You’ve probably seen this stuff before. A few years ago, castile soap had a resurgence in popularity and I saw it everywhere on the internet. At Firefly Music Festival, I saw dozens and dozens of girls with it in-hand around the showers and water spouts. The one “cult classic” brand that seems to be he most iconic and most popular is Dr. Bronner’s Pure Castile Soap.
Now, I never really understood what all the hype was about. My shampoo seemed to work just fine, I felt no real need to go over to the “no ‘poo” trend. Why fix what isn’t broken?
However, after being a long-time sufferer of psoriasis on my scalp, I decided to actually seek treatment at a dermatologist when over-the-counter medicated shampoos no longer worked (is this TMI? Oh well, I like to keep it real around here). So, I was prescribed Taclonex, a topical steroid medication that has worked wonders for the health of my scalp.*
*Please note that I speak from my own experiences ONLY and that this post is NOT sponsored by Talconex or any other brand in any way. I was prescribed this medication by a licensed dermatologist. Please check with your own dermatologist before making any medical decisions.
While the medication worked great, the formula was oil-based and absolutely IMPOSSIBLE to get out of my hair with regular shampoo. I went from having one problem to the next! Let me tell you. it was gross.
I’m talking Severus Snape-levels of greasiness, here.
After doing some internet sleuthing, I found that numerous bloggers highly recommended Dr. Bronner’s to wash out other oil/conditioning treatments, and thought this might help with my own situation.
And the verdict is in: this stuff is GREAT!
That’s because Dr. Bronner’s, or castile soap in general, has a vegetable oil base. Traditionally it is made with olive oil, but now it’s common practice to use hemp oil, coconut oil, and other vegetable oils. Dr. Bronner’s even uses jojoba and peppermint oils. It comes in a variety of scents, and for my first endeavor into the world of Dr. Bronner’s, I chose the Rose scent, and couldn’t be happier. It’s scent is much milder than Dr. Bronner’s traditional peppermint scent.
I still have regular shampoo in the shower, but I haven’t touched it since I made the switch to Dr. Bronner’s. My hair feels so clean and fresh every time that I use it, but not striped of its natural oils. And, it’s gentle enough to use daily (though when I’m not applying the oil treatment, I generally wash my hair only 2-3 times a week). That being said, it is a bit difficult to use if you don’t know what you’re doing, so I’ve outlined some tips below.
1) Dilute it! Please, for the love of god, dilute your castile soap. It’s way too strong to use on its own, and highly alkaline. A 1:5 ratio of soap to water is a good starting point, and you can add more or less of the soap to suit your preferences. I mix my soap-water combo in a mason jar. Any old cup with do, too.
2) Follow up with something acidic as a conditioner to counter-act the alkaline soap. I use apple cider vinegar as a conditioner now, and it’s absolutely amazing. It doesn’t weigh down my hair whatsoever, but my hair is just as shiny and soft as if I used a standard cream conditioner. I sometimes use a cream conditioner on the ends of my hair for a little bit extra moisture, but this is because I still have cream conditioner left in my shower. I haven’t decided if I’ll be purchasing more once that runs out.
Woah. That was a lot about soap. Hope it was helpful! Do you use any “alternative” bath/body/hair products?