Invigorating Shampoo Bars

Here’s the immeasurable Kat from our retail store Otion with a great shampoo bar recipe. Thanks, Kat! -Anne-Marie

I am a new fan of shampoo bars for many reasons. The lather is incredible, the bar is long lasting, I have shinier hair with zero buildup, and it’s all natural!

My recipe contains a lot of castor oil, which creates a rich and foamy lather. Coconut oil and palm oil also provide a fluffy lather and add to the hardness of the bar.

Tea tree essential oil (on sale this month!) is an antiseptic and is known to help treat scalp conditions such as dandruff and head lice. Plus, it stimulates new hair growth by removing dead skin cells from hair follicles. It also smells minty, earthy and fresh, leaving you energized and revitalized for the day.

I rub the bar in a couple small circles right on my head and work the lather up with my fingers.

Three Pound Batch Shampoo Bar Recipe:

This batch would fit perfectly into Bramble Berry’s Silicone Loaf Mold or 9 Bar Birchwood Mold

10 oz Coconut oil

10 oz Palm oil

8 oz Castor oil

8 oz Olive oil

12 oz Distilled Water

5 oz Sodium Hydroxide

1.5 oz Tea tree essential oil

Buy everything you need for this project at the click of a button!

If you have never made soap from scratch before, please check out Anne-Marie’s four part series on cold process before trying this recipe. It is really important to understand how to work with sodium hydroxide (lye) so that you are soaping on the safe side.

Your oils and lye should be around 100 degrees when combined. Add color at trace or, if you like, leave it uncolored. Add fragrance and stick blend to a thick trace. Pour into mold and use a spatula to create peaks on the surface for texture and grip. Remove the soap from the mold after 24 hours and cure the bars on a rack for 4-6 weeks. Enjoy!

Tip! If your hair is extra dry, try incorporating some vitamin rich oils such as avocado oil or sweet almond oil. Jojoba oil is amazing as well, but currently a bit pricey. If you change the recipe, make sure to re-calculate the lye.

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  1. Monica says

    Made this soap in a crock pot. I used a bit to wash my hands. It lathers beautifully and it leaves my hands clean but not dry. I m giving it a week to dry. I can t wait to use it on hair. Thank you for the recipe.

  2. says

    Hi I was wondering if anyone tried this recipe on dogs? I’m a dog grooming and just wondering if there was any sensitivities ?

    • says

      Hi Monica!

      We have not tried this recipe on a dog before, but I would be surprised if there were any sensitivities! If you give it a try, let us know :)

      -Amanda with Bramble Berry

  3. Kaili says

    So I’ve been using this bar for six months and really like it. I’m almost out so I think I’ll try a hot process version. Just so I get this straight, you melt the oils in a crock pot and mix lye and water as usual. Then you get the oils and lye mixture to about 110 degrees (or does the temperature not matter?). Do I stick blend until medium or light trace? Cook for about three hours, stirring every thirty minutes. Test for neutrality and put in molds. Let cure at least a week. Is a 5 and a half quart oval crock pot too big? Thanks!

    • says

      Hi Kaili,
      Shampoo bars are great — I’m glad to hear you’re making more!

      You melt your oils however you like, whether in the crock pot or in the microwave. Then add you lye to oils as usual! We usually recommend soaping at about 120 degrees, but 110 is totally okay too! As long as your lye and oils are within 10 – 15 degrees of each other, you are good to go.

      As far as trace goes, you want to stick blend until you achieve a thick trace. The amount of time it takes really depends on the size of the crock pot, and what you’re really looking for is texture: your soap should be the texture of thick mashed potatoes, and it shouldn’t look too dry or dehydrated. You might want to check out this Crock Pot Camo recipe we did for more in depth info on crock pot hot processing:

      Crock Pot Camo:

      As for cure time, you soap is essentially ready to use right away, but letting it dry for 4 – 6 weeks will make it last longer in the shower. I hope that helps! :)


    • says

      You absolutely can do goatsmilk. I’d either replace all of your water or part of it with frozen GM or you can add some powder at thin trace. It will increase the density and the moisture of the lather and make it more nourishing but will not help with the quick rinse factor so it’s a trade off.

  4. says

    Yay! Came out great…I was low on palm so I supplemented it with mango butter, no tea tree…I used peppermint and eucalyptus. It looks and smells amazing, and no sticky castor oil that melts way quickly cuz of my climate. Love it. Thank you for the inspiration!

    • says

      Good morning, Lakaya!

      It turned out great! Congrats on your first solid shampoo bar, I know it is going to be a hit and work out so well. If you ever have any other questions, don’t hesitate to ask — we are here to help you out!

      Happy Soaping!
      -Becky with Bramble Berry

  5. says

    Actually….I have a whole bottle of grapeseed oil and hardly any mac oil left so I think that will be my subtitute. My bff is allergic to olives and sls…and a whole list of other stuff…and so am I. Gonna try this and see if I can get a formula that makes her hair happy.

  6. says

    What can be substitued for castor oil? I need to make a shampoo without castor oil. Generally, I sub canola for the olive becuz of allergie issues…can anthing be switched out for castor what has many of the same properties?

  7. Sly says

    RE: Shampoo Bar recipe posted way back on June 7, 2012: I love this bar and have made it before with the mantra swirl. I would like to try making it again with the technique in the recipe.

    Kat says that for colors she used Fizzy Lemonade, activated charcoal & ultramarine blue. But she also states to stick blend to a thick trace, then pour into mold (I understand that is to get the beautiful effect on top of the bars).

    Question: How do you get the lovely swirl of colors in the soap at such a thick trace?

    Thank you for your expertise!

  8. Sarah Pruiett says

    I made this bar and it finally cured and I’ve been using it for a couple of weeks. I will NEVER go back to store-bought shampoo. After a couple of days use, all the build-up in my hair from the previous shampoo was gone and my hair has never been cleaner and fluffier nor felt softer.
    While making it, trace was accelerated only slightly — not so much that I didn’t have time to do an ITP swirl. And I love the Tea Tree EO — so clean and fresh smelling.
    On my next iterations I will make a palm-free recipe using rice bran oil and customize it for blonde hair by using chamomile tea in place of the water.
    Thanks for a great recipe!!

    • says

      Hi Sarah!

      We are so happy to hear that you were able to try this bar out, it’s one of favorite hair-care tutorials. It’ll be exciting to hear how your palm-free version goes, be sure to keep us updated (you can post pictures on Bramble Berry’s Facebook page)! Thank you again for your feedback. =)

      Happy Soaping!
      -Becky with Bramble Berry

  9. Katenik says

    Let’s say I don’t have palm oil but I do have cocoa butter…can I sub the same amount and just rerun the lye calculator? Or are cocoa butter and palm oil too different?

    • says

      Hi Kate!

      If you don’t have any Palm Oil on hand, you can use Cocoa Butter, just be aware that it will contribute to a different end product and you won’t want to use it at anymore than 15% of your total oils. If you have any Coconut or Rice Bran Oil, I would suggest those in place of the Palm. Just make sure to run it through the lye calculator before you make your recipe! :)

      Coconut Oil:

      Rice Bran Oil:

      I hope this helps! Let me know if you have any other questions. :)

      -Becky with Bramble Berry

      • Katenik says

        Wow, thanks for the quick reply! I think more specifically, I wanted to know what I can use instead of palm oil, which was answered for the lady above me. I have a bunch of stuff bookmarked now and I’ll keep rice bran oil under consideration.

        I’ll have to test this idea in one of my tiny 2-bar batches.

        Can rice bran oil be used in the same amount as the palm oil for this recipe? Also, can you tell me what cocoa butter might do to the end product of this soap?

        Thanks again!

        • says

          Hi Kate!

          You can actually use the Rice Bran Oil up to 100% in any given recipe and it can be substitute for the full amount of Palm in this one. You’ll have to keep us updated, we can’t wait to hear how your soaps turn out! Cocoa Butter is a great additive to your product, and leaves your soap with a very moisturizing feeling. It also helps contribute to the hardness of your bar.

          Happy Soaping!
          -Becky with Bramble Berry

  10. Melissa says

    I’d love to try this recipe want to make a palm oil free version. Is there a suitable substitute for palm oil in cold process soap and shampoo bar recipes?

  11. Karen says

    Do you have to use conditioner, or does the bar take care of cleaning and conditioning? Thanks for the recipe!

  12. Leigh C. says

    I would like to substitute and use hemp instead of olive oil. Do you think that would work okay (I would use lye calc to get the right lye amounts)?

    Also, just curious to know what superfat% you used?

    Thank you

    • says

      Hi Leigh!

      You can substitute the Hemp Oil for the Olive Oil, but you don’t want to go any higher than 15% in this recipe (which would be perfect if you switch it out for the Olive Oil). Anytime you substitute an ingredient into a recipe, it will change the lather and hardness of your final product. I would definitely suggest making a small batch to make sure you like how it works for your shampoo bar. For this particular recipe it looks like Kat worked with a 4% – 5% superfat which is typical for a cold process soap. I hope this helps! Let me know if there is anything else I can do for you. :)

      -Becky with Bramble Berry

      P.S. Anytime that you use that high percentage of Hemp Oil in a recipe, your soap will be prone to DOS (Dreaded Orange Spots), so that is also something to think about! :)

      Hemp Seed Oil:

  13. Thai says

    I am a returnee to Soaping after 20 years. Just took a HP class last week and am collecting my equipment to get started. It seems that I have been unable to get the answer to this very important question even though I’ve asked it several times to several different people (this is my first here) Can you use any recipe that has lye in it and do the HP method or are there special recipes only for HP and if so, where can those be found? Thanks for your site. It has been most helpful.

  14. says

    How exactly would you use colorants in this recipe? I have never made CP soap before but I’m getting brave to try out my first batch. It seems a little intimidating. I have watched all 4 of Anne-Marie’s videos on CP soap on Youtube. I really like the colors used in this recipe and have all them on hand already but I have no idea how you would seperate the mix to get the desired colors. Any help provided is appreciated. Thank you in advance.

  15. Kaili says

    I have a scientific question. Do you know if lye would react with ozone? Or of any way I could find out if it does without trying it and possibly having it explode in my face or seize into a brick? Thanks!

    • Anne-Marie says

      Hi Kaili – Ozone … like air? If you’re asking if lye reacts with air, it usually takes moisture from the air, making each lye grain heavier so while it won’t explode, you do want to keep it in an airtight container. If I misunderstood your question, let me know =)

  16. Melanie says

    Hi! I tried this recipe and am a bit confused on what to do (I did add some avocado oil to it and recalculated the lye). If I don’t use a ACV rinse it’s impossible to brush my hair, and it’s so dry. I use 1 tsp ACV to 3 cups of water, and my hair looks built up and stringy all day, and I still can’t get a brush through it without tangling. However, I have think bangs and it works well on them. I tried the shampoo bar and used a regular conditioner, and it was still stringy looking all day. Is there something else I can do?

    • says

      Hi Melanie!

      If it is your first time ever using a shampoo bar, your hair is going to feel a little different than normal for a few washes, but I would definitely give it a few more days and see if it has made a difference for you. And, if it doesn’t, you still have a perfectly good bar of soap! Another thing to keep in mind is that hard water versus soft water can be an issue. If the ACV rinse didn’t work for you, try it with a pinch or two of baking soda and see how that goes for you. I hope this helps! =)

      Becky with Bramble Berry

  17. Cathie says

    I made your shampoo bars. I love them, but I have very dry hair. Can I rebatch the bars and add more oils? I followed your instructions exactly. What do you think would be a good oil to add?


  18. Lisa says

    I just made shampoo bars for the first time today. My recipe had the olive caster and coconut oils, and the water and lie and EO of my choice, but it didn’t call for any butters or palm or jojoba oils. I wanted to start with something simple since I am trying to keep the cost down and wanted to make it from what I have now. What is the difference when you start adding all these extra oils and butters to the basic recipe? Also, why don’t you use lard like a normal bar soap?

    • says

      Good morning, Lisa!

      When you start adding other oils or butters to your cold process soap recipes, it changes the lathering, moisturizing and cleansing properties of your batch. Most soapers will choose their ingredients based on what they want their soap to be (ex. moisturizing, lathering, etc).

      For instance, Olive Oil gives a very rich feel to your soap, with good lathering properties, while Palm Oil is often used in recipe because it creates a really hard bar of soap. The recipes that you work with are really up to you and I encourage you to do research on the different oils and butters so that you can create the perfect bar of soap for you and your customers. =)

      Olive Oil:

      Palm Oil:

      Palm Oil is often used in cold process soap recipes because it is a great alternative to Tallow or Lard and is more easily accessible for many soapers. It’s also a great alternative for those that water all vegetable (or vegan) soaps.

      I hope that this helps clear up any confusion you might have had and if there is any other questions I can answer for you, let me know.

      Happy Soaping!
      -Becky with Bramble Berry

  19. Kaili says

    I feel like an idiot. I completely forgot to stick blend it. After about twenty minutes of stirring it was at a light trace. I added in the tea tree and put it in the mold. It looks like the first batch of soap I made and that turned out fine. Is there a big performance difference with light trace and thick? Will my soap still turn out ok? Thanks!

    • says

      Good morning, Kaili!

      Your soap will definitely still turn out, but you may have to wait just a tad longer for it to harden if you poured it at light trace. Keep us updated on how it turns out and if you get any fun pictures, we’d love to see them. You can share them with us on Bramble Berry’s Facebook page:

      -Becky with Bramble Berry

  20. Kaili says

    So I used the lye calculator and did a superfat of 5. Does this look right?

    Castor Oil 4oz 22.22%
    Coconut Oil (76 Degrees) 5oz 27.78%
    Olive Oil 4oz 22.22%
    Palm Oil 5oz 27.78%
    5% Lye (Sodium Hydroxide) Amount 2.552oz
    Ounces of liquid recommended 5.94oz
    Yields 26.49oz

    And is it ok to line molds with plastic wrap for easy removal? Thanks!

  21. Melanie says

    Do you have any recommendations for a shampoo bar for those suffering from psoriasis? My mother is currently battling psoriasis of the scalp, but the typical tar shampoos don’t seem to be doing the trick. I thought that since I already do CP on a regular basis that perhaps I could make something for her that would help.

  22. jen says

    I am new to soap making and have made one successful batch of regular soap. My question is their another oil I can substitute for the castor oil? I cant find it where I live and really want to make this soon and not have to wait to order some. Also can I do this recipe HP? Someone may have already asked but I got tired of reading all the replys to try and find my answer. Sorry if its a repeat offender. Thanks

    • says

      Hi Jen! In this recipe, you can substitute out whatever oils you’d like, but we found this combination to be a great one for a shampoo bar. If you can’t find Castor Oil, I’d actually check your local grocery store as they should carry it for you! We like using it because it draws in moisture to the hair and gives super thick and large bubbles in the shampoo bars.

      If you do end up substituting an oil into this recipe, make sure you run the recipe through the lye calculator again to make sure you have the correct amounts. =)

      Lye Calculator:

      -Becky with Bramble Berry

  23. wansada says


    I made this batch of soap and it’s turn all green color the whole batch and little soda ah on top ;( but it’s thick bar and lot of lather that’s i love it to use for body as well. My concern with this shampoo bar it’s little dry after rinse but I use conditioner to help. I would like to making more batch but I have question about if I would like to make for hair color what’s oil I should add for this recipe and If I would like to add conditioner in this recipe with silk acid I am not sure if this possible.
    Thank you very much :)

  24. Heather says

    My family loves the shampoo bars. Thank you so much for the recipe. First question, my hair stylist says I am lacking protein in my hair. Is there anything I can add to the soap recipe to help? Second question, if I do try and add different oils, Is there a certain percentage of caster oil, olive oil, coconut oil, and/or palm oil that I must use to keep this a shampoo bar? And lastly, I love what the the apple cider vinegar rinse does for my hair but hate how it makes my hair smell. I noticed other bloggers commenting on adding citric acid to the bars. Has anyone got back to you on that or have you done any research on it? Thanks.

  25. Dawnia says

    Hi –

    I made these recently, and so far everyone LOVES them!! I have long, thick, coarse hair and it works great, but I do have to use a conditioner. To me it makes the hair feel super clean. I didn’t feel any oiliness. I have used it the whole family, long, short hair, and gave out a dozen samples to friends. My only problem is getting more made FAST!!! I did have one question – can I add sodium lactate to this recipe to harden the bars? We used them after only about 2 weeks cure, just couldn’t wait!!

  26. Shelley B. says

    Hi Becky – I have tried variations of this shampoo bar and like others, I still have a hard time getting a comb through my long curly hair. I tried the ACV rinse but still require a conditioner. I was thinking of making a conditioning bar to go with the shampoo bar to help solve this so I can get away from store bought conditioners. I was going to add liquid silk, honeyquat, shea, cocoa, etc. I have some BTMS 50 that I have not used yet. I was wondering if that could be used in a ‘conditioner’ cold process bar or is that only for liquid conditioner and creams? Thanks.

  27. Sly says

    Here’s the recipe copied & pasted from above:

    Three Pound Batch Shampoo Bar Recipe:

    This batch would fit perfectly into Bramble Berry’s Silicone Loaf Mold or 9 Bar Birchwood Mold!

    10 oz Coconut oil

    10 oz Palm oil

    8 oz Castor oil

    8 oz Olive oil

    12 oz Distilled Water

    5 oz Sodium Hydroxide

    1.5 oz Tea tree essential oil

    • says

      It sounds like the soap mixture might be going thick fast (which makes sense because of the large amount of hard oils in it). Next time, I would recommend soaping 10 degrees warmer, don’t water discount, and add the EO’s at a thinner trace. The soap was lovely thick consistency when we poured it but definitely manageable. I hope this helps! :)
      -Becky with Bramble Berry

  28. Sly says

    I made this shampoo bar this weekend and had some problems. I used 1/2 oz of Tea Tree EO & 1 oz of Lime EO. I checked your web site with each of these scents and there was no mention of problems using them in CP soap.
    When I added the fragrances at very light trace, my batch immediately turned to the consistency of jello or very thick pudding. Is that what is referred to as seizing?
    Is there a way to prevent this? Is this due to using EO instead of FO, or is that a contributor?
    I noticed your CP recipes always add fragrance at trace. Why not add to the oils before adding Lye water? Would this help prevent this problem?
    Also, does a low flash point have effects on CP and MP? I noticed that the Lime EO has a flashpoint of 114 degrees; tea tree 136 degrees.
    When using a low flashpoint FO or EO in MP and the MP temperature is higher than the flashpoint, will the scent “burn off?” Does that also happen in CP?
    Can I use this flashpoint information as an indicator?
    Thank you so much for your help – I’m still learning!

    • says

      Good morning, Sly!

      There shouldn’t be any reason that the particular EO blend should do that to your soap. Could I get your recipe so that I could help you troubleshoot? Thanks!

      -Becky with Bramble Berry

      P.S. Were you using Pomace or Pure Olive Oil in your recipe?

      • Sly says

        I used Pure Olive Oil and the recipe from Kat above (Tea Tree Shampoo Bars).
        Any answers to the other questions I asked?

        • says

          Hi Sly!

          The low flashpoint on the essential and fragrance oils actually only applies to shipping them. If a FO or EO has a low flashpoint we are unable to send it air anywhere, it has to go ground.

          The Tea Tree Essential Oil or Lime Essential won’t actually ‘burn off’ in cold process soap. But, as with any citrus-type essential oil it is extremely delicate and the high pH nature of the soap ‘eats’ or neutralizes the scent.

          We don’t add our fragrance to our oils beforehand because some fragrance and essential oils can actually accelerate trace and we want to have as much time as possible to work with those recipes.

          I hope this helps to answer questions! =)
          -Becky with Bramble Berry

          • Sly says

            Thank you again for all your help – I am grateful I have someone to ask! And I really appreciate the clarifications.

  29. Nanette says

    I’m interesting in trying this, but was curious if I can liquify this like any other natural soap like I have done for hand soap dispensers (by grating it, adding it to distilled water with glycerin and letting it sit for 24 hours). Or, is there another way to turn a hard soap into a liquid soap without adding unnecessary chemicals?

    • says

      Hi Nanette!

      We’ve never liquified any of our cold process soaps before as we have found that the water can be a breeding ground for bacteria. So far, we haven’t found a recipe that will turn hard soap into liquid soap without adding chemicals. But, if you are interested in making your own liquid soap (all you have to do is dilute and add a scent and a color). Here are is a link to get you started:

      Liquid Soap Concentrate Base:

      I hope that helps! Let me know if you have any other questions. :)
      -Becky with Bramble Berry

  30. says

    newbie (1 year plus)at soapmaking.
    used all my CP soaps for body and hair. made hair hard? after washing. i dont know how else to describe it. it was as if the hair got stuck/clumped together and cant untangle.
    made this one and use it a few days ago and it had the same effect.
    would it be the ‘hard’ water?
    used ACV as a rinse but it made hair frizzy.
    please advise on how to make hair softer.

    • says

      Good morning, Irma!

      It sounds like the pH in the shampoo bar is what is making your hair feel a little ‘hard’. Most liquid shampoos are around a 5-7 in pH and soap tends to come in around 9, so there is a chance that your hair won’t like it no matter what rinse you use. The rinse does help to bring down the pH in the shampoo bar, but it is very possible that shampoo bars just aren’t the thing for your hair. Personally, I’ve also found that most shampoo bars don’t work the greatest in my hair and I’ve had to stick to regular liquid shampoo to make it less frizzy.

      If you are wanting to make your own customized liquid shampoo, you can try out the following recipe and use Bramble Berry’s Liquid Shampoo Base to make your very own DIY shampoo.

      Tangle Free Soap Queen TV!:

      Liquid Shampoo Base:

      I hope this helps. Let me know if you have any other questions. =)
      -Becky with Bramble Berry

  31. Wansada says


    I am really interesting shampoo bar but I haven’t done with LYE. Do you have some recipes to making soap such as Melt and pour soap base?
    Thank you in advance!!!!

  32. Heather says

    Hi, I am fairly new at soap making. I have never used a lye calculator. I would love to try this recipe but I am uncertain how to adjust the recipe to fit my mold. I have a 2 lb and 5 lb wood loaf mold. What did you superfat this recipe to?

  33. Anna Victoria says


    Is it possible to substitute palm oil with something? Would olive or canola work? Thank you

  34. Bindu says

    Hi BB,

    I love BB & Anne Marie. And ur passion for natural cosmetics and soaps.
    My idea is to follow the same recipe as above and do HP, and finally add citric acid or ACV to it so that we can avoid build up. Did u try this???
    And do u have any ideas as to how design a shampoo bar for hard water??

    • says

      Good morning, Bindu!

      We never tried the way you are suggesting to make the shampoo bar, but you’ll have to let us know how it turns out for you. This bar should work well with hard water, but we do know that some people have suggested doing an apple cider vinegar rinse to help with any of the hard water effects. I hope this helps! :)

      -Becky with Bramble Berry

      P.S. Let us know how your soap turns out!

  35. Naima says

    I love shampoo bars!

    I want to add apple cider vinegar to a shampoo bar recipe..
    ..any advice on how to do that? i.e., add at trace? freeze and add to lye solution?

    Any advice/thoughts would be greatly appreciated :)

  36. says

    Good afternoon! I’m such a fan of your tutorials on youtube! I’m intersted in making shampoo bars using your rebatch. I have kinky hair, and need to make sure that the bar provides impeccable moisture. I’m adding shea butter, castor oil, baobab oil, and pumpkin seed oil to the rebatch. How can I make sure that I’ll still have a good lather once finished? With thick african american hair, the more oil, the better!
    Also, do you have any tips of getting a hair mask to harden after you’ve made it? I want to make my clay mask into a bar that I can store longer.

    • Anne-Marie says

      Any extra oils you add to the rebatch soap bases will weigh down lather (the oils basically sit on the bubbles, popping them before they even get started). We don’t recommend more than 1 teaspoon of extra oil per pound of rebatch and I’m guessing you wanted to add more.

      Clays mixed with water naturally dry out when given enough time. However, clays are basically purified dirt so they tend to grow beasties pretty easily so you’ll want to seriously consider your preservative system with that. I would think starting with a lotion bar base and adding a ton of clay would be a good place to start for this recipe.

  37. says

    Finally getting back into soaping after a too-long hiatus! I can’t get over how gorgeous this soap looks, the bars in the top picture are like little ‘objets d’art’! Just gorgeous. So much fun to spend time on the SQ Blog again!!

  38. Kaili says

    I was wondering if I could make a half batch and still have it turn out fine. Would I need to make much different changes to the measurements? And can I use this like regular hand soap? Thanks!

  39. says

    I just tried out this recipe and after 24hrs of setting it is soft. Is this normal? Is that why there is a longer curing time (4-6 weeks). Will it eventually harden?

    Any info would be great! Love your site :)


    • says

      Hi Sam!

      Normally we let our soaps cure 4-6 weeks because most cold process soap are soft after only one day. But, if you let the rest of your batch cure, it will harden up just fine! :)

      -Becky with Bramble Berry

  40. Jade says


    • says

      Good morning, Jade!

      If you are using a Melt & Pour (M&P) base, then we don’t suggest adding any extra oils or ingredients to it when you are melting it because it will change the consistency of the soap and might not harden like you would want it to. But, if you really wanted to add a skin-loving oil to your M&P soaps, we’d suggest adding up to 1 tablespoon per pound of melt and pour base. And, anytime that you add a plant (or perishable) product to your soaps, it will eventually go brown or black. I hope this helps! :)

      -Becky with Bramble Berry

  41. says

    Is there a way to make a shampoo bar using your rebatch soap? I would love to make some but I have no desire to deal with lye! Right now I have some of BB basic rebatch that I’m debating what to do with. Could I make a shampoo bar with that? Thanks!

  42. Shelia says

    My 2nd attempt at making this turned out much better. I substituted 1/2 the tea tree for Pink Grapefruit FO and it smells heavenly. I’ve been using the 1st batch I made for shampoo and I admit I use a dab of conditioner. My hair doesn’t feel weighed down like normal shampoo made it feel. My husband loves it as a soap and I love it as a shampoo.


  43. Melissa says

    I was thinking about making this and adding beer to the water like in the beer soap recipe. I have heard that beer is good for your hair. Anyone have any opinions? Although I am not sure how if would smell, probably need a fragrance oil.

  44. Maria G. says

    I made this shampoo and it is awesome. I do have a problem that my hair feels kind of gross afterwards. Would you recommend a rinse? If so what what proportions of acidic( lemon juice or apple cider ) to water? or is it a straight acid rinse?

    Thanks so much!
    Maria G.

    • Anne-Marie says

      Try 3 parts water, 1 part vinegar (Apple Cider) and that should do it. Keep us posted =)

      • Vanessa says

        Hi Ann Marie! Is there a way to make the rinse a little nicer maybe with hydrosols or EO’s or soemthing so that friends, family, clients don’t feel weird about pouring straight up vinergar with water? I’m all about shampoo bars but most people fear them because of the oily feel afterwards…did you ever come up with a clever rinse? you always come up with amazingly clever things to do!! thank you so much 😀

  45. Maria says

    Pretty new to soap making & I hope to make this recipe soon. I’d like to know how to make small test batches. How do I take this or any recipe & resize it to only make about 4-6 bars? I want to experiment a lot with out using up my supplies quickly. Thanks in advance, Maria

    • says

      Hi Maria!

      We have a pretty nifty tool that will help you resize any of your CP batches. All you need to do is:

      1. Input the original recipe into the lye calculator with the superfat you’d like and hit submit.

      2. You’ll see a button that says resize batch. You can adjust this to how many ounces you want your recipe to be and it will re-calculate the recipe for you!

      Easy and simple! =) I hope this helps.
      ~Becky with Bramble Berry

    • says

      Hi Jamilla!

      All you do to get that fun and cool rippled design in your own soap is to sculpt the top of the soap once you’ve poured it into your mold and it has started hardening.

      I’d suggest to just have fun playing around with the tops of your soaps and seeing what fun ripples and designs you can create!

      ~Becky with Bramble Berry

  46. Jenny says

    I made these shampoo bars, and I don’t know if I did something wrong, but my hair feels so oily and stringy. Almost waterproofed! I tried the bars again the next day, and made sure to rinse extra long, but same problem. Anyone else have this issue??

    • says

      Hi Jenny!

      If it is your first time using the shampoo bars your hair is going to feel a little different than normal, but I would give it a few more days and see if it has made a difference for you. And, if it doesn’t, you still have a perfectly good bar of soap!

      Another thing to keep in mind is that hard water versus soft water can be an issue.

      Try a quick Apple Cider Vinegar rinse or even an Apple Cider + Baking Soda rinse and see how that goes.

      ~Becky with Bramble Berry

  47. Jennifer says

    I made these and they look and smell incredible. However, my hair is very curly and has a tendency to be on the dry side and they made my hair feel like straw. Do you think it would help if I swapped a few ounces of the CO with shea butter?

  48. Maggie says

    So im a little confused are these shampoo bars basically cp soap?? Can you use any cp soap as a shampoo bar or do you have to use specific oils?

    • Anne-Marie says

      Yes, Shampoo Bars are basically CP soap with a larger amount of Castor Oil in them and some also do a larger amount of Coconut Oil (for cleansing). In theory, you could use any recipe though I have tried many normal CP recipes in my life on my hair and I like ones with a bit more Castor oil in them than a typical bar.

  49. penny says

    Also is the amount of Fragrance oils the same amount for essintial oils when adding them to my soap.

    • says

      It varies a bit actually. Fragrances tend to be .7 oz. per pound of soap but it does vary a bit with essential oils based on personal preference. You’ll end up with .3 to .7 oz. per pound with EO’s and some, no matter how you use (Orange EO for example, won’t last no matter how much you use). I wish I had a concrete answer but for everything but Mints, I’d start at .7 oz. per pound and work your way down from there with EO’s.

  50. penny says

    I’m waiting for my scale to come in before I start this. But If i wanted to add half tea tree and half peppermint do I just do half of each one? it says 1.5oz tea tree oil so Can I do half and half. also I want to add Shea Butter just a small amount about an ounce do I need to change my lye amount. if so how much.

    • says

      Yes, half and half, for essential oils.

      If you’d like to add just an ounce of Shea Butter, you can either just add an ounce and not change the lye amount or you can fully run the recipe through a lye calculator at a 5% superfat, with that 1 oz. of Shea Butter added to re-do your lye amount; either will work. Here is the lye calculator I use:

  51. Alena says

    I am goint to make it today and I was wondering if I can use milk (goats, almon, soy) instead of water??? What do you think having milk in this recipe will be a good idea at all?
    And would this hair bar be sulfate free?

    • says

      Hi Alena!

      You could totally use milk in this shampoo bar, but it would change the consistency of it. It would decrease the lather and it might be a little oily, but if you wanted to try it out, it could totally work.

      And yes, this shampoo bar is completely sulfate-free! =)

      -Becky with Bramble Berry

      P.S. If you do make this shampoo bar with milk, you’ll have to let us know how it turns out!

  52. Ashleigh says

    Thanks Guys!

    So far I have been addicted to lush’s solid shampoo bars but 15.90 for one of those babies is a little ott. I’ve been trying to find a recipe that looked easy enough without too many intimidating ingredients.

    I’ve made two batches of this and am waiting for them to cure before I can use them. I made one batch with peppermint EO and the other with some Fragrance oils. I did some research on which EOs were best for my hair type. My mould is a piece of pvc pipe lined with a silicone baking sheet, works perfectly.

    I’ve been making CP soap for hmm about 6 months and so far am enjoying it immensely and I’d like to thank you guys and Anne Marie for giving me the confidence to branch out from the usual M&P.

  53. Allison says

    I love how the bars look, love the colors. I am new to soapmaking and don’t know how to color it yet. Can you know of a good tutorial on coloring?

  54. Tricia says

    I am just starting out making soap, I’ve made 2 simple batched that I used to make laundry soap but I want to get some more complicated bars going. The problem I have is resizing batches. I am just so confused. I see that this recipe says it fits the 3 lb log mold but it only has 36 oz of oil weight. How do I know how big the end result of water and oils and everything will be? Thanks!

    • says

      To figure out the end result of everything you have, just add the oils + the water + the lye to figure out how much you’ll have at the end. Note that after a 6 week cure, it might weigh up to 10% less as the water evaporates out.

  55. says

    Hi! I’ve been making soap for about 7 years now and I’ve never found a soap bar that makes shampoo which doesn’t leave a film. Does this bar really not leave a film? I’m just curious because it doesn’t seem like the recipe is appreciably different from soaps I make, is it the castor oil? I have never used it but was going to as a friend who is a woodworker told me it does wonders for his dry skin from work. I’m definitely going to give it a try because I often get customers looking for shampoo bars. Most of the shampoo bar recipes I’ve seen were just soap recipes with a lot of coconut oil. Thanks.

    • says

      Hi Elizabeth!

      This shampoo bar doesn’t leave a film and it is probably because of the castor oil. Castor Oil is great because it draws in moisture to the hair and gives super thick and large bubbles in the shampoo bars. =)
      -Becky with Bramble Berry

      • Gloria says

        Hello all!

        I have been using the shampoo bar for a few weeks now and have found that my hair really is cleaner than with commercial shampoos. The problem, for me, is that if I use it every day my hair gets quite dry and has lots of tangles. Perhaps this is because of where I live, around 7000 feet above sea level, near the Rockies. So I have been using just a bit of conditioner.

        • says

          Hi Gloria!

          Thanks so much for letting us know about your experience with this shampoo bar recipe! We’ve also heard of some people using an apple cider vinegar rinse when their hair is feeling a bit too dry.

          -Becky with Bramble Berry

  56. penny says

    Ok, I’m new at this and I wanted to know how they did this in a crockpot? I never heard of it before. Also at what temp should the soap be before I add the Tea Tree oil? I heard around 100. is that after you mix the lye/water with the oils? I watched the lye videos. I’m going back to watch them again.

    thanks Penny

  57. Kenya says


    I just finished this recipe and it seized on me!!! What could I have possibly done? Followed the directions to a T and not my first batch. Help?!?!?
    Anyone else have any problems?

    • Anne-Marie says

      At what point did it seize on you?

      And, silly question, but are you sure you’re using pure Tea Tree Essential Oil?

      • Kenya says

        Thanks for answering! And yes, pure Tea Tree Oil and it seized before I added the TTO…seemed to trace super fast and before I knew it…BAM! Seize!!!! Now I have lumpy shampoo bars :(

        • Anne-Marie says

          The main thing I can think of is temperatures – I just re-ran the recipe and it runs through great. I wonder if the Castor Oil could be processed with anything? So back to the temperatures, if the temps are too low, the Coconut Oil/Palm Oil can start reverting back to their natural (solid) state. That’s the only thing that I can think of – especially since it seized on you before you even added the Tea Tree oil.

          • Kenya says

            Thanks! That’s what I’m thinking too…but I made sure the temps were at right around 100…with this recipe, can I take them up to 115-120 without a problem? Is there a way to figure out the max temps on a recipe (without ruining it?)

            Thanks again for your help!

        • Amanda says

          Mine did the same thing, though not totally. I barely got it into the mold. I had to scoop it out. The only thing different from the origional recipe is I did use unrefined palm oil, which is orange in color. other than that, followed to the T. Mine started to thick trace as I was pouring the lye/water solution. I didn’t even get to use my stick blender:) It looks awesome though…

          • Gloria says

            When I made this recipe, I had to do the same as Amanda and scoop about the last half out of the pot, kind of like using the violet fragrance oil which goes to trace very quickly (or it did for me!). I mixed the oils and lye solution at 110 degrees. The tea tree oil was really strong (!) at first, but has mellowed. Now, I am anxiously waiting for the nest two weeks to go by to finish curing to give the shampoo bar a try. My sister, her family and three other people are hounding me about them too!

          • Tricia says

            This recipe also traced very quickly for me. I poured the lye water into the oils at 115 degrees and I used my stick blender for maybe 5 seconds before I was at THICK trace. I quickly added the fragrance and colors and got it into the mold ok. I haven’t taken it out of the mold yet, so we will see. All of the ingredients I used were from Bramble Berry.

          • Shelia says

            Mine traced very quickly and had to try to scoop out of the pot. Also, the EO was VERY strong and the soap was still soft two days later. I almost didn’t get it off the freezer paper.

    • Jenny says

      Mine also traced super fast, and my hair feels coated with oil, no matter how much I rinse :( I am bummed!!

      • Anne-Marie says

        Try a quick Apple Cider Vinegar rinse or even an Apple Cider + Baking Soda rinse and see how that goes.

  58. Oksana says

    I have a question, do we need to add citric acid in shampoo bars to prevent hair look like oakum? Thank you

    • says

      Hi Oksana!

      We’ve never used citric acid in our shampoo bars before and our hair still feels great after using these bars. Is there a specific recipe that you’ve run across that calls for citric acid?
      -Becky with Bramble Berry

      • Oksana says

        Well, yes, all those recpes I’ve read online (at least Russian sources), they all suggest adding cidric acid to prevent hair look oakum (and increase lye respectively, for 1 gram of citric acid 0.6gram of lye to be added). Also everyone says that if citric acid is not added hair will look greasy and hard to brush. I’ve also read that after using shampoo soap hair to be rinsed with the 20-30% solution of citric acid for the same reason. I wonder where is the truth :) how important adding citric acid is and if not added would it affect the way hair looks like. Thank you :)

        • Eoin says

          I think it would only affect the look of the hair if the water used is hard. Here in Ireland the majority of our water is very hard, and we don’t generally have water softeners, so washing our hair with soap isn’t really an option, it leaves the hair sticky with lots of buildup! I’ve been looking for recipes for shampoo bars with citric acid included, to counteract the water hardness, but this is the first time I’ve come across some concrete information regarding it – thank you!!

  59. says

    Any chance some of these will list in the etsy shop for purchase? My husband would love this. Thought it would be a great addition to a father’s day basket.

    • says

      We unfortunately sold out at Otion a little while ago! You can always try to make these or you can see if there is a soaper that you know that will make them for you. =)
      -Becky with Bramble Berry

  60. says

    Thank you SO much for this!!!!!!!
    I have been wanting to make shampoo bars
    for a long time, but do not trust my
    recipe making abilities just yet.

    This is invaluable to me and I am deeply
    grateful Anne-Marie!

    fyi, getting closer to that “shop” I have
    always talked about! Myself and 14 other
    ladies are going in together to set up shop
    here locally…for me this is a test program for one year. Then, my next step would be to do
    the same thing myself with some of them joining
    me. 😉 Wish me luuuucccckkkkk!

    • says

      Hi Yvonne!

      Basically, it is just manipulating the soap after it has been poured. You can push around the soap with a spatula or you can add extra texture using a whisk to play with the soap on the top. Just remember that your soap needs to be at thick trace for this sort of technique to work.

      It really is all about experimentation and playing with your soap! So, just have fun with it and see what you can create. =)

      -Becky with Bramble Berry

      • Vanessa says

        That is so cool!! Thank you for the info! I have a question though, say I’m trying to get that thick trace for the technique, is there a risk to over mix and the batch go flat or oily or something? Thank you!!!

        • says

          Hi Vanessa!

          If you are trying to do a specific technique with your soap, we normally suggest working with thin trace and oils that don’t accelerate on you, as thick trace can be quite unmanageable!

          -Becky with Bramble Berry

  61. Audrey says

    Do you find the need for an acidic rinse (i.e. lemon juice) after using a CP shampoo bar to get off all of the residue? I read that the need may be related to hard or soft water?

    • says

      Everyone is different on this (depending on their hair and type of water), but I find the shampoo to do the job quite well, but I’ve also heard that some people do an apple cider vinegar rinse.
      -Becky with Bramble Berry

      • says

        It’s hard water that you would do an acidic rinse. My water is softened so shampoo bars work for me when I have one around. :)

        When my water was hard- I could use conditioner instead of the vinegar and it seemed to work well.

        You just judge by how your hair feels when your done using it.
        The up side is, if you can’t use it in your hair you can still use it as body soap.

  62. Dawnia says

    Hi –
    I also was curious what colorants you used??
    On another subject, just saw you have SUSPENDING NAIL POLISH!!!! But the least amt is 32 oz. Please think about a smaller size, and nail polish bottles!!! This would be fun to play with!!

  63. says

    Love the recipes and everything BB posts to make our life easier..

    I use rhassoul clay in my shampoo bars. One daughter has extremely dry, curly hair and this works wonders.

    • dyana says

      Hi Jeanine!
      Was wondering, how much rhassoul clay do you use ppo? I have really curly hair but I tend to use a flat iron to straighten it and was wondering if this would help smooth it out.


      • says

        I’m not sure how much clay that Jeanine adds, but you can typically add up to 1 tablespoon of additives per pound of soap. So, in this recipe, you could add about 3 1/2 tablespoons of clay. I hope this helps! :)
        -Becky with Bramble Berry

  64. Pelin says

    Does this recipe also work for dyed amd processed hair?
    And if l am to incorporate sw almond or avocado oils how much wouldvyou recommend and substitute with which of the oils?

    • says

      Hi Pelin!

      With the way we’ve tested it (and what we’ve heard from others) this recipe works really well on dyed and processed hair.

      If you were wanting to incorporate Sweet Almond Oil and Avocado Oils in this recipe, we’d suggest just adding those into the recipe at small percentages or your could substitute them for the Olive Oil in the recipe. Just make sure you run your recipe through the lye calculator again!

      -Becky with Bramble Berry

  65. Lucy says

    Thanks for the awesome recipe , you read my mind !

    Fairly easy and I adore tea tree !

  66. Cris Brazil says

    I just used this recipe last night!! With the addition of Vitamin E, DL-Panthanol, Shea Butter and peppermint oil!! It’s so amazing on my hair! No frizz, great shine, and amazing smell!!

    • Penny says

      How much shea butter and vit e did u add and did u increase the lye. I want to try this never made cp soap before. Thanks penny

      • Cris Brazil says

        I used 1 oz of Shea Butter and like 5 capsules of vit E. I had to re size the batch to fit my mold so it yielded 35.15 oz. I used 3.228 oz of lye and super fattied to 8%. I love BB Lye Calculator!!!

      • says

        Hi Penny!

        Welcome to the Soaping World, we are so excited for you to start making CP soap! If you have never made soap from scratch before, you can check out Anne-Marie’s four part series on cold process before trying this recipe.

        We feel that it is really important to understand how to work with sodium hydroxide (lye) so that you are soaping on the safe side.

        Happy Soaping!
        -Becky with Bramble Berry

      • Cris Brazil says

        I did mine HP in a Crock pot so I melted the shea with my oils and added the Vitamin E and DL-Panthanol before I added my lye. The Peppermint oil I added after I cooked it and let it cool a bit.

      • shanthi adeshkumar says

        will you give me some tips regarding d-panthenol & its amount of usage & i would like to know its usage.