Why I formulated the StrandsTogether Seaweed Shampoo

Those of you who live here can attest to this fact: the water in the UK is Haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaard!

What is Hard water ?

Photo Credit http://xcyteme.hubpages.com/

Hard water is water that has a high mineral content (calcium, magnesium and other alkaline minerals).

In addition to having a high concentration of minerals, and an associated high pH, hard water contains positive ions (cat ions) which adhere to the surface of the hair.

(NB. conditioners are deliberately formulated with cationic ingredients to adhere to the surface of your hair strands and help your hair appear smoother and shinier and feel softer. )

What's so bad about that?

The minerals in the water can cause calcified deposits in plumbing and reduce the efficacy of personal detergents (i.e. shampoos and shower gels).

Just think about it - that scaly buildup you see at the bottom of your kettle or stuck to your shower head can happen to your hair.  This accumulated layer of hard debris can cause hair to be dry and unruly, tangle easily, appear dull and lifeless, and lead to breakage.
Photo Credit http://www.touteau.com/

Soap is less effective in hard water because its reacts to form the calcium or magnesium salt of the organic acid of the soap. These salts are insoluble and form grayish soap scum, but no cleansing lather.

Detergents (shampoos & shower gels), on the other hand, lather in both hard and soft water- although some of the milder (greener) detergents can have a hard time removing the cationic minerals from the water and surface of the hair.

Over time, this can lead to a greyish slightly soapy residue/coating on your strands as visible in the images below.

Photo Credit: Bespoke Hairstyles, London

You can read more about this lovely lady's experience here: http://bespokehairstyles.wordpress.com/

So What Did You Do?

During my 4 years as a Sisterlocks Consultant, I noticed that many (not ALL) of my clients were presenting at their appointments with grey, greasy(ish) locs, right after washes (!!)  I decided that there HAD to be an alternative, so I started researching the causes and looking for solutions.  

12 months later, with pages and pages of feedback from the wonderful team at Bespoke Hairstyles, my clients,  and their clients, I'm proud to talk about the StrandsTogether Seaweed (Lupine Sugar) Shampoo. Based on our combined experiences, I believe this product to be an effective combination of gentle cleansers and gentle moisturisers to help cleanse newbie and teenage locs without stripping them.

Before (with SL Shampoo)

What Have Clients Said?

"Dear Almocado, I have just tried your loc shampoo (Lupine Sugar) not only does it smell lovely I found that it foamed up with the first wash.  After I washed my hair it felt so soft and clean.  I have also got the coconut water which I spritz my hair with, which leaves my hair feeling refreshed and smelling great, I get a lot of comments about the lovely coconut smell :-D.  Thanks soooo much for your lovely products I am so glad I found something that, not only smells good but leaves my hair feeling so clean and refreshed".

"Excuse me while I have my Herbal Essences moment.... Aaaaah"

"The shampoo may not lather as much as commercial ones but neither did the starter shampoo. After the 1st wash it lathers more. If you are used to commercial shampoos it might be a bit of a shock but it has no (negative) effect on the cleanliness..."

"I tried your shampoo for the first time today. It has a pleasant, nice scent and after washing my hair feels soft and not stripped but still clean. There is a particular patch at the front of my hair that gets dry flakes when I wash - even though my scalp is clean - some of the flakes get caught i the roots of my locks... after using your shampoo, I hardly had any of this. I am very pleased."
 "Used Strands Together for the first time y'day. Luv the smell. Took a few washes to get my hair squeaky clean, but that's how it is with locs my length now. It lathers up nicely, and my whole head felt fresh and light when I'd finished. After a few more uses I'll kno for sure if it's the ryt one for me. But so far me likey!"

This Lady madam Annette Almocado works sooo hard.God continue to bless your hands!power woman!I'd drop if I had to do that and still do dem mummy,business Lady,wife,lover etc tings!lol"

Bespoke wrote: "This Shampoo is a Locks Saver, you know like a Life Saver. It cleans my locks without stripping it of all the nutrient. I have only usec Strands Together on my 3yrs old's locks. Strands Together is a Soft & Gentle Cleanser btw I have washed my daughter's loose hair with it, great results ;-)"

Just washed it with @almocado shampoo and it smells so good!

Denise wrote: "Lovely, lovely, lovely shampoo! I no longer stress about washing my locs, seeing that am a newbie (8 months in) I still have to braid and band but enjoying this now as I know it's in preparation to wash my locs with this amazing shampoo that leaves my locs clean and smelling good. Big thanks toAlmocado Annette & Bespoke Hair Styles! Can't wait for Saturday! Xx"

How Can I Get This?

StrandsTogether Stage 1 Shampoo (Seaweed & Lupine Sugar) is available online at www.almocado.com/shop under Hair Cleansers;
Almocado clients can also make their purchases at their maintenance appointments at 'The Almond Tree' in Brockley;
Bespoke Clients can purchase from 'the Bespoke Hut' in Barking.

Please note - this is not a replacement for the SL shampoo, it is an ALTERNATIVE and may not be suitable for all clients. Please consult with your own loctician and follow your own voice.
Those with long locs or coloured locs may wish to wait for the Stage 2 shampoo which is still undergoing assessment.

What Else can I Do?

Other ways of getting rid of 'soap scum' or hard water build up:

  1. Use a clarifying shampoo - no moisturising or conditioning agents or silicones (liquid castille soap and liquid black soap do not qualify as clarifying for this purpose due to their alkaline nature).
  2. After shampooing, rinse with ANY vinegar (apple cider is not the only option). The vinegars will help bind the metals - and release them from your hair. If you hate the smell of vinegars see step 3
  3. After shampooing, rinse with club soda or soda water, (some have even suggested sprite or 7up but I'm not sure they're as effective).

If you found this useful, please share. x

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