Although I’m fairly happy with my conventional store bought shampoo, I made this solid shampoo bar just because I can and I love making home made and natural stuff. I live in an area with hard water and I read that shampoo bars are not ideal as hard water and home made shampoo can produce quite a lot of scum that would be difficult to rinse off hair. However, I went ahead and made my solid shampoo with the most luxurious oils and good for hair ingredients that I could think of and guess what: my hair is very happy happy and there’s no more dandruff.
I do rinse thoroughly every time I wash my hair and I finish with a leave-in vinegar / water conditioner which adds shine and leaves the hair feeling squeaky clean and easy to comb, even when wet.
I will share below the ingredients used (the oils can be changed for any other oils that may be of benefit to particular types of hair) and I strongly recommend to formulate your own solid shampoo recipe using this lye calculator:
- Beeswax – to harden the shampoo bars faster
- Olive Oil – there’s plenty around where I live
- Shea Butter – it’s luxurious
- Coconut Oil – for it’s lathering abilities
- Castor Oil – because it helps the other oils bubble with confidence
- Sweet Almond Oil – for it’s softness and nourishing abilities
- Sunflower Oil – soft an
- Argan Oil – the Celebrities swear by it.
- Neem Oil – they use it a lot in India and Indian women have beautiful hair plus – it’s a natural insect repellent!
Essential Oils:I used 5 % of the recipe in essential oils as I wanted to make sure the Neem Oil natural stinky scent won’t rise above everything else
- Rosemary – recommended for brunettes
- Geranium, Rosewood and Lavender – for the delicious smell
- Thyme, Tea Tree, Oregano, Eucalyptus – anti dandruff, anti mosquitoes, antibacterial, refreshing
Honey: honey added at the light trace stage because Queen Anne of England used a honey and oil concoction to keep her long hair lustrous, thick and shiny.
The lye solution
- An infusion of Ground Avocado Peel and Pit
- Full fat coconut milk
- sodium hydroxide
Cold Process Soap Making Method:
Before you attempt to make soap at home, read the general soap making instructions and make sure you have all the required equipment (pots and pans, digital scales, molds, stick blender, rubber gloves, etc.) !
- Freeze the liquids, prepare the molds and the essential oils, weigh the ingredients, etc.
- Over a double boiler, melt the oils, starting with the beeswax (the brittle oil), followed by the Shea butter and Coconut Oils (the hard oils) and when these are melted add the rest of the oils (the soft oils) and mix. Turn the heat off when it’s just above lukewarm.
- Make the lye solution by gradually pouring previously weighed sodium hydroxide over the strained and slushy frozen avocado peel and pit infusion. Add the coconut milk (ideally frozen in ice cubes)
- When the lye is dissolved in the liquid about the same temperature as the oil mix (warm when you touch the outside of the pan) pour the lye to the oils and mix gently with a rubber spatula
- With the stick blender, blend to a trace. It’s called trace because, when you drag a spoon over the surface of the soap mixture, it leaves a trace for a few seconds.
- Add honey and the essential oils and blend until thoroughly mixed.
- Pour into molds, , cover with baking paper, cover the trays with tea towels and let them sit for 12-24-36 hours – until hardened enough to be popped out of the molds easily.
- Place them in a cool, well ventilated area to cure for at least 4 weeks.
- Well, I couldn’t wait that long, since the shampoo bars hardened within 4 days.
Result: solid, long lasting shampoo bars with rich lather, and good rinse.
I’m not sure whether my home made hair soap got better with the age or whether my hair got accustomed with the drastic change, but after a few weeks of washing exclusively with my home made solid shampoo, the hair feels healthier, less split ends, the dandruff is long gone, and so is the itchy scalp. I’ll never look back.
P.S. – My children made the swap to home made shampoo too (well, I stopped buying) I do hope that the Neem oil content will be strong enough to ward off any unwanted hair visitors when school starts.