, WHO].

Thanks for reading our article about why we can’t have natural tear-free soap – If you have any questions, please leave us a comment below!

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Why Buttermilk Soaps?

Article Topics:

Why Milk Soaps?

But Buttermilk?

Cow’s Milk Vs…

Nutrient Profiles of Milks

Environmental Reasons

Lactose Intolerance, Acne, and Other Concerns


Why Milk Soaps?

Milk soaps feed your hair and skin from the outside-in

Soaps enriched with milk are creamier than those made with water, and milk’s natural fats, vitamins, minerals, proteins, and other nutrients provides skin-renewing moisture and nourishment.

How Your Skin & Scalp Absorbs Topical Nutrients

Have you ever seen a nicotine patch and wonder how they work for smokers trying to quit? Or how merely touching a toxic yet brightly colored tree frog can lead to death? It’s because your skin and scalp absorbs what you put on it!

Your skin is your body’s largest organ by far, with a total average area of about 20 square feet! That’s a lot of avenues for nutrients to reach your body… or for you to get slowly poisoned by toxic body products. The good news is Perma-Earth offers some of the best body care products in the world to feed your hair and skin from the outside-in.

Nutrients follow three pathways through the skin, according to the CDC

The epic epidermis!

Intercellular pathways. As the name implies, there are spaces in between your skin’s cells. Nutrients may follow these pathways deeper into the skin. Along the way, your skin’s outer layer may absorb some of the nutrients in our buttermilk soaps, such as Vitamin D3, Retinol-A, Alpha-Hydroxy Protein Acids, and more beauty-promoting goodies!

Permeation. Nutrients may pass from cell to cell in your epidermis. When the outermost cells take on some nutrients, they could pass some of those to the next cells behind the outer ones. 

Hair follicles and glands. Nutrients that permeate slowly into your skin may reach the hair follicles or glands deeper into your skin’s layers. This represents the hardest way your skin can absorb nutrients because your follicles are much deeper in the skin.

Since natural milk soap is a natural product recognized as safe by the body, it can be absorbed that much deeper and easier. The famously beautiful Queen Cleopatra knew this as she used to bath in donkey’s buttermilk daily!

But Buttermilk?

We use traditional buttermilk in our body products, which is simply cultured raw milk straight from the animal, in our case, a cow. Our cow sources produce very high fat whole buttermilk, much higher fat than any other milk. This is one reason why we choose cow’s milk over goat’s, sheep, or any other milk.

Fresh milk on left, the thicker, cultured buttermilk on right!

Fats are what protect the skin, keeping it nourished, healthy-looking, and moisturized. Many vitamins are only soluble or bioavailable with a fat attachment, making some nutrients completely useless without sufficient fats for your body to utilize them.

Buttermilk in particular is high in multiple different proteins, like yoghurt too! Buttermilk and yoghurt are very similar in fact, but farm-fresh raw buttermilk is higher in many different proteins versus store-bought buttermilk or yoghurt. Store-bought yoghurt or buttermilk is usually pasteurized (destroys proteins) and cultured with only one or two different probiotics.

Farm-fresh, raw yoghurt or buttermilk can have dozens of naturally-occurring probiotics along with many alpha-hydroxy acids like lactic acid, which promote cell renewable and rejuvenation of beauty factors such as brightness, tone, and complexion maintenance. Buttermilk is higher in lactic acid than any other milk – another reason why we choose to use it instead of any other milk.

Cow’s Milk Vs…

Cow’s buttermilk is simply the best!

These days, the dairy aisle is saturated with options—and we don’t just mean 2 percent or whole. There’s soy, almond, cashew, rice, oat, hemp, camel…you get the idea. In a world full of milks (and mylks), it can be overwhelming to educate yourself on which is better

As many have stated before us, the original milk (real animal’s milk) is top tier in terms of nutrient profile perfection, density, quantity, and quality of complete proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals – plant “mylks” just cannot compare.

Can’t you turn any raw animal’s milk into a cultured buttermilk? Yes you can, but let’s summarize.

Our source of cow’s milk is higher in fat than any other local and freshly available milk we have found, which is important for skin and scalp health, assisting in nutrient absorption and utilization.

Milk once cultured into buttermilk is higher in lactic acid than any other fresh milk. This also helps to lower the pH of products the buttermilk is added to – making them more gentle and beneficial for the skin and scalp.

Nutrient Profiles of Milks

You know the saying that milk is the nearest-to-perfect food? They weren’t lying.

Milk is considered a “complete protein,” meaning it contains all nine of the essential amino acids necessary for your body to function at an optimal level, plus all of the essential Omega 3, 6, & 9 fatty acids in balanced proportions.

And buttermilk is even better!

Nutrient Profile of Whole Buttermilk in 1 cup (8 fl oz):

  • Fats: 8 grams
    • Omegas 3, 6, 9
  • Proteins: 8 grams
    • Tryptophan
    • Threonine
    • Isoleucine
    • Leucine
    • Lysine
    • Methionine
    • Phenylalanine
    • Valine
    • Histidine
  • Retinol-A (Vitamin A): 115 UG, 17% of the Daily Value (DV)
  • Calcium: 282 mg, 28% DV
  • Sodium: 257 mg, 17% DV
  • Riboflavin (B2): 38% DV
  • Vitamin B12: 22% DV
  • Pantothenic acid (B5): 13% DV
  • Potassium: 331 mg, 14% DV
  • Vitamin D3: 127 UG, 26% DV
  • Vitamin C: 4% DV
  • Phosphorous: 208 mg, 30% DV
  • Niacin (B3): 2% DV
  • Vitamin E: 1% DV
  • Vitamin K: 1% DV
  • Copper: 5% DV
  • Folate (B9): 3% DV
  • Vitamin B6: 7%
  • Magnesium: 25 mg, 8% DV
  • Zinc: 12% DV
  • Thiamine (B1): 11% DV
  • Selenium: 17% DV
  • Manganese: 1%

In other words, you just can’t beat whole buttermilk’s nutrient profile compared to other milks!

What about goat’s milk?

Many people have “herd” that goat milk might contain more nutritional benefits than regular old moo juice, so we dug deeper for the answer. It turns out, neither milk is healthier or more nutritious than the other since the nutrition content is almost the same (depending on the source, season, diet, processing, etc.), but goat milk may be a better choice for the digestive system as it has less (not free, but less) lactose. However, this doesn’t pertain to the integumentary system – hair, skin, nails, etc.

What are the nutritional stats of goat milk vs. cow milk?

When doing research, one must take into consideration that source is everything. For instance, the USDA says that goat’s milk has more fat than cow’s, but from our own experience in farming and using farm-fresh raw milks, our source of grassfed cow’s milk has a LOT more fat/cream than other local pasture-raised goat’s milk.

We can plainly see this when the fat and cream separate from the milk itself a day or two after milking since raw milk is not homogenized. Goat’s milk takes a lot longer for the cream to separate so it will take longer to see and we may never know visually how much fat goat’s milk contains.

Considering all of this, we must take what the USDA and other nutrient science says with a grain of salt as who knows what their sources were for comparison.

According to the USDA, goat milk and cow milk are almost identical in macronutrients (although in our experience, farm-fresh grassfed cow’s milk has a LOT more fat translating to more cholesterol). The USDA specifically states that goat milk comes out on top for protein and cholesterol by 1 gram more per cup, but cow milk’s fat content is ever so slightly lower. 

And as far as vitamins and minerals go, both milks have a lot to offer, just in different amounts. Goat milk has more calcium, potassium and vitamin A than cow milk, but cow milk has more vitamin B12, selenium and folic acid.

So the nutritional benefits of cow’s milk vs. goat’s milk are negligible. Both can be made into their own buttermilk, which would in turn have very minor nutritional differences. It is just in our experience that our source of cow’s milk is higher in fat and more moisturizing.

Environmental Reasons

Is cow’s buttermilk eco-friendly? Cows are much more efficient at producing consistent quantity and quality milk than any other animal. Cows are also the most gentle on the environment since they are strictly ruminants that cannot over-graze ecosystems as easily as goats or sheep can due to their unique mouth structure. Cow’s milk is also the most wasted milk produced, but buttermilk body products are the perfect solution to the over-abundance!

We choose to use local, raw, pasture-raised, and grass-fed milk our bath and body products – making our sourcing the best environmentally for any kind of milk products! This ensures the least amount of travel, containment, and processing waste possible.

Cow’s are easier on the land when managed properly as they are more gentle ruminants. They lack the ability to strip the ground of plant matter since they rely on their tongues and not their teeth for grazing.

Lactose Intolerance, Acne, and Other Concerns

For those concerned about lactose intolerance: Milk used in soap or other topical products has no direct relation to lactose-intolerance. While the milk enzymes and acids are released into the skin during soap use, these components remain external to the human digestive system. This is because a lactose-intolerance has to do solely with how the digestive system handles lactose poorly, not the integumentary system – which includes hair, skin, nails, etc.

However, if a milk allergy or general milk intolerance has been diagnosed by licensed health practitioners, these people should NOT use any milk products anywhere near their bodies.

Many of our customers who choose to try milk soap can experience an improvement in skin health and a decline in acne symptoms.

What about dairy and acne?  People who are lactose intolerant by way of digestion or who have found a connection between the physical intake of dairy and skin flare-ups do have the green light to apply milk topically. Dermatologists and doctors have gone on the records stating that the dairy-acne connection stems from digestion of the milk triggering a cascade of hormonal events that ultimately leads to acne. That cascade is not triggered by applying milk products to the skin.

Similar to how magnesium is best absorbed topically by some because ingesting magnesium upsets their digestive tract and can trigger other health issues – milk applied topically versus ingestion is another very similar situation which has many health benefits!

If you have any other questions or concerns about this topic, please leave us a comment below!

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Why Lye Soap?

In this article you will learn:

What Is Lye?

Is Lye Natural?

Is Lye Necessary In Soap?

The History of Lye Soap

Is Lye Soap Dangerous?

Are Detergents Better Than Lye Soap?


What Is Lye?

Lye is a strongly alkaline solution, especially of sodium hydroxide or potassium hydroxide, used for washing or cleansing.

lye is a metal hydroxide traditionally obtained by leaching wood ashes, or a strong alkali which is highly soluble in water producing caustic basic solutions. “Lye” most commonly refers to sodium hydroxide (NaOH), but historically has been used for potassium hydroxide (KOH).

Today, lye is commercially manufactured using a membrane cell chloralkali process. It is supplied in various forms such as flakes, pellets, microbeads, coarse powder or a solution. Lye has traditionally been used as a major ingredient in soap making.

Is Lye Natural?

Lye can be found in nature even without human intervention. Lye is a natural substance since it was originally made from filtering rainwater through hardwood ashes. However, this produces inconsistent purity levels.

For modern purposes, lye is now manufactured in mass-scale production. The 99% purity level of manufactured lye is extremely important for making consistent and safe soap products!

Is Lye Necessary In Soap?

Lye is a necessary component of making soap bars. Without lye or another highly alkaline solution, we cannot ever make soap because soap needs the saponification process – a chemical impossibility without a strong alkali!

“Soap” is an FDA-protected term that is restricted to only real soap products. According to the FDA, soap is a product in which most of the nonvolatile matter consists of an alkali salt of fatty acids and whose cleansing properties are due to these alkali-fatty acid compounds. This definition was written for the purposes of excluding soap from being regulated as a cosmetic.

The History of Lye Soap

Lye soap goes back as early as Babylonian times: when a crude form of soap was discovered through melted animals fats mixed with ashes and water over a cooking fire.

When this crude form of lye soap was found by the Babylonians over 5,000 years ago, they were recorded to make soap for washing purposes based on this original discovery.

Is Lye Soap Dangerous?

If made correctly, lye soap is completely safe as there should be NO LYE left in the final soap! A well-made body soap is simply saponified fats and excess fats.

If too much lye is used, lye soap can be dangerous. For the unprofessional, inexperienced, or improperly equipped – the resulting soap can be dangerous only because of ignorance. Would you expect a person who is completely inexperienced in construction to design and build a safe home? Probably not. The same can be said about soapmakers.

Soapmaking is a scientific profession, just like baking or any other important job that has a level of hazardous risk. It often takes a year or more of research and daily experimentation in the world of soapmaking to even scratch the surface.

BUT there is an easy way to test for a lye-heavy soap: is the soap crumbly, super hard and spotty white? Does it “zap” your tongue? When mixed with a bit of water, does it read higher than a 10 pH on a pH test strip? And finally, is the soap very drying and almost “burns” when you use it? If yes to all of these, then you have a lye-heavy soap.

Are Detergents Better Than Lye Soap?

If you like to wash your body with an effective cleanser, you have 2 choices: lye soap or detergents.

Detergents (this includes “naturally-derived” surfactants) are manufactured unnatural chemicals that mimic the cleansing quality of real soap cheaply and conveniently… But there is a catch.

Detergents strip the skin and destroy the microbiome of the skin’s acid mantle (even “pH balanced” cleansers).

Soap has an average pH of 9-10, about the same as highly alkaline water or sea water. If you do not want to disrupt the skin’s acid mantle, then technically we shouldn’t even be bathing with pure water.

The good news is that the skin’s acid mantle resets only minutes after using natural soap or washing with water, but the skin can be permanently disrupted or altered with detergents because of the chemical harshness.

Soap is very nourishing and has an almost lotion-like feel compared to using detergents. This is because well-made natural soap bars have tons of free-floating fats that the skin sucks right up – yuuuummy!

So are detergents better than lye soap? We leave that up to you to decide! 😉

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Why No Liquid Soap?

In this article you will learn:

How Bar Soaps Differ From Liquid

Bar Soaps Are More Nourishing

Bar Soaps Are More Moisturizing

Bar Soaps Are Less Wasteful

Bar Soaps Are Less Expensive


There’s reasons why we haven’t offered liquid soaps even though most people prefer the convenience… Let’s dive in!

How Bar Soaps Differ From Liquid Soaps

To clarify, we are talking about pure, real soap. “Soap” is an FDA protected term! Some people assume surfactants or detergents are soap, but if it isn’t traditional, real soap it must be labeled differently: such as a hand wash, body wash, or a “beauty bar”. Most liquid “soaps” (as most people call them) on the market are not technically soaps but in fact detergents.

When we are talking about liquid vs. bar soaps in this article we are only referring to real soap!

Soap-making involves chemistry, so get ready for technical terms you may have to remember from high school! Chemically speaking, liquid soaps need a different alkali than bar soaps to complete the saponification process (the process that turns oils to soap with lye).

To recap, you can’t make any real soap without lye or a strong alkali substance. Lye is a natural product made from hardwood ashes filtered with water – that’s it!

There are 2 forms of alkalis (lyes):

  • Sodium Hydroxide forms bar soap using the cold process method (what we use) or the hot process method (explained below)
  • Potassium Hydroxide forms liquid soap using the hot process method – prolonged heat applied for several hours or more.

So, how does this change the nourishment quality, moisturization content, expense, and more?

Cold Process Bar Soaps Are More Nourishing

As mentioned above, liquid soapmaking requires the hot process method – heating for hours at a time.

If you aren’t familiar with heat factors and nutrient content: prolonged heat above 118 degrees Fahrenheit destroys vitamins and proteins. This isn’t good for the nourishing aspect of our buttermilk and animal fat soaps!

Hot process soap requires hours of heating soap between 200-220 degrees Fahrenheit!

Make sure your bar soaps were made using the COLD process method, which only requires enough heat to melt the fats for a very short period of time!

Some soapmakers use the hot process method for a “milder” bar of soap that cures faster. Curing time for cold-process soap takes 4-8 weeks, while hot-process soap takes 2-3 weeks. This makes hot-process soap more efficient for quick sales or sooner use, but it’s not beneficial for the nourishing content.

Freezing Freshly Cultured Raw Buttermilk

Bar Soaps Are More Moisturizing

“Superfat” is a term used by soapmakers to describe the excess, free-floating fats in a recipe: superfats are what makes the soap moisturizing and nourishing! Usually described as a percentage, the superfat amount can range in the negatives (very lye-heavy industrial soap) to 0% and higher (up to 25% with certain fats).

A huge difference in liquid vs. bar soaps is the maximum amount of superfat allowed in the formulas.

  • Bar soaps have a maximum superfat averaging around 10% – WOW! Our animal fat soap bars average around 6-7% – not too moisturizing that it melts in your shower, but never too drying!
  • Liquid soaps have a max superfat of 0%-5% depending on the type of fats used, which is quite drying. This range is recommended to prevent separation of free-floating fats and cloudiness, which clogs the pump and makes a chunky soapy soup instead of a smooth liquid.

In order to “neutralize” the excess lye or drying aspect in most liquid soaps, borax or another neutralizing agent is usually added after the hot process method.

In short, liquid soaps will never be as moisturizing or as nourishing as bar soaps because of the chemical differences – how disappointing!

Liquid soaps usually require a plastic dispenser.

Bar Soaps Are Less Wasteful

This one may seem kind of apparent, but we need to address it. Obviously, bar soaps require little to no containment except a label, paper wrapping, paper boxes, shrinkwrap (we use certified biodegradable shrinkwrap), or they can be completely naked – Oh-la-la!!

Liquid soaps require some kind of container (whether glass or plastic) and usually a plastic pump for easy access. Pouring a glass bottle every wash would get quite slippery and possibly dangerous. Therefore, liquid soap will never be as sustainable as bar soap.

Bottles and pumps are not very sustainable, and neither is the extra shipping weight and space.

It takes a lot more energy, time, and materials to make liquid soap. As described in the hot process method, a soapmaker must heat and tend to liquid soap constantly for several hours during the creation.

Weight of bar vs. liquid doesn’t equal final volume of soap use.

Bar soap is concentrated liquid soap: 12 oz of liquid soap equals to about 3 oz of bar soap.

Liquid soap is like watered down bar soap, and therefore has a bit more difficult time lathering. It takes more effort to clean and build up a good lather with liquid soap.

Lathering is much easier with bar soap.

Lathering with bar soap!

Bar Soaps Are Less Expensive

This point is in addition to wasting materials unnecessarily: why waste money too? The bottles, pumps, and extra shipping weight/volume of liquid soaps are not cheap. The costs of bottles and pumps can range from $1-$2.50, which translates to an extra $3-$8 in final price. Let me explain!

Labor and production costs are always a factor in pricing. The cost of a product makes the final price increase exponentially (that means it’s multiplied, cost isn’t just added on dollar-for-dollar).

If a soapmaker needs more controlled space for making and storing, extra equipment, more ingredients, more energy, and possibly much more time to make liquid soap, those costs will translate to the final product.

The final price of liquid soap is at least 2-3 times more than bar soap considering all of the factors described above.

Since a 12 oz bottle of liquid soap has the same life as a 3 oz bar of soap, why wash your hard-earned money down the drain with all the unnecessary extras and none of the benefits?

A simple soap dish can make all the difference in the life of your bars!

Thanks for reading our short little article about why we abstain from making liquid soap! Liquid soap may work for some people – and that’s great! We just don’t see any need to make it at this time.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding this topic, feel free to contact us! We’re always happy to help.

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Why Use Shampoo Soap Bars?

In this article:

Introduction

Detergents Vs. Soaps

Hair Benefits

-Hair Growth

-Body & Texture

-Less Split-Ends

-More Moisture

-Colored Hair

-Less Products

Environmental Benefits

-No Plastic

-Less Water Transport

-Less Products

-Local & Natural Ingredients


Before the 20th Century, people used soap bars to wash themselves – including their hair. The Victorian women had beautiful, long, flowing locks of hair, even during old age.

A quick internet search of “Victorian hair” will give you hundreds of photographic examples of what women’s hair used to look like before the birth of industrial chemical haircare.

How did these women get such long, flowing locks of hair without all of the “innovative” modern haircare concoctions – which never seem to follow through with their grandiose claims?

It was soap they used to cleanse – pure, plain soap. Most of the time castile (olive oil) soap or lard (pig fat) soap was used to cleanse the body and hair. They also conditioned their hair with plain oils or animal fats.

There were articles in magazines and books written about how to properly wash one’s huge mane with a soap bar – recommended once per week. Most of the time it involved a hour or more of washing the hair section-by-section. Since modern plumbing was not available to most, it took women much longer to wash their incredibly long, thick hair compared to today.

If you are interested in learning about how to wash your hair with our shampoo soap bars, click here.

Now, this isn’t to say that soap was the only factor contributing to those waterfalls of hairy waves – these women were also forced to eat mostly local and in-season without modern-day conveniences. This means that a lot of meats and fats and other fresh seasonal foods were consumed, further nourishing their hair and scalp.

So don’t expect to be able to grow locks like your great-great-great grandmother simply from using soap. You haven’t lived like a Victorian for one reason, plus consider the common practice of using chemical detergents on one’s hair and skin from birth.

Detergents Vs. Soaps

Detergent Shampoos

Detergents are synthetically made surfactants that act like soap, but actually strip the hair and skin of everything good and kill the microbiome of your skin and hair. Often times waxes, silicones, sulfates, emulsifiers, esters, and other additives are thrown into the chemical cocktails to make them work like original soap… And your hair becomes dependent upon these chemicals instead of your natural microbiome.

Detergents also affect the sulfide bonds in your hair (whether or not they are “sulfate-free”), this weakens the sulfide bonds and causes your hair to go flat or lack body and curl. This causes you to need more haircare products to fix what the detergents broke.

We cover the process of detoxing from your hair’s addiction to drugstore shampoos, click here to learn more!

About 99% of you have been using detergents as shampoos all of your lives. Even if the shampoo was claimed to be “natural” or “organic”, just research ALL of the ingredients you couldn’t pronounce. Spoiler alert: “surfactants” are another word for detergents! We encourage you to challenge/ask us if you think what you have been using is truly not a surfactant or detergent.

It would take an additional article to list and define all of the surfactants and detergents companies use – literally hundreds of different chemicals are commonly used . They are often cleverly hidden in online listings or with additional natural-sounding names such as “cleanser derived from plants” or they are omitted completely from sight.

Don’t worry – it’s easy to become a conscious consumer with a computer at your fingertips 24/7. Type the confusing-sounding ingredients into your search engine and see what pops up. Or highlight the word on your device, tap and hold it, and select “web search” from the expanded pop up options.

Shampoo Soaps

On the same note, it’s quite easy to determine if a shampoo is truly natural or not – it needs to be 100% pure soap.

Saponified fats or “Sodium (fat or oil)-ate” are the common ingredients naming what soap is. Make sure no other surfactants or detergents are mixed in though!

Unfortunately liquid soap will never hold as much moisturization and nutrients as cold process soap bars do – for reasons of chemistry. Pure and true liquid soap does not and will never hold a candle to cold process soap bars in hair care for 3 main reasons:

  • Liquid soap is only stable if it has less than HALF the moisturizing superfats as cold process soap!
  • Liquid soapmaking requires many hours of high heat, destroying a lot of nutrients!
  • Liquid soap does not lather like bar soap, which makes hair-washing extremely difficult.

If you are interested in more details, read our Why We Don’t Make Liquid Soap article.

So even if you don’t stick with our shampoo soap bars, try to stick with only natural soap bars – for your hair’s sake!

Hair Benefits

These are based on hundreds of real customer reports and reviews. You may take a look for yourself on our shampoo soap listing reviews and our testimonials.

Hair Growth

Customers report new hair growth as soon as 1 month of using shampoo soap bars exclusively and consistently.

Many customers report markedly faster hair growth after only a few months. We even receive “complaints” of customers needing to dye their roots more often!

Body & Texture

Customers report improvements in hair body and texture!

Because their hair had been stripped with detergents all of their life, they never knew how much natural body and texture their hair really had until they started using shampoo soap.

Detergents stifle many beautiful genetic expressions of hair that shampoo soaps allow to develop.

Less Split-Ends

Another plus to using shampoo soaps is not needing as many hair cuts due to lack of split ends!

Since shampoo soaps are so much more nourishing and moisturizing than detergents are, your hair’s integrity and strength is kept in tact for much longer. Which leads us to our next benefit…

More Moisture

upside down photo of a woman

Since shampoo soap doesn’t strip the hair like detergents, hair is much more moisturized and strengthened.

Soap provides literally hundreds of times the amount of nourishing fats, oils, and butters than detergents do.

We also include about 25% raw grassfed buttermilk in all of our shampoo soaps – nothing like the powdered milk or extracts in other shampoo soaps.

Colored Hair

Customers who use shampoo soap bars report longer times between full permanent dye treatments.

Customers with light blonde or grey hair also report less issues with brassy tones.

However, we don’t recommend using shampoo soap bars with semi-permanent dyes. Since shampoo soap needs more massaging during the lathering process, this can rub the semi-permanent dyes off of the hair shafts faster.

Less Products

We’re so happy to hear when a customer says they’ve eliminated most of the haircare products they used before.

Since detergents are the cause of so many cosmetic hair issues: lack of body, lack of definition, lack of texture, lack of color, etc. Many people find they don’t need as many care products as before.

This also reduces your exposure to more chemicals.


Environmental Benefits

No Plastic

This one is pretty obvious, but it can’t never be understated. The early 21st century is swimming in plastic: polluting our ecosystems at alarming rates and wrecking havoc upon our health. Using shampoo soaps is another way to eliminate plastic from your life and future generations – for good.

Less Transport

When you’re able to condense a oddly-shaped 12 oz plastic bottle of liquid shampoo into a 4 oz rectangular solid soap bar – the transportation implications are massive.

This ultimately results in reducing transportation waste by at least 2/3, maybe more if you purchase directly from the soapmaker. That means 2/3 less gas being used and 2/3 less trucks on the highways.

Then consider all of the other haircare products eliminated from being transported due to the hair benefits of shampoo soap!

Less Products

If you are consuming less haircare products due to the hair benefits of shampoo soap – you are cutting out a lot of waste.

From transportation wastes, to plastic waste, to the wastes of manufacturing and sourcing production – all of those are eliminated when you eliminate the unnecessary products.

Did you know the beauty-care industry is considered by some economic circles to be the top-grossing in the world? That’s a LOT of stuff being produced and consumed!

Local & Natural Ingredients

90%-100% of our ingredients are completely natural. 50%-100% of our ingredients are local. Many of our ingredients are certified organic.

All of these factors combined can make a gigantic environmental impact – imagine if everyone used locally produced body care!

You can read more about our ingredients here and more about lard vs. tallow here.

If you can think of any other benefits and reasons why to use shampoo soap bars, or if you have any questions or concerns – please let us know! We’re always happy to help.

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Shampoo Soap Detox For Beginners

**The main takeaway: Detox symptoms (waxiness, heaviness, greasiness or dryness, frizz, dandruff, etc) or a washing adjustment period is necessary and normal for most beginners switching from chemical poos to traditional shampoo soaps and can last for several washes. It can be quickened immensely by following washing directions. DO NOT draw out the detox period – wash at least 1 to 2 times per day for 7-10 washes to start to see detox symptoms go away faster. MAKE SURE you read our shampoo soap bar directions thoroughly and repeatedly between new washes, it’s a lot of information to cover that will help you have the fastest detox. Reading directions again and again at different times can also help you pinpoint and troubleshoot what may be going on. Sometimes the “detox” is just a new user figuring out the proper technique to wash their hair with real shampoo soap. Contact us if you don’t see detox symptom improvement after 5 washes.**

In this article:

Introduction

Why The Detox Happens

If It’s Not Soap, It’s Not Natural!

What Happens During Detox?

-How Long Does It Last?

-But Why? Hair Chemistry

-Dandruff

-Frizz

-Tangles

-Waxiness

-Greasiness

-Dryness

-What Factors Determine This?

How to Help the Detox Period

“Are you telling me… that I may have to endure up to a week (OR MORE) of bad hair days in order to get the best hair of my life??” Yes… that’s exactly it! Keep on reading to make it make sense.

We’re delivering the dirty details of the often unavoidable detox period which plagues beginners… The detox period is necessary for 90% of beginners using shampoo soaps for the first time after using detergent shampoos their whole life.

If you are racking your brain trying to figure out why people even want to endure this hairy ordeal – take a look at our other article Why Use Shampoo Soap.


Why The Detox Happens

The detox period isn’t caused by shampoo soaps — it’s caused by the nasty detergents you’ve used as shampoos your entire life… That’s a lot to detox from! If you used shampoo soaps from birth, you wouldn’t have to detox!

If you have nightmares about bad hair days, then the detox period will sound terrifying – and rightfully so. BUT we’re here to shatter all of your dreams of having the best hair of your life without any work on your part. There is always a price to pay for things that are worth it – usually the price is something you needed to pay anyway! It stinks, but it’s the truth.

And remember, good things come to those who wait… … Are you still here? The virtue of patience is uncommon these days and it’s only getting worse in this microwaved, instant gratification generation. Let’s help reverse that impatient attitude through amazing haircare that will blow. your. mind!


You will (most likely) have unattractive hair that feels “greasy, coarse, waxy, sticky, gummy, heavy, limp, and downright disgusting” during the start of using any natural shampoo soap if you have used detergent shampoos all of your life – and 99% of you probably have!!

Trust us – about 99% of you have been using nasty detergents as shampoos all of your lives. Even if the shampoo was claimed to be “natural” or “organic”, just research ALL of the ingredients you couldn’t pronounce. Spoiler alert: “surfactants” are another word for detergents! We encourage you to challenge/ask us if you think what you have been using is truly not a surfactant or detergent.

It would take an additional article to list and define all of the surfactants and detergents companies use – literally hundreds of different chemicals are commonly used . They are often cleverly hidden in online listings or with additional natural-sounding names such as “cleanser derived from plants” or they are omitted completely from sight.

Don’t worry – it’s easy to become a conscious consumer with a computer in your back pocket 24/7. Type the confusing-sounding ingredients into your search engine and see what pops up. Or highlight the word on your device, tap and hold it, and select “web search” from the expanded pop up options.


If It’s Not Soap, It’s Not Natural!

On the same note, it’s quite easy to determine if a shampoo is truly natural or not – it needs to be 100% pure soap. Saponified fats or “Sodium (fat or oil)-ate” are the common ingredients naming what soap is. Make sure no other surfactants or detergents are mixed in though!

Unfortunately liquid soap will never hold as much moisturization and nutrients as cold process soap bars do – for reasons of chemistry. Pure and true liquid soap does not and will never hold a candle to cold process soap bars in hair care for 3 main reasons: #1. Liquid soap is only stable if it has less than HALF the moisturizing superfats as cold process soap! #2. Liquid soapmaking requires many hours of high heat, destroying a lot of nutrients! #3. True liquid soap does not lather like bar soap. If you are interested in more details, read our Why We Don’t Make Liquid Soap article.

So even if you don’t stick with our shampoo soap bars, try to stick with only natural soap bars – for your hair’s sake!


What Happens During Detox?

Over 90% of people using shampoo soaps for the first time will go through a detox period due to using detergents their whole life.

During the detox period, the hair may feel “unattractive, greasy, waxy, sticky, heavy, limp, and downright disgusting”, using some choice words from our customers… But don’t fret, when they stuck it out, it ended up being the best decision they ever made for their hair.

The reasons for why this happens are many and complicated – because detergents affect hair in ways we don’t see until we get rid of them and start using the good stuff.

Switching from detergents to real soap requires a total overhaul in how your hair has been cleansed your entire life. From differences in pH, chemistry, and changes in washing technique – your hair will go through a transformation for the better. Just think of it as the cocoon effect, out pops a beautiful butterfly in the end!

How long does the detox period last?

The average time is 7-10 washes (but please don’t wash your hair more than twice per day). Why not say days? Because the detox period isn’t determined by time. In other words, waiting for your hair to transition by just sitting there looking “detoxy” doesn’t work! Detox time (the length of time one experiences detox symptoms) is mainly determined by how often you wash and how thorough your washing technique is. Washing = Detoxing (for beginners).

This transition period, which can range from a few days to a few weeks or even a month (please reach out if by the 5th wash you are not seeing better results), is literally a time for your hair, which has been addicted to chemical-laden shampoos, to go through withdrawal, and learn to live a chemical-free life. It’s not easy! Your hair has literally become dependent upon the drugstore formulas, which isn’t a good thing.

Since everyone’s hair is unique, it is impossible to tell you exactly how long your transition will be, if any, or how intense it will be, or how many stages it will go through. Sometimes the “weird feelings” take several weeks to pass due to the detox, transition, and adjustments to your washing technique. Sometimes people don’t go through hardly any detox symptoms at all (in rare cases).

More on this below…

But, why? We can deduce what might be going on from what we already know about hair chemistry.

Our natural shampoo bars do not strip the hairs or coat them with waxes, silicones, esters, emulsifiers, or other additives to make it feel smooth like detergent-based shampoos do. Therefore, you may notice your hair feels different immediately after washing because your hair is accustomed to the chemically clean feel of detergent-based shampoo. It may also take a couple of washes with natural soap for some to notice the detox taking effect.

Switching from conventional shampoo to a natural shampoo soap most likely means a transition or adjustment period. While some folks have only minor problems with their hair adjusting to a new routine, many struggle during this period.

Like your gut and your skin, your scalp has a microbiome that has developed over the years. While it may not be the best microbiome for healthy hair, it is the only one your scalp knows. As you transition to a completely new product, your microbiome will change. 

Since everyone’s hair is unique, it is difficult to tell you exactly what your transition, if any, will look and feel like. Your hair may feel greasier than normal or it may even feel drier than normal. It may feel waxy, coated or just plain weird.

When you first begin, your hair or scalp may become oily or dry or even switch between the two extremes. You may have increased tangles or frizz and the hair shafts may feel weird or waxy. Let’s go into more detail!

The pH Factor

In chemistry, pH (historically denoting “potential of hydrogen” or “power of hydrogen”) is a scale used to specify the acidity or basicity of an aqueous solution. Acidic solutions (solutions with higher concentrations of H+ ions) are measured to have lower pH values than basic or alkaline solutions.

Detergent shampoos have a much more acidic pH than soap – similar to the skin’s acid mantle – yet they disrupt the skin and scalp’s acid mantle by stripping the hair and skin with harsh surfactants. This defeats the claim of “pH balanced” cleansers.

Natural soap has a more alkaline pH of 8 or 9 – similar to that of sea water. Soap will not disrupt the skin and scalp’s acid mantle after the wash since the skin and scalp regulate their mantles minutes after being exposed to substances above their 5.5pH – like if they are exposed to water which is found to be anywhere between 5.5-9pH.

Soap actually helps protect the acid mantle better than detergents because it helps to moisturize and gently cleanse the skin and scalp rather than stripping them with harsh chemicals.

A baking soda water pre-rinse and apple cider vinegar water after-rinse can help this factor during the detox period. More tips on improving the detox period are listed near the bottom of this page.

This factor is important to consider in many of the detox symptoms listed below.

Dandruff

Detergent shampoos, which your hair is used to, strip the hairs and also coats the hair (and scalp) with waxes, silicones, emulsifiers, esters, and the like. Your scalp is adjusting to a new life without these!

Your hair is adjusting to a completely new microbiome and moisturization balance – TRUE moisturization with real fats and natural saponins. Allow it to regain its balance and over time you will have a clear scalp.

Now although your hair feels nice and soft while using detergents, your scalp is actually dry and will produce excess sebum (natural oil) to compensate. Your scalp then becomes conditioned to this vicious cycle of excess oil production. This is why people often have to wash much more often with detergents versus much less often with shampoo soap.

Like your gut and your skin, your scalp has a microbiome that has developed over the years. While it may not be the best microbiome for healthy hair, it is the only one your scalp knows. As you transition to a completely new product, your microbiome will change. This can cause scalp dryness and dandruff for some as it attempts to adjust to new levels of sebum production.

Our shampoo soaps are also made with buttermilk, which is high in an alpha-hydroxy acid called lactic acid – considered very anti-aging due to its ability to overturn skin cells, helping you retain a more youthful appearance. Your scalp may shed old, dead cells considerably faster during your first few uses while it adjusts to the new shampoo formula. In the end, your scalp and hair will definitely thank you!

The “pH Factor” described above also plays a part in the dandruff detox symptom.

Frizz

Your hair is used to the detergent shampoos and the way they coat the hair with waxes, silicones, emulsifiers, esters, and the like – helping to weigh it down, making it look smooth.

Your hair is adjusting to a new life without these and feels lighter than ever! Allow it to get tame again (it’s like fuzzy baby hair) and over time you will have more manageable hair.

The “pH Factor” described above also plays a part in the frizz detox symptom.

Detergent shampoos, which your hair is used to, strips the hair shaft and then coats them with waxes, silicones, emulsifiers, esters, and the like, which helps to coat and straighten the hair unnaturally.

The “pH Factor” described above also plays a part in the tangle detox symptom.

Waxiness

This is still similar to what is described above.

Detergent shampoos, which your hair is used to, strips the hair shaft and then coats them with waxes, silicones, emulsifiers, esters, and the like, which helps to coat the hair after the intense chemical cleanse.

Your hair is adjusting to a life without the chemical cleanse and waxes/silicones – possibly exposing the hair shaft in ways it might not be used to since it relied on the detergents to tame and coat it.

Since the hair shafts are lifted and exposed (like shingles on a roof in high winds), it may be holding onto any soap residue left behind during the washing process until it adjusts to the new cleanse.

It is also really important to make sure you are getting a good wash and following our shampoo soap directions.

If your hair is experiencing waxiness due to the detox period – make sure to follow directions! – please do NOT try to roughly comb it out as that will create breakage and hair loss. Stick with minimal styling unless detox passes and apply a vinegar water rinse (details at bottom of page) or conditioner after washing to help with detangling. Comb gently and slowly from the bottom of the ends and gradually work your way up to comb from the roots down.

Heaviness

If you are still applying the same amount of conditioner as before, that could possibly contributing to a “heavy” feeling because natural shampoo soaps are so much more nourishing and moisturizing than detergents. This is different from a waxy feeing. Your hair may get weighed down with that same conditioner application method now. Try going without conditioner for a wash and see how you feel and where your hair really needs it and where it does not!

Tangles

Similar to what is described above with the frizz factor, tangles are caused by a lot of the same adjustments including waxiness.

Detergents also weaken the sulfide bonds in the hair (even in sulfate-free shampoos) – causing hair shafts to be as flat and straight as physically possible – suppressing your hair’s natural body and texture.

Your hair is breaking loose to a new life without these and feels freer than ever! Allow it to adjust to its natural texture and over time you will have more manageable hair.

Since the hair shafts are lifted and exposed like never before due to the lack of these chemicals (like shingles on a roof in high winds), it may be less manageable after the washing process until it adjusts to the new cleanse.

We highly recommend using one of our bar-to-liquid conditioners if this is a major problem for you.

DO NOT try to roughly comb out your tangles if your tangles are caused by a waxy feeling (described above). This will cause breakage and hair damage. Apply a lot of vinegar water and gently comb out starting from bottom ends and going to top of hair very slowly and softly.

Greasiness

Detergent shampoos, which your hair is used to, strips the hair shaft. Your hair is adjusting to a completely new microbiome and moisturization balance – TRUE moisturization with real fats and natural saponins.

Like your gut and your skin, your scalp has a microbiome that has developed over the years. While it may not be the best microbiome for healthy hair, it is the only one your scalp knows. As you transition to a completely new product, your microbiome will change. 

Now although your hair feels nice and soft while using detergents, your scalp is actually dry and will produce excess sebum (natural oil) to compensate. Your scalp then becomes conditioned to this vicious cycle of excess oil production. This is why people often have to wash much more often with detergents versus much less often with shampoo soap.

As you transition to a gentle natural shampoo bar, your scalp needs time to rebalance scalp oil production. During this transition period, which varies by person and hair type, hair may feel extra greasy or heavy. 

It will take some time for your hair to adjust, but once it does you will have soft, light, and flowing locks!

It is also really important to make sure you are getting a good wash and following our shampoo soap directions.

If you are still applying the same amount of conditioner, that could also be contributing to a “waxy” feeling because natural shampoo soaps are so much more nourishing and moisturizing than detergents. Your hair may get weighed down with that same conditioner application method now. Try going without conditioner for a wash and see how you feel and where your hair really needs it and where it does not!

Dryness

Similar to what is described above, your hair and scalp is used to the detergents stripping away everything with deep-reaching chemicals and then coating the hair and scalp with waxes, silicones, esters, emulsifiers, and the like.

The great thing is that your body is extremely adaptable and will adjust to the new, more gentle cleansing environment that soap provides – it just needs time and patience and regular washes with the new soap formula.

Some people confuse dryness and flakiness or dandruff – described above.

The “pH Factor” described above also plays a part in the dry detox symptom.

What Factors May Determine Detox Intensity?

It really depends on how damaged your hair is, how many chemicals you have used on your hair, how much previous product residue and build-up is present, your genetics, your water, and especially the technique that you use. Click here to learn how to wash your hair with shampoo soap bars.

We have been making and using natural shampoo bars for over 10 years and have received so many questions…

It may take some patience, but if you can persevere, your reward will be healthy, soft, and silky hair!

Can I Quicken or Soften The Detox Period?

You can potentially mitigate or reduce the symptoms of hair detox after quitting detergents. Although not necessary, it may help. Here are some all-natural tips!

  • A baking soda water pre-rinse
    • Grab a pinch of baking soda and throw it into a quart of warm water. Stir until dissolved, and then apply to your hair for a pre-wash rinse. This prepares the hair by softening the water, raising pH, and helps pull out those chemicals.
  • An apple cider vinegar water after-rinse
    • Mix 1/2 to 4 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar with 8 oz of warm water. Rinse your hair with this solution after a shampoo wash. This will lower the hair’s pH, also assisting in smoothing the hair shafts. Be careful not to overapply, it can easily weigh down hair or cause static. This may or may not help some people.
  • Clay hair masks between washes
    • Similar to a clay facial mask, you can try a clay hair mask by mixing water with clay into a paste (bentonite, kaolin, or rhassoul are good choices). Apply this paste to your hair and scalp, allow to dry and then rinse out. Do this between shampoo washes to help the detox process along! We also offer our own buttermilk clay masks.
    • All of our shampoo soap bars contain kaolin clay which also helps the detox process along with many other washing aspects such as dandruff and cleansing.
  • Shampoo 1-2 times per day, but no more than twice per day.
    • Sometimes a double wash per day can help quicken the detox period. Try it and see. If it doesn’t help, switch back to once per day until the detox period subsides.
    • DO NOT draw out your detox period by skipping washes or only washing once a week… that will be several weeks of frustration you can skip by just biting the bullet and washing 1-2 times per day until the detox symptoms disappear.
  • Keep your hair as natural as possible.
    • The products you use on your hair can definitely have an effect upon the detox period and the effectiveness of the shampoo soaps. Carefully research each ingredient of the products you use on your hair – you may contact us if you have any questions regarding this.
  • Try different shampoo soaps
    • Switching up shampoo soaps may help to “shock” your hair again into submission – this often actually works. We recommend finishing one soap bar completely before switching. Everyone tends to dislike their first shampoo bar due to the detox experience, but if they come back to their first bar after the detox, it surprisingly treats their hair just fine!

Still Have Questions?

Feel free to contact us so we can help you have a happy hair life!

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Lard Vs. Tallow

In this article:

Definitions

History of Use

Our Sources

Fatty Acid & Nutrient Profiles

Preferable Uses

Defining Lard and Tallow – What Are They?

Lard is the rendered fat from swine animals
  • Lard is the rendered fat from swine – commonly known as pig’s fat or “pig tallow”. Tallow is also commonly referred to as beef tallow or other animal fats as tallow literally means “rendered animal fats”. So to lessen confusion we will refer to pig tallow as “lard” which is it’s defining name. Other animal fats may also have unique names such as “lard” to pig tallow. For instance: organ fats from cows are called “suet” while organ fats from pigs are called “leaf”. Another example is that sheep tallow is referred to as “mutton fat”. These names are helpful to distinguish between different types of animal tallow. However, when we refer to tallow on a label (just TALLOW) we are referring to rendered cow fats.
  • “Rendered” fat means that the pig fat is heated to a melting point (around 120-150 degrees F) then cooked for a short period of time to filter the fat from any other natural meaty substances that remain after butchering.
  • The end result of rendered pig fat is called lard and is shelf-stable by itself for up to 6 months in the right environment.
The final rendered lard is shown above – it is much softer than tallow due to the fatty acid profiles listed below
Tallow is the rendered fat from bovine animals.
  • Tallow is the rendered fat from bovine – commonly known as cow’s fat or beef fat. Tallow is also the name used to define other animal fats, which can be confusing, as described above.
  • “Rendered” fat means that the cow fat is heated to a melting point (around 150-170 degrees F) then cooked for a short period of time to filter the fat for purity.
  • The end result is called tallow and is shelf-stable by itself for up to 12 months in the right environment.
The final rendered tallow is shown above – it is much harder than lard due to the fatty acid profiles listed below

History of Use for Lard and Tallow

History of Lard Uses

  • FOOD: Humans have eaten the fats of wild animals, including hogs and swine for many millenia. Fats were rendered from cooking meats over a fire and also using those fats to cook other plant matter, making them more digestible.

Lard has extensive uses in baking as a natural, healthy shortening – providing a flaky, hearty and delicious crust or bread.

  • SOAP: Animal fat soaps were the original soap made. Likely discovered by accident – a crude form of soap was reported to happen from the fat drippings cooked over a primitive fire mixed with a natural lye made from wood ash that had been filtered with rainwater, resulting in a soapy substance!
  • BEAUTY: As long as people have been using lard for food purposes, it easily migrated its way over to the beauty counter of women and men.

As lard is rendered animal fat, the composition of the lard oil is most similar to the composition of human skin’s natural sebum. This makes it often a suitable moisturizer for individuals who have sensitivities to commercial moisturizers.

Many people on the lard train like to claim that lard contains Vitamins K & B, but these claims have yet to be accepted by nutritional scientists. More on this is found below!

Lard also has a history of use for haircare. Since medieval times women have used pig fat to help regrow hair with success. Women also used to set and condition their hair with lard. The combination of lard and starches produced rigid curls and stiff hair styles for women and men in the 17th and 18th centuries.

While lard is wonderful for skincare and haircare, there are stability issues that prevent it from mainstream commercialization – which is why we add an extra dose of natural Vitamin E for preservation and other ingredients to stabilize the texture. Lard does not always have a consistent color, appearance, and odor from batch-to-batch based on seasonal diet and environmental exposures of the pigs.

History of Tallow Uses

  • FOOD: For many millenia, humans have eaten the fats of ruminants, including bovine. Fats were rendered from cooking meats over a fire and also using those fats to cook other plant matter, making them more digestible.
  • SOAP: Animal fat soaps were the original soap made. Likely discovered by accident – a crude form of soap was reported to happen from the fat drippings cooked over a primitive fire mixed with a natural lye made from wood ash that had been filtered with rainwater, resulting in a soapy substance!
  • BEAUTY: Tallow has a long history in humanity of being used to soothe and moisturize skin. It is only in more recent times that plant oils and petroleum based products have taken the place of tallow in skincare.

As tallow is rendered animal fat, the composition of the tallow oil is similar to the composition of human skin’s natural sebum. This makes it often a suitable moisturizer for individuals who have sensitivities to commercial moisturizers.

Many people on the tallow train like to claim that tallow contains Vitamins A, K, & B, but these claims have yet to be accepted by nutritional scientists. More on this is found below!

While tallow is great for skincare and a hair pomade, there are stability issues that prevent it from mainstream commercialization – which is why we add an extra dose of natural Vitamin E for preservation. Tallow does not always have a consistent color, appearance, and odor from batch-to-batch based on seasonal diet and environmental exposures of the cows.

  • CANDLES: Tallow once was widely used to make molded candles before more convenient wax varieties became available—and for some time after since they continued to be a cheaper alternative. For those too poor even to avail themselves of homemade, molded tallow candles, the “tallow dip”—a reed that had been dipped in melted tallow or sometimes a strip of burning cloth in a saucer of tallow grease—was an accessible substitute. Such a candle was often simply called a “dip” or, because of its low cost, a “farthing dip” or “penny dip”.

Our Sources – Where Do We Get Our Lard and Tallow?

The source of fat we use is extremely important to us as source affects many nutritional factors of lard and tallow:

  • Pasture-Raised, Grass-Fed fats are very important to retain the most natural, balanced, and nutritious fatty acid profiles, which contributes to the effectiveness of our claims (described in more detail below). For instance, sunlight exposure is absolutely crucial for the development of Vitamin D3 levels.
  • Hand-Rendered fats are important to make sure no additives were unnecessarily mixed into the final product (such as nitrates, BHT, chemical bleaches, chemical preservatives, etc.) Hand-rendering also insures that the temperatures were never raised to scalding levels, which destroys some vitamins and other nutrients.
  • Farm-Fresh, Local fats are very important to insure the provision of the freshest, most nutrient-dense fats available.

Fatty Acid & Nutrient Profiles – Lard and Tallow Are Chemically Different!

First let’s review lard and tallow’s fatty acid profiles. Fatty acids are the building blocks of fat, these fats are necessary for all life forms including animals, plants, and microorganisms. All 3 categories of fats are essential for basic biological functions (including basic skincare and haircare) in their proper proportions.

Fatty AcidsLardTallow
Saturated Fats43%46%
Palmitic Acid
Stearic Acid
Myristic
28%
14%
1%
26%
17%
3%
Unsaturated Fats
(Mono & Poly)
57%54%
Monounsaturated
Oleic Acid
Palmitoleic Acid
47%
44%
3%
50%
47%
3%
Polyunsaturated
Linoleic Acid
Linolenic Acid
10%
10%
0%
4%
3%
1%
Lard and tallow are both affected by their diet, lard more-so than tallow. Pasture-raised, grass-fed lard and tallow will both have higher saturated fatty acids and lower unsaturated fatty acids – the table above is a round average estimate.

As you can see, the differences in fatty profiles vary but are still very similar! The main outlying difference in tallow from lard is that it has slightly more saturated fatty acids and an additional polyunsaturated fatty acid called Linolenic Acid. All of these minute chemical differences causes us to treat them very differently. We have to make products in various ways depending upon the fat we choose to use and their applications.

We also take into great consideration the different nutrients that (pasture-raised) lard and tallow offer. Let’s dive into that!

NutrientsLard (per 1 Tbsp)Tallow (per 1 Tbsp)
Vit. D3
Retinol-A
Choline
Vit. E
Zinc
Selenium
13 IU
5 IU
6.4mg
0.08mg
0.01mg
0.03mg
4 IU
0 IU
0 mg
0.35mg
0 mg
0.03mg
These numbers are according to educational and scientifically verified nutritional sources. You may do your own research – remember to look for scientific sources! Vitamin D3 levels are greatly affected by sunlight exposure – this is another reason why pasture-raised is so important! Did you know that Lard is the 2nd most concentrated Vitamin D3 food-source in the world, second only to Cod Live Oil?!

Due to lard’s larger nutrient profile and differing fatty acids, we find lard much more useful for certain applications than tallow and visa-versa – let’s dive deeper into that next!

Various Uses Based On All The Differences – Both Have Their Proper Places!

Lard’s Best Uses for Us

  • Hair Products
    • Since pasture-raised lard is lighter and softer in texture, higher in unsaturated fatty acids, and higher in certain nutrients like Vitamin D3 – it makes a perfect fat to use as a base for our shampoo soaps, conditioners, and hair oils!
  • Liquid Lotions & Scrubs
    • Since lard is lighter and softer in texture, it makes a perfect fat to use as a base for our liquid lotions and scrubs – insuring better stability for varying temperatures.
  • Soap Products
    • Since lard is low (0-2) on the comedogenic scale (0-5, coconut and palm oils being 4) it will not clog pores – great for facial soaps! Since it is higher in unsaturated fatty acids, it provides more bubbly lather and a squeakier cleanse.
    • A pure lard soap designed for the skin even cleanses and nourishes hair quite well – unlike pure tallow soap.
    • A pure lard soap designed for NOT washing the skin will even make a wonderful laundry, dish, and surface cleaning soap due to its superior lather abilities.
  • Bath Bombs
    • Since lard is softer at lower temperatures, it is great for fatty bath bombs – Insuring well-nourished skin and cleaner drains that won’t clog up as easily!

Tallow’s Best Uses For Us

  • Moisturizers
    • Since tallow is heavier and harder in texture, higher in saturated fatty acids, and higher in Vitamin E (also more shelf-stable) – it makes a perfect fat to use as the main base for our body butters and butter balms!
  • Soap Products
    • Since tallow is a heavier and harder fat, higher in saturated fatty acids and low (0-2) on the comedogenic scale (0-5, coconut and palm oils being 4)- it makes a good, moisturizing soap. Tallow soap has a creamy but flat lather, making it perfect for a hand/body soap!
    • NOT recommended for hair although with some practice and patience one could manage to use it as a shampoo soap – it tends to weigh down hair easily and causes more of a waxy texture.
  • Deodorants
    • Tallow makes a great fat base for our deodorants since it is hard enough to be stable, yet soft enough to apply and absorb easily on the skin.
  • Candles & Wax Melts
    • Since tallow is a harder fat, higher in saturated fatty acids – it makes a very useful candle fuel and wax melts. When mixed with beeswax in the correct proportions, tallow helps to create a brighter candle flame and softer wax melt for healthier scent distributions that require lower temperatures.

Have More Questions?

Feel free to reach out to us! You can ask us any questions via commenting below, our social media pages, email, or contact form all found in the links below. We are happy to help you learn more about this fascinating topic!

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Fragrances VS. Essential Oils

Thank you for taking the time and initiative to learn more about Perma-Earth Bath + Body products – for your health and the health of our ecosystems. For a quick answer to most people’s concern when finding this article, jump to “Why Do You Use Fragrances In Some Products?”

Our fragrances are derived from scientifically-processed natural sources and are certified skin-safe by the FDA, INCI (Personal Care Products Council), and are used according to the IFRA’s 48th Amendment Standards (International Fragrance Association). The IFRA standards are based on safety assessments from RIFM (Research Institute for Fragrance Materials). Our fragrances contain no known chemicals to cause cancer, birth defects, or other reproductive harm.

We will always offer products scented exclusively with 100% natural fragrances and essential oils as well that have passed their GCMS reports. No need to worry, we keep everything very separate in production and shopping online – we clean all equipment thoroughly between uses and we make the distinction between the use of fragrances and/or essential oils quite clear on our website. We pride ourselves in offering the best of both worlds to customers who seek the highest quality products in their favorite scents!

In this article:

The Scents We Use

Phthalates, Parabens, and Certifications

Naturally-Derived Fragrances

Synthetic Fragrances

Essential Oils

What Should I Use?

The Scents We Use


Perma-Earth Bath + Body only uses certified skin-safe, phthalate-free and paraben-free fragrance oils, naturally-derived fragrances, and/or essential oils, or no scent at all (see our SENSITIVE shop category for everything unscented). We specify what is in each and every product with a full list of ingredients: we share absolute everything we know in terms of ingredients.

We blatantly separate fragrances and essential oils, but for a slight few formulations we may mix the two. In blended cases, we automatically categorize the product as “Fragranced”, also listing the specific essential oils used in the formulation. For products categorized as “Essential Oil” we exclusively use only essential oils in those products.

Fragrances

For fragrances, we always use the recommended amount for every application according to the specifications of each fragrance approved by the INCI (International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients), which is directed by the Personal Care Products Council. These are the experts who test and certify the fragrances for multiple cosmetic uses.

Fragrance ingredients in cosmetics must meet the same requirement for safety as other cosmetic ingredients. Fragrances must be considered “safe for consumers” (in FDA’s standards) when they are used according to labeled directions, or as people customarily use them. www.fda.gov/cosmetics/cosmetic-ingredients/fragrances-cosmetics More information about fragrances are detailed below.

Essential Oils

Essential oils are quite different from fragrances in that there is no official recommended usage rate (by the FDA or otherwise). We usually follow recommended usage rates from the essential oil companies themselves. All essential oil companies are regulated by their own scientists when this article was written. Therefore, each and every essential oil company claim is their own and they are not regulated by any other party. This includes claims of “therapeutic-grade”, “medicinal”, “edible”, “scientist-approved”, etc.

For informational purposes only, our stance is that we do not consider any essential oil to be safely edible unless specifically directed by a licensed healthcare practitioner under special supervision and circumstances.

The owner of Perma-Earth (and author of this article) is someone who has worked with essential oils for over a decade at the time of this writing. I know how to properly test essential oils myself, I have personally compared dozens of different essential oil companies, I make myself aware of their origins, and I make sure that we only use 100% pure, therapeutic-grade (non-diluted, properly extracted, responsibly sourced) essential oils in our products.

More information about essential oils are detailed below.

Phthalates, Parabens, and Certifications


As mentioned above, we use phthalate-free, paraben-free, and certified skin-safe fragrances in some of our products according to the INCI and Personal Care Products Council (click links on names in the previous section to learn more).

What Are Phthalates?

Phthalates are defined as a salt or ester of phthalic acid.

Why Are Phthalates Used In Most Fragrances?

Phthalates are often used in most fragrances as solvents or to strengthen the scent and help it linger longer – for days, months, or even years.

Again, Perma-Earth chooses never to use fragrances which contain phthalates!

Why Are Phthalates Considered Dangerous?

Phthalates are linked to cancers, metabolic syndromes (such as diabetes), and hormonal imbalances.

Many people also associate headaches and migraine triggers while inhaling “phthalated” fragrances.

Where Else Are Phthalates Found?

Mainly in plastics to increase durability. This is just another reason why we attempt to avoid choosing plastics as much as possible.


What Are Parabens?

Parabens are a class of widely used preservatives in cosmetic and pharmaceutical products. Chemically, they are a series of parahydroxybenzoates or esters of parahydroxybenzoic acid.

Why Are Parabens Used In Some Fragrances?

Parabens are often used in some fragrances to act as a preservative, helping to keep the integrity of the scent for longer periods of time and to also increase the strength of the fragrance.

Why Are Parabens Considered Dangerous?

Parabens have been linked to inflammatory responses and immune-system disruptions.

Many people have reported increased skin and scalp sensitivity when using paraben-containing products.

Where Else Are Parabens Found?

Mainly in the cosmetics industry. This is ironic considering how irritating it can be for many.


Certifications

As stated and linked above, we only use phthalate-free and paraben-free fragrances with an INCI from the Personal Care Products Council. Please search above in the first section for links in the names.

Naturally-Derived Fragrances


Perma-Earth uses naturally-derived fragrances in some products, which are clearly defined as “naturally-derived fragrances” in the ingredients list.

What Are Naturally-Derived Fragrances?

In summary, natural aromatics are made by physically extracting the volatile fractions from plants without chemically altering them. Natural fragrances are complex fragrance compounds made exclusively from natural aromatics as defined by IFRA (the International Fragrance Association). The ingredients used in natural fragrances can be essential oils, oleoresins, distillates, fractions, concretes, absolutes, etc.

Why Not Use Only Natural Fragrances?

Natural fragrances, similar to essential oils, are very limited in scope of scent variety – not many choices. Of these limited choices, very few hold up to the standard that many are conditioned to know from fragrances. These include: strength, durability, and trueness to scent ideals.

In short, they are very similar to essential oils, but often less potent and easily broken down by environmental factors such as sunlight, air-exposure, age, etc.

Synthetic Fragrances


Perma-Earth Bath + Body uses phthalate-free, paraben-free, and certified skin-safe fragrances oils processed from nature in some of our body care products. Abstaining from phthalates and parabens often eliminates many issues people have with fragrances in general. You may read more information about phthalates and parabens above in this article.

What Are Synthetic Fragrances?


“We know that fragrance oils can be a mix of processed and purified essential oils, synthetic aromatic chemicals, and resins.  We know that a perfumist must use the proper solvents to dissolve powder and crystalline ingredients into the fragrance oil.  A perfumist can either duplicate an aroma by use of gas chromatographic (GC)-mass spectrometric (GC-MS) (which shows him the ingredients contained in a fragrance), or he can create a unique fragrance oil by combining the right combinations of top, middle, and base notes.” – Nature’s Garden Wholesale Candle & Soap Supplies

Sometimes, it’s better to let the experts, or one of our fragrance suppliers, explain the matter in their terms. Please visit this link for a more thorough introduction into the world of fragrances: What are Fragrance Oils Made Of – Natures Garden Fragrance Oils (naturesgardencandles.com)

The Fair Packaging and Labeling Act requires a product marketed to consumers include a list of ingredients. The product must also be labeled with its net contents, the identity of the item and the name or place of business of the products’ manufacturer, packer or distributor.

Under U.S. regulations, fragrance ingredients can simply be listed as “Fragrance” as they are legally protected trade-secrets. People with questions about allergic reactions to a fragrance may wish to contact the product manufacturer for more information. Learn more about this subject here: Trade Secrets – Safe Cosmetics

We, as non-producers of the fragrance, do not have access to what exactly constitutes each and every fragrance. HOWEVER, if you have any questions about any fragrances we use in a specific product, we can provide you with as much information we know about that fragrance – including our source of purchase and the INCI sheet.

Why Use Synthetic Fragrances In Any Product?


We feel they are safer for those seeking their favorite scents in healthier alternatives since our sources do not contain phthalates or parabens – they are very similar chemicals mimicking natural scents except synthetically created. Think of a lab-made diamond versus a naturally-mined diamond for example: they are both essentially the same, but made differently! This is a very similar circumstance with synthetic fragrances vs. natural scents.

Essential oils can cause many issues… Some essential oils shouldn’t be used if you have certain health conditions (pregnancy, nursing, kidney problems, etc.) Some essential oils have a negative, irritating effect when applied on the body in body care products, no matter how diluted they are. These include but are not limited to: cinnamon, eucalyptus, lemongrass, and more. While it may not irritate some, it can irritate others. This is especially noticeable in leave-on body-care products. And finally, some essential oils actually cause photosensitivity when used in leave-on skin products then exposed to sunlight – we’re looking at YOU, citrus essential oils!!

Fragrances cause LESS cases of irritations than essential oils. This may come as a shock, but here goes: we have many MORE reports of essential oil sensitivity in comparison to our phthalate-free, paraben-free fragrance oils! Meaning: essential oils actually cause more irritations than do the fragrances we use – according to our customers! And yes, we only use 100% pure essential oils or absolutes, nothing else is added to cause this reaction and it has happened even with the most well-known brands.

Eco-Friendly! SAY WHAT?? Environmentally speaking, synthetic fragrances are much less of a burden on the ecosystem… let me explain. It takes 60,000 roses to produce a single 1 oz of rose essential oil. It takes nearly 16 pounds of lavender buds to produce a single 1 oz of lavender essential oil. To put this in perspective, we use approximately 1 oz of essential oil per 5 bars of soap… That’s a LOT of farming and processing just for scenting a few bars of soap!

The sky’s the limit! Some of our favorite scents such as fruits (apples, pumpkins, peaches, etc.), flowers (such as lilies, wildflowers, and more), musks, citruses, clean scents, etc. cannot be produced naturally with an ideal outcome or even at all for any use in body care products. The saponification process alone in cold-process soaps (mixing fats with a natural alkaline to make soap) renders many natural fragrances and essential oils worthless in the end and completely void of scent (citruses for example).

Fragrances perform to most people’s ideals. We want to get nourishing body care products into as many hands (and on as many bodies) as possible. We want to appeal to those who may not even try the more natural products otherwise: we choose to cater to our customers. Therefore, we offer completely naturally-scented (or unscented) products in every category, while also offering what most customers want as well: strong, safe, and creative scents in a large variety with familiar fragrances.

In the beginning we used ONLY 100% natural fragrances and essential oils. We still do use them! But guess what? Most people weren’t happy – they didn’t stick around for very long either because they missed their old fragrances… So we listened to our customers and fixed that issue! Yes, it’s a completely superficial reason why people want synthetic fragrances, but humans are creatures of habit and this is backed by science. Fragrances are strongly associated with feelings of nostalgia: the olfactory (nasal) system in humans is directly linked to the memory bank of the brain. Many people feel very unhappy, or even lost, without the scents linked with positive memories in their lifetime, especially during their formative years.

We will always offer 100% natural fragrances and essential oils as well. No need to panic, we keep everything quite separate and we clean all equipment thoroughly between uses. We pride ourselves in offering the best of both worlds to the most quality-seeking customers!

Where do you source your phthalate-free, paraben-free synthetic fragrances?

Here is our short list with links attached: Brambleberry, Nature’s Garden, Smell No Evil, Lone Star Candle, and Nurture Soap.

What Are Essential Oils?

An essential oil is a natural oil typically obtained by distillation or pressing and having the characteristic fragrance of the plant or other source from which it is extracted. Essential oils are considered volatile since they readily evaporate when left uncontained as they only contain the volatile organic compounds of a plant. Essential oils are often used in aromatherapy or topical therapy for evoking natural biological responses in the human body when exposed to these organic chemical compounds.

Essential oils are quite different from fragrances in that there is no official recommended usage rate (by the FDA or otherwise). We usually follow recommended usage rates from the essential oil companies themselves. All essential oil company claims are regulated by their own scientists when this article was written. Therefore, each and every essential oil company claim is their own and they are not regulated by any other party. This includes claims of “therapeutic-grade”, “medicinal”, “edible”, “scientist-approved”, etc.

The major thing one we are concerned about with essential oils are the purity levels, which is reported in each essential oil’s GC/MS reports. We only use PURE natural essential oils according to these scientific tests.

For informational purposes only, our stance is that we do not consider any essential oil to be safely edible unless specifically directed by a licensed healthcare practitioner under special supervision and circumstances.

The owner of Perma-Earth (and author of this article) is someone who has worked with essential oils for over a decade at the time of this writing. I know how to properly test essential oils myself, I have personally compared dozens of different essential oil companies, I make myself aware of their origins, and I make sure that we only use 100% pure, therapeutic-grade (non-diluted, properly extracted, responsibly sourced) essential oils in our products.

Where Do You Source Your Essential Oils?

Here is our short list with links attached: Brambleberry, Bulk Apothecary, and Now FOODS.

What Should I Use?

We leave this entirely up to the consumer’s discretion, however – here are some clues!

We break everything up into “Fragranced”, “Essential Oil”, and “Unscented” in our main product categories – or we always suggest to check the ingredients list in the product tab called “INGREDIENTS”.

Do you have a sensitivity to all scents and fragrances? Stick with our unscented selections in our Sensitive product category!

Do you only use certain brands of essential oils? No worries, make your own concoctions with our base of unscented products in our Sensitive category!

Do you have a history of fragrance sensitivity, but still want to try something of ours that is phthalate-free and paraben-free fragranced? Maybe start with some fragranced sample-sizes (listed as product variations on some products – limited availability – while adding to cart) and see how that does you!

Don’t see something you want? Contact us and let us know what we can do to improve your experience!


Thank you again for taking the time and initiative to learn more about Perma-Earth Bath + Body products – for your health and the health of our ecosystems. Please let us know if you have any other questions or concerns!

  • written by Mariah Campbell, owner/founder of Perma-Earth LLC
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Grow Roses for Beauty, Food, and Health

Around Valentine’s Day, Buy Living Roses!

Roses are the Perfect Early Addition to your Garden Landscape for Beauty and Practicality!

Written by a Certified Permaculture Landscape Designer

This is the year for you to grow attractive perennials that are also edible or medicinal, adding not only beauty but value to your landscape.

In this article, you will find tips on planting hardy roses early in the spring! How does Late-February to Early March sound? As long as the ground is thawed and all danger of severe frost has passed, you will be good to go!

Most people think of roses as finicky, disease-prone, and overall too fancy and high-maintenance of a plant for their natural gardens.

Well, I LOVE to burst this bubble because there is a perfect solution for most of your rose desires! Good news if you want ease of maintenance or are a black thumb, these roses should survive your neglect. Of course, try to follow the directions on how to plant it and care for it when you purchase!

Now, Let’s Get Planting!

All Roses love well-drained soil, a good pH balance (around the acidic to neutral 5.5-6.5 area), and full sun (6+ hours per day). Keep these factors in mind when planning your rose plot.

As we organic gardeners know, the natural way to attain a fertile and slightly acidic pH soil range is to amend the soil with sulfurous compost (freshly decayed biological matter).

Roses are notorious for being difficult to grow and maintain, which is why we will focus on the hardier variety in this article.

Rosa Rugosa – “Beach Rose”, “Japanese Rose”

Hardy to: USDA ZONES 2-7

Growth Habit: Vining to Impenetrable Bush

Best time to plant: February-March

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A very hardy and yet beautiful addition to the garden!

The Rosa Rugosa has many different sizes, varieties, and shades of flower petals like the traditional pinks (from light blush to striking magenta), reds, yellows, and white to the newer varieties of wine-red, striped, or a slightly peachy shade. But, only the original plants with pink-colored flowers will be a guarantee for all of Rugosa‘s distinguishing characteristics.

These flowers are not particularly a show-stopper, except when seen in sheer numbers on a large and fragrant specimen. The flowers are also not good for cut arrangements, although they are extremely useful in crafts, potpourri, and other décor.

Despite a few superficial drawbacks, another positive aspect of the Rugosa is that it is a recurrent bloomer except in much warmer climates, meaning that it will have more than one blooming period in a season!

Edibility & Health

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The Rugosa is known for producing a sour, astringent, but edible cherry-tomato-sized reddish-orange fruit called “Rose Hips”.

You can eat the sour-tasting fruit for their extremely high levels of natural Vitamin C, antioxidants, and anti-inflammatories (a great winter survival food).

Rose Hip Tea is available for easier absorption and palatability. The homesteader can even use fresh rose hips to make deliciously tart jams and jellies!

The naturally high content of Vitamin C also makes rose hips a booster for the body to synthesize collagen, helping to restore lubrication and youthfulness to the skin and joints.

Beauty & Cosmetics

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Rose Hip Seeds are also useful as they are made into an anti-aging skin oil high in beneficial fatty acids. This oil is great for wrinkles and dry skin, but should not be used on skin prone to acne, as it’s humectant abilities are too powerful for oily skin types.

Use the flower’s small and sparse, yet delicate and powerfully fragrant, petals to make a natural perfume or potpourri to freshen up your body and home.

Or make infused rosewater (rose hydrosol) to naturally brighten up your face.

Rose Hydrosol Recipe

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You can easily make your own rose hydrosol by:

#1. The Quick Method:

Lightly steam or “simmer” a handful of dried rose petals and 1 cup of purified water in a stainless steel pot, tightly covered for 15 minutes to an hour.

The length of time will determine concentration of rose biochemical ingredients: The longer, the more concentrated. But don’t steam the petals at too high of a temperature for too long, or else you will destroy the benefits.

#1. The Cold Method:

This method keeps more of the beneficial biochemicals intact, but it takes longer, so you will need patience!

A. Fill a clear jar up with dried rose petals, stuff as much as you can in there, but not too tight!

B. Fill the remaining space of the jar up with purified water and close the jar.

C. Allow water and roses to sit in a sunny window for 1-3 days, shaking contents occasionally. Again, the longer you let it sit, the more concentrated it will get, but don’t let it sit for too long or else bacteria and mold might start to grow!

#2. Put the remaining water it in a spray bottle. Dark glass bottles are best to eliminate plastic chemical exposure and to protect the hydrosol from sun damage.

#3. Spritz your clean face every morning and evening.

#4. Store in the refrigerator for long-term use (good up to 1 month), or your shower (good up to 1 week) to use quickly.

Or you can purchase one premade from a reputable source from the affiliate link embedded in the image shown above.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, the plant has been used for centuries to treat irregular menstruation and gastritis, as Rosa Rugosa is one of the original rose cultivars, going back thousands of years to its origins in Japan and Siberia.

Reddish-Orange Rose Hip Powder is useful in soaps and other cosmetic colorants. In Ancient China, dried rose petals were ground up and processed to make lip colors and rouge blushes.

History & Hardiness

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The plant has been naturalized in the Northeastern part of the United States ever since it’s first documented planting in the mid-1800’s.

It has since spread far and wide due to its weedy growth habit, which does not respond well to cuttings, so expect to let it grow to full size for best results in your garden.

Sometimes considered an invasive species and will readily hybridize with other roses, so you might want to check with local authorities.

But this actually makes it more appealing to me–the hardier and less maintenance means the better suitable for my organic gardens!

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Rosa Rugosa is resistant to many diseases that other roses are prone to contracting like rose rust and black spot.

It’s pollen, bold fragrance, and bright colors will also attract and feed pollinators like butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds.

Be forewarned in that it is like most roses, thorny and prickly. But, unlike other roses, the Rugosa only needs at minimum a few hours of sun in the right conditions.

Of course, it will produce best and be its healthiest in full sun (6+ hours per day)!However, if the rugged Rugosa is not your thing, there are other options!

Companion Plants

Who wants to see just one plant dominate the landscape? Although Rugosa roses are wonderful and hardy specimens by themselves, they will be healthier and happier-looking with other helpers around it.

Some of these perennial plants that form a symbiotic relationship with roses are:

Garlic – or any other plant from the Allium family

Another beautiful, hardy, and incredibly useful plant is garlic! Not only will it be good for your roses, but they are amazing for your health and cooking recipes!

Planting bulbs around any large perennial (tree or bush) is a good idea, for when spring comes, they help break up the soil, letting the warm sunlight and rain come pouring into the ground!

Geranium – think wild geranium, or “Cranesbill”, for your perennial garden

Beneficial for keeping those pesky bugs at bay, the Cranesbill wild geranium is also useful in the home apothecary for numerous reasons. Its traditional uses include reducing signs of aging in skin and helping stop diarrhea

Lavender

Wow, can you get any more of a fragrance northern perennial pairing? Roses and lavender are both beautiful in their own way, complimenting each other in shape and color! The spiked small purple flowers and silvery soft leaf foliage of the lavender contrast beautifully with the glossy, sharp dark green foliage of the bigger, round roses.

Lavender is another one of those garden plants good at keeping pests away. Its herbal uses are that it can be used as a calming tea or for a good nights sleep.

Sage – Salvia

Similar to lavender, some sages are also great for cooking and herbal uses! Sage can help liven dishes with its herbaceous and fresh flavor. Or you can use sage in your herbal recipes to help with digestion and other issues. Sage is known to ward off negative emotions or heavy feelings.

Other

Other types of hardier roses (but not as hardy or as practical as the Rugosa), would also do well when properly cared for. Here are some other books and articles about Rugosa roses and other hardy roses that will give you more varieties so you can find the perfect one for your needs!

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The Rugged Rugosa – American Rose Society

10 Hardy Roses to Plant in Your Garden – Canada

Hardy Roses to Minnesota Gardens – Minnesota

Different Kinds of Roses – Illinois

 

**Statements on this website have not been approved by the FDA. These statements are for educational purposes only and not intended to cure or treat any disease. Please consult with your healthcare provider before implementing any new health program.**