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Foamy Shampoo Bar Recipe

3/11/2011 12:46:30 AM

Tags: urban homesteading, natural health, beauty, diy, soapmaking, Deanna Duke

I started using shampoo bars over a year ago when I found out about all the chemicals in my "regular" shampoo. Handmade shampoo bar Between that and all the plastic packaging (which could only be downcycled at best), I decided to give up the liquid shampoo and move onto something that had no packaging and no synthetic chemicals.

Unfortunately, finding shampoo bars is a little difficult. They differ from regular soap in that they contain oils that are more gentle on your hair and help condition it. Oils like castor and jojoba. Since I had made my own cold-processed soap in the past, I decided to try to make my own shampoo bars.

However, trying to come up with a decent shampoo bar recipe was almost as difficult as finding the shampoo bars themselves. There were a couple recipes that I found online, but they just didn't contain the ingredients I wanted to put in my homemade bars. After extensive research and going through my soap making stock, I settled on my own recipe. Below is the basic recipe, I'll tell you how to customize it for your hair color at the end.

One more thing - this is a cold process soap. Please follow all the basics for making this type of soap. In other words, be careful with the lye - if you are not experienced in making your own soap, please do some research. If you don't have the right fats, feel free to switch them out (use an online lye calculator to adjust the lye!), just make sure to leave in the castor and jojoba oils. They are what makes this a shampoo bar and not a body soap.

Basic Shampoo Bar Recipe
4 ounces castor oil
2 ounces jojoba oil
4 ounces sunflower oil

3 ounces palm oil
1 ounce cocoa butter
8 ounces coconut oil

8 ounces distilled water
3 ounces lye

1/2 to 1 ounce essential oils at trace

Cut into bars when solid. This recipe takes about 4 days to reach a solid state, but check frequently. Once cut, let the bars cure, covered by a towel, for 4 weeks.

Lemon Chamomile Shampoo Bar (for blonde hair)
I like to call this one, California Sunshine Shampoo Bar. Follow the above recipe except, instead of the distilled water, steep a half cup or so of chamomile tea herbs in 12 ounces of boiling distilled water and strain well. Measure out 8 ounces and use this for your water.

At trace, add in 1 ounce of lemon essential oil or use a mix of citrus essential oils. I used a combination of lemon, orange, lemongrass and bergamot.

Rosemary Mint Shampoo Bar (for dark hair)
Follow the above recipe except, instead of the distilled water, steep a half cup or so of chopped rosemary in 12 ounces of boiling distilled water and strain well. Measure out 8 ounces and use this for your water.

At trace, add in rosemary and mint essential oils.

Photo courtesy of Malene. 

For a 100% natural hair conditioner, you can read more in this post, Going Nuts for Coconut Oil.

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Post a comment below.


8/26/2014 1:13:55 PM
I love this and went to check out the conditioner. Now, I love your sense of humor even more. I haven't gotten to the reading of the conditioner yet because I'm just so tickled pink over the title of your site, specifically "putting the mental into environmental". OMG, you've made a bad morning better. Off to read, thanks.

7/9/2014 10:16:12 AM
How much does this recipe make in pounds? Thank you

5/12/2014 8:37:58 PM
about how many bars of soap should i get with these measurements?

Christine Joseph
2/27/2013 6:40:44 PM
What is the difference between a shampoo bar and a castile soap bar? My husband likes Kirk's castile soap for his hair (~$1 at Vitacost), in your opinion, is he damaging his hair?

Sasha Densikoff
2/25/2013 3:39:59 PM
As an example, Lush has a range of solid bar (I thin they're solid, might be a paste) natural hair dyes, and they work using henna. To use those though, you apply the stuff to your hair and then wrap it up and wait an hour or so before rinsing it out. You might want to look at either this product or something similar to dye your hair naturally. I have heard that dying your hair using henna leaves it much softer than a chemical dye, so you might like it more. :)

Janice Buck
2/23/2013 4:27:58 AM
Would you possibly sell these?

Becky Eassey
2/22/2013 7:13:55 PM
Would there be something that could be added for gray hair or dark brown mixed with gray?

2/14/2013 2:06:54 AM
How many bars at what weight does this recipe yield, anyone? I counted 22 ounces before water/lye addition. Getting back into soapmaking again. Thanks!

Alicia Hansen
10/12/2012 2:55:37 AM
I can not use jojoba, as it makes me break out. Is there any other type of oil I can use in its place?

Deanna Duke
3/25/2011 12:23:00 PM
I do fluid ounces for the fluids (the first three oils) and weight ounces for the second set of three (palm, cocoa butter and coconut oil) since they are solid at room temperature.

birgitta Miller
3/25/2011 8:50:34 AM
Please clarify the recipe: fluid ounces or weight ounces. Thank you.

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