Is washing your hair with black soap a good idea?

Black soap is a time-honoured beauty secret that works wonders on your skin. Unparalleled detoxification, ultra-gentle exfoliation and exceptional hydration: this product is something of a panacea. Read on to find out how you can harness its multiple benefits by using it on your hair.

What is black soap?

It is a plant-based soap which has a varying composition depending on its country of origin.
Moroccan black soap, or Beldi soap is the best- known type of black soap. It is made from a mix of olive oil and crushed black olives. Its colour varies between blackish-green and blackish-brown depending on the oil used. It has a thick paste consistency similar to that of a fine exfoliating scrub.
Western African Black soap is made from the ash of crushed nutshells with palm leaves, diluted in water and mixed with palm oil, shea butter and cocoa butter. Brownish-beige to dark brown in colour, it is solid but quickly becomes gelatinous when it comes into contact with water.

These traditional soaps are sometimes liquefied to make them easier to use. Scented versions also exist.

How do you choose the right one?

If you have dry hair or a damaged scalp, Beldi soap is perfect for you. Rich in reparative Vitamin E, it deeply nourishes the hair fibre and can soothe an irritated scalp. It helps relieve itching due to its soothing properties and it gently exfoliates to help remove dandruff. This means that it is not suitable for greasy hair, as it is liable to make the hair go greasy much more quickly. In this case, opt instead for African black soap. It is even milder and gently washes all hair types, including children’s. Rich in iron, Vitamin A and E, it strengthens damaged hair for more beautiful-looking locks.

How should it be used?

You can use black soap instead of shampoo, to wash and care for your hair. Dampen your locks and then blend the Beldi soap smoothly into some bicarbonate of soda to help purify and make your locks shine. It will foam slightly, but that’s normal. You can also apply it neat to your roots as a scalp scrub. Massage it into your scalp and leave it to work for a few minutes before thoroughly rinsing. To treat your scalp without irritating it, limit black soap use to once a month. For more frequent use, opt for African black soap. After massaging, rinse it off carefully.

Good to know: Cosmetic black soap is not to be confused with the household cleaner of the same name.

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