Learn How to Make Your Own Naturally Balanced Shampoo Bars

Up there: a brand new publication!  Yippeeee! It's hot off the digital presses (is that the correct term when it's not hard copy?)

And I better come clean (pun totally intended): this book is the result of a few requests.

OK, that's not entirely true. It's been more like a continuous stream of polite-but-slightly-insistent queries for a publication about 'natural shampoo bars'.

I mean, a lot of you have been so super duper extra interested in my take on shampoo bars that I started chatting about it with my colleague in Formulators Kitchen, Rebecca Wright.

Guess what she said.

She told me she was experiencing the EXACT SAME THING.

(insert ah-ha moment and girlish squeal of delight)

You: Gee, What Happened Next, Lise? 

You have already figured out what happened next, you clever thing. Rebecca and decided to join forces and do this book together.

So we did!

We had a blast developing formulas, testing them, comparing notes, and writing about the different ways you could tweak them without compromising quality or performance.

We set out rules too. The formulas had to be:
  • preservative free
  • have a long shelf life
  • naturally pH balanced
  • full of hair and scalp boosting botanicals
  • customizable 
  • easy to make

And the book had to include something for
  • every scalp type
  • every hair type
  • every level of cosmetics making experience
  • as many different tastes and preferences as humanly possible

And guess what else?

We wanted to tell you a little bit about the botanicals and different ingredients we discussed and selected, so we made an entire section about that too.

All the Rage and For All the Right Reasons

Come to think of it, it's not really all that strange Rebecca and I have been bombarded with requests for shampoo bar formulas.

They are all the rage, they're travel friendly, planet-friendly, fun, easy to make and use, and in hindsight I totally understand why so many of you have been asking for this publication.

Below: A little inspiration for you The scalp stimulating shampoo bar features rosemary, peppermint, lavender and tea tree and is great for a morning wake-up shampoo.

Do Tell

Are you a fan of shampoo bars? Or maybe I should ask: do you know anyone who doesn't love shampoo bars to pieces? 


IshaRa said…
Hi Lise, the book looks great. One recipe I would love to have is a shampoo bar that leaves the hair cuticles a bit open and rough and promotes tangling......for the formation and maintenance of dreadlocks!!! I have caucasian hair and dreadlocks and find that my hair only locks up successfully if I lighten/colour it first. A shampoo bar that really promotes the locking process without damaging the hair would be great - the market is currently inundated with dread shampoo bars and liquids that don't work!! I have also tried many ordinary shampoo bars and liquids and most are designed to make the hair smooth and shiny and are kind of anti-dreadlock LOL :)
LisaLise said…
Hi IshaRa - What a great question! I am going to discuss this with Rebecca (who I wrote this book with) and we'll see if we can't come up with a little something for you - stay tuned to the blog ! Thanks! :D
IshaRa said…
Thank you so much Lise.....that's wonderful!! :)
Rebecca said…
Hi IshaRa,

You need to be able to open the hair cuticle so that the hair fibres stick together. Probably the best way to do this is using a high pH soap or a natural soap. After you have cultivated your locks then every so often use a low pH shampoo and conditioner to help close the cuticle. Ther is a risk of hair breakage when using high pH so you have to see how your hair reacts and condition it as necessary.
IshaRa said…
Hi Rebecca, I have tried soooooo many natural soaps on my dreads....they don't rinse out and leave a slimy film on my hair which also prevents it locking up. I have found one product that works - Lokk Blokk by Weirdsistas in Australia - they did do the research to find the right Ph, but their shampoo bar is super-expensive and so is their postage....works out about AUD$50 for a bar of soap!!!!! Lush "squeaky green" used to sort of work, but they stopped making it.....this is why I would like to make my own. A shampoo bar that opens the cuticle AND washes out properly ;)
Unknown said…
What are the ingredients do I need to start with? Since it is a bar soap, do I need any lye? Because I can't lye is controlled item in my country.
Thank you!
LisaLise said…
Hey there Unknown. These are not cold processed bar soaps but syndet bars and if you follow the link in the post you'll find a detailed description. :)
Tracy said…
Dear Lise,

Thank you for your lovely book on shampoo bars. I followed your recipe and made the conditioning shampoo bars. My family and I love them so much. They make our hair so soft and smooth. I would also like to try Broccoli and Cupuacu Shine bars and Arabian Shine Shampoo bars. Looking at the ingredient lists of these 2 recipes, Varisoft EQ65 and Emulsense HC are used for the conditioner. From the supplier's website, it says that they both are cationic and are not compatible with anionic surfactants. However, the sufactants SCI and SCS are anionic surfactants. I am confused on this. Can you help to clarify this please?

LisaLise said…
Hi Tracy — thanks for your lovely comments! Your question refers to formulas developed by Rebecca, and she is replying here:
Hi Tracy,
Thanks for your comment. I had a look at the data sheet for Varisoft EQ 65 and there was no mention of cationic and anionic surfactants being incompatible. Sadly, the general consensus is that they are supposedly incompatible. However, there are no absolutes, or we would not be able to explain 2 in 1 shampoos which contain both anionic and cationic surfactants and remain perfectly stable, like this very popular one https://www.superdrug.com/3-for-2-on-selected-Tresemme/TRESemme-Cleanse-%26-renew-2in1-Shampoo-plus-Conditioner-900ml/p/267677 .
I know that the Varisoft data sheet speaks of hydrolysis when the pH is above 5 however, this applies to the conditioner being in an aqueous solution. The shampoo bar is not an aqueous solution, so does not apply, in theory and reality.
I have made a great many shampoo bars with a combination of different types of anionic surfactant and different cationic surfactants and there has been no hydrolysis, probably because hydrolysis relies on water. The water contained in both conditioning bars is nominal and only included to help bind the surfactant and as part of the pH adjuster.
I hope this helps to alleviate any worries you have about our bars?
Thanks again,
Tracy said…
Dear Lise,

Thank you for your help. It makes more sense now. :-)
Please also send my thank you to Rebecca for her detailed explanation.

I can't wait to try out the two Shampoo bars.

LisaLise said…
Hey there Tracy - please feel free to drop a comment on how it turns out for you, and have fun! :)
Pat said…
Hi Lise. Love your book! I made the calendula, rose and nettle ones and really enjoy using them. I have normal hair, sensitive scalp and very damaged hair ends. And so i m looking to make a conditioning bar. I m wondering if you might have a recipe for that? Thanks!
LisaLise said…
HI Pat - thanks so much for buying the book! As for conditioning action, there are 2 with built in conditioning in the book: the Five Flower Bar and the Conditioning Bars - maybe those will be useful? Meantime, Rebecca and I have had a few requests for conditioning bars as well, so we are discussing this :)