My first attempt at shampoo bars! *NEED HELP!*

Discussion in 'Recipe Feedback' started by JBBennett, Nov 18, 2018.

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  1. Nov 18, 2018 #1

    JBBennett

    JBBennett

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    Hello Soapmaking Forum! My name is Josh!

    I am trying to make my own shampoo bars for myself (for the first time) using a hot process shampoo bar tutorial that I found online. I like this tutorial because it is very simple and easy for me to follow. I will be ready to attempt making my first batch when I have all the equipment and ingredients for this but I have some things that I need advice with before I get started.

    Tutorial: https://www.mommypotamus.com/shampoo-bar-recipe/

    I will be making this shampoo bar for me but I have dreadlocks which requires some adjusting of ingredients to keep them healthy. I have used dreadlock soap bars for 5 years now and they usually have a few things in common. They tend to always have salt which keeps them dry and tight and I am pretty sure they have less conditioning oils than traditional shampoo to keep them as residue free as possible and also because hair tends to slip out of dreadlocks if it is too oily or conditioned/slippery.

    I really want to get this adjusted recipe right on my first attempt because I plan on using it as soon as I make my first batch (bad dread shampoo can cause mold and other problems)

    My main questions are:
    How much salt (I plan on using sea salt) might be good to add to this recipe?

    Should I make any adjustments to the amount of coconut oil in this recipe to ensure that my dreaded hair is not too moisturized based on the fact that dreadlock shampoo usually needs to be less oily than traditional shampoo?

    Here is the ingredients for the tutorial I am using. It looks like this recipe yields about 8 cups of soap for reference.
    • 33 oz. coconut oil
    • 12.54 oz. water
    • 5.44 oz. lye
    • ½ – 1 ounce essential oils

    Thank you for any help! :)
     
  2. Nov 18, 2018 #2

    lsg

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    It looks like a recipe for disaster. Unless it has a high % superfat (20%), pure coconut soap is very stripping.
     
    Dahila likes this.
  3. Nov 18, 2018 #3

    shunt2011

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    I agree. That’s one stripping. I also wouldn’t recommend making such a large batch. I wouldn’t recommend using it as a body soap little lone shampoo. Body soap at 20%sf still isn’t a really good soap.
     
  4. Nov 18, 2018 #4

    cmzaha

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    ...and it is Soap not Shampoo. There are some rather large threads here about soap as shampoo
     
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  5. Nov 18, 2018 #5

    Obsidian

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    How dry do actually want not only your dreads but your scalp? 100% coconut soap will be very stripping, it will remove absolutely all the natural oils from your scalp and from your hands.
    I'd recommend adding a little olive oil to help counter some of the harshness of the coconut. I also agree on trying a smaller batch

    Remember, this is all weights, not volume measurements
    coconut oil 12 oz
    olive oil 4 oz

    water 6.10 oz
    lye 2.60 oz

    1/2 - 1 oz essential oil

    I'd use 2 oz of salt, add it after you've cooked your soap. Don't use dead sea salt, it will ruin your soap. Plain sea salt or non iodized table salt is best.
    Adding that much salt before the cook can really cause issues. Might be easier to make cold process if this is your first soap, salt can be a bit touchy in HP. If you were making HP so you can use it sooner, you need to know its a myth. HP still needs a 4-6 week cure, just like CP.

    Do you have a ingredient list for your favorite dread bars? It would help in formulating a soap for you.

    @cmzaha I know your opinion on shampoo bars but for dreads its different. Damage really isn't a issue here, it all about keeping clean while keeping the dreads well formed.
     
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  6. Nov 18, 2018 #6

    SudsanSoaps

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    With that recipe you definitely wouldn’t need to worry about too oily. Unless it has a high super fat which I suspect it does I haven’t ran it through a calculator. But I would suggest making making a smaller batch. Also when making soap we use weight to measure because it’s far more accurate.
     
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  7. Nov 18, 2018 #7

    JBBennett

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    Thank you Obsidian!

    I do have an ingredients list. I was actually hoping someone might be able to help me incorporate the ingredients from my favorite brand. Here they are!

    Ingredients:
    Saponified Coconut Oil*, Hawaiian Sea Salt; Saponified Castor Bean Oil*, Olive Oil, Almond Oil*, Grape Seed Oil*, Raw Cocoa Butter*, Avocado Oil*, and African Shea Butter*; Grapefruit Seed Extract; Hemp Seed Oil*; Neem Seed Oil*; Peppermint Essential Oil*; Rosemary Essential Oil*; Natural Mineral Color*

    So those are the ingredients... i also have a lot of jojoba oil. I was hoping to utilize it if i could..

    Also, do you think that company uses coldprocces? Im not sure which would be better.
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2018
  8. Nov 18, 2018 #8

    Obsidian

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    Hmm, thats a lot of ingredients for a first time soap and honestly, many are redundant. olive, almond and avocado are very similar so really, you only need one of those. I really like avocado or even sunflower. If you let me know which of the liquid oil(s) you would like, I'll make sure it gets in the recipe.
    Same with the cocoa and shea butters, only one is really needed and for shampoo, the amount is so tiny its really not worth it to add. If you really want a butter, I would go with shea but of course, its up to you. Just let me know which you prefer. If you want cocoa, make sure to get deodorized.

    Many of the luxury oils are added as a selling point without actually contributing a lot to the soap. When a oil is made into soap, it doesn't keep all its skin/hair nourishing properties, its just a cleanser.
    The exception is neem, it seem to keep some of its goodness but if used at high enough amount to be useful, it can make your soap a bit smelly. Personally, I love it in soap and the smell does mellow with time. Let me know if you want it included in your soap.

    jojoba doesn't actually saponify (turn into soap). You can use a little but too much and you end up with a oily, soft bar. Jojoba is better off being used in a leave in product such as lotion or hair oil. Also, too much wax or butters can leave a build up or contribute to soap scum. Not sure if that would be a issue for dreads or not.

    If you post a link to that particular soap, I should be able to tell if its HP or CP. The soap will perform identical regardless of how its made. Its just the process and looks that are different.
     
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  9. Nov 18, 2018 #9

    JBBennett

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    https://www.dollylocks.com/Rosemary-Peppermint-Shampoo-Bar-4-5oz-p/bar-rp.htm

    That is the link to the bar I use. I have avocado oil so I would prefer that and I do have shea butter so that would work as well.

    Residue and soap scum are dreadlocks worst enemy..thats the stuff that can get stuck inside a dread and cause mold.

    I do also have castor oil as well but if it keeps it simple to leave it out and has no extra benefits dont worry about adding that.

    Its also worth mentioning that i want to make the bar a pretty solid/hard and long lasting bar. Using bar soap on dreads can make it not last long if its too soft
     
  10. Nov 18, 2018 #10

    Obsidian

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    Thank you for the link. Thats definitely CP, you can tell by how smooth it is. I can also see little white specks that I assume is the salt, with that much salt you don't want to do HP. Adding salt to soap can make it thicken really fast, adding it to HP can give you concrete within a few seconds.

    I'll fiddle around and see what kind of a recipe I can come up with but be warned, I've not made dread shampoo before so this is a first for me. I'll do my best but I can't guarantee you'll love it.

    I do have to mention that lye soap make soap scum, no way to get around that unless you have soft water. I really dislike the description on that website. Lye soap can't be PH balanced, it doesn't moisturize and saying rinses clean is a bit misleading. Its always a good idea to do a finally rinse with some diluted ACV to help prevent any soap scum from building up. I use 1/2 tsp vinegar to 16 oz water.
     
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  11. Nov 19, 2018 #11

    Obsidian

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    A hard bar doesn't always equal a long lasting bar. Coconut makes a super hard bar but its very soluble so it doesn't last as long as a bar made with palm oil or lard, both not being very suitable for shampoo. Just make sure you put the bar on some kind of a rack between uses so it can completely dry.

    I would start with this recipe. It can be altered if needed. It can sometimes take multiple batches stretching over years to come up with a perfect recipe. This is why people often don't share there hard earned recipes.

    Coconut oil 6.40 oz (40%0
    avocado oil 6.40 oz (40%0
    shea butter 1.60 oz (10%)
    castor oil 1.60 oz (10%)

    water 6 oz
    lye 2.30 oz

    salt 1-2 oz, depending on how salty you want it. I would go with 1 oz for now.

    I've never used rosemary so I can't really help with blending it with peppermint but I would
    probably do a 25% rosemary, 75% peppermint. If you want more herbaly, do a 50/50 mix.
    1/2 oz for a lighter scent, 1 oz for stronger. Thats the total amount of the blend, not each oil. Of course, you could leave it unscented if you want.

    salt bars set up very hard. If you wait too long to cut it, your bars will crumble and break. I recommend a mold that makes individual bars. This recipe should fill a standard 6 bar soap mold.

    Since salt can make your soap go thick fast, add your scent to your base oils before mixing in the lye solution. Once you add the salt, you want to get it into the molds quickly. As soon as the soap batter looks likes it getting even a tiny bit thick, hand stir in the salt. Once its thick enough so the salt does't sink, get it poured.

    Your first soaping experience will probably be messy. Wear gloves and lay down newspaper under your molds. I would also skip color for now. If you absolutely want to color, stick with a single color and add your colorant to your base oils along with the essential oils.

    don't mix lye in glass containers, they can shatter. Use plastic with a #5 recycling code on the bottom or stainless steel. No other metals, they react badly with lye.
     
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  12. Nov 19, 2018 #12

    JBBennett

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    Awesome! I will try to track down a nice tutorial for CP and work on accumulating the proper equipment to get started. I appreciate your help Obsidian!
     
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  13. Nov 19, 2018 #13

    Dawni

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    Just wanted to say do NOT HP any soap with salt unless you already know what you're doing lol. I found out the hard way just last week... CP is the way to go for salt (yes, I'm new to soapmaking hehe).

    By the way, how do you use your shampoo bar? A close friend of mine with dreads dilutes hers in a small jug of water and painstakingly pours it on her scalp little by little, massaging with her fingers.... The hair she dunks it in the jug and swishes it around.

    She says it's easier to rinse, and less chances of bits of soap getting stuck in your hair. Not sure if it helps with longevity though..

    She also uses distilled water (or rain water if she remembers to collect) just for that jug, for her hair.. Rest of her showering is under normal tap water. Probably the best, unless you have super soft water from the tap.
     
  14. Nov 19, 2018 #14

    JBBennett

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    I mostly just wash my scalp, 2 to 3 times a week. I just get the soap wet and rub around my scalp at the roots and rinse well. When i wash my actual dreads just same process but lather the soap onto the locks. I am currently an apprentice at a dreadlock salon and ive learned that when rinsing dreads , if the runoff water is cloudy or gross the dreads need acv rinse to get buildup out.
     
  15. Nov 19, 2018 #15

    Dawni

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    Cool then, so that part is sorted out hehe... Let us know how it goes with your soap :D
     
  16. Nov 19, 2018 #16

    Obsidian

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    Here are a couple good basic videos. I don't like that she uses glass to mix the lye though. Even pyrex will eventually weaken and crack.



     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2018
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  17. Nov 19, 2018 #17

    DeeAnna

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    I agree. Soap scum is sticky and it doesn't rinse off easily once it forms, so it would be best to avoid it entirely by using very very soft/distilled/rain water if using lye-based soap. A chelator added to the soap would also help.
     
  18. Nov 19, 2018 #18

    amd

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    A friend of mine with dreads has been using the recipe discussed in this thread
    https://www.soapmakingforum.com/threads/making-syndet-shampoo-bars.71583/
    since I made them in September and she loves them. The first time she used them she was shocked by how "not clean" her dreads were. This is not a traditional soap recipe - and I don't think it is the best recipe, honestly, I'm in the process of tweaking it for my hair, but my friend loves them as they are so I am making her a batch of her own for herself and her other dreadlocked friends.

    As soap scum is a concern - as would be the damage caused by using lye soap, I would expect the damage wouldn't easily be seen but over time breakage would be an issue within the dreadlocks or even closer to the roots of the hair - a syndet bar would have a better rinse out without being damaging.
     
  19. Jul 10, 2019 #19

    JBBennett

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    I just finally went through the process-
    the mixture filled a 6 bar soap mold. I will post pictures as soon as I can!
    Thank you Obsidian!
     
  20. Jul 10, 2019 #20

    JBBennett

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    Obsidian,
    How soon should I take the bars out of the mold for curing?
     

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