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WeaversPort

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Hi there!

I hope you are all having a wonderful day/evening. Thank you to everyone who participates here! I never thought I could use handmade soap because I'd been told it was too harsh for skin. But last month I discovered the world of shampoo bars, and it has become a rabbit hole of discovery!

Once I began looking up some book recommendations -- it brought me here.

I haven't made any soap yet. As a celiac I'd really like to learn to make a safe version of this bar for my hair: http://www.chagrinvalleysoapandsalv...-the-hair/shampoo-bars/honey-beer-egg-shampoo.

Knowing me, I may have started way too advanced and should try something more simple for my first soap... but it is good to have goals.

Be well!

Warmly,
Kaye
 

cmzaha

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Welcome to the forum.:bunny: In my opinion, as a long time now retired hairdresser I will mention that "Soap" is not Shampoo. Shampoo is made with mild detergents, good for hair. Soap is Soap and bad for hair, but if you like it go for it. Handmade soap does not have to be harsh and hard on the skin. A well made balanced bar of soap is lovely. Egg is actually a bit drying and I do not see a use for it in soap used on hair. Egg whites for years were used as a face mask for it drawing properties.
 

shunt2011

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Hello and welcome!

I'm no help on the shampoo bar stuff as I tried using them and failed and had to cut my hair off short due to the damage. But, have fun formulating. :)
 

dixiedragon

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You may enjoy this:
http://swiftcraftymonkey.blogspot.com/search?q=shampoo+bar

The ingredients are available at ingredients to die for, assuming you are in the US.

I wouldn't jump right into shampoo bars like swiftcraftymonkey's recipe, but that might be a good end goal.

If you have short hair, you may be able to use a bar of soap as shampoo, but if you have longer hair I wouldn't recommend it.
 

bumbleklutz

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Welcome to the forum.

I agree with Carolyn I did not like soap for my hair, but it is lovely for hands, face, or body. As she says handmade soap doesn't have to be harsh.

You'll find a lot of great information, and recipe's for beginners here on the forum. Start out with small batches (1-2 #) of oils and keep it simple at first.

The best advice I received here is "keep good notes"; that way when something really WORKS for you, then you can replicate it.

Always run any recipe you find, whether here or elsewhere through a lye calculator. Soapee.com or soapcalc.net are both very popular.

If your soaps don't turn out as planned, don't get discouraged. Soap making truly is an art and a science with a lot of variables involved. Even the most advanced soapers have the occasional oops. Most importantly, have fun and happy soaping.
 

WeaversPort

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Thank you for the warm welcome Suzie, IrishLass, shunt2011, Isg, Dahlia, and Steve85569!

Bamagirl - I have a feeling I'm going to be in deep trouble. As it is, I haven't even made my first batch of soap and when my boyfriend and I went to Ikea I got lost in all of the little ice cube trays. He shook his head and commented "you sure have soap on the brain!" If I can put stuff in it... My kitchen may never be used for food again ;)

Dixiedragon - thank you for the recipe and the place to look for ingredients. I'm going to bookmark it for later use... Even if I don't end up using it for hair! I'm trying to figure out a good first recipe, castile seems very simple and straightforward, but the year curing time feels like forever to find out if I made a mistake. I'm happy to wait 4 or 6 weeks, because I have to wait that long when I do my herbal infusing anyway. Any suggestions on a good place to start?

Carolyn and bumbleklutz - Thank you for the advice! I've had an impossible time trying to find a shampoo that works for my hair (oily, baby fine, and straight). I make Cher look like she has a body wave. I'd been hoping that the ability to tweak ingredients might help me avoid even more bottles of shampoo in the garbage, or given off to friends. *sighs*

Either way, the soaping bug has still bitten me and I would love to learn!

Um, I saw a post in the beginners section about not using glass or Pyrex for soaping. Are there any recommendations for inexpensive tools I SHOULD get/avoid? I read no aluminum mixing bowls or wooden spoons, a friend gave me a hand blender, and I have a kitchen scale..

I'm a little unsure of what else I should be looking for?
 
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kchaystack

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Um, I saw a post in the beginners section about not using glass or Pyrex for soaping. Are there any recommendations for inexpensive tools I SHOULD get/avoid? I read no aluminum mixing bowls or wooden spoons, a friend gave me a hand blender, and I have a kitchen scale..

I'm a little unsure of what else I should be looking for?
Hello WeaversPort!

I agree with most people here about soap for your hair, but as with all things soapy, your mileage may vary.

As for tools - the most economical I have found are paint mixing buckets from Home Depot or Lowes. They come in all sizes, from 1 quart to 5 quarts, and you can get lids for them as well.

http://www.homedepot.com/p/HDX-1-qt-Mix-and-Measure-PN0117/300247898

http://www.homedepot.com/p/HDX-2-5-qt-Mix-and-Measure-PN0118/300247901

As for the scale, you need to make sure it will measure at least to 1 gram. I would suggest using metric measures, as they are more precise. Most kitchen scales are not that accurate. Also the sweet spot to batch sizes is about 1 pound or 500g. Any smaller and errors in measurement become more significant, and any bigger you could have alot of soap you just do not like you have deal with.

Have fun and welcome to the addiction
 

WeaversPort

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As for tools - the most economical I have found are paint mixing buckets from Home Depot or Lowes. They come in all sizes, from 1 quart to 5 quarts, and you can get lids for them as well.

As for the scale, you need to make sure it will measure at least to 1 gram. I would suggest using metric measures, as they are more precise. Most kitchen scales are not that accurate. Also the sweet spot to batch sizes is about 1 pound or 500g. Any smaller and errors in measurement become more significant, and any bigger you could have alot of soap you just do not like you have deal with.

Have fun and welcome to the addiction
Thank you! That's exactly my price range right now too :D

I will have to check my scale. I use it to make bath melts and lotion bars, but generally work in ounces. If grams is a more precise way to go, I'd like to do it.

This may be a stupid question.. When you say "batch sizes" does that mean making soap in batches of 1, 2, 3 pounds - as opposed to 1 and then 1.5?
 

kchaystack

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Thank you! That's exactly my price range right now too :D

I will have to check my scale. I use it to make bath melts and lotion bars, but generally work in ounces. If grams is a more precise way to go, I'd like to do it.

This may be a stupid question.. When you say "batch sizes" does that mean making soap in batches of 1, 2, 3 pounds - as opposed to 1 and then 1.5?
Batch size refers to the weight of the oils used to make the batch of soap.

So a 1 pound batch is 1 pound of oils, a 1.5 pound batch is 1.5 pounds of oil, etc.

It is not the final weight once you add the NaOH, water and it has cured.
 

Obsidian

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I use cheap plastic bowls and measuring cups from the dollar store to mix my lye and soap batter in. Plastic is safe if it has a 5 printed on the bottom. You can also get silicone spatulas at the dollar store.

I like the quart paint mixing containers for separating and coloring portions of soap. Small plastic cups and spoons for mixing your colorant. I like using baby food spoons, they are small and reusable.

Small glass cups or shot glasses for measuring your scent, never plastic as the scent will eat through the plastic and make a mess.

You'll also need safety gear. Rubber gloves and eye protection are very important. Plenty of paper towels to wipe up any drips and a bottle of vinegar in case of larger lye spills. Vinegar can neutralize lye but never use it on lye that has gotten on skin, cold water is all you need to clean lye off your skin.

Stainless steel is also safe to use with soap, it won't react with lye. I have a stainless pitcher for mixing lye in that I love.

I also have to chime in about shampoo bars. Once upon a time I used and loved shampoo bars, tried to convert all my friends and family. At first I had shiny hair with more volume and curls but as time went on, it became duller until after 2 years or so, it was snapping off in 1" chunks. I ended up having to cut my hair into a buzz cut, it was completely ruined.

I have fine hair that gets oily quickly too but I'd rather have to wash it every 1-2 days with commercial shampoo then ruin it and have to cut it all off again. I recently stopped using conditioner and its helped a lot with the oiliness.
 

WeaversPort

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Batch size refers to the weight of the oils used to make the batch of soap.

So a 1 pound batch is 1 pound of oils, a 1.5 pound batch is 1.5 pounds of oil, etc.

It is not the final weight once you add the NaOH, water and it has cured.
Oh! I'm glad I asked! I was worried I needed to get everything to one pound/500g. Knowing it is the oil weight before adding lye, etc. helps.

Thank you!
 

WeaversPort

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I use cheap plastic bowls and measuring cups from the dollar store to mix my lye and soap batter in. Plastic is safe if it has a 5 printed on the bottom. You can also get silicone spatulas at the dollar store.

I like the quart paint mixing containers for separating and coloring portions of soap. Small plastic cups and spoons for mixing your colorant. I like using baby food spoons, they are small and reusable.

Small glass cups or shot glasses for measuring your scent, never plastic as the scent will eat through the plastic and make a mess.

You'll also need safety gear. Rubber gloves and eye protection are very important. Plenty of paper towels to wipe up any drips and a bottle of vinegar in case of larger lye spills. Vinegar can neutralize lye but never use it on lye that has gotten on skin, cold water is all you need to clean lye off your skin.

Stainless steel is also safe to use with soap, it won't react with lye. I have a stainless pitcher for mixing lye in that I love.
Part of me is gobsmacked about all the nuances, and part of me is ready to go out and try all of this now! I see a trip to the dollar store in my future..

For fragrance, you don't recommend plastic. Does that include pipettes for measuring? Because if so I'm going to need paper towels for that too.

I also have to chime in about shampoo bars. Once upon a time I used and loved shampoo bars, tried to convert all my friends and family. At first I had shiny hair with more volume and curls but as time went on, it became duller until after 2 years or so, it was snapping off in 1" chunks. I ended up having to cut my hair into a buzz cut, it was completely ruined.

I have fine hair that gets oily quickly too but I'd rather have to wash it every 1-2 days with commercial shampoo then ruin it and have to cut it all off again. I recently stopped using conditioner and its helped a lot with the oiliness.
I'm officially nervous about shampoo bars now!! I shaved my head once, and my vanity had a hard time through the grow out - I don't know if I could do that again. I just hear so many people talking about having body and shine..

Ah well. This is why we call fantasies, fantasies. Right?
 

kchaystack

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Part of me is gobsmacked about all the nuances, and part of me is ready to go out and try all of this now! I see a trip to the dollar store in my future..

For fragrance, you don't recommend plastic. Does that include pipettes for measuring? Because if so I'm going to need paper towels for that too.



I'm officially nervous about shampoo bars now!! I shaved my head once, and my vanity had a hard time through the grow out - I don't know if I could do that again. I just hear so many people talking about having body and shine..

Ah well. This is why we call fantasies, fantasies. Right?
Pipetts are fine for transferring, but you dont want to leave then in contact with the FO for long. And there are some plastics that are ok - several suppliers ship in plastic bottles. But alot of the cheap plastic cups we use are no safe. So I just bought some stainless steel condiment cups that I use.

I do not like to use paper towels. I got a couple of bundles of painters rags when I got my mixing containers. I use these, and then put them in a spare plastic grocery bag until I have enough to run thru my washing machine.

Save a few trees, you know?
 

WeaversPort

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Pipetts are fine for transferring...
Good to know! When it comes small bottles, I'm a messy pour-er. I was having images of my counters dribbled all over with fragrance :(

I do not like to use paper towels. I got a couple of bundles of painters rags when I got my mixing containers. I use these, and then put them in a spare plastic grocery bag until I have enough to run thru my washing machine.

Save a few trees, you know?
I have a bunch of kitchen towels I use instead of paper towels, but was worried about using them for soap cleanup. I love the idea of picking up painters rags and prefer to eliminate waste where possible... There is enough crap going into the world as is.

Thank you, kchaystack!

Everyone here has been so warm and helpful.. It really is wonderful. I hope I can contribute more as I learn.
 
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