How to: Green Shampoo Bars with Horsetail

Now that we know all about horsetail powder and have prepared some for use, let's get busy making green shampoo bars!


Phase A Ingredients

Mango butter: 9 gr / 0.32 oz

Phase B Ingredients

Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate (SCI): 33.5 gr / 1.18 oz
Sodium Coco Sulfate: 30 gr / 1.06 oz
Demineralised Water: 19.5 gr / 0.69 oz

Phase C Ingredients

Panthenol: 2 gr / 0.07 oz
Nettle Powder: 2 gr / 0.07 oz
Horsetail Powder: 2 gr / 0.07 oz
Shikakai Powder: 2 gr / 0.07 oz


1. Melt phase A ingredient slowly over low heat
2. Remove from heat
3. Add Phase B ingredients and mix well
4. Add Phase C ingredients and mix well. The mixture will become a dough-like mass.
5. Press into molds and chill for approximately half an hour
6. Unmold and let dry at room temperature until hardened.

Note: These bars take longer to harden than most. This batch took a couple of weeks to harden but the upside was a glorious fresh green scent while drying.


Questions You've Asked about Shampoo Bars

About Use

A couple of you have asked if it is OK to use a shampoo bar as soap. Absolutely! They're great as guest soaps. I use a loofah-sponge-pot-scrubber as a soap dish (rest the bar on the loofah side so the bar can dry).

About pH

I've had a few questions about the pH of the shampoo bars posted here (you guys are the best for asking pertinent and relevant questions!). Both this bar and the previous bar have a pH of 6.5.

About Preservatives

A couple of folks have also asked me about the water content and no preservative. There is no preservative in this formula because the water disappears from the product as it hardens, morphing it into a water-free product. Cool, huh?

Do Tell

Have you made shampoo bars? What are your fave ingredients?


Kay F. said…
What’s the purpose of the water?
LisaLise said…
Hi Kay - The water helps bind everything together and make a moldable ‘dough’ - it disappears as the bar hardens.
Anonymous said…
Hi, Lisa!

What can be a good alternative to Sodium Coco Sulfate? I'm afraid it's just not available where I'm from.

Thank you very much!

LisaLise said…
HI Angela, Have you tried googling this ingredient under the 'shopping tag'? I'm pretty sure it's available worldwide. You might try Sodium lauryl sulfoacetate or sodium cocoyl glutamate although you will need to do adjusting of the other ingredients. You could also do the bar with SCI exclusively, but will again need to do a bit of adjusting with the other ingredients. Best of luck with it!
T. cornell said…
Curious if the SCI you use in the noodle form or the powder form in this recipe? If the powder form, isn't that the type of SCI that contains Stearic Acid?
LisaLise said…
Hey there T Cornell — The SCI I used here is a granulated powder and the INCI is just as you see written in the photo up there. :)
Unknown said…
Dear Lise, Can you share where you purchased your sodium coco sulfate in powdered form? I seem to only be able to find it in noodle form?
LisaLise said…
Hi Shack on the Rock - Speaking from memory here as I have been trying a few different suppliers out, but check Galaxy Surfactants or Innospec. But you can use the noodle form as well - no worries!
Gaba said…
Dear Lise, I made the bars. Well, first I realized both my surfactants were noodles, so I was afraid it wouldn't mix well and then I used a coffee grinder to make the "grains" smaller. I don't know if it was a good idea since it was easier to inhale the chemicals. Even though I used a mask, I could still feel the air kind of heavy, so to say. Anyway, here I got two shampoo bars, they are drying, but how do I know when they are ready to be used? It's been 4 days and they are drier of course, but their appearance doesn't seem to be changing much... any ideas on that? Thank you very much!!! I'm dying for your book on shampoo bars :)
LisaLise said…
Hi Gaba — if you check the note in the post, you’ll see these bars take longer to dry than shampoo bars without added botanicals. Depending on the size of the bars you made, it could be anywhere between 7 and 20 days. I did one batch with larger bar sizes that took quite a while. If you can place the bars on racks so there is air all around it will help the drying process. You’ll know the bars are ready when they are hard.
Anonymous said…
Dear Lise, Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate is not avaliable in my country. What can I use as substitute?
LisaLise said…
Hey there Anon - If you check the French company Aroma Zone you will find SCI is available and that they ship worldwide. Alternatively, some recommend using Sodium Lauryl Sulfoacetate with SCS for shampoo bars, so you might try that if it is available to you.
Anonymous said…
Tnx Lise
I usually follow this recipe:
Phase A Ingredients:
Sodium Coco Sulfate: 96 g
Demineralised Water or Hydrosol: 13.6 g
Phase B Ingredients:
Shea or Mango Butter or oil 13.6g
Hydrolyzed Rice Protein 64 drops
Phytokeratine 6.4 g
Phase C Ingredients, esential oils:
sweet orange 40 drops
ylang ylang 20 drops
palmarosa 20 drops
LisaLise said…
Thanks for sharing Anon! :)
Unknown said…
I'm thinking of giveing this (or some other shampoo bar of yours) a go - maybe with soapnut. I haven't tried shampoo bar earlier so it would be interesting. I'd use it as body wash too. Thanks, Johanna
LisaLise said…
Hi Johanna - I absolutely love my soap nut shampoo bars (there is a formula in the *Make Your Own Naturally Balanced Shampoo Bars' book. That one is particularly good for sensitive skin and scalp and perfect for use as a body wash :)
Unknown said…
Hi Lise as I only have SCI and would like to try this recipe, which ingredients need to be adjusted and by how much?
LisaLise said…
HI Unknown -- I suppose you could try making this with only the SCI (manufacturers of this ingredient claim it can be used solo), but as I have never tried it, I can't tell you what to expect. I suppose you could make a small batch and see how it goes-- I'd love to hear back from you if you decide to give it a try :)
Annik said…
Hi I use the powder form of sci but when I mixed it with the melted mango butter the mango butter just freeze !
So there is a lot of granulated clumps of butter in my bars any idea why ?
Thank !
It’s just aesthetic ,they work very well !
LisaLise said…
HI Annik -- It sounds to me like there might have been too much temperature difference between the mixture and the mango butter. If you do another batch, try and 'drizzle' the melted mango butter into the mixture while stirring the mixture-- this can help incorporate it a bit more evenly. Best of luck!