Solid shampoos are an innovative and eco-friendly concept favored by many. It is a concentrated product, without packaging, without preservatives, which takes up little space and is easy to transport. A shampoo “bar” of 100 g (3.5 Oz) can make about 70 to 80 shampoos. 

Solid shampoos can be fun to make because they can be molded according to your tastes and make very nice personalized gifts for your loved ones. These formulas can also be enriched very easily with butters or nourishing oils, which is more difficult with liquid shampoos.

The benefits of solid shampoos

*They do not take up space
*They are very easy to transport everywhere (no risk of leaking, no travelling restrictions…)
*They are zero waste, just a small box which is easily reused
*They are economical because they last much longer than a bottle of shampoo
*They are easier to dose, there is no risk of wasting it by pouring too much in the hand.

The drawbacks of solid shampoos

*Due to their solid nature, they contain a higher proportion of surfactants, which can in the long run become irritating or dry the scalp. Making the right choice in the ingredients, however, minimizes this problem related to surfactants.
*Between uses, they have to be kept in a cool, dry place, preferably on a soap dish. 
This will prevent the shampoo from being in prolonged contact with water. Otherwise, it may soften, or melt. Once dry, you can store them in a little tin box.

The surfactants

Definition:
A substance that tends to reduce the surface tension of a liquid in which it is dissolved. The surfactant compounds are amphiphilic molecules, that is to say they have two parts of different polarity, one lipophilic which has a high affinity with fats, the other hydrophilic which has a strong affinity with water.

Function:
Depending on their structure, surfactants can have different functions:

  • detergent agent (or cleaner): i.e. able to remove impurities or dirt

  • foaming agent: acting on the water-air interface, this type of agent allows the dispersion of a large volume of gas in a small volume of liquid and therefore the formation of foam

  • wetting agent: this type of agent allows a greater spread of a liquid on a solid

  • emulsifying agent: an emulsifier makes it possible to mix two immiscible liquids, for example water and oil, and to thus form an “emulsion”

  • conditioning agent: this type of surfactant combines with keratin or skin to make them smooth and silky

Types of surfactants: 

There are four types of surfactant compounds, which are grouped according to the nature of the hydrophilic part:

  • anionic surfactants: the hydrophilic part is negatively charged (anion). These surfactants are particularly cleansing. Some common anionic surfactants used in hair care:

    • sodium laureth sulfate, sodium lauryl sulfate and other sulfates (such as TEA lauryl sulfate),
    • the carboxylate family: Sodium lauroyl sarcosinate, Sodium stearate
    • the sulfonates such as sodium olefin sulfonate,
    • sulfosuccinates such as Disodium laureth sulfosuccinate, disodium oleamine sulfosuccinate and sodium dioctyl sulfosuccinate
    • and others such as Isethionates and Taurates.
  • cationic surfactants: the hydrophilic part is positively charged (cation). Examples of cationic surfactants in shampoos:  Polyquaternium-47, Polyquaternium-22, Polyquaternium-10
  • amphoteric surfactants: with two charges, one positive and one negative. Examples include Sodium Lauriminodipropionate, Disodium Lauroamphodiacetate, or Cocamido propyl betaine (most popular).

  • non ionic surfactants: the molecule has no charge. These are my preferred surfactants because they are not irritating and are biodegradable. These include Sodium Coco Sulfate, coco glucosides, Sodium cocoyl isethionate, Sodium lauryl sulfoacetate, Cetearyl alcohol, Cetyl alcohol, Stearyl alcohol

In cosmetics, synthetic surfactants derived from petrochemicals are regularly used, in particular:

  • sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), which is very irritating

  • sodium laureth sulfate (SLES), which is less irritating

  • ammonium lauryl sulfate (ALS), certainly the least irritating of synthetic surfactants

However, more and more natural surfactants are being used, especially in the making of organic/natural cosmetics. Those are:

  • sodium cocoyl glutamate, which is very expensive

  • sodium coco sulphate (SCS), a sulphated derivative of the fatty acids in coconut oil

  • sodium cocoyl isethionate (SCI), a mild surfactant well tolerated by the skin, also derived from coconut oil. It is used to soften formulas based on sodium coco sulfate

  • mild surfactants obtained from vegetable oils or sugar: coco glucoside, lauryl glucoside or decyl glucoside

Homemade

Why make it yourself?

  • Because it’s more economical
  • Because you know exactly what goes in it

  • Because you can create a custom recipe specific to your hair type, and your preferences 

  • Because it’s a real pleasure, and also very rewarding to make your own little shampoo from scratch

The choice of ingredients

  • A surfactant (sodium coco sulphate, sodium cocoyl isethionate…)
  • Oils and/or butters (Castor oil, Shea butter…)
  • Water and/or Hydrosol(s) (Lavender, Ylang Ylang…)
  • Powders (Clays, Henna, Ayurvedic powders, Ghassoul, plant powders…)
  • Active ingredients (Panthenol, Rice protein, Wheat protein, Maca…)
  • Fragrance (Essential oils, fragrance oils, spices…)

The basic shampoo bar formula

Surfactant(s) (SCI, SCS…): 10 to 80%
Oil(s) and/or Butter(s) (Coconut oil, Shea butter…): 1 to 10%
Water/Hydrosol(s) (Rosemary, Mint, Ylang Ylang…): 5 to 10%
Plant extracts/powders (Nettle, Peony, Burdock…) : 1 to 10%
Clays (Kaolin, Ghassoul, Henna…): 1 to 10%
Essential Oils/Fragrances: 0.5 to 2%
Specific treatments (Panthenol, vegetal collagen, vegetal silicone…): quantities will vary based on product

Precautions

Before you start making your own cosmetics, please, read these warnings :
• Some ingredients may be allergenic: always perform a preliminary test applying your preparation over about 1 cm² in the crook of your elbow
at least 48 hours before using your preparation in order to ensure that no reaction occurs (stinging, redness, difficulty breathing etc.).
• All cosmetics containing an aqueous phase (water, hydrosols) are very liable to microbiological contamination. So, it is essential to manufacture
your home-made creams in very hygienic conditions.
1. Sanitize the utensils and containers before use: either by immersing them in boiling water for 10 minutes (excluding plastic containers and pumps)
and drying them thoroughly with a clean and dry cloth, or by rinsing them with pharmacy alcohol (excluding gloss containers that are not alcohol resistant : sterilize with boiling water) and air-drying them.
2. Wash your hands before getting started and wear clean gloves.
3. Avoid touching the preparation and ingredients with your hands.
4. Store the temperature-sensitive preparations in cool conditions and use them quickly.
5. Use tested «natural preservatives»
6. Immediately throw away any preparation if you notice the slightest amount of mold, an objectionable odor or changes in its appearance etc.
• It is sometimes necessary to heat certain raw materials up to a high temperature. The precautions for use must be respected to avoid burns. It is advisable to wear eye protection.
• Always carefully label and date your preparations and keep them out children’s of reach.
• Respect the indicated doses. When making your product, fill in a traceability book, note the composition of your product and the batches
of ingredients used, as well as the manufacturing date.

Instructions

To make your own solid shampoo, follow the following instructions step by step:

  1. In a double boiler, heat the surfactant with a little water (or hydrosol), and the oil and/or butter.
  2. Stir constantly. The heat will melt the butter and soften the sodium coco sulfate. Once melted, remove from heat.
  3. Crush the mixture to form a fairly homogeneous dough. Sodium coco sulfate “vermicelli” may still be visible, but it is not a problem.
  4. For variations of the recipe, add powders, essential oils and other ingredients at this stage.
  5. Transfer the dough to a previously oiled soap mold and press down to spread it all in the mold.
  6. Allow the shampoo to harden before unmolding it. (You can optionally put the preparation in the freezer for 10 minutes).
  7. Let the shampoo air dry for 2 to 3 days before using it.

Preservation: well preserved and manufactured under optimal hygiene conditions, your product can be kept at least 6 months.

Happy shampoo bubbles to you!

 

 

After the winter, the body is tired by toxins accumulated during the holidays: bags under the eyes, pimples, lack of sleep and energy…the body is saturated. In spring, as sap rises to the heart of plants, our blood circulation accelerates and regenerates our organs. This is the perfect time to detoxify and, if need be, to get rid of some surplus weight before the arrival of summer!

To detoxify our body means getting rid of the many toxins or health-damaging elements that have accumulated over time through inadequate nutrition and breathing polluted air. The principle of detoxification is simple. Our body has the necessary organs to accomplish this work. These are called “emunctories” (filters), that is to say the liver, kidneys, intestines, lungs and skin.

The detox cure allows to revive the machine that is the body and to find a biological and mental balance. After a cure, we are full of vitality and most small ailments (allergies, skin problems, headaches, digestive discomfort, menstrual disorders) disappear. The goal is to strengthen our immune system, that is, the body’s natural defenses.

Do you want to purify your body of the toxins that invade it every day? Try my detox synergy blend made with essential oils to help eliminate all the waste that your body has accumulated!

Verbenone Rosemary essential oil detoxifies and stimulates the liver
Lemon essential oil cleanses and helps regenerate the liver
Juniper berry essential oil helps evacuate toxins, it is draining and diuretic
Lovage root essential oil activates renal and hepatic functions
Carrot essential oil is depurative (purifying, detoxifying) and regenerating
Ledum essential oil stimulates the liver
Peppermint essential oil promotes digestion

5 from 1 vote
Spring Detox Synergy Blend
Ingredients
  • 30 drops Verbenone Rosemary Essential Oil
  • 30 drops Lemon Essential Oil
  • 20 drops Juniper berry Essential Oil
  • 20 drops Lovage Root Essential Oil
  • 15 drops Carrot Essential Oil
  • 15 drops Ledum Essential Oil
  • 10 drops Peppermint Essential Oil
Instructions
  1. Mix all the essential oils into a small amber bottle and shake thoroughly to blend well.

  2. Take 2 drops morning and evening before meals in a teaspoon of olive oil or honey for 3 weeks

*Do not expose yourself to the sun during the treatment

*Contraindications:

-Pregnant and/or lactating women

-People with epilepsy

-Children

-History of hormone-dependent cancers

Spicy Moroccan Carrots
Course: Appetizer, Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine: Moroccan
Servings: 4
Ingredients
  • 1 lb Medium carrots (peeled and sliced thinly)
  • 2 cloves Garlic (chopped)
  • 1 TBSP Cilantro (chopped)
  • 1 TBSP Olive Oil
  • 1/2 tsp Cumin
  • 1/2 tsp Paprika
  • 1/2 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1 pinch Cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp Pickled lemon (optional)
Instructions
  1. Boil carrots for about 10 minutes. Once cooked, drain and set aside to cool down.

  2. In a cooking pan, drizzle olive oil. Add carrots, garlic, cilantro and all spices.

  3. Cook on low heat for about 10 minutes, stirring constantly.

  4. You can either serve it cold as a salad or warm as a side dish.

 

 

 

 

The method of the six therapeutic sounds stems from the Taoist school. According to the Taoists, making these sounds with the corresponding gestures serves to eliminate by induced vibration the negative energy lodged in the organs (liver, heart, spleen-pancreas, lungs and kidneys), as well as in the triple heater. The gesture is relatively simple, but it is important to connect to the correct energy, to direct it towards the organ and most importantly, to emit a correct sound in phase with the breathing. Visualization is important: with each inspiration, we imagine that positive pure energy enters the organ. With each expiration, we imagine that the negative energy lodged the organ goes out with the sound.

Each sound creates a vibration in the larynx, the vocal cords, the sinus and the diaphragm. This vibration is clearly perceptible, and transmitted to the internal meridians from where it travels to the peripheral points of the head, feet and hands.

The six sounds practice combines the two complementary qualities of dynamic Yang (in movement) and passive Yin (meditative). This exercise has the same purpose as the Qi Gong in motion: Regular exercises to maintain or restore the harmonious circulation of the Qi meridians and the Qi organs. They can then fulfill their purpose: each controlling a system of the body and participating in the construction and the balanced flow of the Qi, blood and Jinyé (body fluids). The practice develops two aspects: one is maintaining health and the other is self-healing.

The practice is done in the morning,as a prelude to more hectic activities (allowing to pleasantly awaken the function of the five main organs, to balance the distribution of all the fluids), or in the evening, in order to soothe our emotions (which we know are each connected to an organ) and to promote the quality of our sleep). Practiced as a method of self-healing, the 6 healing sounds can be undertaken at any time of the day.

The sounds are barely audible: they are expelled in a low voice in the breath of exhalation, without going all the way to the exhaustion of the breath. The repetition of the sounds depends on the time you want to dedicate to the practice and your personal feeling. It can vary between three, six or nine times for each organ and last for several minutes.

In case of illness, the sounds are then emitted aloud. The duration of the exercise is much longer than for healthy organs: sounds are emitted several times, and sometimes more than fifteen minutes is spent on the organ diagnosed. This Qi Gong practice makes it possible to target and work on each organ by attributing to it a specific sound and movement in order to drain the Qi and the blood. This exercise allows you to massage and vibrate the organs associated with the sounds in order to evacuate the negative cloudy Qi (improper energy) and replace it with the positive clear Qi (healthy energy).

This Qi Gong practice is used in Chinese hospitals to ensure a preventive and curative role on the health of individuals.

Find the 6 Healing Sounds Manual in The Library here.

 

The inner smile is an ancient Taoist method of deep relaxation and healing. This practice is done in a sitting position, feet on the ground, back straight, eyes closed. The basis of this relaxation-meditation is internal. The objective is to relax our body from the inside. It is therefore a practice of meditation that teaches us to get in touch with our internal organs, to learn to smile and to love them. With this practice, stress and negative emotions will be transformed into creative and healing abilities, which will increase the quantity and quality of your life energy (Qi). When the inside is relaxed, the outside relaxes as well.

According to the Taoists, the smile attracts and transmits the energy of love and joy which has the power to warm and heal. This inner smile practice is used to restore activity in the glands and organs and maintain them at a high level of performance, increasing self-awareness and feelings of personal strength and power.

This practice helps to reduce stress, tension and blockages in various organs. It puts us in contact with ourselves in a constructive and nourishing way. It allows us to check every day the state of our internal organs to give them a little time and sweetness and allow them to relax by thanking them for doing their respective work every second of the day, tirelessly.

This practice also helps to change one’s attitude towards oneself, to become more tolerant, warm, compassionate towards one’s limits, blockages, difficulties and the negative emotions of one’s organs. This is to help them function better and work in peace and keep us healthy.

It will also help us to increase the positive virtues related to each organ by gradually giving us more positive energy (resulting from the released negative energy), more inner relaxation and peace.

Inner smile allows us to get in touch with each organ and each part of the body and to observe without judgment, the emotions that are present, using the strength of the smile to help us turn the negative into positive. Rather than allowing negative emotions to accumulate in the internal organs and to turn into negative energies that in the long run will provoke illnesses in us, the inner smile teaches us to turn negative forces into positive forces and to be responsible for our emotions rather than being controlled by them. This is what the Taoists call “riding the dragon” or the emotional force.

Practicing the inner smile helps us to get in touch with our emotions as they arise; to come into contact with old pains, tensions, or repressed, forgotten emotions and to make the body-mind connection more closely.

The inner smile helps us to practice the positive virtues of joy, love, courage, kindness, openness to others, honesty, gentleness, etc … that we had at birth and in childhood and that we lost…But these positive virtues can emanate again from our organs if those are relaxed and healthy. That’s why you have to learn to smile at them. Smile!

Find the Cosmic Inner Smile Manual in The Library here.

 

What is Sophrology?

Sophrology was elaborated in the sixties by Colombian neuro-psychiatrist Dr. Alphonso Caycedo. Sophrology is defined as the science of the harmony of the mind. Sophrology incorporates many techniques inspired by yoga, hypnosis and Zen philosophy.  Both a therapeutic technique and a philosophy of life, it allows  you to acquire a better knowledge of the self and to face the existential challenges with calm and serenity.

The definition given by Caycedo, in 1994 is: “Sophrology is the study of human consciousness and existential values ​​”

Etymology:
SOS = Balance, harmony
PHREN = Spirit, Consciousness
LOGOS = Science

It allows everyone to regain a physical and psychological balance, develop their potential and improve their well-being. The exercises offered are simple, accessible to all and easily applicable on a daily basis.

Who is it for?

Sophrology is for everyone and adapts to the needs and constraints of people of all ages through its accessible, simple and easy to perform exercises.

What can it do for you?

Sophrology can help you…

  • Relax and release tensions
  • Build your confidence, develop a more positive image
  • Reduce your stress, manage your emotions better
  • Reduce your anxiety, stay grounded
  • Overcome your fears, doubts and insecurities
  • Improve the quality of your sleep
  • Get ready for an event (school exam, job interview, sports competition, childbirth, medical intervention …)
  • Develop your memory, your concentration and your creativity
  • Handle life’s difficulties (divorce, mourning, relocation, layoffs…)
  • Manage pain and/or disease better
  • Overcome addictions (smoking, food, drugs…)

Sophrology is not a substitute for medicine and may in no case modify or replace a prescribed medical treatment.

What are the common points between sophrology and meditation?

These two practices are characterized by an “altered state of consciousness” for the purpose of being available to oneself, observing from a distance the flow of thoughts and being open to what is called the “full consciousness”. Both use attention and concentration. Sophrology is somewhere between hypnosis and meditation: it is a guided practice, like hypnosis, but you remain actor of your session, paying full attention to your body and inner feelings.

Sophrology in practice

Sophrology can be practiced anywhere: in a practitioner’s office, in group sessions, at work and at home. Muscular and mental relaxation techniques are used, as well as breathing exercises and positive visualizations. Sophrology offers a wide range of dynamic or static exercises that adapt to your needs and goals. Techniques are simple and easy to remember, and allow you to practice autonomously. 

Excessive blow-drying, repetitive coloring, chemical treatments such as perms, relaxers, summer hair damage (wind, sun, chlorine, salt water…) weaken and damage the hair. They are fragile and can become brittle, dry and break off easily. Before opting for a radical solution and cut your lengths, try this homemade hair serum for split ends. It’s very simple, quick to make and works miracle. Can also be used on the scalp and on the hair. For all hair types.

Sea buckthorn oil is perfect for dry damaged hair, helps stimulate hair growth and improves the overall health of your hair and scalp.

Aloe Vera gel acts as a great conditioner and leaves your hair all smooth and shiny. It promotes hair growth, prevents itching on the scalp, reduces dandruff and conditions your hair.

Argan oil is proven to make hair softer, silkier and shinier. It is the ideal hair conditioner, and helps treat split ends and tame frizzy hair.

The vitamins and essential fatty acids naturally found in coconut oil nourish the scalp and help to remove sebum build-up from hair follicles. It also helps your hair grow longer, thicker, and faster. It penetrates into hair cuticles and seal them up.

Castor oil carries ricinoleic acid and omega- 6 essential fatty acids, which accelerate blood circulation to the scalp, hence increasing hair growth. It works on nourishing the scalp and strengthening the roots with the help of essential nutrients.

Ylang Ylang essential oil makes the hair smooth, supple and shiny, reduces hair loss and stimulates growth, regulates the production of sebum, stimulates and tones the scalp.

Geranium Bourbon essential oil regulates sebum secretion,  promotes hair growth, controls dandruff, relives scalp itch, strengthens the hair and makes it shine.

Sandalwood essential oil seals moisture into the hair, keeping it hydrated which allows no room for dry hair that leads to split ends.

Chamomile essential oil adds shine and softness to hair, and soothes the scalp.

Lavender essential oil deep conditions the hair, keeps it shiny, and helps control dandruff.

Vitamin E oil has antioxidant properties that help repair damaged hair follicles, it deeply conditions the hair from root to ends to make it healthier and shinier, encourages healthy hair growth and even prevents premature graying.

This formula will yield about 10 ml (0.34 fl. oz) of serum.

No Split Ends Serum
Ingredients
  • 3 ml Sea Buckthorn Oil (0.10 fl. oz)
  • 2 ml Aloe Vera Gel (0.07 fl. oz)
  • 2 ml Argan Oil (0.07 fl. oz)
  • 1 ml Coconut Oil (0.03 fl. oz)
  • 1 ml Castor Oil (0.03 fl. oz)
  • 1 drop Ylang Ylang EO
  • 1 drop Geranium Bourbon EO
  • 1 drop Sandalwood EO
  • 1 drop Chamomile EO
  • 1 drop Lavender EO
  • 3 drops Vitamin E Oil
  • 10 ml Amber glass dropper bottle (0.34 fl. oz)
Instructions
  1. Using a small funnel, pour in the Aloe Vera gel with the argan, coconut and castor oils in the dropper bottle.

  2. Now carefully add the essential oils, drop by drop. Shake well.

  3. Add the Pro Vitamin B5, then add the Vitamin E oil.  Shake well to mix up the ingredients.

  4. To use, place 1-3 drops on your palm, rub both palms together then smooth over your hair length. Concentrate on applying it on your hair ends, especially, because this is where the most damage & split ends occur.

  5. Store in a cool dry place, away from sunlight.  If manufactured under optimum hygiene conditions and well stored, your product can be kept for at least 6 months.