To make solid shampoo bars you need to combine fats (oils), water, and an alkali in a process called saponification.
In previous blog posts we've written about our alkali of choice; Sodium Hydroxide and four of the fats that we use in our men's solid shampoo bars; Organic Olive oil, Organic Coconut oil, Organic Almond oil, and Organic Jojoba oil.
This week, we're introducing the fifth fat we use in our mint and tree tea men's shampoo bars : organic shea butter.
Organic Shea Butter = creamy nuts
Shea butter is a fat extracted from the nut of the Shea tree that only grows in West Africa.
The supplier we use for our shea butter sources it from a woman's co-operative that use traditional methods to harvest the nuts and extract their fats.
We buy their organic, unrefined, raw shea butter.
Adding shea butter to our men's solid shampoo bars helps to make the lather they produce when washing your hair more creamy.
Good for our shampoo, great for your scalp
Shea butter is used in many cosmetic products as it boosts skin moisture, has anti-inflammatory properties and contains antioxidants (a favourite of folks looking for anti-aging help...).
Which means that as well as helping our solid shampoo have a more creamy lather when you wash your hair with it, your scalp will be benefiting too.
Note: you'll not get younger nor age more slowly thanks to using our solid shampoo... it's a shampoo, not a magic elixir. Just to be clear.
Solid at room temperature
Like the organic coconut oil that we use in our shampoo bars, shea butter is solid at room temperature.
To be able to combine it with the other oils and fats that we use in our shampoo bars, and then mix it with the alkali we use to turn them into shampoo, we first need to melt it.
You can read more about how we do that in our How to make your own solid shampoo bars blog post.
Harder shampoo bars
So, shea butter makes Tidy shampoo bar's lather more creamy which helps clean your hair.
It also helps to nourish your scalp.
And it has one final benefit that's less about the performance of our solid shampoo and more about helping you get more out of our shampoo bars; including shea butter helps make Tidy shampoo bars more firm.
One of the challenges of making solid shampoo bars is that they need a higher percentage of super fats compared to, say, a bar of soap.
This makes them more suitable for use on delicate hair, but also results in a softer bar.
Soft bars don't last as long as hard bars because more of the product rubs off with each use.
Enter shea butter (and a few other ingredients that we'll write about in future blog posts). It helps firm up Tidy shampoo bars so they last that bit longer than they otherwise would.
Our men's solid shampoo bars are still softer than many soap bars you may be used to, but they're firmer than other solid shampoo bars thanks to our formulation. And they don't melt away as quickly as some others do either.
One of our goals is to help you do more using less, so we want our shampoo to last as long as possible, to help you get more washes from fewer bars. Therefore; the firmer the bar the better in our book.