Why Lye?

Brooke Starks

My first encounter with lye was seeing the phrase “no-lye” in bold letters on boxed hair relaxers as a child. I thought to myself “whatever that is, it must be really scary and bad for you!” (not knowing that the relaxer was bad enough). So why is it in our soaps?  The truth is, ALL soap contains lye. If a cleaning product does not, it is simply a detergent, which means the lye has been replaced with chemicals that are more harmful to our environment and to us.  Basically, in soap, the lye and oil molecules combine and chemically react...