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SupaWash! All Natural Beard Wash and Shampoo

The Story of SupaWash! The 100% Natural Beard Wash & Shampoo

"The man who goes farthest is generally the one who is willing to do and dare. The sure-thing boat never gets far from shore." - Dale Carnegie, American writer and lecturer (1888-1955)

As a boy, I was raised in the country, Mercer, Tennessee to be more specific, and along the banks of the Hatchie river to be precise. Much of my childhood was spent watching TV and then trying to recreate some cool thing I saw -- mostly axes, bows, and knives. The 80s were awesome!

My grandparents had some old tools and, more importantly, a trailer full of objects they probably wouldn't miss. With nothing more than a rough idea and plenty of time on my hands I would set out to create something that would be the envy of any boy my age.

I found that in creating SupaWash!, an all natural beard wash and shampoo, my process hasn't changed all that much.

After several years as a software developer, and a full-time business owner for the last 6 years, I've become more convinced that the best way to go about something is just to get started, where you are with that little you know, and learn by doing. So long as you have a clear idea of the final result, you'll find your way. You'll also create something more unique than others who simply slap their label on an existing product, sprinkle in a few buzzwords, and toss it into the soulless sea of mass-produced products.

The Story of SupaWash!

The goal of SupaWash! was pretty straight-forward. I knew the final product needed to do the following:

  • Leave your skin feeling conditioned
  • Make your beard and hair feel soft and manageable
  • Fight dandruff and beardruff
  • Be free from coconut and coconut derived ingredients
  • Every ingredient should be relatively common and obviously safe & healthy
  • Be cool! I wanted to have a funky theme and some retro styling to play on in the marketing and future releases.

Sounds pretty good, right? In fact, it sounds so commonsense that you would assume this had already been done. However, it wasn't until I got started that I realized what a mess the industry was and how many chemicals are in products that call themselves natural.

The First Problem - I Don't Know What I'm Doing

I'll be honest here. Good intentions don't equal expertise. My first experiments were in creating a liquid soap. If you're a typical man reading this, you probably don't see anything wrong with this approach. Soap cleans things, right? It sure does, a little too good in fact.

After about 2 months of figuring out how to make liquid soap without using coconut oil, and another month of using my prototype in my hair I realized I was headed down the wrong path.

Here's why

pH Balance Matters

Soap is great. It can be made with natural ingredients and it gets the job done. However, even a mild soap with a good deal of conditioning agents isn't great for daily use and can dry out skin and hair.

The reason is because of pH -- something I didn't really think about until well into my experiments with SupaWash!

If you recall from science class, a pH of 7 is considered neutral. Baby shampoo is generally a 7. Soap, however is more alkaline, usually falling between 8-11 on the pH scale. Our skin and hair has a pH closer to 4.5-5. While an alkaline shampoo can be good for hair and beards every 2 weeks or so to strip them of any oily build up, it can throw off the pH balance of our skin and hair and lead to problems such as eczema, dry skin, dandruff, hair loss, and so forth.


This liquid soap could possibly work for a stripping wash, but that isn't what I wanted to create.

Back to the drawing board.

The Second Problem - No One Else is Doing This

While I can't say for certain that there isn't another person on the planet creating a beard wash and shampoo using all natural ingredients to the degree that I wanted, I can say that no one else is talking about it.

For most products, you can find a recipe out there and tweak it a bit to your liking. In my case, I had to start from the ground up. I found out that there are a lot of elements that make a good cleanser. I just needed to figure out how to do this as naturally as possible.

Every good cleaner, wash, or shampoo has the following elements:

  1. Surfactants: These are the cleaning agents in the product. They work by removing dirt, oils, and other unwanted particles from the hair and skin. Surfactants help ensure that the product effectively cleanses without leaving residue.
  2. Emollients: These are moisturizing agents that soothe and soften the skin and hair. They aid in preventing dryness and irritation, leading to healthier, more nourished skin and hair.
  3. Humectants: Humectants work by attracting moisture from the air and keeping it in the skin and hair. They are crucial for hydrating and maintaining the moisture balance in both hair and skin.
  4. Thickeners: These ingredients are used to adjust the viscosity or thickness of the product. They contribute to a rich, luxurious texture that enhances the user experience.
  5. Preservatives: These are added to prevent the growth of bacteria and mold in the product. They play a vital role in ensuring product safety and extending shelf life.
  6. pH Adjusters: These are used to maintain the product's pH at a level similar to that of the skin and hair, which is slightly acidic. Maintaining an optimal pH helps keep the skin and hair healthy and prevents damage.
  7. Essential Oils: These are often used for their therapeutic properties and to add fragrance to the product. Different essential oils can provide various benefits, from antimicrobial properties to soothing effects, and contribute to the overall scent profile.
  8. Emulsifiers: These are used to mix oil and water-based ingredients that would otherwise separate. A good emulsifier ensures a stable, well-mixed product, enhancing its performance and user experience.

Wow! That's quite a list. Between running two businesses and trying to be a decent human being I wasn't sure if I had the time or energy to make SupaWash! a reality.

Enter AI.

AI Helped Me Tremendously

SupaWash! came about around the same time ChatGPT was making its debut. Version 3.5 was really handy, but when version 4 came out it became a much more reliable tool.

AI isn't great with practical steps for things that are experimental. We all imagine AI doing some backend analysis to find the perfect formulation for us, but we're not quite there yet. But, AI is great for quickly finding answers on specific questions and better still at helping you find the things you don't know to look for.

I was able to generate the list above of surfactants, emollients, etc. using AI along with the descriptions. Being a total newb at all of this, I had to ask it a lot of questions to get up to speed. Once I had some knowledge of the ingredients I wanted to use and their purpose in the formulation, AI was able to generate some recipes to give me a jump start on the product.

I would test a batch and bring the feedback to ChatGPT for revision ideas.

Eventually, I had a pretty good handle on how the ingredients were interacting with one another and was able to experiment on my own until I got the result I was looking for.

That being said, AI still helped with things like converting smaller test recipes into production quantity recipes. It helped create calculations on the cost per bottle, the INCI ingredient list on the bottle, & some of the groovy wording for the directions.

Until it takes over and we experience a titanium nightmare, AI is pretty helpful.

The Result

After 6 or so trial batches of the new formulation, and a LOT of beard washing, I finally had a product that worked!

SupaWash! was official.

Solving the Dandruff Problem

I've had dandruff since I was about 10 years old and have had to use dandruff shampoo in some form ever since (I'm now 45). So, I have a lot of experience trying different solutions and I've gained a lot of knowledge on the subject over the years.

Dandruff can be caused by a combination of things:

  • Dry skin (small flakes)
  • Bacteria or fungi
  • Oil imbalance
  • Diet & genetics

The effectiveness of SupaWash! in combating dandruff can be attributed to several key ingredients:

  • Tea Tree Oil: Known for its antifungal and antibacterial properties, tea tree oil helps in controlling the overgrowth of bacteria or fungi that can cause dandruff.
  • Jojoba Oil: Closely resembling human sebum, jojoba oil helps balance the natural oils on the scalp, preventing over-drying or over-oiling which can contribute to dandruff.
  • Neem Oil: Neem oil is rich in fatty acids and vitamin E, which help moisturize the scalp and prevent dry skin, one of the common causes of dandruff.
  • Shea Butter: Shea butter is a potent moisturizer and emollient that can soothe a dry, flaky scalp and help manage dry skin-related dandruff.
  • Grapeseed Oil: Grapeseed oil is lightweight and non-greasy, it helps in balancing the scalp's oil production while moisturizing the scalp.
  • Aloe Vera Juice: Known for its soothing and anti-inflammatory properties, aloe vera can calm an irritated scalp and help in maintaining a healthy scalp environment.
  • Soap Nut Concentrate: As a gentle, natural surfactant, soap nut concentrate helps cleanse the scalp without stripping it of its natural oils, thereby maintaining a balanced scalp.
  • Rosemary Oil: It has anti-inflammatory and antifungal properties that can help fight the yeast that often causes dandruff.

Together, these ingredients create a powerful solution to combat dandruff from various angles, addressing not just the symptoms, but also the root causes.

Healthy Skin & Soft Beard

Skin and hair aren't supposed to be "squeaky clean". If they are, that means the oils have been stripped from them and once you dry off, your skin and hair will be overly dry. The body will respond to this by producing oils at an accelerated rate which can lead to your hair feeling greasy. For most people, this unhealthy cycle continues indefinitely.

One of the comments I get from people that use SupaWash! is that "it feels different in the shower, a bit waxy or oily at first, but then when I get out of the shower my skin and hair feel great!" That's right! It is a different feeling from what we're used to, but the same ingredients that fight dandruff also contribute to a healthy protective layer for your skin and hair.

Your natural oils stay in your skin and hair while new oils replenish what we lose through our daily activities. The result is a very smooth feel for your hair, beard, and skin.

Final Thoughts & The Low-Foam Problem

One of the discoveries that I made while creating SupaWash! was that most natural products do not foam or lather. To my surprise there is a movement called no-poo or low-poo -- which sounds like proponents for constipation -- but it's all about getting away from the chemical laden shampoo industry and back to natural solutions.

One of the challenges for truly natural formulations is that they don't lather or foam like we're used to. I get it. I was raised on the foam and I like a good lather as much as the next guy. I'm researching ways to do this for a future recipe of SupaWash! but until then, rest assured lather doesn't matter when it comes to cleanliness or conditioning. It has more to do with how a formula interacts with water than it does with the effectiveness of the cleanser.

However, we still associate a "working shampoo" with how it foams and it's been a tough bit of education that I'm having to do for guys who are new to the natural movement.

After using SupaWash! several times a day for about 2 months now, I can tell you it is an absolute game changer and a truly revolutionary product. The ability to control dandruff with a natural solution that leaves my beard feeling conditioned and healthy -- well, it's something I've wanted for a few decades now.

Grab a bottle or two here and see the difference for yourself.

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