This weekend a friend and I ventured out to the Berkeley flea market. Believe it or not, this was my first time ever going to a flea market. Yup, in my entire life. What an experience! Let me give you some highlights
- Hoochie mama Sistahs doing the twisty walk to get male attention (for real? you doing the twisty walk at the flea market?)
- Conga and bongo players
- Motorized wheelchairs manned by crazed speed demons
- Brothas with demonically red eyes smoking weed out in the open
- White people with matted dreadlocks
- People with so many tats they looked like the World Atlas
- Woman arguing with man promoting a YES vote on Prop 37 adamantly stating that genetically modified foods “aren’t that bad for you”
- Brothas with no shirts on but their butts and underwear showing
- People selling everything under the sun and moon and stars
I was totally overwhelmed by the noise, smells and people… maybe I need to get out more.
But what interested me most were the booths selling fresh cut raw African Black Soap, available in hunks priced from $2 to $30. I’d been itching to try making shampoo from African Black Soap to try to arrest the breakage I’ve been experiencing, so I bought a good sized piece of soap (6 oz chunk) for $5 and brought it home.
In case you are thinking “ugh, who wants to use BLACK soap in their hair?”, understand that African Black Soap is not actually black. African Black soap is actually more brown to grayish in color, with some soaps being very dark brown. The color variations apparently depend upon the process used to make it.
Raw African Black Soap is reported to be extremely effective in healing acne prone skin, evening out skin tone and fading uneven dark spots. This gentle, moisturizing soap is fabulous to use not only as a shampoo, but to clean body and face as well. A little bit will create a creamy lather, and a small chunk of this soap will go a long way.
What is so intriguing about raw African Black Soap is the fact that it is 100% plant based and contains no lye, preservatives, color enhancers, or chemical fragrances. Raw African Black soap generally contains some combination of the following: plantain skin, palm kernel oil, palm oil, coconut oil, Shea butter or honey. African black soap creates a rich lather without the animal fats frequently used in commercial soaps, so vegans like it. Since African Black Soap contains vegetable glycerin naturally, it absorbs moisture readily and dissolves in water quickly and easily.
After you break off the chunks needed for your shampoo, store the remaining soap in an air-tight container or a Zip Lock freezer bag. Break off small pieces to use and leave the rest in the air-tight container.
Making African Black Soap Shampoo
It was very warm on Saturday, and I was happy my friend had prepared for the heat by bringing along some bottled water to drink. I had a bit more than half of my second bottle left when I got home, and decided it was a perfect container to mix and store my African Black Soap shampoo.
- 2 Tablespoons grapeseed or olive oil (grapeseed is less oily than olive oil) (optional)
- Take a few swigs from your bottle to reduce level of water to 12 oz.
- Add crumbled chunks of African Black soap to the bottle. Using less soap will result in a thinner, more watery shampoo… the more soap you add the thicker and more syrupy your African Black Soap shampoo will be.
- Let the bottle and soap sit in cool spot overnight, or until soap dissolves completely.
- Gently shake the bottle in a swirling fashion to mix, then add Aloe Vera and oils.
- Store in a cool, dry place or in the refrigerator. Shake gently before each use.
My hair and scalp were nice and clean but still felt moisturized. Dirt and layers of butters and oils from the week were gone but my hair didn’t feel “stripped” if you know what I mean. I used the African Black Soap shampoo after a protein pre-poo conditioning treatment made with avocado, egg and coconut oil. With that in mind, I opted not to add the 2 Tablespoons of oil to this batch of shampoo, and it worked out perfectly.
After shampooing I immediately used my Giovanni Direct Leave In conditioner, topped that with some of my Co-Grow Oil Blend, then massaged it through my hair. I twisted my hair using flax seed gel then sealed my ends and hair with a Shea butter whip.
The breakage I’ve been experiencing seems to FINALLY be under control! Took two protein treatments, lots of moisturizing, a change in shampoo and goo-gobs of Shea butter to get back on track, but it’s finally happened. All this breakage started right after I used Shea Moisture Curling Custard a few weeks ago. My hair obviously hated it and has been breaking and falling out ever since. Never again!!!!
Anyway, this stuff is great! Give it a try. If you cannot find African Black Soap locally, you can order it using the link below.
About the Author (Author Profile)Blogger, writer, relationships/dating expert, fitness trainer and natural hair enthusiast since 1997. Sharing information from grandmomma, books and scientific journals, as well as my personal discoveries and experiences with natural hair as we journey from relaxers, flat irons and weaves together.
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- 6 Uses For African Black Soap — Homestead and Survival | April 10, 2013