January 6

The Best Shampoo Bar Recipe for Beginners

With so many shampoo bar recipe out there it can be overwhelming to figure out which recipe is best for a beginner.Maybe you have never even heard of diy shampoo bars but you are wanting to explore chemical-free options for taking care of your gorgeous hair and have no idea where to start!

shampoo bar recipe
shampoo bar recipe

Why Use Shampoo Bars?

There are various reasons why people prefer to use diy shampoo bars over store-bought hair cleaning products. Searching for a new hobby, wanting to live a chemical-free, eco-conscious life, or trying to save a few dollars are few of the top reasons.

The best reason to use homemade shampoo bars is that they don’t contain the harsh additives and chemicals which means your hair and scalp isn’t stripped of its natural oils which are essential for beautiful, healthy hair. More importantly, you aren’t absorbing those chemicals found in store-bought shampoos into your body.

Read on for the best shampoo bar recipe for beginners and easy instructions for making your own bar.

You Will Need

shampoo bar recipe
shampoo bar recipe

Before you begin making your own bar, have these items ready and cover your work surface with an old towel or newspapers.

  • 2 stainless steel or glass bowls for mixing, one is for mixing your oils and the other is for mixing lye with water
  • A mold for your soap such as a silicon bread mold.
  • A stick blender also known as a hand blender
  • Glass measuring cups
  • Wooden spoon
  • 2 candy thermometers, one reserved for lye and the other for oils
  • Baking rack


*You may already have most of these ingredients in your pantry.

  • ⅔ cup olive oil
  • ⅔ cup coconut oil
  • ⅔ cup other oil such as:
    • Wheat germ oil
    • Avocado oil – great for dry hair
    • Sweet almond oil – also great for dry hair
    • Macadamia nut oil
    • Grapeseed oil
  • ¾ cup cool distilled water
  • ¼ cup lye – *we recommend that after measuring the lye, put the lye into a plastic baggie so that don’t accidently pour the measured water into the lye.
  • Optional – 2 tablespoons essential oils, such as eucalyptus or bergamot

    olive oil for shampoo bar recipe
    olive oil for shampoo bar recipe

For Your Safety

Since you will be working with lye, also known as sodium hydroxide which is corrosive and can cause skin burns, it is extremely important to follow the necessary safety precautions. It’s also important to note that lye gets poured into water, not the other way around.

  • Wear an apron, long sleeves, and disposable plastic gloves to protect your skin
  • Do not allow contact with anything made of aluminum, tin or sugar
  • Work in a well-ventilated area
  • Wear safety goggles to protect your eyes
  • Keep away from pets and small children

You can purchase lye at your local hardware store, but be sure to purchase the 100% lye crystals, not the liquid type. Be sure to read all the safety precautions on the label.

Simple Shampoo Bar Recipe

Now you’re ready to make your own bar!

There are two techniques for making homemade shampoo bars. A cold-processed technique and hot-processed technique. Ultimately, there really isn’t a difference other than the time it takes to process using a cold or hot technique and your personal preference.

We are using a cold processed technique for our simple homemade shampoo bar recipe.

Step 1: The first step in making your own bar is to mix your oils in your glass or stainless steel bowl. Do not mix your essential oils yet as this is done later in the process. If you need to melt down any of your oils, be sure that the oils have cooled to about 75 degrees F and you have put them in the glass or stainless steel bowl before you complete Step 5.

Step 2: Pour your water into the other bowl or keep it in the glass measuring cup if it’s large enough to allow mixing.

Step 3: Slowly pour the ¼ cup of lye crystals into the water, mixing with the wooden spoon while you pour. Continue to stir until the mixture becomes clear and the crystals are completely dissolved.

pouring lye for shampoo bar recipe
pouring lye for shampoo bar recipe

We recommend you do this under your stove’s vent because of the fumes and be sure to not touch the bowl or glass measuring cup as it can get very hot.

Step 4: The paste can reach up to 200 degrees F so allow the lye mixture to cool to about 125 F degrees .

Step 5:Once the lye blend reaches 125, pour the lye mixture into the oils.

Step 6: Slowly hand stir for about 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, use your stick blender for an additional 5 minutes.

It’s best to insert the blender into the mixture so you don’t add too much air when you begin to mix. Continue to blend until it begins to “trace” or otherwise, looks and feels thick like pudding.

Step 7: Add your essential oil. Combine thoroughly and quickly.

shampoo bar recipe
shampoo bar recipe

Step 8: Pour into your mold. Wait 24 hours. After 24 hours, place the “loaf” onto a cutting surface and cut into bars about 1 inch thick.

Step 9: Place the bars on a baking rack and place them in a dry place for 4 weeks to allow the proper time for curing. If you’re patient enough, you can let them cure up to 6 weeks.

Step 10: Enjoy your homemade shampoo bar or give them as gifts!

If you want to change this simple recipe into a lush shampoo bar recipe, add a tablespoon from your “other” oil section during step 7!

You can be sure that only healthy ingredients are used to wash your hair by making your own bar. But, shampoo bars can leave an icky residue on your hair so be sure to use a homemade apple cider vinegar rinse to help prevent any type of unwanted build up.

After using your shampoo bar, add up to ¼ cup of apple cider vinegar to ¾ cup water and rinse your hair with it.

We hope you enjoyed our simple shampoo bar recipe!

About the author 

Mr David

Thomas David is a Nutritionist, Registered Dietitian (RD), Health and fitness writer and editor based in Boca Raton, Florida. Thomas is also an international member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics in the US.

You may also like

Coconut Milk Hair Mask

Coconut Milk Hair Mask
  • {"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}

    Get in touch

    0 of 350