Sudsy Shampoo Bars

We’ve reached the end of our Soap Crafting-inspired tutorial extravaganza week. In case you missed it, we started out with an awesome beer soap, got fruity with a strawberries and cream recipe and yesterday we introduced a beeswax soap using a fun spoon-plop technique. And below, find our final recipe — Sudsy Shampoo Bars! These shampoo bars are a biodegradable, packaging-free alternative to traditional liquid shampoos, and contain a mixture of several hair nourishing oils. Keep in mind — the nature of soap is to clean, and these bars have a pH of around 7 (slightly less than regular cold process soap). These bars will leave your hair feeling nice and refreshed and in my experience, I needed to load on the conditioner to really make my hair soft and lovely.

In this recipe, we’ve added citric acid to lower the pH and make these bars extra gentle. Note that these shampoo bars also take longer to cure versus traditional cold process soaps because of the high content of liquid oils. Some people also like to use hair rinse after using shampoo bars to seal the hair shaft. A simple recipe we like contains 1/2 cup fresh mint leaves (or 1 tablespoon dried), 1/2 apple cider vinegar and 1 cup boiling water. Simply combine the mint leaves and vinegar in a bowl and then pour the hot water over it. After it cools, massage the mixture into your scalp.

What You’ll Need:

8.5 oz. Coconut Oil

8.5 oz. Olive Oil

5.1 oz. Hemp seed Oil

3.4 oz. Palm Oil

3.4 oz. Castor Oil

3.4 oz. Sweet Almond Oil

1.7 oz. Jojoba Oil

4.6 oz. Sodium Hydroxide

11.22 oz. distilled water

.5 oz. Citric Acid

.3 oz. DL-Panthenol

1.05 oz. 10x Orange Essential Oil

 .7 oz. Tea Tree Essential Oil

.35 oz. Patchouli Essential Oil

12 bar Square Silicone mold

Click here to add everything you need for this project to your Bramble Berry shopping cart!

If you’ve never made Cold Process soap before, stop here! I highly recommend checking out our FREE four part series on Cold Process Soapmaking, especially the episode on lye safety. And if you’d rather do some reading, Bramble Berry carries a wide range of books on the topic, as well as digital downloads for that instant gratification factor.

ESSENTIAL OIL PREP: Combine the 10x Orange Essential Oil, Tea Tree Essential Oil and Patchouli Essential Oil in glass container and set aside.

ADDITIVE PREP: Combine four tablespoons of distilled water with .3 oz. of DL-Panthenol and .5 oz. of Citric Acid and set aside.

SAFETY FIRST: Suit up for safe handling practices! Long sleeves, gloves, and eye protection are necessary when making cold process soap. Be sure that kids, pets, and other tripping/distraction hazards are out of the house or don’t have access to your soaping space. Always soap in a well-ventilated area.

ONE: Slowly and carefully add the lye to the water and gently stir until the lye has fully dissolved and the liquid is clear. Set aside to cool.

TWO: Melt and combine the Coconut and Palm Oils (remember to fully melt then mix your entire container of Palm Oil before portioning). Add the Olive, Hemp Seed, Castor, Sweet Almond and Jojoba Oils and stir until combined. Once the lye water and the oils have cooled to 130 degrees or below (and are ideally within 10 degrees of each other), add the lye water to the oils and stick blend until thin trace.

THREE: Whisk in the DL-Panthenol and Citric Acid mixture. Adding this mixture will accelerate trace, so be prepared to work quickly.

FOUR: Add the essential oil blend and stick blend into the batter.

FIVE: At this point the batter should be at a thick trace. Pour into the mold and spray the top of the soap with 91% Isopropyl Alcohol.

SIX: Cover and insulate the soap for 24 hours, and let it sit in the mold for 8-12 days. Allow the bars to cure for 8 – 10 weeks. Enjoy!

Shampoo Bars generally don’t do well in hard water and if you have hard water, you’ll definitely want to use a vingar rinse. According to a giant in the industry that I follow, cosmetic chemist (and author of Beginning Cosmetic Chemistry) Perry Romanowski, the reason for this  “is that it has a tendency to react with metal ions in the water to create insoluble compounds.  These are the things that cause the ring around your tub.  On your hair, they would leave it feeling dull and dry.”

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  1. Denise dahle says

    I followed directions exactly and the shampoo bars still have a couple of weeks to cure but today I tested the soap using a drop or two of phenolthalien directly on the soap and it turned deep pink. I assume this means it is too caustic to use. Any ideas of what may have gone wrong? Any way to fix them or will I have to just throw the entire batch away? When I was mixing the batch, it became thick very quickly. Any ideas or suggestions would be appreciated, thanks!

    • Kelsey says

      Hi Denise!

      With phenolphthalein, the soap will be dark pink if it has a pH of 7 or more. That means it may just be around 8-9 pH, which is still totally in range! Regular soap pH is 9-10. I would recommend testing the soap using pH strips so you can get a more specific reading:

      If that soap is around 9-10, it may be a bit too harsh for hair. You may want to test it on your hair just to be sure. If it’s not working for your hair, it will still work great on your body!

      If it is above 10, it may be lye heavy. Don’t throw it out though! You can use it as laundry soap:

      Also, the citric acid does accelerate trace, so the batch getting thick is normal!

      Let me know how that pH test goes. :)

      -Kelsey with Bramble Berry

  2. Adrianne says

    I’ve never used or made a shampoo bar before, and I’m excited to try this recipe. I’d like to add Argan Oil to the recipe–I’ve liked products that include it for my hair. Would I need to replace one of the other oils, and if so, which one? I’d like the recipe to be as moisturizing as possible, as my hair can get dry/frizzy.

    Also, I see a lot of people mention a vinegar rinse when talking about shampoo bars. Is the vinegar rinse necessary? Even when using a store bought conditioner?


    • Kelsey says

      Hi Adrianne!

      Shampoo bars feel really great on your hair! You can add argan oil to this recipe if you like. You can use it in your recipe up to 15%.

      You can decrease the amount of other oils in the recipe and add argan oil, or replace one of the oils if you like. Argan oil has a unique, silky feeling. You could use it in place of the sweet almond oil, which has a similar texture and SAP value. Learn more about SAP values in the Free Beginner’s Guide to Soapmaking: Common Soapmaking Oils post:

      Also, the vinegar rinse is an optional step! Some people like to do the vinegar rinse to seal the hair shaft. You can if you like! You may want to make a small test batch of the rinse and see if you like the way it makes your hair feel. :)

      -Kelsey with Bramble Berry

  3. Shannon says

    i have made this shampoo and just started using it but I find it leaves my hair very greasy at the scalp. Worse than before using it. I am just getting into all natural products and previously just used shampoo from the store. Is there something I am doing wrong? By the way I love Otion! The people there are great!

  4. Katie says

    Hi! I’m hoping to make a shampoo bar using BB’s rebatch base. I found a recipe in Marie Browning’s “Natural Soapmaking” that involves adding oils to grated soap, but I wanted to run it by you guys first. I was thinking of adding some castor oil and argan oil to melted rebatch base, along with some carrot extract and essential oils. How much oil do you think I should add to the soap? I’m worried that if I overdo it the shampoo bars will go rancid or something. Any guidance you can give me would be greatly appreciated!

  5. Cadence Chung says

    I really want to make a shampoo bar, but I don’t really want to do cold process soaping. Do you know if there is a way to transfer this recipe to melt and pour soaping, or could you perhaps make a recipe with melt and pour shampoo bars?
    Thanks, Cadence.

  6. says

    Hi, I’ve been looking for a shampoo bar recipe for over a year. So glad I found one here. My concern is the pH balance of 7. I have very curly, textured hair which is also very dry. A pH of 4.5-5 works best for my hair. Is it possible to add more citric acid to further lower the pH to my desired level? What do you recommend?

    • Kelsey says

      Hi Dionne!

      You can add more citric acid to this recipe. Keep in mind adding too much can affect the saponification. I would recommend making a small test batch with more citric acid (about .1-.2 oz. more) and see how it sets up. :)

      -Kelsey with Bramble Berry

  7. Casey says

    Thanks Soap Queen, I really enjoyed your previous recipes. But for this one, the ph was 9 after testing with ph paper so I was a bit disappointed. Howerver the soap has a nice gentle lather.

    • Kelsey says

      Hi Casey!

      Oh no! Do you mind telling me a little more about your process? Also, did you make any ingredient substitutions? When did you pH test the soap? Did you test with distilled water? Let me know and I’ll help you troubleshoot. :)

      -Kelsey with Bramble Berry

  8. Rebecca Johnson says

    Would these shampoo dogs be OK to use on a dog? Looking for a nice bar to make for my dog Chloe. I love making your bars! Just made the Sunshine Calendula and it smells incredible!!

    • Kelsey says

      Hi Rebecca!

      Pet skin is very different than human skin, and dogs can have sensitivities to certain products. Before using this on your dog, I would recommend talking to your vet to make sure there are no possible irritants. :)

      -Kelsey with Bramble Berry

  9. Joy says

    I have been trying to find information online about lowering ph in cp soap, so glad I found this recipe! Now, if I want to add citric acid to a different recipe do I need to subtract water from the lye mixture to make up for what I use in the citric acid & water mixture? I’d love your professional opinion! Thanks!

    • Kelsey says

      Hi Joy!

      I’m glad you like the recipe!

      Here’s how to use citric acid in cold process soap: Dissolve 1 part citric acid in 4 parts distilled water. At trace, add the citric acid-water mixture at up to 1% of the weight of the fats. A small amount is very effective, but too much can affect the process.

      You’ll want to subtract the amount of water you use in the citric acid from your lye and water amount.

      Also keep in mind adding citric acid will accelerate trace, so you’ll need to work fast. :)

      -Kelsey with Bramble Berry

      Citric acid:

      • Joanne says

        Was the Subtraction already figured in the Sudsy Shampoo Bar recipe on If not, I guess I have a new failed experiment on my hands :) I measured the 11.22 oz and then took out the 4 Tbl of water for citric acid mix

  10. Shirley says

    Made it! Great looking bar. It took a while to get hard, was very soft. I have very curly hair, thus naturally dry. I only buy natural shampoos but they are expensive. In the past, I have made solid shampoos, unfortunately, they have made my hair drier. So far, I have used this shampoo bar three times and my hair is still soft and moisturized. I like the recipe. Maybe next time I make it, I will increase the superfat percentage to have a bit more oil in the bar and on my hair.

  11. Michelle says

    I just un-molded this soap from a loaf mold and while I did not have lye pockets there was a strip under the surface that poured out what looked and smelled like the essential oil. What went wrong and do I need to throw the soap out?

    • Kelsey says

      Hi Michelle!

      Do you mind if I ask how you made this recipe, including what temperature you soaped at? Let me know and we’ll figure this out! :)

      -Kelsey with Bramble Berry

  12. Diane says

    I have been making cold process soaps for about 20 years, long before the rave, and have often wondered about a shampoo bar – I will definitely try your recipe. About the blue molds you show. Can you tell me what size the cavities are, and where I could buy such a mold. I have been using muffin shaped silicone molds for many years now, and I recently purchased a mold with rectangle shapes, but they came out pretty small, so my search continues.
    Thank you so very much!

  13. Judy Kohut says

    I’ve tried a couple of calculators and I’m not coming up with the correct amount of lye and water. Are you using ratio lye to oil or are you using a percent of oil or percent of total including water? I’ve also tried superfatting @ 3.5, 4, 4.5, 5.

      • Judy says

        Hi Kelsey,
        I tried once again and your lye calculator comes up with the lye @ 4.186 and water is @ 10.10

        • Kelsey says

          Hi Judy!

          Hmm, that’s weird! When I inputted this I got 11.22 oz of water and 4.6 oz lye. Did you add all of the oils to the calculator?

          -Kelsey with Bramble Berry

      • Theresa says

        Hi there! All of the previous responses up until this one state that this recipe is superfat @ 5% . However, now you say 4% . Which one is it? Thank you!

        • Kelsey says

          Hi Theresa!

          This recipe is superfatted at 5%. A 5% superfat gives you 4.6 oz. lye and 11.22 oz. of distilled water, as stated in the recipe. Sorry for any confusion!

  14. says

    Hi everyone!

    I have made a batch of the invigorating shampoo bar and quite liked it. Prior to that I was just using plain olive oil rebatch soap (it worked but this was better). I am now going to try this recipe! As far as conditioner goes, I think you will find it really isn’t needed like you use for traditional shampoo/conditioners (or at least not to me). Instead I found that putting just a few drops of jojoba oil in the palms of my hands and gently rubbing it into my hair mid-way to the ends works better. More like you would a leave-in conditioner. I am sure Argan oil or Camellia oil would work well too. Or heck, even a combo lol. It really only takes a few drops, and jojoba oil is so light, so your hair looks soft and healthy, not oily 😀

    • says

      Hi Tracy!

      I hope you love this shampoo bar as much as we do :). That’s a great idea, using oil as a conditioner. We are currently working on some hair recipes, so keep your eyes on the blog for them sometime next week!

      -Amanda with Bramble Berry

  15. Nik Fauzi says

    Hi again

    I have made the shampoo bar with HP and CP.

    The HP works great. However when i used my CP Shampoo Bar, my hair falls alot.

    Any reason why my hair falls? The recipes are the same except for the method used in making it. Or was my shampoo too acidic or alkaline?


    • says

      Hi Nik!

      Hmm, I’m not quite sure honestly! When you mean fall, do you mean that your hair has less volume?

      -Amanda with Bramble Berry

      • Nik fauzi says

        I meant, my hair really falls. In the shower and during brushing. More then usual. I have stopped using the cp shampoo bar for a week now and my hair stop falling out.
        There must be something in the shampoo bar and I suspected it to has something to do with pH. I could not think of anything else.

        • says

          Hi Nik!

          Oh I see what you mean. I haven’t heard feedback regarding hair falling out using this recipe before. It’s tricky to say exactly what may have caused that, because everybody’s hair and scalp are so different!

          -Amanda with Bramble Berry

  16. Robin says

    If I’m doing this recipe HP, when do I add the citric acid? Should it be right before I mold it?

  17. Morgane Lahousse says

    I have been trying to drop the pH in my shampoo bars because my scalp has been feeling very itchy. I was wondering if it is possible to use Apple Cider Vinegar instead of citric acid in the shampoo bar itself. Would it have just the same effect or would it separate the lye-oil bonds? At what stage would you add it?
    Thanks a lot for your help!

  18. Hannah says

    if i wanted to lower the PH of my soap,how much Citric acid and water would i use in a 5 pound batch if i didn’t use DL-panthenol?

  19. Jean says

    Hi, just a quick question about hot processing this recipe. I have used citric acid with success , and yes it does accelerate so I add it just before pouring into molds. But I have never used citric acid in the hot process method. Do you know if I can use this recipe successfully with the hot process method in spite of the citric acid or does heat negatively effect the citric acid?

    • says

      Hi Jean!

      While I have never tried using citric acid in hot process soap before, I have heard of other soapers doing so. I would recommend asking this question on the Teach Soap Forum to see if another soaper has had success with this method! You may also want to try a small test batch first :)

      -Amanda with Bramble Berry

  20. Marsha says

    I really appreciate you all sharing your citric acid method. I make liquid soap exclusively, and because LS can’t superfat effectively without separation, we have no way to ‘mask” the harshness from the soaps high pH. I’d read elsewhere that the acid needed to be combined with lye to create a salt of an acid, like sodium or potassium citrate, to be effective and not inhibit cure. Can you please verify that it is indeed 1% citric acid to a batch and is there anything I’d need to know before I give this a shot? Thank you.

    • Marsha says

      Also,can that percentage of citric acid apply to any recipe, or did you only test on this shampoo bar?

    • Marsha says

      Also,can that percentage of citric acid apply to any recipe, or did you only test on this shampoo bar?

    • says

      Hi Marsha!

      For liquid soap, I would recommend making a citric acid solution using 2 ounces of citric acid to 8 ounces of water. With this solution, I would recommend adding 1 1/2 tablespoon per pound paste weight to neutralize. I’m not sure what that would be in percentages to the total amount of soap. This amount of citric acid was only tested for this recipe :)

      -Amanda with Bramble Berry

  21. Kathee says

    I like to add argon oil and tussah silk to my shampoo bars. This seems to condition as well as clean your hair. Leaves your hair feeling soft, smooth ans shiny.

  22. Lily says

    I’ve been told that adding citric acid to soap and/or lowering the PH to 7 will make the soap fall apart… How are you measuring the PH? And your soap looks great, no separation at all. Is there a specific ingredient that you are using that is preventing this from happening? Would adding the citric acid to a standard bar be worthwhile for a body bar? I’m not sure this truly lends to it’s mildness where skin is concerned, although I’ve heard the opposite too…

    • says

      Hi Lily,
      Thanks so much for your questions and comments. In regards to measuring your ph in your soap. You have a couple options with that. You can go the easy method and test with ph strips that are available at Bramble Berry.
      Another method is getting your soap to a nice lather in distilled water and using a ph thermometer to test the ph balance.
      I did also find another link that might be helpful to you.

      I would try messing with your oils and not mess with the ratio of the citric acid. This should help you with cracking. We’ve done testing after testing on this as well as many other recipes and have not had the cracking. There is not a specific product that we use to reduce cracking since we have found this recipe to work great. I would definitely play around with your oils and it should help with a wonderful bar of soap.
      I hope this is helpful. :)
      ~Kevin with Bramble Berry

    • says

      Hi Myava!

      While we have not tried hot process recipes, I don’t see any major issues :)! If you give it a try, please let us know how it goes!

      -Amanda with Bramble Berry

  23. Nik Fauzi says

    Hi All

    I have made Shampoo Bar using Hot Process and its great. My son in law and my daughter love it so much. I added eo – Tea Tree, Rosemary, Ylang Ylang and chamomile and few other ingredients. It helps them with their dandruff and itchy scalp.

    And now I wanted to figure out how to use the ACV powder to make a ACV Hair Rinse Bar to make it more convenient than liquid. ANY SUGGESTIONS EXPERTS?


    • says

      Hi Nik!

      I’m so glad you enjoyed making your shampoo bars, they sound amazing! I have never used AVC powder before, but from my knowledge of hair rinses using vinegar, you simply rinse your hair with the vinegar and leave it in. If this was in a bar form, would you be looking to rinse it out? If it was in a bar form, it may be a little more difficult to apply. Let me know, I’d be happy to help you brainstorm further!

      -Amanda with Bramble Berry

  24. Susan says

    I don’t have palm oil…can I sub palm kernel with similar results? What can I sub for sweet almond? Thanks.

  25. Mary Walton says

    When she adds citric acid to the cold process soap all she will be doing is neutralising a part of the sodium hydroxide in solution and effectively creating a higher superfat. In which case, just calculate the higher superfat to start with and forget the citric acid. It scientifically will NOT lower pH

    • says

      Hi Mary!

      You are absolutely correct that citric acid and lye will neutralize each other. But, because we added the citric acid at trace when the lye has already started to saponify, the citric acid is able to lower the pH.

      It is similar to making liquid soap and adding citric acid; citric acid acts as a neutralizer to lower the pH level. Citric acid has a low pH, and when met with soap which has a higher pH, it helps to neutralize the pH.

      I hope this makes sense :)

      -Amanda with Bramble Berry

      • Marsha says

        If Mary knew her science, she’d know that at the end of a cure, soap has an alkaline ph after lye and fats have saponified. That of can still be lowered, as Amanda had mentioned is done in making Liquid Soap, which is my primary and exclusive craft as a soap maker. Its a matter of doing it carefully for cold process, so as to not disrupt the saponification process.

  26. Mary Walton says

    As I informed you before citric acid CANNOT lower the pH of cold process soap please go back and learn your chemistry and do not feed misinformation to poor soapers

  27. Nik Fauzi says

    If I want o make this shampoo bar using hot process, when do i add the citric acid? Do I add it at the beginning of the hot process or later with the essential oil?


  28. Gloria says

    I made this shampoo bar. It has been 8 days since I made it. I finished unmolding it. It is soft – jelly..ish type. I still have to wait for about 2 months to start using it. Meanwhile I cut a piece, tested the pH ( result 8), washed my hands and after 5 minutes, my hands are kind of dried. Hmmm I don’t know how this is going to be in a couple of months when I start using it on my hair, I’ll see. I’m trying to be optimistic.

    • says

      Hi Gloria!
      Did you add anything else to this recipe? We would love to hear what you did! We didn’t have any issue with our bars being soft. We would love to get some more info so that we can help you troubleshoot.

      -Amanda with Bramble Berry

  29. says

    This looks awesome! I’ve thought a lot about making my own soap, and I”m glad to have come across your site, its inspiring, educational, and I’ll surely be back for more sudsy suggestions!

  30. Sly says

    I was reviewing your sudsy shampoo bar recipe & blogs and came up with a basic, silly question. (I knew the answer to this in the past, but can’t remember.)

    You mention that the cure time is longer because of the high percentage of liquid oils used.

    1) What is the usual percentage of liquid oils & hard oils in CP soap?

    2) Are the Coconut & Palm Oils considered hard Oils? Would Shea & Cocoa Butters also be considered hard Oils?

    3)Does using a higher percentage of liquid oils in shampoo bars make it easier to create the lather for shampooing?

    Thanks for the soaping review of basics I should already know. (It sucks getting old – don’t do it!!)

  31. Esnart says

    First off…I am a huge fan of your blog, business and your sweet nature :)

    I had a quick question, I would to try this shampoo bar with a few additions like Apple Cider Vinegar, Bentonite Clay, Cocoa or Chocolate.

    How do I go about estimating how much to add and when?

    I am hoping the result to have a deep brown color and smell like chocolate too.

    I look forward to your response.

    Thank you so much :)

    • says

      Good morning!

      You can definitely add these things to your shampoo bars, and I would experiment with lower levels (1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon per pound of oils) until you reach a batch that works for you. For the Cocoa Powder and Bentonite Clay, we suggest about 1 teaspoon per pound of oils. I would also check out the Teach Soap Forums to see if the soapers and crafters have any suggestions for you as well! =)

      -Becky with Bramble Berry

  32. Elizabeth says

    I was just reading the TIOT post concerning preservatives, and now I’m a little concerned about this recipe – its pH was lowered to around 7 via citric acid to be kinder to the hair … but does that then put this soap into a dangerous zone with regards to “the nasties” growing?

    In your TIOT post on preservatives, CP soap doesn’t need preservatives because “Both Cold Process and Melt and Pour soaps both have a pH level that does not allow mold or bacteria growth in your soaps.” So, does that not apply to this soap? Do I need a preservative with this recipe?


    • says

      That’s a great question and to the best of my knowledge, and our testing, it won’t need a preservative. If you or anyone find differently, please let me know.

  33. Becky says

    I’m really excited to try this recipe! I’m wondering if I can hot process it so that it will be done curing sooner. What are your thoughts?

    • says

      Hi Becky!

      You could hot process this recipe so that the bars dry quicker, but you might want to use a different mold. If you use a silicone mold there is an interesting thing that happens with silicone and a super hot gel phase. The soap sort of ‘boils’ on the inside and something about the lack of breathing in silicone makes little air bubble/water bubble pock marks on the entire outside of the loaf. I would suggest a loaf mold with screws (not wood glue).

      2 lb Wood Loaf Mold:

      4 lb Wood Loaf Mold:

      I hope that this helps! :)
      -Becky with Bramble Berry

      • Becky says

        I made this bar. To be honest, I didn’t follow the recipe exactly. I substituted the palm for tallow and the hemp oil and almond oil for avocado oil. Did I substitute too many of the oils? I left out the essential oils.

        I’ve washed my hair 4 times with this bar, and for the record I have hard water.

        1. My hair was really greasy when I washed the first time. After washing my hair, it felt like I didn’t get all the oils out.

        2. After washing a second time, there was still a residue feeling. I sprayed with white distilled vinegar which help a tad with tangles.

        3. For the third wash, I followed someones advice to rinse my hair with vinegar and distilled water first, then wash. The theory being that the minerals in hard water cause soap scum. The vinegar would remove whatever soap scum was on my hair and the distilled water would prevent soap scum from building because there were no minerals with which to combine. I think I didn’t rinse out the vinegar well enough because my hair was super oily after washing!

        4. So, I tried again. For my fourth wash, I wet hair with distilled water again, washed, and dried. There were NO tangles this time. It looked oily; however, my hair didn’t feel or act like oily hair does does. It felt more slippery.

        I’m at a loss as to what to do. I’m wondering if there’s too much DL-panthenol in this recipe for my hair in particular thus lending to the slippery sleek feel/oily look. Is this recipe particularly good for dry hair (which of course, mine is very oily). I don’t remember what super-fat I had, since I recalculated this from the substitutions. I would assume that I left it at the standard 5%. Is that too much? Should I decrease it to 2%? Any answers or suggestions to successfully wash hair with soap would be MUCH appreciated!

        Lastly, I LOVE the neutral pH! I washed my sons hair with this and it’s the first soap that DOESN’T STING EYES! This is perfect for babies.

        • says

          Hi Becky!

          Shampoo bars are not for everyone and it can depend on your hair-type for if you like how it feels. I would actually suggest following the above recipe without any changes to see if that makes a difference for you. You can also do an apple cider vinegar rinse afterwards as that has been known to help. We actually left this recipe at 5% superfat and it worked quite well for us! Let us know what you think of the recipe as it is — we can’t wait for your feedback. =)

          -Becky with Bramble Berry

          • Jen P says

            I just made these and have the same problem. I haven’t been able to find a recipe that works for my hair, though. My scalp feels clean, but my hair feels coated, even with a vinegar rinse.

  34. Courtney says

    When mixing in the citric acid and dl-panthenol, do you take the 4 tablespoons of water from the water that is to be mixed with the lye?

    • says

      Good morning, Courtney!

      In this particular recipe the 4 tablespoons of water for the additive prep is additional water that you will use that is not in the recipe. I hope that this helps! =)

      -Becky with Bramble Berry

      • wansada says

        Hi Becky :)

        I have a lot of pictures :) create myself and inspired from your site from beginning to advance.
        I love Brambleberry blogs and products :)
        How I can show the picture on your Facebook page

        Thank you!

        • says

          Good morning, Wansada!

          To post a picture on Bramble Berry’s Facebook page, go to this link:

          Once you are here, scroll down to the tool bar that reads “Status, Photo/Video, Offer, Event +”

          Once you’ve found that, click the Photo/Video button and find the picture of the soap you want to upload on your computer. Give us a little description of what it is and post it! We love when our customers share a couple of photos at a time with us, it is so much fun to see all the soapy projects people are working on. =)

          I hope that this helps! Let us know if you have any other questions.

          -Becky with Bramble Berry

  35. Joejo says

    I have a friend who adds apple cider vinegar powder to your melt and pour soaps. Could I susbstitute apple cider vinegar powder in place of the citric acid? And what percentage? Thanks I really want to make apple cider vinegar shampoo bar.

    • says

      Good morning, Joejo!

      We actually added the Citric Acid in these bars to help lower the pH of the soap itself and to make them extra gentle on the hair. In addition to the citric acid, you could add the Apple Cider Vinegar Powder as an additive. I would suggest adding it in during trace. I hope this helps! =)

      -Becky with Bramble Berry

  36. Barbara says

    I ran this recipe through a soap calc and got stumped at superfatting. Did you guys superfat? Is the jojoba the superfat?

  37. Desert Rose Handmade Soaps says

    Hi Becky, thanks for sharing solid shampoo bar receipe. I have been making solid shampoo bars for a while and latest one I have done is Root Beer and Molasses. Adding molasses broght ghe PH down to 7( tested in the lab )as it contained small % of citric acid. What % of Castor oil would you recommend for solid poo bars?

    • says

      Good morning!

      Your shampoo bars sound like so much fun! In our particular recipe for the solid shampoo bars, we added in the Castor Oil at about 10% of our total oils. While you can use it up to 25%, it tends to make your bar softer and stickier the more you use. Most soapers like to use about 3%-8% in their bars, but we added just a tad extra for our shampoo bars because we wanted those extra large bubbles and the humectant properties it provides for shampoo bars. I hope this helps! Let us know if there is anything else we can do for you. =)

      Happy Soaping!
      -Becky with Bramble Berry

  38. Sly says

    A friend of mine has tried my shampoo bars (from the invigorating shampoo recipe) and loves them. She commented that she really loves how her hair feels after a dip in the ocean and asked if I could incorporate salt into a shampoo bar…I don’t know the answer to her question, so I wanted to forward it to my experts.

    Can you incorporate Himalayan or dead sea salts into a shampoo bar? And what would that be like? Would it still give you lots of lather?

    Also, the invigorating shampoo bar recipe has over 20% castor oil, while this recipe is about half that. How is the lather on this compared to the other?

    Thanks for your help!!

    • says

      Hi Sly!

      You can experiment and add salt to your shampoo bars, but be sure to cut them as soon as they have hardened because they do tend to crumble if you don’t! The lather will decrease because you are adding salt to your soap, but I would definitely do a small test batch to see how you like it.

      Both recipes have a great lather, but if you want that bit extra, I would try working with the Invigorating Shampoo Bar recipe.

      Invigorating Shampoo Bars:

      Be sure to let us know how your tests go, we’d be excited to see how it turns out for you! :)

      Happy Soaping!
      -Becky with Bramble Berry

  39. says

    I’m constantly trying new recipes for shampoo bars or sometimes testing for friends. I was really intrigued by the citric acid so I just had to order one. I guess I was too lazy to make it! I can’t wait to get it and try it. I usually do a vinegar rinse and follow it up with my solid conditioner that I make. I’m a little leary with 25% coconut oil as I feel even 20% is too much for my hair, but I’m willing to give it a try. I have hair past my shoulders so my ends tend to get dry. Thanks for the post!

      • says

        I was so excited when I received my shampoo bar that I purchased on Etsy. I used it right away followed with a vinegar rinse (1/4 cup vinegar to 4 cups water) and then my conditioner bar. I was very impressed with this soap. My hair loved it right away. It did not feel dry afterwards. It had just enough suds for it and while I smelled tea tree in the shower, I could smell the patchouli in my hair later. I look forward to making this recipe myself.

        • says

          Good morning, Patti!

          That is so exciting to hear! We love feedback from our customers and knowing that this recipe worked so well for your hair makes us happy. Be sure to let us know how the shampoo bars that you are making turn out, and if you get any fun soapy pictures be sure to share them with us on Bramble Berry’s Facebook page.

          Happy Soaping!
          -Becky with Bramble Berry

  40. says

    I just made this, and can’t wait to get it out of the mold!! Just a quick note – I couldn’t get my citric acid and panthenol to dissolve, so I popped it in micro for 30 sec on med, and it dissolved fine.
    Thanks again for another great recipe! Just wondering, any other conditioning ingredients that can be added to shampoo bars?

  41. Mary Walton says

    Sorry, but what a pile of complete rubbish. It is absolutely impossible to produce a cold process soap with pH7. In fact, an approximate pH of 8.5 to 10 is normal. Use a digital measuring machine to get a true result, not pH papers. This is very misleading for your customers.

    • says

      Hi Mary!

      I totally agree! Using traditional CP methods will not produce a lower pH than about 8.5 – 9. That’s why we carefully figured out how to add Citric Acid to lower the pH of the bar. We had almost a year of trial and error to get the right amount that still allowed for the soap to harden.

      We do have a digital pH monitor as well as the papers. I look forward to you trying the recipe and seeing what you get after a full cure. We tested ours at 8 and 12 weeks but know that there will be some variation based on ingredients used and maybe regions soaped. I can’t wait to hear what you think when you try the recipe =)

      -Becky with Bramble Berry

  42. Sarah TH says

    I read everywhere that one is to use apple cider vinegar with any homemade shampoo, rather it be a bar, baking soda or castile liquid. I do not use apple cider vinegar, I use a few drops of white distilled vinegar in a baby food jar and fill the rest of the way with water. Cancer compass dot com says that apple cider vinegar is Alkaline and white distilled vinegar is Acidic. Therefore if you are using one of the three items listed above and using apple cider vinegar than you are doing double the alkaline to your hair which isn’t good for it. I have only been using bar soap and liquid castile and I have no problem with any frizziness using the white vinegar. My hair is very soft and shiny! But baking soda on the other hand absolutely fries my hair.

    • says

      Hi Sarah!

      We really appreciate hearing about your experiences and will definitely note that down. If you get a chance to try this recipe out, we’d love to know what you think. :)

      Happy Soaping!
      -Becky with Bramble Berry

    • Valora says

      Apple cider vinegar is acidic, just like distilled white vinegar. The difference you mentioned ONLY has to do with how the body treats the two when after you INGEST them. Apple cider vinegar is awesome to use on your hair, face, and body to normalize ph precisely because it IS acidic.

  43. Kenzie says

    This recipe looks great! I’ve been wanting to try out a shampoo bar recipe for awhile. I just have some quick questions. If I were to resize the batch, what percentage of citric acid would I use? Or is it always .5 oz? Also, if I colored the bar, would mica or labcolord have any negative effect on hair, or is it better to just leave it naturally un-colored?

    • says

      Hi Christina!

      You can hot process this recipe, but be prepared to work fast once you’ve added the DL-Panthenol and Citric Acid. I would suggest making a small test batch to see if it works for you and letting us know what you think! :)

      Happy Soaping!
      -Becky with Bramble Berry

  44. Gloria says

    I tried the other recipe for shampoo bars about a year ago. I can’t argue that my hair was clean, but like this recipe, a conditioner was needed. A conditioner bar would be welcome, but like other folks here, I have no idea where to start.

  45. Nik Fauzi says

    I agree with Maria too. I would love to know the recipe for conditioner bar to complement the shampoo bar.

  46. Melissa says

    I love that you’ve adjusted the pH of the soap for hair. Just wondering if you think CPOP on this may help speed along the curing time? I realise this would affect the concentration of scent, but that aside, do you think it would work? Or does the lower pH require a longer term approach?

    • says

      Hi Melissa!

      While we didn’t CPOP this recipe, you could definitely try it out. You would want to make sure and use a different mold as silicone tends to “boil” the soap and leave air and water pock marks on the outside. Try a small test batch and let us know what you think! :)

      -Becky with Bramble Berry

  47. Talia says

    What an interesting looking recipe! I love that you’ve incorporated Panthenol into this bar, I was thinking of ordering some to add to my shampoo bars and now thanks to this tutorial I know how to incorporate it properly. Awesome! :)

    I couldn’t help but notice the long cure time, is that because the Citric Acid neutralizes some of the lye, making this a soft soap? Or maybe some other reason?

    • Talia says

      Oops, now that I’ve gone back to read all of the notes I see my question has been answered!

    • says

      Good morning, Talia!

      The longer cure time in these bars are because of the higher percentage of liquid oils that we are using. These bars are extra gentle (because of the Citric Acid), but might just take a little while longer to cure! :)

      -Becky with Bramble Berry

  48. DSantiago says

    Thank you for this posting! I’ve been waiting for a shampoo bar tutorial. I do have a question or 2. Can you do this recipe using a log wood mold, and if so, how long should one wait for it to take it out of the mold and slice it? I have a 2lb mold.

    • says

      Good morning!

      You can absolutely do this in any mold you would like, we just used the square silicone mold for easy use and size. If you were to use a 2 lb wooden loaf mold, we would suggest leaving it in for 24-48 hours (or the typical amount of time) and then unmolding and cutting it! I hope this helps. :)

      -Becky with Bramble Berry

  49. says

    It would be wonderful to see something along the lines of a solid conditioner bar to compliment this. I’ve seen them on the market, but dang if I know where to start. <3

    • Bonnie says

      Intriguing! I agree, I’d love to see Soap Queen’s take on this topic.

      I found this video, provided by Lush, that shows how they make Jungle conditioner: Based on the video, it looks like it’s mostly cocoa butter and waxes. Then they liquify fresh fruits and add to the pot. Then fragrance, and what looks like color (chlorophyll?). Pour into molds, chill until solid.

      Since there’s no precise lye reaction, I think you would make tiny experimental batches with “whatever” in ’em, and see what works for your individual needs. Like adding sea salt for fine/wavy hair. I might just do that! :)

      • says

        Be careful using chlorophyll in hair products! I’ve seen a blonde come out of the shower with GREEN hair from it! She used a small amount in an MP shampoo bar, not realizing that it is EXTREMELY concentrated pigment. After a few days of trying to bleach it out she ended up going with black hair colour. Nothing else would cover it.

        Of course, it was hilarious to the rest of us =)

    • Zala says

      A conditioner bar is made very easy with 30% btms (50), 20% e- wax, 30% oils and/or butters of choice, 1% hard wax like carnauba or candellila for extra firmness, 2% FO and up to 17% powders of choice. Melt, mix, pour & cool. That’s it. You can play with different oils and butters, but I like those who not just sit on top of the hair, but are able to penetrate the cuticle like coconut, avocado and olive. I like coconut milk as a powder, but you can use any powder that has benefits for your hair type like brahmi, neem, nettle, rhassoul etc. You can add beautifull goodies like panthenol, phyto keratin, hydrolised oats…The possibilities are endless ☺ Just be sure to make small test batches while experimenting to make sure every chosen ingredient is ‘compatible’ with each other and mixes in well. I use my conditioner bars as a no poo wash. It’s the only thing I use on my 80cm. long hair and I’m very happy with it!

      • Kelsey says

        Thanks so much for sharing your recipe Zala! It sounds awesome – lots of conditioning ingredients. :)

        -Kelsey with Bramble Berry

        • Zala says

          You’re welcome, Kelsey, and thank you and the team for all those great recipes and your patience in answering all our questions :) !!!


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