We all know that making our own soap is a great way to reduce our impact on the environment but, all of the benefits of using natural cold process soap can also be used for our hair! The steps for creating a shampoo bar are the same as regular cold process soap making but the oils and ratios are formulated to help cleanse and nourish our hair. This allows us to further reduce the waste we create within our personal care routines and create a custom shampoo bar created specifically for our hair needs. Making our own shampoo bars gives us the ability to select every ingredient that goes into the product. This means we know they don’t contain any harsh chemicals that could go into waterways and cause potential harm to wildlife. Shampoo bars are also super convenient for traveling. We don't have to worry about bottles leaking in our luggage or meeting those strict liquid limits when flying.
This recipe uses a standard blend of ingredients that should be suitable for most hair types. Coconut oil results in harder soap bars that are long lasting and helps with unmolding. Castor oil helps increase lather, making it a good addition for a shampoo bar. Palm oil has a long shelf life that helps preserve the integrity of our shampoo bar so we can use it longer. The essential oils used in the recipe can be tailored to what our hair needs most.
Here are a few essential oil blends to choose from that can help us with some of the most common hair concerns.
- 1 ounce Clary Sage Essential Oil
- ½ ounce Juniper Berry Essential Oil
- ½ ounce Peppermint Essential Oil
Strength and Shine
Customizable Shampoo Bar Recipe
- 9 ounces of Coconut Oil
- 9 ounces of Palm Oil
- 8 ounces of Castor Oil
- 10 ounces of Distilled Water
- 5 ounces of Sodium Hydroxide Lye
- 2 ounces Essential Oil Blend
- Heat Safe Soap Mold
- Immersion blender
- Digital kitchen scale
- Small bowl for essential oils
- Glass bowl for lye mixture
- Large glass or stainless steel bowl for oils
- Pot or double boiler
- Spoon or rubber spatula
- Safety glasses or goggles
Make sure to wear safety glasses or goggles, gloves, and long sleeve clothing. Working with lye and high temperatures requires caution and safe practices. Always make soap in a well-ventilated area.
- Measure and combine the essential oils and set them aside.
- Weigh each oil and combine them into a large bowl. Place the bowl on top of a large pot that is about 1/3 full of water and bring the water to a boil. Heat the oils until fully melted and incorporated, stirring occasionally.
- While the oils are melting, weigh out the lye and water in two separate bowls. Slowly add the lye to the water while gently stirring until the lye is fully dissolved and the liquid is clear.
- Let the oils and lye mixture both cool to 130 degrees or below, ensuring that they are within 10 degrees of each other.
- Place the immersion blender into the oils, tapping it on the bottom of the bowl to release any air bubbles. This is a safety precaution that prevents the bubbles from coming to the surface when you begin mixing in the lye.
- Slowly and gently pour the lye water into the oil mixture. You can pour down the side of the bowl or down the shaft of the immersion blender to reduce the chance of splashing.
- Pulse the blender a few times, watching as the oils and lye start to combine. Switch between short pulse and stirring with the blender until the mixture comes together to a very light trace. This will allow time to add fragrance without the soap becoming too thick to work with.
- Working quickly, stir (do not blend) in the essential oil blend.
- Once the soap reaches about a medium trace, pour it into the mold or molds, scraping the bowl to ensure no soap is left behind. Tap the molds on the table or counter to release any trapped air bubbles.
- Allow the soap to sit in the molds for 48-72 hours at room temperature. Unmold the soap, cut it into bars if using a loaf mold, and allow to cure for 4-6 weeks.
- Use and enjoy your handmade shampoo bar!