Ever since Agree-brand hair products disappeared from the drugstore shelves many, many years ago (Do you remember them? They were wonderful!), I have never found a shampoo and conditioner that I can fall in love with. Then, about five years ago, I discovered Basin, a Lush-like shop that sells natural soaps, and its shampoo bars and I was back in love again. I like the shampoo bars more than the mainstream ones for several reasons. One, because it cuts down the plastic consumption to, well, zero, because the soap comes in a solid form. Also, because it leaves my hair clean but conditioned, even without using a conditioner. And last but not least, they last forever! It is wonderful to travel with it too since you can toss it in your carry-on luggage without having a TSA agent come running after you.
The only downside about the shampoo bars is that they are a little pricey. For a 65 gram bar, it costs $8, plus shipping since I get mine online. It’s much cheaper than other bottle shampoos but still, that’s a lot of money. So, I’ve been looking to formulate my own recipe for the best shampoo bars that I can make at home.
After trying many, many, many recipes – some that I found in books and online, as well as my original concoction – I finally found the one that I absolutely fell in love with. I made a small test batch a few months ago, and I finally took the bar out for a test run last week … and I was amazed at how shiny and healthy my hair really got. I’m not kidding! After using this shampoo bar on my hair every day for the last five days, my hair has never felt or looked better. I think it’s the castor oil and molasses that work so well for my dark mane.
It’s a little embarrassing to plaster my face here, but here’s a picture of my hair. Before this shampoo bar, I had to use gel to control my hair before blow drying it but not any more! I didn’t have to use any hair products and my hair behaved just fine!
Here’s the recipe. Please follow the basic cold-process soap-making instruction before proceeding.
Lavender and Olive’s Original Shampoo Bars (for Dark Hair)
A little disclaimer here. A kind blog reader informed me that she tried this recipe and found that the batch was too soft to remove from the mold, even after a week of curing. I’m not sure what caused this but I’m determined to get to the bottom of this, so I’m making this batch again to troubleshoot what went wrong! Stay tuned! And thanks, Waterlily, for taking the time to bring this up!
This is for 650 gram which is like a size of a regular milk carton. It makes about 7 x 4 oz bars. FYI, Lavender and Olive is my Etsy shop name.
130 g Castor Oil (20%)
130 g Macadamia Nuts Oil (20%)
65 g Hazelnut Oil (10%)
65 g Avocado Oil (10%)
65 g Olive Oil (10%)
65 g Shea Butter (10%)
65 g Palm Oil (10%)
65 g Coconut Oil (10%)
253 g Distilled water
78 g Lye (85% discount)
Mix them in right before you pour the mixture in to the mold
¼ cup Molasses
30 drops Lavender Essential Oil
30 drops Rosemary Essential Oil
20 drops Bergamot Essential Oil
Just a quick disclaimer here. Please consult with your physician if you have special conditions or are not sure if you have any allergies to any of the listed ingredients here. While the ingredients used are often suitable for babies and young children, I found that it really hurts when the soap gets in the eyes. It is probably best not to use the bar to wash their hair. Also, please feel free to double check the lye content with Lye Calculator.
If you use this recipe to create shampoo bars at home, I would love to hear your feedback. I hope you love them as much I do!
Oh, and I don’t use regular conditioner after I wash my hair with the shampoo bar. I usually rinse my hair with a vinegar and glycerin mixture. I know, you might be thinking … eeeew, vinegar!?$?@? But trust me, with a little dash of your favorite Essential or Fragrance Oils, it doesn’t smell bad at all. More on the hair rinse talk next time.