This particular podcast is about you….well,  about some of the emails I actually get from you guys!

1.Why not use Sodium lactate in hair care?

I’m just a little wary of sodium lactate.  First, the pH to my understanding is around 8.  I once put it in bright red Hibiscus mix (pH of 4) and it turned it completely clear.  The pH jumped to around 8.  So I don’t want to add it to mixes and worry about it raising the pH to the point where it’ll affect the hair.  For skin, that’s fine.  Second, I don’t see it used in a large number of hair products.  It is used in products which treat keratosis and other serious skin issues.  Then I read a few years ago something about it breaking down keratin which supposedly makes it great for treating skin problems. Keratin is the protein found in hair.  Now, it may be completely and totally harmless for the hair, but I’m not taking any chances. 😛

2. Powder Vs Liquid milk
Every now and then, people ask my opinion about whether to use liquid or powdered coconut milk or goat’s milk in their DIY mixes.  It’s a personal preference but I definitely recommend using powdered milks over liquid milks any day.

If your goal is to create a DIY mix which will be sitting out on your dresser/shower until you use it up, I’ve had the most success in using powdered milks.   The powdered form allows for more flexibility and lasts longer, according to my experience.

3. Store-bought extracts of Slippery Elm and Marshmallow root
I haven’t used the store-bought extract versions of these great hair herbs before. I’m not sure if the bottled extracts have the mucilage like the regular herbs do.  But I used Marshmallow and especially Slippery Elm for mucilage.

4. Guar vs Xanthan
Xanthan Gum and Guar Gum are both used to add  ‘slip’ to DIY products.  ‘Slip’ makes is easier for curlies to detangle.  It also helps to lock in curl.  Xanthan Gum gives a slimy, stringy feel. Guar gum gives a super, super slippery feel.  However, it may leave flakes the hair.

I haven’t used Xanthan Gum in a high enough percentage to know whether or not it leaves flakes in the hair.  But I’ve definitely used Guar gum in a mix and it left flakes. I initially thought it was because I used too much. But I haven’t done extensive enough testing to know for an absolute fact that Guar Gum, itself, leaves flakes no matter what percentage.

If I had to pick one, I would start with Guar gum simply because of the extremely obvious slip it gives.

Listen to the Podcast for more


robwalkerpoet featuring Doxent
Watch This Space

James Pants
Menehune Dance

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When adding HP Starch (Hydroxypropyl starch phosphate) to a finished emulsion, mix with a water-soluble liquid (like water) first. Make sure to document for record keeping purposes how much additional water you added to your finished emulsion. It will form a gel. Make sure the gel isn't too thick or too thin. Add it the emulsion directly and mix well. Mixing HP Starch with water or another water-soluble liquid will help prevent your final product from looking "starchy" and gross. lol
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