The dictionary has several definitions for the word “natural” because of this it is important to define for yourself what the word “natural” means to you in terms of handmade skin and hair care products. To some people “natural” is when an ingredient comes from the earth, for some it means that the ingredient are in an unprocessed form, some want the ingredient to be green and growing to be natural and for some an ingredient must contain nothing synthetic (man-made) or chemicals.
With no concrete definition and various opinions of what “natural” means, it is important to define for yourself when purchasing handmade natural skin and hair care products, to define for yourself what “natural” is and base your purchases upon that definition. No matter, what definition that you choose to use or define for yourself, you must know that any handmade skin and hair care products that are used to clean or cleanse MUST have an ingredient(s) called sodium and/or potassium hydroxide aka. Lye. If anyone claims to be a handmade soap crafter or otherwise and tells you that handmade soaps are made or can be made without Lye is lying.
There are soap crafters (these are people who don’t make handmade soaps but buy pre-made bases) that say that they make “handmade” soaps without lye, but in fact what they are doing is melting down a pre-made soap base (these pre-made soap bases are soaps that are made using lye and then sold to be melted down and poured up into molds, so that soap crafters don’t have to worry about handling lye). Lye is what makes soap, soap…when lye is combined with essential oils it creates glycerin during the saponification process (whether the handmade soap crafter using the CP, cold process, or HP, hot process). Lye, whether it’s sodium or potassium hydroxide is a chemical compound that is no longer present in the handmade soap after the saponification process.
No one can define what is best for you to use in your natural hair or skin care journey, so you need to do the research for yourself. There is also a lot of debate surrounding what is deemed as an organic product and/or ingredient. The USDA doesn’t regulate organic ingredients in cosmetics, body and personal care prooducts so, read this document from the USDA on their website, USDA website . Just as there is no concrete definition of “natural” there is no concrete definition for the word “organic”.