View Full Version : Strange problem with shampoo bar and blow-drying

January 7th, 2015, 07:51 PM
My apologies, this is a double post because the first was created in the wrong part of the forum.


I'm hoping someone here can give me some guidance. I've searched everywhere to try and figure out what might be happening.

My hair - about shoulder length, no color (all grown out and cut off a long time ago). Curly when wet, looks bad when air dried.

I started using a CV shampoo bar a couple of weeks ago, after having used a semi-natural (well, less chemicals!) shampoo by John Masters for about a year. I've been off silicones for more than a year, and no real styling product usage at all the past six months. I've also done a citric acid clarify. So, I know I don't have a huge amount of past buildup, definitely not as much as someone coming off a more typical shampoo/styling routine.

I'm using the soapnuts shampoo bar, and a vinegar rinse (2 TBSP to 2 cups of water). I rinse and rinse and rinse, and my hair feels pretty clean when I'm done. If I let my hair air-dry it feels nice and silky and clean. However, if I re-wet and blow dry I get that no-so-clean feeling, like I have a coating or residue on my hair. What is happening? Is the heat from the dryer doing this? I HAVE to be able to blow dry, my hair looks like crap if it is not smoothed out. The curl pattern is just not conducive to wearing it natural.

Help! Any idea what's happening? I have very mildly hard water but still get good lather and am using a vinegar rinse.

January 7th, 2015, 08:27 PM
Oops, I just noticed that your thread moved to a different part of the forum, so I'm just going to copy & paste my reply here:

Tonstad, what you are describing (not-so-clean feeling, coating, residue...) could very well be soap scum from the shampoo bar. It tends to happen because the mineral ions in hard water displace the sodium ions from the soap resulting in insoluble gunk that doesn't rinse away very easily.
I don't know your motivation for using soap bar instead of liquid cleansers, but if it's to have less chemicals, then why not experiment with straight-up soapnuts instead of the soapnuts shampoo bar? Things like soapnuts, shikakai, soapwort, clays... at least don't use sodium hydroxide / caustic soda / lye that can make soap harsh on skin/hair.
Oh, and I believe that raising pH (with soap) and later lowering it (with acidic rinses) is not that great for hair either, it's a lot safer to keep both the cleansing and conditioning steps at relatively hair-friendly pH range, instead of causing wear and tear by roughing up and smoothing down hair cuticle multiple times. It is also better for skin/scalp, because raised pH can lead to dry, irritated skin and disrupted acid mantle, which leads to higher probability of skin getting infected or damaged.

To be honest, I tend to agree with Beauty Brains on shampoo bars:

I forgot to mention that throwing in a shampoo wash that is both clarifying and chelating can probably help. At least, that's what I would do if I were experiencing that coating/residue problem.

January 7th, 2015, 11:48 PM
Agree with meteor. High pH (alkaline) may not overtly harm skin or hair, but it's not the best option either.

January 8th, 2015, 12:08 AM
I just have to ask, why are you re-wetting and then blow drying if your hair is already dry and looks good?

January 8th, 2015, 01:23 PM
I go to bed with damp hair and it needs to be rewetted and styled for work in the morning. It definitely doesn't look good after sleeping on it! :).

Thanks for the recommendations - I'll check out some alternatives to the shampoo bars! It just seems strange that an air dry would feel different than blow drying.... It's like the heat is doing something to the residue that I don't feel if I air dry.