Saturday, March 16, 2013

Saturday bath--shampoo bars

It's been ages since I used cold process shampoo bars and my hair has suffered for it.  There is nothing nicer than a good bar of shampoo soap. But finding that perfect soap is not easy; even the one that works great in one season becomes lousy when the weather changes.  It's been frustrating at times, which is why I fall back on the commercial, chemical stuff periodically.

I'd been putting off another round of formulating, but when I saw this post on the Oil & Butter blog I was inspired to give it a try.  The recipe was so radically different than any recipe I'd tried before that it intrigued me.  No coconut oil, no animal fats, and only a touch of castor oil?  I decided to make the batch according to recipe, with only water as the liquid and no added goodies, like egg yolk, clay or herbs.

I did, however, scent the batch using a combination of 5x orange and litsea cubeba essential oils--yum!  It's such a sweet fragrance.  And if that wasn't enough, just poured it looked like lemon curd, which upped its irresistability factor immensely.

As I guessed, I couldn't endure the full month for the batch to cure.  I decided to try out a bar after--ahem--one week.  I have never had my hair feel so nice after the first use with a new shampoo bar.  My hair felt a million times better than it had with the commercial junk products.  I have to say that I may have rushed things a bit.  The bar was accidentally set in a saucer with a little water in it and it melted pretty significantly into a goopy mess.  (I would say I learned my lesson about waiting, if I had, but I doubt I did.)


After a week of use I think I'll tweak the recipe a bit and maybe add a little coconut oil for some more cleansing.  It may be a bit too conditioning for my hair?  What I really need to do is sit down with all my shampoo bar recipes and have a little tete a tete with them and get these bars figured out once and for all. 

Oh, and maybe wait for this batch to actually cure first before passing judgment.

12 comments:

  1. Don't you just love formulating shampoo bars? ;-) I tend to HP mine since I feel like I get more lather that way and add goodies after the cook that I think will be beneficial to hair. There's so much to think about...lather, cleansing, superfat, oils, conditioning....I think the questions I ask myself when I formulate is how can I prevent any sort of buildup or how can I get it to rinse cleanly without being drying? Now I feel like digging out my last recipe I was working on!

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    1. You're right--there are SO many things to consider! Overconditioning seems to be my biggest issue. As much as I want to get these figured out once and for all, I know that I'll never be completely satisfied. But I think I'm at least on the right track now.

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  2. Loved reading your experiences with this bar! And very curious to see how your tweaking affects the outcome, please keep us posted! :D

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    1. When I washed my hair recently with both this bar and a beer soap made with tallow/olive/coconut at the same time and I think it was a big improvement. So tweaking is definitely in order.
      .....And I'm interested in hearing YOUR experiences with this recipe, too!!! :)

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  3. Thanks for sharing your experience with shampoo bars! I still haven't tried shampoo bars yet. I think I'm a little bit afraid to. My hair is very fine and tends to be straw-like if I use the wrong stuff. I've finally found a shampoo and conditioner that I like now, and I'm reluctant to switch. I should give shampoo bars a try, though. The worst that can happen is that my hair doesn't like it and I end up using it as a body bar. Thanks for sharing your recipe!

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    1. They are such tricky things, much more than I expected. I don't blame you for hesitating! I've had a hard time finding shampoo that I like, so that's helped to motivate me. Oh, and these bars feel so good as a body bar, too, so you won't be out anything!

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  4. Thanks for sharing your experiment. I was thinking of trying the recipe Cee posted on her blog, maybe tomorrow, and the ingredients I was thinking of are: egg, beer and pine tar. No idea if this is the best combination, but we will see... Please let us know what did you change at your recipe to get a better shampoo. Thank you!

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    1. There are so many possibilities, aren't there? And now that I'm really working at these bars, spring is on its way and then comes the humidity of summer. I'll have to do some more tweaking then! I plan to make another version of this batch next week.

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  5. I had my hear cut the other day (i mean really cut), so now it could be much easier to make tests with shampoo bars. I've read so much about them and once achieved what one needs,never goes back to commercial shampoos. Let us know how you like this one fully cured.

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  6. Of course,but was HAIR what I meant!

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    1. Hi,hi and my phone keeps choosing the words on its own! I really need to check every word it picks up for me!

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    2. :D :D LOL I knew what you meant!! I should not have used the bars so soon--they really need a long cure. But it is such lovely soap, even now.

      (I turned that function off on my phone--it drove me crazy!)

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