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Can you wash your hair with soap?

Announcement 16/03/2017
Following years of development, and with the kind help of testers, we’re beyond excited to announce the launch of TWO totally natural shampoos, well suited to even hard water conditions.

soap 4 (47)This is a question I’ve been asked every week this year so far, so I thought I’d share a recent email I wrote to a customer on the subject.

Have you ever tried/thought about washing your hair with soap?

We’d love to hear your experiences or reservations! You can leave your comments at the end of this post, or get in touch with us here.


Can you wash your hair with your soap?

Although not specifically formulated for use as such, many of our customers are pleased with the results they achieve when using some of our soap bars as shampoos.

The most popular in general are the Gentle Goat’s Milk and Ylang Ylang Flower. For those with dry/sensitive skin and scalps though, the Castile soaps generally win out.

The thing about washing the hair with bar soap is that its effectiveness/whether people like it is down to a whole host of factors:

  • hair length
  • scalp type/sensitivity
  • water quality & measures taken to mitigate against hard water
  • technique
  • what the hair has previously been washed with

Washing hair with soap_ALL NATURAL SOAP CoThe most unintuitive part of washing your hair with soap (as opposed to the body) is that it won’t necessarily entirely wash off the hair, as it does with the body, in hard water areas.

The minerals in the hard water react with the soap, deposit on the hair and can leave it feeling ‘unclean’ or ‘waxy’. This is easily resolved by using a simple acidic rinse after washing the hair with soap. (Instructions below).

In soft water this is generally not a problem though, and you should be able to wash your hair with soap and have it rinse away. Whether you like how your hair feels though, will be related to whether you’re using an appropriate bar, and the factors mentioned above.

In general, people with short hair and non hyper sensitive scalps, should do well with the Goat’s Milk and Ylang Ylang bars. The Castile soaps tend to work well with those with very dry, curly hair and they are simply loved by our customers with dreads.

Depending on what you’ve been washing your hair with before, you may need to go through an adjustment period. Shampoos/conditioners with silicones and other plastics in them leave a coating on the hair that will need to be removed before natural shampoo (bar soap) will work. The rinse described below is a good start, but in general this will just take time – on average, anywhere from 1 wash to 1 month of washes. During this adjustment period, the hair can feel excessively dry or oily but this should normalise in time.

Technique is also important – particularly with the less foamy Castile soaps. You can either ‘hand lather’ and apply the foam to the scalp, or rub the bar directly into the scalp, making sure to cover the entire scalp. It is not necessary to ‘wash’ the ends of longer hair, as these will be cleaned when you rinse out the shampoo. Excessive scrubbing of the bars on the lengths of the hair can lead to knotting.

Acidic Hair Rinse

This is really easy – simply add 2 tablespoons of vinegar to a 1ltr jug and take into the shower with you. When you’ve finished cleaning your hair with the soap bar, fill your jug up with water from the shower and pour over the head.

If your hair is long, you can make the rinse last twice as long (and therefore increase the detangling benefits) by only using half a jug-full, then re-filling the (half-full) jug again and rinsing.

Detangling long hair with your fingers while rinsing is also a good idea.

The amount of vinegar is a guide and you may need to adjust the proportions to suit. In general, more vinegar = more conditioning/detangling effects, but only up to a point. You don’t want to be using neat vinegar on the hair, as this may actually cause an opposite drying effect.

Whether you rinse the hair with water after the vinegar rinse is a matter of personal taste. The faint vinegar smell does go away once the hair is dry, but some people like to doubly make sure and rinse again with water. This will however, cause the hair cuticles not to lie as flat, and therefore not look as shiny and be more prone to tangling. If the final (post vinegar) rinse is of very cold water though, this can help increase shine.

Which vinegar to use?

The most popular hair-rinse-vinegar right now seems to be raw Apple Cider vinegar. Personally, I find this too drying though and love cheap and simple White Wine Vinegar.

If your scalp is particularly itchy/hair is very dry/frizzy, you can add a teaspoon of honey to the vinegar (making sure it is smooth, not crystalline and well dispersed in the vinegar-water). This also can help with the vinegar smell.

Note: in Sri Lanka, limes are rubbed on the hair to increase shine. I haven’t tried this myself, but could be an interesting and fragrant option!

Also, one of our customers with hyper sensitive skin (and very hard water) has decided to buy in distilled water to wash her hair with (as opposed to using the vinegar rinse).

Note: If your skin is VERY sensitive, then the vinegar rinse is best done over the bath (so you only get it on your hair, not skin).



I hope washing your hair with bar soaps works for you but do bear in mind that for a few people sadly it simply doesn’t work. The convenience and lack of plastic that one bar soap/shampoo affords though, is for me at least, a good reason to give it a fair trial.

If you have any questions about washing your hair with our soap bars, then please get in touch, or leave us a comment below.

We’d also love to hear from you if you fancy sharing your experiences of washing your hair with soap bars.

Ooh and for those of you that have read this far, we can confirm that the rumours are true – we are indeed developing some ALL NATURAL SOAP Co shampoo bars! Like all our products, these will only be released when we’ve got them just right, but if you fancy becoming a future tester then please get in touch.

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How to turn soap scraps into soaps (non squish method!)

I’m often asked by customers if there’s anything they can do with the ends of their soap bars.

Apart from washing with, there are numerous uses for soap around the house.

Something I particularly like to use it for, is to make difficult drawers glide smoothly again – just rub it on the runners! If you choose a scented variety, you’ll also be greeted by a lovely smell each time you open the drawer.

This tip was actually shared with us by a customer on our Facebook page. Thank you for the great idea! 

Soap Shreds in Shells

But what if you’d actually like to use your scraps to wash with (and would like a more durable and attractive option than the ‘squish method’)?

Well, look no further. Below is a step by step guide on how to easily transform your scraps into usable bars, cakes or indeed whatever shaped soap you choose. What’s more, you’re bound to have everything you need already in your kitchen.


-Soap Scraps (works best with at least a half handful)
-Chopping Board
-Heat-resistant Bowl & Saucepan/Double Boiler
-Wooden Spoon and/or Spatula
-Makeshift Mould (anything will do really – small bowl, muffin mould, ramekin etc.)


-Getting the soap into the mould: around 1-2 hours
(5 mins prep then occasional stirring)
-Before you can use your bar: approx 4-5 days (drying out time)


The process is explained in step by step pictures below. You can click on individual images to make them larger.

Note: This method works with ALL NATURAL SOAP bars and not necessarily any others. Our bars are glycerine rich and packed full of nourishing oils and butters; this ensures they will reach the gelatinous, moldable stage even when they are a couple year’s old. It is unlikely that this will work with non natural soap bars, such as ‘supermarket soap’, or even natural bars produced with palm oil.

If you’re wondering about the shells:
I like to store our soap scraps in shells – a large one in the bathroom, a smaller one in the kitchen. I like the way they look, particularly with all the colours, and when they’re full, I simply use the method below to turn then them into soap bars.


  1. Try to (safely) cut the soap bars as small as possible. This will help to melt the soap more quickly.
  2. A see-through bowl is helpful as you can easily see the water level below and prevent it boiling dry.
  3. When your soap reaches the ‘mashed potato stage’, you might have some small lumps of hard (older) soap. You can keep on cooking and adding water or to try and dissolve these, but I generally just leave them and enjoy the flecks of colour.
  4. Any mould will pretty much do. If it is rigid, then popping it in the freezer for 1/2 an hour will help it to release. Flexible, silicone muffin moulds are handy as you can easily turn them inside out to pop your soap out.
  5. Cling film placed on the surface of your soap will give you a smooth result.
  6. The harder you let your soap get before using it, the longer it will last.

How much water?
-The amount of water you need depends on how old your soap scraps are. The older the soap, the more water you’ll need as they will have got harder (released water) over time.

-The more water you add, the longer you’ll have to wait for your finished soap bar to get hard. In the pictures below you can see that I chose to leave some soap residue on the bowl. I could have incorporated this by adding more water, but I didn’t want to wait for more than a week before using my new soap.

-A good place to start is by using around 50mls of water per small handful of soap. This is what I used to start with in the pictures below. I then added 2 further tablespoons during the melting process.

-The key is not to worry too much about it – start with a small amount, you can always add more. You will definitely have a good feel for the amount of water you need after your first soap scrap adventure!

Happy soap scrapping!

I’d love to hear if any of you have a go at this – you can leave a comment below – and do please feel free to get in touch with us if you have any questions.

Soap tips are, as always, very welcome, and we will soon be collecting these in one place on the website.

Bye for now,

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Latest batch of G&T soap cakes – How nice is that green?

We’re really taken with our most recent batch of G&T soap cakes as the colour turned out even more vibrant than normal.

That’s the beauty of working with natural ingredients – every batch is unique. Olive harvests vary from one season to the next and as olive oil is the main ingredient in all our soaps, so do our soaps. The natural green clay used to enrich and colour our G&T variety also varies from batch to batch, and for us this more emerald hue is the most stunning yet. What do you think?

These little beauties are over half way through their 4 week cure now and will be ready to buy from 1 November. If you’d like to pre-order yours now, simply let us know via the contact form or call us on 0207 272 2572.

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Castile Soap – A traditional, effective all natural stain remover

Fresh OlivesLast week we were trading next to lovely Greek ceramicist at Spitalfields Market. We got chatting about ceramics and soap, and  I learned that her mother still made olive oil soap for the family using a traditional recipe.

They of course use the soap to wash with, but where she really said she thought her mother’s soap distinguished itself from all others, was a stain remover. In fact, she said that she thought it was better than any of the chemical stain removers that she’d tried for getting out grass, blood and food stains. Well…that sounded like a challenge to me :), so I put our Traditional Castile soap to the test on a variety of stains.

Lipstick, Curry and Unidentified Muck

Perhaps not the nicest of jobs, but in the name of experimentation I had a rummage through our house’s laundry basket looking for stains. What gems did I find? A black vinyl handbag of mine that had red lipstick smeared all over the lining – lipstick cap malfunction at a wedding; a white T-shirt with a nice curry stain  near the collar; and a beige hoodie with a really odd smear-stripe of what looked like black and red charcoal crayons.

Traditional Castile Soap_All Natural SoapTo the sink!

I thought I’d start easyish and attacked  the curry stained T-shirt with cold water and then a good scrubbing of our Castile Soap. I  saturated the stain, worked some soap in, rinsed and you know what? The stain was gone! I was so pleased. Minimal effort, no nasty chemicals penetrating my skin and soft hands to boot.

Onto the unidentified hoodie muck. Well for this one I pretty much attacked the stain in the same way I did the curry. This one required a little more scrubbing and a little more soap, but again, the stain was completely removed. Two for two.

The hardest challenge – onto the red lipstick.

I wasn’t really holding out much hope for my handbag as the lipstick had really managed to work itself in to the bag’s lining and was all over the place, but I starting scrubbing anyway. The fact that this was a bar of ‘stain remover’ helped a lot on this test as I could use it to really get into the stain. Previously I’d apply some eco friendly stain remover and let my knuckles do all the work. The lipstick, not surprisingly, was not budging quickly, but I persevered, rinsed, worked in some more soap and eventually, to my complete amazement, it was gone! One pristine handbag for lucky old me.

The verdict? Castile Soap really is a great stain remover

I realise this wasn’t the most scientific of tests, but I for one am extremely pleased with how our olive oil soap performed on these difficult stains and intend to keep using it. I love the fact that its such a simple, traditional product that works so well; is biodegradable and 100% plastic bottle free.

Interested, why not try our Traditional Castile soap for yourself? It’s great for the body too.

Traditional Castile Soap_All Natural SoapWhat do you have to say and share?

Have you ever used our Castile Soap as a stain remover or for any other unexpected uses you’d like to share (such as for washing with :))? Do you have any top tips for eco-friendly cleaning?

Let us know about them by leaving a comment at the end of this article, or we could even publish a guest blog by you if you have a lot to say of the subject. Just get in touch.

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The wonders of figs, garlic and helping patchy eyebrows (while warding off vampires!)

Fresh figsAfternoon one and all, couldn’t wait to share what I just learned:

I just got back from a trip to the lovely local Turkish greengrocer as I was keen to see whether they had any fresh figs in stock. While I love eating fresh figs, my  mission of course had an ulterior soapy motive – you guessed it, fig soap!

When combined with honey, figs are a great natural humectant, which means that they attract moisture to the skin and basically make it feel really lovely.

Sadly it’s not quite fig season yet they tell me, but I got talking with the woman behind the counter about eyebrows and how nice hers were; and guess what she told me her secret was – garlic!

Yes you read that right…GARLIC!

What’s more, it’s not that she eats loads of the stuff, but rubs it around her eyebrows each night. Yes…really.

She admitted it was a little stinky, but she said it’s cured her patchy brows. I for one can vouch for how lovely and luscious they look.

As a fair-haired gal who has always envied the definition darker-haired ladies could achieve with their brows, I for one can’t wait to give this a go!

Not sure how I’m going to feel about the smell, but I’m sure I’ve tried weirder things in my time – mayonnaise hair gel anyone?

So in the name of all things natural, already in my kitchen cupboard, and anti-vampire-esque, I’m going to give it a go. Promise to report back.

I’ll also be back soon to tell you how we get on with the fig soap as soon as we can find some lovely fresh figs to experiment with.

Wish me garlicky luck!