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4.6 out of 5 stars
Dr. Bronner's Fair Trade & Organic Castile Liquid Soap - (Almond, 4 oz)
Color: AlmondSize: 4 ozChange
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2,456 of 2,521 people found the following review helpful
on July 17, 2011
I didn't see many reviews talking at length about using this as a shampoo, so I thought I would add one. Expect my personal experiences and opinion, identified as such, mixed in.

I use this soap for shampoo, body wash, face wash, I put it in my bath, I've used it to clean my counters, I've used it to clean dishes. The peppermint is my favorite, especially for soaking in the bath because it tingles and it's the best scented in my opinion, also for shampoo, again because it tingles.

To clean, I put a little on a damp terry cleaning cloth or kitchen towel and just wipe. I use it on kitchen and bathroom counters, and I dissolve it in water to mop with. I prefer to use the tea tree for cleaning.

As a shampoo, I am puzzled by all the claims I had heard online about castile soap/saponified oil being drying to the hair, and I suspect that many of the people making those claims either haven't tried it and are just perpetuating the general misconception, or maybe they are using it wrong (I'll explain why I think that). This is an extremely gentle product. I have CURLY hair, and it is dyed(with one of those clairol nice n easy super harsh store bought dyes)(#124 natural blue black, if you want to know). Curly hair is generally more dry, and harder to keep conditioned, than straight hair, and mine is no exception. My hair is super fine and super dry, and prone to breakage. I find using this soap as shampoo is actually much LESS drying to my hair than other types of shampoo.

If you are going to use this as a shampoo, you have to keep a couple of things in mind;
-1. Use less than you think you need. Less than what you would use if you were using a normal shampoo. You are not going to get as rich of a lather with this soap. That doesn't mean it doesn't clean as well, and it doesn't mean you didn't use enough soap. A little known fact is that the ingredients that clean your hair in normal shampoos don't lather either. Shampoo manufacturers ADD lathering agents purely for consumer impression. You get the impression as you are washing your hair that you are getting your hair really super clean because you are getting a nice thick rich lather, but in reality, the lather is not what is doing the cleaning, and to a small degree, lathering agents actually prevent detergent agents from working as well as they otherwise would. That's why, in industrial cleaning supplies(not the ones you can find in walmart) they typically don't add lathering agents. Normal shampoos have harsher detergent agents than this soap because of that effect, and because of the types of ingredients in normal conditioners(read on).

-2. Lather, rinse, THEN REPEAT. Shampoo twice, even if you are unaccustomed to doing that with normal shampoos.

-3. RINSE REALLY REALLY WELL. After you have rinsed your hair and the soap is all out of it; rinse it all over again.

-4. Don't use a 'normal' conditioner, pick one without any heavy 'cones' in it. Most conditioners have ingredients whose last four letters end in c-o-n-e (like silicone, amodimethicone, cyclomethicone, etc.). Not all, but many, of these ingredients coat your hair and supposedly make it seem incredibly silky and shiny and beautiful and glorious and on and on (and cone leave-ins really give you this effect), but what they also do is keep the natural oils, from your scalp, and any other moisturizing products you may use, from actually getting into your hair, so you get on this cycle of stripping your hair with a normal shampoo, then coating your hair with a normal conditioner, then stripping then coating then stripping, etc., and your hair is getting drier and drier. Not all cones do this. There are lighter ones and ones that are water soluble that are not doing anything bad, and it's up to you to use cones or not, but...IF YOU ARE USING THIS SOAP FOR SHAMPOO...then I would recommend staying away from it altogether. The harsh detergents in normal shampoos can handle stripping the normal conditioners from your hair with one washing, but this shampoo is much gentler and probably won't. This is what I think people are doing wrong when they think this hair is drying their hair out. I don't know, maybe they are worried it might, so they get what they think is going to be a really good conditioner, but it's a 'normal' conditioner, and as a result they aren't giving this soap an honest chance. They think it's this shampoo, but it's really their conditioner, that is causing their hair to be dry. There are a ton of really good conditioners that don't have cones in them. Dr. Bronner's makes a conditioner, but it's pricey. The thing that makes this soap a great product is partly that it is almost immortal. (My last 16 ounce bottle of the peppermint lasted me 8 years. Admittedly, that was before I tried it as a shampoo, but that would've maybe shaved a couple years, at most, off of the 8.) The Dr. Bronner's conditioner will not last as long, and there are better ones that are cheaper. If you google 'Paula's Choice', you can find a website of the same name that has an outstanding ingredient list, so you can see what the good ingredients are, and there are tons of websites listing cone free conditioners. (Personally, I don't use a conditioner, I wash my hair and then when I am out of the shower I massage a nickel sized amount of light or extra virgin olive oil into my hair. Yes, I actually do that. It doesn't make my hair oily, it just soaks right in. I've been doing that for a very long time, even when I was still using normal shampoo, and It has never made my hair feel oily. On days when I don't shampoo which is about 6 days out of 7, I just rinse my hair in the shower and if my hair seems dry when I get out, I will add a tiny amount more. This doesn't weigh my hair down either, like I said, my hair is curly and it still pops up in spontaneous ringlets) (I get my olive oil in a gigantic bottle from walmart that costs me all of around $1.62.)

-5. You don't need to wash your hair every day. That's not really about this particular shampoo, just in general. If you don't believe me, ask your stylist. Just, when you take a shower, rinse it and condition it, if you choose to use a conditioner. As I stated above, I really only wash mine once a week. Trust me; nobody will be able to tell.

A little note about the different scents I've tried; Peppermint smells heavenly but has a noticeable tingle, that's good if you like and want it, bad if you don't. Lavender is my second favorite, it's a strong lavender scent. I mean it, this is not lavender for the weak of heart, this is not 'glade plug ins lavender fairy-farts', this is not a freaking fabric softener with a baby teddy bear on the label, this is hardcore hippie tree hugger lavender (love for the hippie tree huggers). If you've never smelled lavender the actual herb, and you've only ever smelled lavender scented products (even the organic ones, because, of the ones I've tried, the organic products that are lavender scented are still not as strong as this one), then you might possibly want to buy the 4 ounce size first to try. I like the little 4 ounce bottle anyway because I can refill it from the big bottles and use it on trips, so then you'll have the bottle. Tea Tree is strong too, if you like tea tree (I do, I liked this one) you'll really love it, if you don't like tea tree you'll REALLY hate it it, if you aren't sure if you like it, then you should definitely buy the tiny bottle first and try it, you don't want to be stuck with a product that lasts as long as this one does if you don't like it. Tea Tree also seems to me to have a very light tingle to it. Lastly, Rose. ROSE. UGH. I read online and thought people who didn't like this scent didn't know what they were talking about about this scent being so bad, and I bought it anyway because I trust this company and I was a moron to do it. Really, honestly, trust me, it smells nothing like a rose, or even remotely floral, it smells like what I imagine rancid gummy bears might smell like if it were possible for gummy bears to rot, and it is so sickeningly strong and so sweet smelling that when you smell it it makes your teeth hurt. I use mine to clean my bathroom and pray longingly for the day when I'll run out of it.

***EDITED TO ADD***
Since posting this review, I wanted to add a couple more bits of info.

Firstly, this monster has taken on a life of it's own, and people are adding, in the comments, all sorts of fantastic tips of their own about hair care, so make sure you check them out. It's some great stuff.

Second, Olive Oil. Quite a while ago, I added a comment to this review including, among other things, clarifying some thing you need to know when considering using olive oil on your hair, and I wanted to paste that here. Uh...so...here it is. encased in the [];
[There are different types of olive oil. Extra virgin olive oil is the opposite of extra light olive oil. Evoo is mucch heavier and thicker. I think its fattier. You can tell how heavy an olive oil is by its color, EVOO is green and extra light olive oil is clear. The 'spectrum', getting lighter in thickness/weight and lighter in color from green to clear is; EVOO, virgin olive oil, pure olive oil, light olive oil, extra light olive oil. If you want to try olive oil, maybe start at pure olive oil and move up or down, depending on how dry/oily or thick/fine your hair is. What you dont use, you can always cook with!]

Lastly, I was in the process of using up a bottle of bronner's when I initially wrote this review. Since then, I used that bottle up, and went to the store intending to buy a replacement bottle of lavender. Well, they were out. They did have peppermint, which I bought a bottle of, and they also had the lavender in bar form. I got experimental one day in the bath, and used the bar form to wash my hair. FANTASTIC. Lathers great, cleans great, smells great. The one aspect of using the bar to wash your hair that I liked the most was this; when you use the liquid, it's difficult to control how much goes into your hand. If you are using too much of the liquid, then it becomes hard to 'control' in your hand. What I am saying is, you pour the correct amount into your hand, and then you rub your hands together rapidly to emulsify it, and then you apply it to your hair and wash away. If you've put too much into your hand, then you lose some of it when you're rubbing your hands together. PHEW! My gosh that was hard to explain. My POINT...finally...is that the bar eliminates this problem completely, so if you're a fan of the liquid, give the bar a try too, I like them both equally.
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117 of 123 people found the following review helpful
on October 13, 2012
What can't I say about Castille soap? About 4 or 5 months ago I decided to go simple with my cleansers and had always been perplexed by Dr Bronners...what in the world do you use it for? Well, today, I pretty much use it for everything but in my dishwasher Here is a little guidance from me and my daily life:

1. Laundry Detergent for ONE load:
1/4c Dr Bronners (I use peppermint for everything because you get it dirt cheap at Trader Joe's: $9.99 for 32oz--YES, $9.99)
1/8c white vinegar. Got a great tip from a friend and put it in a downy ballDowny Automatic Dispenser--it will release at the rinse cycle.
2 tbs Borax or Washing SodaChurch & Dwight Co 03020 Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda. I prefer Borax because I feel like it gets things cleaner.

2. Hand Soap:
Get a foaming soap dispenser. Just go to Target and get one there than you think is cute, use all that soap and begin to use it. Fill bottle 1/3 way with water first, then add Dr Bronners (I use Almond--peppermint is too tingly and I have a 2 yr old). I add some tea tree oil to make it anti bacterial.

3. Foaming body soap:
Ok, I ended up washing out one of my foaming mousse bottles and now I use that in the shower. I fill 1/3 water and 2/3 Dr Bronners (I use Almond...I made the mistake only once of using peppermint. Ouch--it burns).

4. Toilet cleaner:
I squirt peppermint Castile soap and clean out. It works fabulous.

5. Everyday household cleaner:
I fill a spray bottle mostly with water and add some peppermint Castile soap and tea tree oil for antibacterial. Too much soap and you have a residue. Start with 3/4 water and 1/4 Castile and see where that gets you.

6. Cats:
I have a real jerk of a cat that seems to think the best way to express his displeasure is to pee in the kitchen. Nothing stinks worse than cat pee. I use full strength PEPPERMINT Castile soap and it completely eliminates odors, better than anything I used before I discovered Castile soap.

Really, the flavor depends on what you like...and since I work near a Trader Joe's with super cheap peppermint Castile, my cleaning routine is 95% peppermint, except when it comes to anything body related *more flashbacks to shower incident*.
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78 of 85 people found the following review helpful
on February 28, 2013
The best shampoo, the best body wash, the best hand soap and the best hand wash laundry detergent. No dry itchy skin, no dry flyaway hair, no cracked cuticles, no detergent rash.
Any questions?
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430 of 506 people found the following review helpful
on February 11, 2007
Dr. Bronner's is really fantastic stuff! I keep find more and more uses for it around the house. We've gotten to the point that we have replaced all of our toxic synthetic chemical products with this! The only thing I find it terrible for is washing windows, it leaves a film and you spend more time removing the film than the dirt! Otherwise, this stuff can easily replace 6-10 products around the home.

Be warned of this Peppermint, even though the peppermint is natural, it is extremely strong smelling. So strong, it can cause irritation for some people. I tried to use it on my floors, while it cleaned incredibly well, it nearly ran us out of the house the smell was so strong. This is even with me diluting it to a massive degree. I would recommend Peppermint for hand soap, dishes, laundry, anything outdoors. But would use something like Unscented, Lavender or Almond for general house cleaning, body soap and shampoo.

We also found this product is fantastic for cleaning our italian leather furniture! Normally we have to buy expensive solutions to effectively clean it while not damaging the leather. This stuff works perfect on it. If you use this in the bathroom for hand soap you don't need any air fresheners after you have a bowel movement. The peppermint quickly overtakes any other odors. We now use Bronner's for cleaning our jet tubs. Before they were very difficult to clean because you cannot use abrasive chemicals, but Dr. Bronner's practically melts the grim and dirt right off them!

Finally, I have dry skin. Up to this point I have been using Ivory Soap and it is horrible on my skin. A couple days of using Bronners and my skin is back to being normal! I love how this product rinses off so easily and leaves no films.
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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on December 29, 2012
the product works but I wish that instead of the "propaganda" on the label (virtually all that's written on the label is some sort of mission statement) there were some instructions on how to use it: how to dilute it, what strength is appropriate for what purpose etc. I ended up googling every time I needed to use it.
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53 of 59 people found the following review helpful
on November 6, 2014
PROS: You can use this as "no poo" shampoo. I have long (below the bust line), thick, curly, frizzy and dry hair. The shampoo has helped to soften it. Cost wise -- considering that it's a multi-use bottle, the cost is negligible as compared to high-end products.
CONS: Your hair can start to get that slimy and tangle feel if you don't follow the right tips. I scoured the Internet before buying my first bottle and here's my process.

TIPS:
1) Buy two foam pump dispensers (You can get them from the Dollar Tree for $1 each with 9oz of hand sanitizer soap. Dump the product and rinse the bottles out thoroughly).
2) Buy white vinegar and apple cider vinegar.
3) "Shampoo" recipe: Place 1/4 teaspoon of Dr Bronner's into one of the foam dispenser bottles, then fill the bottle with filtered water. Shake.
4) "Rinse" recipe: In the second foam dispenser bottle, mix: 1/2 cup of white vinegar, 1/2 cup filtered water and 1 Tablespoon of apple cider vinegar. Shake.
5) Wet your hair. Take the "shampoo" bottle and pump the mixture directly onto your scalp, rub the product in thoroughly, then pump the mixture onto the rest of your hair. (Note: It will not foam up like normal shampoo).
6) Wash the shampoo out. When you think you're done, do it again.
7) Repeat Steps 5 and 6 again.
8) Take the second bottle and pump the "rinse" directly onto your hair. Leave it in while you finish with all your other showering tasks.
9) Then, wash out the "rinse" thoroughly. You may also want to put a few drops of essential oils into the "rinse" mixture to cover up the vinegar smell.
10) If you have coarse or dry hair, use a nickel size amount of Dr Bronner's conditioner onto the drier areas of your hair. You may want to wet your hands to dilute it a bit for better application. [Note: If you use too much, it will clump and flake like dandruff; less is more].

By using the steps above, I do NOT get that slimy feeling that other customers have experienced. [When I increased the amount of Dr Bronner's from 1/4 teaspoon to 1/2 teaspoon, I did get that slimy feeling].
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62 of 70 people found the following review helpful
on August 6, 2008
This is the first castile soap I have ever used and like Dr. Bronner claims, there are many uses for it!! I now use it in my laundry with a mixture of washing soda, and a vinegar rinse cycle and in my opinion it cleans well. I have used it to shave my legs and wash up in the shower; it suds up well but rinses clean quickly and leaves your skin moisturized with the actual "squeaky clean" feeling. Also, it's effective at cleaning around the house with.

A little bit can go a long way and the 32 oz bottle can last a long time. The fragrance is pleasant and sometimes overwhemling but otherwise I have no complaints!
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41 of 45 people found the following review helpful
on October 17, 2008
excellent job at clean up.

Meanwhile... here's a use I discovered today... if your house has a gnat problem, you can mix the soap with water to kill them off. :)
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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
on October 28, 2013
been using Dr Bonners soap since 1970 but this citrus scent is delightful. Same excellent product quality and good price.
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220 of 268 people found the following review helpful
on February 28, 2012
I bought this bottle of soap a little over a year ago for $16 at my local Target. For a college student, that seems expensive but it was totally worth it.

Because it is such a highly concentrated soap, you do not have to use very much at all, which is probably why I still have 1/4 of the bottle left. I have literally used it for everything. I have extremely sensitive yet **acne** prone skin, and a little squirt of this on a hot rag has **cleared my skin completely**. I have not had any trouble with pimples or sensitivity since using this; after I wash my face I slather on organic aloe vera to help protect my skin so the combination of the two is wonderful. I also use this as a shampoo/body wash. Literally a quarter size squirt in the hand can wash my super long,thick mane of hair, body and face with suds left to spare and because it doesn't have any SLS in it to lather, it doesn't over bubble if that makes sense.

Washing my clothes with this has been amazing also. I started breaking out in a rash over the summer when I switched the detergents I used so I started using this instead! My formula for a large college-kid load of laundry is, take a washcloth(or sock) and squirt the Lavender soap all over it until it is fairly saturated and then throw the rag(or sock) in the wash with your clothes. They come out extremely clean and smelling awesome.

I also used this as a replacement for toothpaste when I broke out in ulcers all in my mouth and the coconut oil in it helped heal them in about 2 days whereas normal toothpaste was irritating them. I have since switched from normal toothpaste to Tom's and that solved the ulcer problem :p

Ah, this soap seriously is magical.
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