Guest Author - Winsome Tapper
This hair bar recipe was borrowed from a delightful little book Making Soaps and Scents by Catherine Bardey. Ms Barley's recipe calls for grated coconut, beeswax, egg yolk and lemon/lime eo mix. This recipe calls for egg yolk which in the original recipe is added as a nutritive element. I have added a few more ingredients to give the bar more slip as well as to coat the hairstrands making the hair more smooth and silky - ingredients such as panthenol, which I add to all hair bars I make. Panthenol is one of those magical ingredients for hair care products that gives a luxurious finish and feel to the finished bar. Panthenol is the provitamin of vitamin B5 and is used as a humectant, moisturizer and emollient and readily binds to hair shaft, sealing in moisture and giving the appearance of shine. Another humectant oil added is castor oil. Too much castor oil in the recipe makes the soap too soft - So I keep the castor oil to under 10%.
I have added another smoothing ingredient which along with panthenol is optional, silk. However once you have made soap with silk you will understand that silk gives an extra luxurious factor to the soap transforming a hair bar into a body conditioning bar with that oomph of silkiness found nowhere else.
For a hair bar recipe with panthenol and silk, see , Shampoo bar with Panthenol and invigorating EO blend
Coconut Oil --------------18 oz.
Castor Oil----------------2 oz.
Olive oil-----------------12 oz.
Lye ----------------------4.93 oz.
Silk (optional) ----------------------1 piece of silk cloth about the size of your thumb or larger (see article on Add silk to soap )
panthenol (optional)------0.64 oz (1-2%)
Total Batch size = 32 oz.
Suggested Essential oil blends that are fresh, fresh, fresh!-
1. 1 tablespoon lime eo
1 tablespoon lemongrass eo
2. 1/2 tsp eucalyptus eo
1/2 tsp peppermint eo
1/2 tsp lavender eo
1 tablespoon rosemary eo
3. 1 tablespoon lavender eo
1 tablespoon lime eo
If this is the first time you are making cold process soap, please read, Equipment needed to make cold process and hot process soap
1. Always Open windows to allow fresh air to come into room.
2. Clear the space you will be making soap of all pets and children. Don safety equipment such as a chemical mask, neoprene gloves, protective goggles, neoprene apron or layers of clothing to protect skin from any errant lye crystals. Use the mask/goggles when weighing the lye and while combining the lye with the water.
3. Get two pitchers (heavy glass or durable plastic), 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 with a noncorrosive metal whisk, plastic or silicone spoon. 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 to gently but thoroughly 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 which is descried as exothermic. 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 all solid at room temperature oils - and in this recipe, the coconut oil and then add the olive oil and castor oil. The pot used to melt the coconut oil 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 lye water and melted oils 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 (oil/lye) 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 add mixed egg yolk and essential oil blends to traced soap and mix thoroughly, dispersing them throughout the mixture. It is important to add fragrance or essential oils last as some fragrances or essential oils cause the soap to seize or become very thick and unmanageable.
10. Pour mixture into prepared lined mold. I usually use thick utility type plastic that is cut into manageable pieces, to line the mold. Alternately, 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.
11. 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 3 to 4 weeks.