Guest Author - Winsome Tapper
Shampoo bars are solid soap bars that have a little extra something that makes them hair friendly. Some of the ingredients you may find in shampoo bars are panthenol, oils such as castor oil and wheatgerm oil, antifungal and antibacterial ingredients and even silk. Shampoo bars can be made using melt and pour soap base or any other kind of soapmaking process such as hot or cold process method.
Here is a brief description of these ingredients
Castor oil - Commonly used humectant in soaps and cosmetics. Too much castor oil produces a soap that is too soft. However, that can be counteracted by adding only 2-3% in soap or using palm oil and sodium lactate to harden the bar.
Panthenol - The provitamin of vitamin B5. It is used as a Humectant, moisturizer and emollient; readily binds to hair shaft, sealing in moisture and giving the appearance of shine.
Silk - produces a bar of soap with a wonderful silky feel. To find out more about using silk in soap see article Add Silk to Soap.
Antifungal and Antibaterial ingredients - some ingredients purported to have antibacterial properties are neem oil, pine tar, and certain essential oils. To find out more about neem and its wonderful properties in soap read Using Neem oil to Make Soap and to check out the wonderful properties in pine tar, read Pine Tar soap for Psoriasis.
This recipe is a simple one with a base of coconut oil and a generous amount of castor oil for its humectant properties. The cocoa butter makes this a hard bar of soap and brings a sugary sweetness to the refreshing spicy peppermint strong notes.
Coconut Oil --------------16 oz.
Castor Oil----------------8 oz.
Cocoa Butter--------------8 oz.
Lye ----------------------4.81 oz.
Panthenol-----------------0.64 oz (1-2%)
Sodium Lactate------------0.64 oz.
Total Batch size = 32 oz.
Essential oil blend
Peppermint---------------- 1 part
Rosemary------------------ 1 part
Cloves-------------------- 2 part
1. Open windows to allow fresh air to come into room.
2. Put on chemical mask. Use the mask when weighing the lye and while combining the lye with the water. Don gloves and protective goggles.
3. Get the two pitchers, one to weigh the lye and the other to weigh the water. Weigh water in one pitcher and weigh lye in the next. Add lye to the water and stir. Note: Never add the water to the lye or it may erupt into a volcano-like mass that spills everywhere.
3. Mix lye and water gently but thoroughly to dissolve the lye particles in the liquid. A whisk makes dispersing the lye in the water easy. Dissolve all the lye particles which sometimes stubbornly refuses to break up and may clump. It is important to stir gently enough so it does not splash everywhere.
4. After mixing lye and water, you will notice that the container is very hot; this is because the lye and water are involved in a chemical process that produces heat. The temperature is too hot to immediately combine the lye with the oils, so remove it from your primary soap making area and leave it somewhere to cool down a bit (100 - 120 degrees Fahrenheit)- in an area that is inaccessible to children or pets.
5. Heat oils and melt any solid fats. The pot used should be large enough so that after adding the lye and water mixture, there is enough room to mix so that it does not easily splash out of the container.
6. Leave oils to cool to the same temperature as the lye 100 - 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Check temperature with thermometer, wiping off to check the next liquid or use two different thermometers. After both liquids have reached the desired temperature, add lye/water liquid to the cooled oils.
7. Stir with the wire whisk briskly, or use a stick blender, which speeds up the whole process immensely. We are mixing to reach trace. Trace is the point when the mixture thickens, appears opaque and shiny and when the whisk or stick blender leaves an impression after it is stirred. This will look similar to a gravy or sauce of medium to thick consistency. It usually takes anywhere from 15 – 40 minutes of stirring to reach trace. If using the wire whisk, after mixing for 5 minutes or so, take a break of a couple minutes and continue stirring. I usually stir in between doing other things. After making soap several times, one learns to gauge how much time is actually needed to reach trace in a certain recipe. However, for the first time making soap, it is important to be vigilant and watch for discrete changes that occur in the mixture.
8. If using the stick blender, keep the blender blades immersed near the bottom of the pot stirring in a circular and figure eights. What we need is to make sure all of the mixture is stirred. It is especially important to have a pot that is deep enough with ample headroom when using the stick blender. The stick blender causes more turbulence in the mixture, therefore increasing the risk for accidental spillage. Turn the blender on after immersing it in the lye/oil mixture, so it does not splash out of the pot. Trace occurs quicker using the stick blender than mixing by hand with the wire whisk
9. After soap reaches trace combine additives - panthenol, colorants and essential oils to traced soap and mix thoroughly, dispersing them throughout the mixture. Add the essential oils last as some essential oils cause the soap to seize or become very thick and unmanageable.
9. Pour mixture into prepared lined mold. I usually use thick utility type plastic that is cut into manageable pieces, to line the mold. Alternatively, freezer paper maybe used as well as a kitchen garbage bag with the sides cut open so that it is flat. Cover mold with a lid (if it has one) or a piece of cardboard or a flat piece of lumber. Then insulate this with a blanket, by covering the top and sides with the blanket.
10. Leave covered soap in a safe place away from children or pets for 12-18 hours to saponify and set. After 18 hours, uncover and allow to sit in mold a couple more hours. If firm enough, unmold onto plastic, utility paper or a clean dishcloth. Don neoprene gloves and cut bars with a sturdy chef's knife or a soap cutter. Store soap on a platter or open box lined with absorbent paper and allow to cure for two to three weeks.
Alternatively, this recipe may be executed in the hot process method. First combine the oils and lye/water and at trace follow the instructions for hot process in the oven or on top of the stove soap.