Black soap is an inexpensive powerhouse with great skin healing benefits. I use it as part of my daily skincare routine and it’s the star of the show for my DIY black soap shampoo. I’ve been making my own shampoo concoctions for about 3 years now in trying to find the right balance of products that agree with my scalp. On the hunt for a product that wasn’t filled with parabens and sulfates I wanted something as pure as possible and black soap seemed to have what I was looking for. Before I proceed, let me give you a quick rundown on what black soap is and how it’s processed.
Black soap is popular in African culture as a remedy for various skin care conditions. How its processed and the combination of ingredients vary across the country which can help explain why some soaps are darker or lighter. For example, according to a study from the Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology, Moroccan black soap known as Saboun Beldi is made with olive oil and potassium hydroxide. In Nigeria, black soap comes from the Yoruba words “ose dudu” and is made with things such as palm oil and cocoa pods . An article by Treehugger outlines the process of black soap as using the ash from locally harvested plants and barks like plantain, cocoa pods, palm tree leaves and shea tree bark. The leaves and bark are then sun dried, roasted in a pot with water and a variety of oils are added and cured for two weeks.
The benefits claim of black soap include:
naturally anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory and antiseptic
perfect for removing dirt and grime and gives the skin a clean feel
helps fade dark marks and discolouration
gentle on the skin
enriched with vitamin E which aids in healing the scalp
From my personal use of this product I can attest to all of the above. I tried this out on my face first for a few months before my scalp. I have normal to dry skin and it’s helped fade my dark spots, it’s not irritating on my skin and it leaves my face feeling super clean. Because it literally gets all my make-up off and sucks all dirt out of my face, I do have to follow up with a hydrating face moisturizer to regain the hydration. Having a good experience with it, I felt confident enough to give it a shot on my scalp.
Using it as my base combined with various essential oils, I've created a shampoo that leaves my scalp squeaky clean while soothing it at the same time. This was trial and error of course but I now have my own product where I have total control of what goes in it, I can switch up the ingredients based on the needs of my scalp and I can use the oils for other DIY projects! These oil blends are not only gentle but stimulating at the same time.
· Lavender oil is noted for its anti septic properties that aids in ridding the scalp of germs and is a great stimulant for blood circulation.
· Tea Tree oil is packed with anti-fungal, antibacterial, antiseptic, anti viral and anti-infection properties and aids in unblocking hair follicles.
· Rosemary oil not only smells wonderful, but it has been known to stimulate hair growth and improve blood circulation.
· Avocado oil, one of my favorite carrier oils contains vitamins A, E, D and is an excellent moisturizer on its own.
· Vegetable glycerin when combined with other oils is a great colourless, odorless, inexpensive, effective humectant that aids in the retention of moisture.
· Lastly, I use vitamin E oil because it has been suggested it helps to improve circulation to the body and scalp and aids in extending the shelf life of home-made products.
The below formula is what works for me, but feel free to add or substitute from the list to suit your hair type needs. The brand of black soap I use is Tropical Naturals Dudu-Osun Black Soap and I purchase it from my local beauty supply store, along with the 6oz applicator bottle. My essential oils are bought from various health food stores in and around the Toronto area. But don’t worry I have you covered if you aren’t from the North. I’ve included links below on where to buy outside of Canada, but don’t forget to check out your local health stores too as they can be a great resource. Now that you understand my choices of ingredients lets make this shampoo.
Homemade African Black Soap Shampoo
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Total time: 30 minutes
Author: the peckish palate
What you'll need:
· 1 small stainless-steel bowl
· 1 metal spoon
· 1 6oz applicator bottle
· 1/4 cup of distilled water
· 1/4 cup black soap
· 2 tablespoon cold pressed avocado oil
· 2 tablespoon vegetable glycerin
· 1 tablespoon vitamin e oil
· 10 drops of tea tree oil
· 10 drops of rosemary oil
· 10 drops of lavender oil
1. Bring to a boil 1/4 cup of water, transfer to stainless steel bowl
2. Chop the black soap into small pieces, add to the boiled water and stir until completely dissolved (the smaller the pieces the quicker it will dissolve).
3. Add in the remaining ingredients, mix well
4. Allow mixture to cool, then transfer to the applicator bottle
5. Can store up to 2 months
TIP: You can measure out about 4oz of water using the applicator bottle and add that to your pot to boil, because as the soap melts it will also create a liquid. You may also end up with extra shampoo that’s ok just store in another bottle and store.
Where to buy: