How to make your own shampoo bar

by Lily White
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Shampoo bars are a shampoo that is formulated to clean hair. Shampoo bars are gaining popularity because they don’t require plastic packaging. This allows them to be a zero-waste cosmetic product.


Shampoo bars are solid and can be stored in a plastic container. You don’t need any packaging if you make them yourself. You can reduce waste this way.


Shampoo bars are an excellent option for anyone who wants to travel with liquids and wants to avoid airport restrictions.

Can you use shampoo bars on your body?

The shampoo bars can be used on the body, as the pH and surfactants are gentle. This makes it ideal for travelers, as you only need one bar to cleanse your entire body.

You do not want preservatives?

Although I believe you should use a shampoo preservative, shampoo bars are the only surfactant-based shampoo you can make without one.

It doesn’t contain any water-based ingredients, so technically, it doesn’t require a preservative. However, since you are constantly contaminating the outside of your bar with water, it is still a good idea for one.

This is the only product that you can try if you’re entirely against preservatives. If you decide to go this route, be sure to dry the bar immediately after each use and store it in a dry place.


Soap-Based Shampoo Bars Vs. Surfactant Based Shampoo Bars (SYNDET).

There are many types of shampoo bars available, both for sale and for making your own. Note that you have to know how to use the shampoo bar properly. This will be discussed further in the article.

Soap-Based Shampoo Bars

Soap-based shampoo bars may be the most natural, but they are not the best for many people due to their high pH. Soap-based shampoo bars are soaps made with oils and lye, just like the other ones.

People often try to make soap bars less harsh for hair by lowering the pH. This is done to make soap bars more gentle for the hair. You can’t lower the pH of soap, or it will ruin your hair. The soap’s high pH makes it more sustainable. It doesn’t require any preservatives.

Although most people can wash their skin with soap that has a high pH, hair is more delicate. Except for the part at the follicle, most of our hair is dead. It can’t recover as quickly from severe conditions as the skin can. You can maintain your hair, smoothen the cuticle and make it look healthier and shinier, but soapy shampoos will usually cause hair to become more damaged.

A soap-based shampoo bar will usually recommend that you rinse your hair with vinegar afterward. High pH soaps can cause hair to look dull and dry due to the way they lift the cuticle. Vinegar is an acidic product that helps close the cuticle to make your hair healthier and shinier.


Why choose a shampoo bar containing a surfactant (SYNDET) instead?

Although it may sound more drastic than a shampoo bar made of synthetic detergent, this is not the case.

Many people have heard that soap is natural and good for them and that non-soap surfactants (detergents) are harmful and harsh.

This misconception is likely due to the fact that many shampoos on sale contain sodium lauryl sulfate, an anionic surfactant. Although it is inexpensive and cleans well, SLS can cause skin irritations and strip hair and skin of their natural oils. It may clean far too well in a certain sense. There are many milder surfactants that we have access to. The number of surfactants available is growing as people seek safer, more natural alternatives.

These natural ingredients have the advantage of adjusting the pH to suit your hair and keep it healthy. Soap at the pH levels between pH=4-6 is not what we want in hair care products. It would be impossible to lower the soap’s pH so much. It is impossible to create a soap-based shampoo bar with the right pH range for hair.

It is important to rinse your hair with an acidic shampoo after you use soap-based shampoo bars. For example, you can rinse your hair with diluted apple cider vinegar.

How to use a shampoo bar

How To Use A Shampoo Bar E1649945882238

Shampoo bars can be very simple to use. It is very similar to using soap bars. You can actually begin by lathering the shampoo bar in your hands, just like you would for washing your hair. After you have created a lather, you can rub your foamy fingers over your hair and scalp to create a lather.

Another option is to use the shampoo bar on your hair and rub it until you have the right amount of lather. This method has one flaw: you’re more likely to get stray hairs on your shampoo bar.

Where to store a shampoo bar

After you have finished using the shampoo bar to lather up, rinse it off and let it dry in a dry place. You should not store your shampoo bar in a puddle. Otherwise, it could easily become brittle.

If you plan to store the bar in a travel container, ensure that it has dried entirely before you store it. Otherwise, it may melt into a mess.


Instructions on How to Make Shampoo Bars

  • You can weigh out the surfactants (the SCI and SLSA, coco glucoside, and coco betaine) in a double boiler insert or in a bowl that is heatable over a saucepan of boiling water.
  • Slowly heat the ingredients in a double boiler. Stir until they are melted completely.
  • The mixture is extremely thick and difficult to work with. It’s best to allow it to cool down before adding the other ingredients. It should be removed from the heat source, and the rest of the ingredients added quickly.
  • You should try to include all the vitamins and preservatives. Press the mixture immediately into a mold. I use silicone molds for soap bars.
  • Place a sheet of wax or parchment paper on top of the mixture to smoothen the surface. Smoothen the top of your bar by carefully rubbing it.
  • You can also test the pH of the shampoo bar by running water over it and testing its lather with a pH strip. It is impossible to test the pH of this product because it is solid. The pH of your shampoo bar’s lather in water is what we are looking for. This will allow us to determine whether it is best to adjust the pH for our next batch. A few drops of lactic acid can lower the pH. It is unlikely that you would want to increase the pH. However, some NaOH can be carefully dissolved in water.
  • After your shampoo bar cools, you can take it out of the mold and let it dry. This shampoo bar is not made from homemade soap and can be used immediately. You can leave it to dry for a few more days if it becomes too soft. This can happen in areas with high humidity.

Customizing your homemade shampoo bar

The shampoo bar contains a mix of solid and liquid surfactants. You may need to adjust the proportion of liquid to solid surfactants depending on where you live to get a stronger or more gentle shampoo bar.

The solid surfactants

SCI stands for Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate. It is the first solid surfactant used. Sometimes called “baby foam,” it is gentle enough to be used in baby products. It is derived from coconuts. Although SCI is difficult to use, it is a powerful substance that can work in both hard and soft water. It is usually sold in fine granules or powder form.

SLSA stands for Sodium Lauryl Sulfoacetate. It is an ECOCERT-certified surfactant and gives off a lot of foam.

The liquid surfactants

Coco glucoside is a mild, natural surfactant that is suitable. It is a gentle, non-ionic surfactant that is widely used.

Coco betaine, another natural surfactant derived from coconut oil, is commonly combined with coco glucoside. They work well together to create a nice foam that has better cleansing properties.

Conditioning agents

It’s still a good idea for you to add emollients and other conditioning agents. Widely used are shea butter and BTMS.


In the shampoo bar is good to add both vitamin E as well as b-panthenol. Vitamin E, an antioxidant, can be used in a proportion of.5 to 1% of the recipe to keep other oils from turning rancid. B-panthenol, also known as vitamin B5, can be used to nourish hair and act as a moisturizer. These ingredients are optional, but they can be a welcome addition to any shampoo bar. These vitamins are used in hair and skin care products.


Because your shampoo bar will be in a humid environment and likely to be wet frequently, It is recommended to use a preservative. It is important to ensure that the pH of the bar is within the recommended range for any preservative. Sharomix 705, a natural preservative that is ECOCERT certified, has been used in many recipes. It can be used at 1% of the recipe weight. The pH of the product must be below 5.5 to make it effective.

You can decide to use a preservative if you don’t want it. It is important to keep the bar dry and dry it as fast as possible.

I hope that my detailed instruction even inspired someone to do experiments with shampoo bars on his own.


By Eli Nz

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