DIY Project: How to make homemade shampoo and conditioner bars


Making solid shampoo and conditioner bars is a fun, natural way to cut down on excess plastic packaging. 

Words & photos: Jackie Ziegler

Solid shampoo bars are popular. A concentrated form of shampoo, a bar will last much longer than a store-bought bottle.

Many commercial shampoos contain synthetic ingredients. Some are known irritants, and others, like silicon, can cause build-up in hair and are difficult to rinse out.

Making solid shampoo is a way to control the ingredients that are included. The following recipe uses natural and naturally derived ingredients. These are available from specialist cosmetics and soap-making suppliers such as purenature.co.nz

Solid Shampoo Bars

(makes 6 small bars)

MATERIALS

240g SCI (sodium cocoyl isethionate) in pellet form. (SCI is a surfactant made from coconut oil.)
60g conditioner pellets (BTMS-25, derived from rapeseed oil)
2 tablespoons coco-glucoside (a surfactant derived from coconut oil and fruit sugars)
1 tablespoon babassu oil* (a vegetable oil)
1 teaspoon coco-caprylate (a natural moisturizer derived from coconut oil)
1 teaspoon essential oils
silicone cupcake mould with 6 cavities or similar

INSTRUCTIONS

STEP 1: Combine the conditioner pellets, coco-glucoside and babassu oil in a small pot and heat on a medium to low stove setting until completely melted.

STEP 2: Add the SCI pellets to the pot and turn the stove to low. Leave for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

STEP 3: Take the pot off the stove. Add the coco-caprylate and the essential oils and mix everything thoroughly.

STEP 4: Pour or spoon the mixture into the mould and leave the bars to set and cool down completely before removing.

The shampoo bars can be used immediately, but I have found that if you leave them to “dry out” for a week, they are firmer and longer lasting.

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Solid Conditioner Bars

(makes 6 small bars)

120g conditioner pellets (BTMS-25)
20g cetyl alcohol
20g babassu oil*
1 teaspoon coco-caprylate
1 teaspoon provitamin B5
½ teaspoon essential oils
silicone cupcake mould with 6 cavities or similar

STEP 1: Combine the conditioner pellets, cetyl alcohol and babassu oil in a heat-proof bowl or jug and melt in the microwave. Alternatively, add the ingredients to a small pot and heat on the stove on a medium to low setting until completely melted.

STEP 2: Once melted, add the coco-caprylate, provitamin B5 and the essential oils, and mix everything thoroughly.

STEP 3: Pour the mixture into the mould and leave the bars to set and cool down completely before removing. They can be used immediately.

Preservatives: The shampoo and conditioner bars do not contain any preservatives. If stored correctly and allowed to dry out between uses, they should not go off. However, for extra protection, add a natural preservative, such as Microcare DB, at 0.5 per cent.

* Can be substituted for kokum butter, shea butter or cocoa butter.

Jackie Ziegler is the author of Making Solid Shampoo Bars. She blogs about soap-making
at inmysoappot.co.nz


This is an extract from our special edition In Your Backyard: Living Lightly

In Your Backyard: Living Lightly is filled with practical advice on making small steps to a lighter footprint. Order online here.

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