It’s been way too long since my last post, and even longer since my last “good seed.” But what can I say – when you work with kids, you get sick! Thankfully, things are starting to get back to normal now, except for the massive catching up I have to do. New blog post: Check!
Copyright: Sellwood Soap
When I was at a seminar in Portland this summer, I had the privilege to meet Rachel, the owner of Sellwood Soap, who sells her products alongside mine at Tangible Gifts, in addition to other Portland locations. She is an actual chemist, which I find fascinating. You know her soaps have to be great, since she really knows what she’s doing!
Many people, including the awesome EcoGrrl, have been asking me about my experience with shampoo bars, assuming that I’ve tried most natural shampoos. And I’ve always had to confess that I had never tried them before. So when I saw Sellwood’s shampoo bars at Tangible Gifts, I didn’t think twice before purchasing one. The funny thing is, I grabbed a product that I later found out was regular soap – and yet it worked great! Later, I was able to try the actual shampoo bar and I loved that just as much. Before I continue with the review, here’s what Rachel has to say about herself and her business:
My journey toward a career in soap-making started in chemistry. Twelve years as an analytical chemist, I was always acutely aware of chemicals in household products. I was “that” shopper at the grocery store reading all of the labels, even more annoying to shop owners because I understood what I was reading. A laundry list of allergies and a family riddled with skin problems gave me the final push to go for it and start Sellwood Soap Company, dedicated to creating gentle and natural handmade soap and specializing in solid products such as bar shampoo (for dogs and humans), lotion bars, shaving soap and more. No water means no preservatives necessary so those products have been our mainstay.
Teaching has also been a cornerstone of our business – we teach soap making classes at Portland Homestead Supply Company, a local Portland store in Sellwood that also carries our products. These classes usually fill and are incredibly fun to teach – while not all go on to make their own products, they all know more about what is in the products they choose to buy, a little chemistry lesson comes with every class. We also teach now through our blog, which has replaced our monthly newsletter.
I really admire Rachel and her business model. I think passing on the tradition of soap making is a wonderful way to inspire others and keep that art alive.
Rachel, mixing up some magic (Photo copyright Sellwood Soap)
As for me and my hair, I can honestly say it has never looked or felt better. Many readers here know that I have been using my own shampoo recipe
for many years now, which I was plenty happy with. However, the down side was that my homemade shampoo tended to leave my hair quite static-y and a little heavy. My solution was to use baking soda and a vinegar rinse once a week or so, but it honestly had started to wear on me after so many years.
To my absolute surprise and delight, the shampoo bar (even the regular soap bar!) left my hair much, much smoother, with far less of a feeling of residue on my hair. The static is under control, as well! And my hair is smoother and easier to comb out. I know some people have felt that their hair is more oily with shampoo bars but I haven’t found that to be the case. My hair is on the oily side, anyway, and it seems to respond the same to this bar as to my former shampoo. I have been using a vinegar rinse far more often than I used to, but even when I don’t use it, the shampoo bar is far superior to my own little concoction.
I’d say that the only negative is that I tend to use a LOT of the bar each time I wash my hair. I like a lot of lather. So I’m going through my bar pretty quickly. I’d say it will last me 4-6 weeks – and I only shampoo my hair every other day. However, I used the same amount of my former shampoo in the same amount of time. The only difference is that the shampoo bar will end up costing more. But I am totally and completely fine with that because I think it’s 100% worth it. It “costs” less in other ways – it’s already made, so I don’t have to do any work and it cuts back on my plastic use (castile soap comes in plastic jugs and my shampoo bottle is a spray top with lots of not-so-eco-friendly plastic pieces that will one day have to be thrown away). I would also add that my own use of the bar may not reflect that of others’ – it really depends on how much lather you like! According to Sellwood Soap, a bar should last as long as three bottles of shampoo – so obviously, I overuse mine a little. But I can’t help it!
All in all, I am so incredibly pleased with this product and will definitely be coming back for more! I highly recommend trying a shampoo bar if you haven’t, already. If you are interested in trying some Sellwood Soap, you will find the links to the shop above. You can check out the blog here
and visit Rachel on Facebook here
If you’ve tried shampoo bars before, how did you like them?