A new venture into natural living led me in pursuit of a lye-and-chemical-free, natural source of soap. I quickly discovered soap nuts and became very excited! The stove-top in our little home simmered with various brew containing these lil’ fruits.
A month or two passed, during which I slowly (and steadily) lost my steam. Though I absolutely loved what it did for my hair, there had to be something better with less tangling effect. My end conclusion was that though they are a great addition to soaps and cleaners, they were not for my hair!
Here are the 5 primary reasons that made me stop using the soap nut tea as a shampoo.
We all have limited time. To make the soap nut tea required 30+ minutes of boiling to release all the beneficial qualities. Even then, it must cool before using or bottling. Worth the time? I thought so at the beginning. Later on, I changed my mind!
Not only did it take time to make, but liquid would lose its cleansing power in 7-10 days (depending on bathroom temperatures). That either meant refrigeration (and ridiculously cold shampoo) or making a weekly batch. I tried to find ways around the preservation issue but failed.
Ease of Use
I began by taking a mason jar to the shower. I quickly learned this was not the way to go. Glass in the tub? Bad idea! An attempt with a mini spray bottle failed. With little quirts at the head it.took.so.long to wash my hair! I upgraded to an recycled foaming soap dispenser which helped with application. I still had no way to preserve it.
It was difficult to tell how much was and ought to be applied! Soap nut tea does not foam up and it was easy to miss an area with a system like that. The majority of the time, I overused the liquid when trying to make certain I “got everything.” At the end of a shower, I’d stare at the empty container, wondering where it all went!
Soap nut liquid was not good for overnight stays or traveling! The foaming soap dispenser bottle leaked. Or I’d use too much and run out halfway through. I suppose I could have asked my host if I could brew some shampoo tea on her stove top…but a person could gain admittance to a psych ward with questions such as that!
So I conclude, that while I love the properties of soap nuts, they are not suitable for a shampoo. I still used them in my Vinegar Soapnut Household Cleaner, for hand soap bars and especially in the all-time favorite Shampoo Bar with Soap Nuts & Oat Milk but I’ve accepted and found their place in my home. They are a gentle cleaner and best used when combined with something else!