To say that beauty is important to us is a gross understatement. Sure, we may know that we are gold on the inside; true gems (and some of us are still diamonds in the rough) but we want the outside to reflect that too.
It’s not always enough to know we have a beautiful personality, we want to know our skin and hair are easy on the eyes too. This is even more so in a society where beauty is said to be ‘relative’, and you are measured against a rigid standard that does not fully accept diversity. Honestly, the half has never been told.
This has launched us into a never ending urge to define and assert what beauty is to us, and we aim to perpetuate our ideals of what beautiful hair and skin looks like.
We will often go the extra mile to seek out the perfect regimen to achieve enviable beauty. We want a heavyweight all rounder that can address it all; enter the African black soap.
Though it has been used in African cultures for centuries, in recent years we in the western world have been seduced by the popular African export Shea butter* because of its moisturizing effect on skin and hair.
We seem to be bitten by the “everything organic” bug, which is not a bad thing since it has caused a wave of health consciousness which can only benefit us in the long run.
So heightened is our enthusiasm when it comes to all things natural that some of us are convinced that a journey to the motherland would yield our ultimate haul of hair care products.
These days, going green with haircare is all the rage so why not African black soap* since there can be many benefits of African black soap in your hair and skin regimen?
What Is African Black Soap*
African black soap is the name given to the textured soap made from cocoa and plantain ash, milled by Africans for centuries. It may come in a variety of dark shades, which makes it hard to pinpoint an actual color.
When it comes to the production of authentic African black soap, each village has it’s own trade secrets passed down from generation to generation. This is to ensure the authenticity and potency of the product, as well as to guard against exploitation from those who wish to imitate it.
Essentially, making authentic black soap is quite a lengthy process. The plantain skins and cocoa pods are left to dry in the sun, then roasted just right, to get the perfect texture. The longer the plantain skins are roasted, the deeper the shade of the soap. Palm oil and shea butter* are then added along with one or two other ingredients that individual tribes may have in abundance and deem beneficial.
It is then left to cure for at least two weeks, the longer it stays, the better. The end product is a light, organic smelling crude looking bar that which can in no way be mistaken for a milled soap. In Africa, it is mostly used to bathe newborns, but it is really an all-in-one kind of product since it can be used for hair and skin as well as laundry.