Well, it is not the old days anymore, but there is no reason why we have to be using harmful products. Most of the products have silicone in them to provide a silky sheen to the hair, but silicone is not good for humans either. In other countries, oils are combed through the hair to provide that silkiness. The Moroccan women use Argan oil for their skin and hair and, along with their diets that provide the foundation for beauty, they comb Argan oil through their hair and massage it into their skin.
The production of Argan oil is quite a story. The Argan tree is a tree that only grows in the specific climate of Morocco and the surrounding area. The nuts from the tree are impossible to crack, that is unless they have some enzymes plied to the hulls first. The women of the villages had no enzymes, however; they observed that the nuts eaten by the goats came out whole and were much more easily cracked, so to make Argan oil, first the goats must eat, digest and pass the nuts. These are then collected by the women and processed, that is cracked open and pressed, to provide their precious oil. Women of Morocco have formed a collective to sell some of their oil providing them with independence and much needed income.
There are no recipes for Argan oil shampoo so the first trial was a bit of a "let's see what happens" effort. I used the amount of lye and water for making castile soap. This produced a very soft bar, easily crumbled, which I cooked in the oven to cure it. That way the soap is ready to use immediately. Then, after crumbling the bar, boiled hot water was added and the soap began to melt. It was white and was becoming clear and to my surprise, gelling. I continued to add water and the soap continued to gel. OK, so then I have gelled Argan shampoo. Clary Sage, Rosemary and a good amount of peppermint essential oils were added and instead of boiled water, organic Rooibos tea to dilute the shampoo.Also, a tiny bit of Rhine Gold earth pigment was added to leave a sheen on the hair.
Getting it in the bottle was impossible. Imagine a gelled mass that clings to itself trying to be squished into a bottle. Nope, so I will have to find a different way to package it and make it readily useable. I shampooed my hair with it last night. It tingled from the high peppermint content and left my hair with tons of body, though not as soft as the hemp shampoo made last week. I may have to adjust the recipe some what. There was a good amount of oil in the bath tub, which tells me that the oil is also being left on the hair and that is positive. I will see how the hair feels tomorrow. In the meantime, learning to create sustainable products is fun. I favour hemp because it is grown in Canada, but the Argan oil is exotic and has a cute story, doesn't it?