Saturday, August 11, 2007

How to Make A Shampoo Bar

Are you are concerned with all of the chemicals that are present in your shampoo, you may want to consider making your own shampoo bar. Here I found a recipe that appeared on Suite 101 to make some.  Give it a try and let us know how it turns out.

To make a 4 pound batch

12oz Coconut Oil
19oz of mid grade Olive Oil (not virgin,not pomace)
12oz Caster Oil
6oz Lye
16oz distilled water
1/2oz rosemary oil (not to be used if expectant lady using product replace with essential oil of choice)


Observing usual soap making precautions.

Especially melting oils, mixing water&Lye (this is a fairly large batch).

Combine Oils and Lye @ 100 F. Stirring constantly (avoid splashing) till trace, add essential oil(rosemary, etc) stir in then pour into mold, lined with saran wrap or Vaseline. Insulate for 24 hours. Uncover & leave in mold until soap is hard enough to take out.(usually 4-6 days)When hard enough cut into bars, then cure for 4-5 weeks. This soap remains soft for quite a considerable time longer than normal cold pressed soap, IT DOES EVENTUALLY HARDEN to nice bars. Personally a nice shampoo bar......

My little question to soap makers is "Does anyone know the SAP value of Grapeseed Oil, no not grapefruit seed oil, just grapeseed oil?"

Source: http:///


groovygrrl said...

Grapeseed oil SAP value: 187 mg KOH/g of fat (from

Also, your shampoo bars will cure out faster and become hard if you drop your water to about 12 or 13 oz. Your superfat percentage is right on at 5%--a good percentage for shampoo.


Author , _Making Soap In Your Own Kitchen_,
a beginner's guide to soapmaking.

Lori Stoia said...

Thanks for the great suggestion. Readers will find this information helpful!

Anonymous said...

As a soap maker I am rapidly coming to the conclusion that there is no absolute difference between soap and shampoo. I'd appreciate comments on this claim.

Having made and used shampoo bars, I am very satisfied with them, but want to learn more. Castor oil seems to be the the common ingredient in shampoo bar recipes.

The rest of the exotic oil ingredients such as jojoba appear to be for conditioning; that is, for leaving moisturizing oils on the hair.

What if I want to make a shampoo bar that simply cleans, but does not damage? What are your suggestions for an all in one shampoo/body bar base for cleaning only. Oils or conditioners could always be added, either to the shampoo bar or to the hair directly, after washing.


Lori Stoia said...

That is a good question that I do not have an answer for. But if someone can answer Arnold's question, please respond. I would appreciate the info.

Julianna Robinson said...

I used to have a really good shampoo bar recipe. It had grapeseed extract in it and something besides coconut oil in it because coconut oil can be very drying to the hair. Does anyone have a recipe like this?

Karen Creel said...

Does anyone know how to make the shampoo bars like LUSH cosmetics make?

monnessaa said...

sorry to say, but ive read LUSH cosmetics ingredients for shampoo bars, and they hve sodium laureth sulphate, and laurel sulphate in them. they have other nice herbal soaps for body, but for shampoos they r using normal chemicals...

Lori Stoia said...

Monnessa, thanks for the info about Lush products.

Annoush said...

It was very interesting to read the comments and the recipe. Agree to comments on Lush, they do use SLS in shampoos, but I thought their bars should not contain any. Also have tried to create my own shampoo several times and always come with the same problem, the bars are too alkalic, tried to reduce it with lemon juice and still very harsh on the hair. Would appreciate any advise.

Anna said...

Great information! I have seen recipes where you use beer rather than water in the lye and it makes the hair very shiny. Haven't tried it yet, but I plan to this weekend... I'll let you know how it works!

Heather said...

Hi Arnold - there really isn't much of a difference between a real shampoo bar and a body bar. Any solid shampoo bar that is formulated with just oils (even if the oils are targeted towards hair) can be used on the body. I make a "United Front" hair and body bar for my company using castor, coconut and olive with fragrance in it. It's the same formula I use for most of my soaps. In other words - soaps without additives such as oatmeal are great for both hair and body. Those with exfoliants in them should just stick to the body. Soaps high in coconut oil shouldn't be used by people with normal to dry hair is really pretty much it, in my experience. There may be others who have formulated bars for hair that aren't great for the body too, but I haven't come across them.

Audrey said...

Hello Lori,

I've made your shampoo bar soap recipe twice now and can't seem to solve one problem. We have normal hair and using this shampoo bar makes our hair very very oily. I've tried rinsing with vinegar/water solution with no help.

The only difference I've discovered is that I'm using virgin olive oil. Could that be the culprit?

I appreciate any help you can offer.


Soap Crafter said...

Hi Audrey. I am not sure what it is. Let's throw out that question to my readers and see if they can answer that for you. Somehow the link to the original has been lost so I cannot ask the author.

lissa said...

I came across a post where someone said that using homemade shampoo bars do not strip the hair and scalp of natural oils. Commercial shampoos do which causes your scalp to create more oils to compensate (over-compensate). So until your scalp and hair get used to the shampoo bars your hair will be more oily. The suggestion was to use some baking soda on the hair while in the shower to absorb some of the oil until your hair and scalp get back to not over-compensating.

riverstonestudios said...

Hey, Thanks Soo much Lissa! I've continued using this shampoo bar for washing my very long,thick hair and then rinsed with baking soda and water and it is FANTASTIC!
I am so pleased that there is a solution!


maxlomjr said...

I made bar shampoo made of oils,no need conditioner, base on my thing i've notice is when use it to my body,no to much suds appears . What i did to make to have suds in my body is to flush a little amount of water in my body or use a sponge or small towel to make suds. Any one can suggest how to make soap produce more suds

maxlom jr

Alex77 said...

adjust the oils so that there is a higher % of castor oil(this gives wonderful bubbles) but don't forget to run it through a soap calc first

Robyn said...

I first used the shampoo bars from Naples Soap co. then decided to try my hand at making my own. My soap is working well as body soap but I do not like the feel of it on my hair. After washing my hair it feels oily. Is there something I need to do to stop this. My last batch is made with Coconut oil and castor oil and of course lye and water. Any suggestions?