Faith Amour Hair Care

What is Black Soap?

Posted on: February 21, 2011

African black soap, also referred to as black soap, is made from harvested and air-dried plantain skins, palm leaves, cocoa pod powder, and various oils and butters; coconut oil, Shea butter, cocoa butter and kernel oil. The plants used in black soap are dried in the sun and roasted in clay ovens to produce ash. The ash is added o water and filtered to produce African black soap. The roasting process produces a deep, dark brown color with black specs throughout, hence the name African black soap. African black soap is rich in naturally occurring vitamins E and A and antioxidants.

Black soap is available even in America but the authentic kind is made mostly in Western Africa. African Black Soap is a soap made mainly in Ghana. Ghana, or The Republic of Ghana, is a country located in West Africa. The difference in the soap quality lies in the preparation itself. The genuine product is made by first burning leaves and barks of a variety of tress and includes banana tree leaves, plantain skins, palm tree leaves and cocoa pods among others in a big vat. The ash residue is then mixed with water and filtered out. To this mixture, ingredients like coconut, palm and palm kernel oils, shea butter and cocoa butter are added to make the soap. Women actually hand stir the concoction for an entire day and then the soap is set out for curing for a period of 14 days approximately.

The soap is comprised of the ashes from burned cocoa bean pods and plantain peels, palm oil and shea butter. It is unlike any other soap in the world because it is free of lye. Lye, also known as potassium hydroxide, is used in soaps, and has been known to cause irritations to the skin.

African black soap recipes are handed down from generation to generation, and you will find that each region has its own unique recipe for making the soap. For example soap made in the coastal areas has a higher percentage of coconut oil but soap made in the interior regions will have more shea butter.

Black soap is often referred to by a variety of names. One of the most common is Ose Dudu; ose meaning soap and dudu black.

African black soap can be applied to the hair as a gentle cleanser; it contains no sodium lauryl sulfate, a lathering agent that strips the hair of its natural oils.

African black soap can be used to treat and prevent dandruff; the anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties contained in African black soap are beneficial for prohibiting bacterial growth on the scalp and relieving minor scalp irritation. If you are experiencing excessive dandruff or itching of the scalp, please contact a trichologist, a professional skilled in treating scalp disorders.

African black soap can be converted into a liquid form when it is added to water for several hours. Add small pieces of the African black soap to a disposable container; cover them with water and leave them overnight. You can use the liquid form as you would the solid form.


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February 2011
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