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Friday, August 31, 2012

Shampoo Bars....what????

I know it sounds crazy, but Shampoo bars are really just a blast from the past.  Here is a brief summary on the history of shampoo: 

Shampoo is a hair care product used for the removal of oil, dirt,  skin particles, environmental pollutants that gradually build up in hair. The goal is to remove the unwanted build-up without stripping out so much sebum (natural oils) as to make hair unmanageable.

The word shampoo dates to 1762 in the Eastern part of the world where shampooing was more of a massage of oils into the hair.  It's popularity grew and in the 1860s, the meaning of the word shifted to the applying of soap to the hair.  Before shampoo, regular bar soap was used in the hair.  They were very similar products; both containing the same naturally derived surfactants, (i.e. detergent).  

Modern shampoo as it is known today, was first introduced in the 1930s with Drene, the first shampoo with synthetic surfactants.  (from

Drene Shampoo Advertisement, 1949.

Today there are many chemicals (including liquid plastics, yes, plastic) that are thought to be carcinogens and can actually cause hair loss. Check out your brand on the cosmetic database and see the saftey rating at :

I have been trying to find good homemade alternatives to commercial chemical filled shampoo for years. I finally found a recipe for shampoo bars that had all natural and healthy ingredients. I gave it a try and have used it for over a month (and I have VERY long hair)..... and I LOVE the shampoo bar!  It is the cleanest, actually squeaks, my hair has ever been. 

Here is the recipe I tried (I used Almond Milk in mine):

Luxurious Shampoo Bar Soap Recipe
-9 ounces coconut oil
-9 ounces olive oil
-5 ounces Castor oil
-3 ounces jojoba oil
-2 ounces Shea butter
-2 ounces cocoa butter
-1 ounce beeswax
*Please note, all amounts are per weight. You will need to use a kitchen scale for these measurements.

-4 ounces water
-6 ounces coconut milk*
-4 ounces lye
*You could use only water, an herbal infusion, or any other type of milk.

Optional Essential Oils
-Rosemary and peppermint for dark hair
-Lavender and lemon for blond hair
-Lime and coconut for all types

*Use approximately 0.5-1 ounce of essential oils for this recipe. They are a fun, but not necessary.
1. Place the water and coconut milk into a large glass measuring cup.
2. Measure out the lye by weight into a 1 cup measuring glass.
3. Carefully add the lye into the liquid and stir to combine. (Adding the liquid to the lye could cause and eruption.) Be careful, the liquid is caustic and not to be touched in anyway. The outside of the bowl will be extremely hot as well. Note: Take the necessary lye precautions with this step. 4. Allow the lye mixture to stay under a vent and cool down while you prepare the oils.
5. Measure all oils, by using a kitchen scale, and pour into a pot.
6. Warm oils and beeswax on low heat until all are melted.
7. Pour melted oils into a crock pot. Be sure the crock pot is on the lowest setting. Note: Do not allow the oils to get to hot.
Add the lye/liquid mixture to the oils in the crock pot and stir.
Note: Any equipment the lye touches needs to be neutralized in a mixture of vinegar, soap, and water. Vinegar will neutralize the lye.
After a brief stir, grab your stick blender and get to work! Blend the oils, lye, and liquid in the crock pot for at least 3-5 minutes. We are working toward ”
10. Blend until the mixture becomes a thick, pudding like consistency.
11. Once the mixture is pudding-like, cover the crock pot and “cook” the soap for approximately 1 hour.
12. By the end, the mixture should have folded in on itself and it should be completely transparent. Turn off the crock pot.
13. Now it’s time to prepare the molds. I just use a standard glass loaf pan greased with coconut oil and it’s always worked perfectly.
14. Now is the time to add the essential oils (if using).
15. Spoon soap mixture into molds.
16. Allow soap to cool and harden for 24 hours.
17. Remove from mold on to cutting board and cut into 1 inch thick bars.
18. Place bars on a tray with good airflow so that they can harden further. But go ahead and use your first bar!!!

Be sure to wear the recommended protective clothing, like an apron, goggles and gloves when working with lye.  It is very dangerous.  I was very intimidated, but it wasn't bad when done properly.  I watched the series on Soap Queen TV on Youtube while I was waiting for my supplies to arrive in the mail.  I highly recommend it.

I ordered my ingredients from

You can try this yourself, or you can just email me and buy a bar from me.  They are $3 for one or two for $5.  A bar will last you 1-2 months depending on how often you wash your hair.

I am considering making a few more batches soon for Operation Christmas Child boxes, how cool will that be! 

Let me know what you think and have fun creating more naturally homemade!

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