Homemade Solid Shampoo Bar Recipe

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Solid Shampoo Bar Recipe
Wellness Mama » Blog » Beauty » Homemade Solid Shampoo Bar Recipe
Note from Katie: I’m excited to welcome my friend Elizabeth (also a mom of five) to share her recipe for solid shampoo (shampoo bar soap). If my homemade natural shampoo didn’t work for your hair type, this may be the answer. I know you’ll love it as much as I do! Enter Elizabeth…

When I began my journey to give my family a chemical-free lifestyle I adapted pretty easily to natural cleaners like homemade laundry soap and natural all-purpose cleaners. I drew the line, however, with my own personal hygiene routine.

I have always had oily hair and skin and I was not willing to give up my store-purchased shampoos and face-washes for fear that natural cleaners would not be able to keep my oily hair in check. But as I began to see more information on the chemicals in conventional shampoos, I decided it was time to make the switch.

I also learned that when chemical shampoos strip the natural oils from your hair (which is what I thought I needed) they cause your scalp to overproduce in an attempt to compensate being stripped in the first place. This shocked me. By stripping the oil out of my hair I was actually making it worse!

I first experimented with the no-poo method, but I had disastrous results! I was jealous of people who had success with this method, but I was certainly not one of them. So I went back to my “regular” shampoo and went on the hunt for another option. That is when I stumbled upon solid shampoo. I would have never thought I could use a bar of soap on my hair, but I was excited about the possibility of actually using a soap with a lather to clean my hair.

Benefits of Solid Shampoo

I was pleasantly surprised with how well it worked. It took a while for my hair to fully adjust, but I never felt like I was walking around with unclean hair the way I did when I was trying “no-poo.” And because I was no longer stripping my hair of all it’s natural oils I was able to shampoo less, which was great news for me since I previously would not leave home without washing my hair.

Another perk I experienced was quicker showers. As a mother of 5, this was very important to me. Actually shampooing my hair took the same amount of time, but because I was using an apple cider vinegar rinse as my “conditioner,” it eliminated the lengthy process of letting the conditioner set and then the time it took to rinse it out.

Finally, because the shampoo bar is basically a bar of soap, it can be used on the whole body. This also makes it easy to travel with because all you need is your bar of soap and a small bottle of rinse and you are good to go!

How to Make Solid Shampoo

Soap is made by combining a lye (sodium hydroxide) and water mixture with various oils. A chemical reaction occurs and the oils are saponified giving you soap (no lye remains.) Each oil used in soap making has a different saponification value which means that each oil requires a different ratio of lye to water depending on the amount and type of each oil used.

A soap calculator can help you to figure this out by allowing you to enter the amounts and types of oils you will be using and telling you how much water and lye to use.

Different oils also have different benefits when making soap. For example, coconut oil makes a hard bar that has good cleaning properties while olive oil makes a soft bar with moisturizing benefits. The trick to soap making is to find the right combination of oils to give you a perfect balance for your needs. For our shampoo bar we are going to use:

Coconut oil-makes a nice hard bar that cleans and lathers well, but it can be drying so it is recommended to use no more than 30%.

Olive oil-makes a softer bar that has wonderful moisturizing properties, but does not give much of a lather. Up to 50% is recommended.

Castor oil-helps stabilize the lather created by the other oils. While it is recommended to use no more than 10% because too much castor oil can make your bar feel sticky, we are going to use slightly more in this recipe because the lathering properties really help when working the soap through your hair. I have never had a problem with my shampoo bar feeling sticky.

Tallow-makes a hard bar with great cleansing properties. Use up to 50%. (I rendered the beef fat from a cow we had butchered to make tallow. You can substitute palm oil in this recipe which has the same benefits as beef tallow. Just be sure to recalculate your ingredients to be sure your lye/water ratio is accurate.)

Essential oils also make a wonderful addition to shampoo bars, but are not necessary. I have used a combination of tea tree, rosemary, and peppermint and also peppermint and orange. Both were lovely.

Shampoo Bar Supplies

I have bowls/spoons designated only for soap making because we are working with lye and I don‘t feeling comfortable using these bowls for food.

  • Glass or high quality plastic mixing bowl for mixing lye and water (I use a qt. mason jar)
  • Non-reactive pot or crockpot for warming oils
  • Candy thermometer (I have two, one for the lye mixture and one for the oils)
  • A soap mold (I use a silicone bread mold)
  • Digital scale for precise measuring
  • Stick blender
  • Wooden spoon
  • Gloves and protective eyewear
  • White Vinegar (good to have on hand to neutralize lye in case of spills)
Solid Shampoo Bar Recipe
4.85 from 26 votes

DIY Shampoo Bar Recipe

Make your own solid shampoo bar at home with natural ingredients and essential oils.
Prep Time35 minutes
Resting and curing time29 days
Yield: 12 bars
Author: Katie Wells



  • Wearing protective gloves and eyewear, pour the distilled water into a glass bowl/jar for mixing.
  • In a well-ventilated area, slowly add the lye to the water. (They must be mixed in this order. DO NOT add water to the lye.) This causes the mixture to become very hot so keep that in mind for protecting the surface of your work area. Stir and let sit to give time for the reaction to take place and for it to cool back down. I use the candy thermometer to keep track of the temperature.
  • Meanwhile, measure the coconut oil, tallow or palm oil, olive oil, and castor oil using a digital scale.
  • Combine them in a non-reactive pot or Crock Pot and begin to slowly warm the oils.
  • You ideally want your oils and your water/lye mixture to be about the same temperature when you mix them (between 100 and 120 degrees). When the temperatures are close, slowly add the water/lye mixture to the warmed oils.
  • Use a stick blender to begin mixing until trace is achieved. You can tell when you have reached trace when your mixture is still fluid, but a drop or drizzle of the soap mixture stays on the surface for a few seconds before falling back in. [Just pull your immersion blender (in the off position) up and let some soap drizzle off.]
  • Add the essential oils if you are using them.
  • Pour the mixture into a soap mold. *Remember, saponification is not complete yet at this point so you still want to be wearing your gloves/eyewear.
  • Cover the soap mold with an upside down cardboard box and cover with a towel to keep it warm while it continues to saponify and leave for 24 hours. If your home is particularly warm you may not need the towel. If it gets too warm it could crack, which I don’t think would cause a problem but your soap won’t be as pretty.
  • While still wearing gloves, wash all utensils in hot, soapy water. You can add some vinegar to your hot, soapy water to help neutralize the lye.
  • After 24 hours, remove the soap from the mold and slice it. I cut mine about 1 inch thick.
  • Stand the bars upright and let them cure in a well-ventilated area for about 4-6 weeks and then enjoy!


Use whichever essential oils you like. I like to use .5 ounce each of tea tree, rosemary, and peppermint.
See the section above for more information on equipment.
No time to DIY? My (Katie’s) Wellnesse Cleansing Shampoo is another great option!


How to Use Solid Shampoo

Solid shampoo is used much like any bar of soap. Get your hair wet and begin to rub the bar over your hair until you have a nice lather. Now you can massage and lather your hair as if you were using “real” shampoo. Rinse with water.

Most people need to follow with an acidic rinse such as apple cider vinegar or lemon juice mixed with water. People with drier hair may try up to a 50/50 mix.

Because I have oily hair I use less ACV. I mix about 1/3 cup ACV in a 20 oz spray bottle and fill the rest of the way with water. It is roughly a 1/5 ratio. You can also add essential oils to make it smell wonderful. I use 10 drops each of rosemary and peppermint.

After you are done shampooing, just spray this all over your hair and leave it in. The vinegar smell dissipates as it dries and you are left with the lovely smell of essential oils.

Update from Katie: My personal care products line Wellnesse doesn’t have shampoo bars (yet), but if you want a non-DIY option try the 100% all natural, biodegradable shampoo bar from Morrocco Method.

Ever tried natural shampoo? What worked for you?

Katie Wells Avatar

About Katie Wells

Katie Wells, CTNC, MCHC, Founder of Wellness Mama and Co-founder of Wellnesse, has a background in research, journalism, and nutrition. As a mom of six, she turned to research and took health into her own hands to find answers to her health problems. WellnessMama.com is the culmination of her thousands of hours of research and all posts are medically reviewed and verified by the Wellness Mama research team. Katie is also the author of the bestselling books The Wellness Mama Cookbook and The Wellness Mama 5-Step Lifestyle Detox.


250 responses to “Homemade Solid Shampoo Bar Recipe”

  1. Angela Avatar

    I don’t want to use lye. I have some goats milk/glycerine soap base & a double butter/glycerine soap base to use in the Charcoal & Clay casual soap which you mentioned can be used in place of the lye for that. Will this work as well? Other no poo methods have been unsuccessful for me.

      1. Angela Avatar

        Sorry I should have said I don’t want to work with it and would rather cheat with a melt and pour base.
        Is lye too harsh or bad for sensitive, dry, eczema prone skin? I’m still learning about it & trying different soaps to see what works best. Castile soap is my fave but can be harsh especially in winter. I use your coconut milk & castile soap as a body wash but would love to have soap bars as well so I got the soap bases to melt & mix with added oils & oats & castile to remold into my own soaps. Short of washing my children with coconut oil & nothing else I’m hopeful these soap bases will be a solution to our skin issues.
        Any insight is appreciated!

        1. Wellness Mama Avatar

          All soap is made with lye, so if you use soap at all (not that you have to) you must use a product that used to contain lye. It is used up during the process to make soap, but it’s necessary. I am sure there are some soaps that you can use safely.

  2. Andrei Avatar

    I just recently tried J.r.liggett’s Old Fashioned Bar Shampoo, which seems to have similar, if not the same, ingredients as this. It left my hair super greasy, even after three weeks of patiently waiting for my hair to detox. I looked it up, and apparently, if you have hard water, these bar shampoos leave build up in your hair. I tried the recommended ACV rinse with distilled water, but still had a greasy scalp. I’ve been using the bar for body soap, but I’m really disappointed it won’t work in my hair. Any suggestions/experience with using it with hard water?

    1. Lorie Avatar

      Hard water is a beast ! I live near the center of a former lime quarry…no kidding. As you deal with the hard water issue, you may find that Vinegar and Baking Soda can solve many problems. ^I checked the ingredients of the J.R.Liggett’s Shampoo Bar. As a soap maker and instructor, I can tell you that this bar is formulated more for conditioning instead of cleansing. It is still a very excellent shampoo bar and you should n-o-t need to use a conditioner after shampooing. I truly believe treating your hair BEFORE you shampoo will help immensely. I know it did for me (and still does) ! I found this recommendation at the J.R.Liggett’s web site… “Try mixing a small amount of baking soda (about a half tablespoon) with a cup or so of warm water, and apply it to your dry hair in the shower. Then, before using any hard water on your hair, lather up with the J.R.Liggett’s.” This “Hard Water” link was at the very bottom of their web site page in tiny letters. I wish you the very best !

      1. Elysia Avatar

        Thanks for those tips! I have hard water too. I go to Maine in the summer where the water is really soft (well water) and my hair and skin looks amazing! Soft, shiny hair and glowing soft skin! Not so here at home lol

  3. Charity Avatar

    Can you use any natural made soap for a shampoo bar soap? We have some made locally in our town and I’ve loved it for the rest of my body but haven’t tried it in my hair yet.

  4. Kiva Avatar

    I use baking soda to wash my hair and white vinegar to rinse. I’ve been doing this for 1.5 years and my hair has never felt cleaner. I will try making this as a body soap though.

  5. Amy Avatar

    Have you ever heard of Kirk’s castile soap and if so what do you think? My husband washes with it and also uses it as a shampoo.

    1. Elysia Avatar

      Castile soap can be very drying because it’s so concentrated. I’m not familiar with Kirk’s but I know some people use Dr. Bronners Castile for shampooing. I tried it and it left an awful residue on my hair – likely due to my hard water – see Dana’s comments above. Maybe following her advice about baking soda and white vinegar would solve that?

  6. Cara Avatar

    5 stars
    We did it! Great directions. Now to the six weeks of curing…thank you so much.

  7. Rebecca Avatar

    Can you use lemon juice instead of ACV? The article mentions lemon juice.

  8. steve Avatar

    I don’t have much hair left but wouldn’t it be easier to use branch basic cleaner as a shampoo rather than messing with lye , and what is the no-poo method?

    1. Mayra Avatar

      Hi Steve! I am a soap maker as well, and honestly, using lye is no more dangerous than driving a car. Respect it, be safe (like not pouring water INTO the lye, which can indeed be dangerous) and mixing it in a well ventilated room or outdoors.

      No Poo is really a short way of saying No Shampoo. 🙂 Usually referring to commercially mass produced shampoo products you get at the store.

      I know it’s been a while since you asked, but I just stumbled onto this while looking for a shampoo bar recipe to make today, and being that I have recreated many other recipes from wellnessmama with success, I am definitely going to give this one a shot.

      1. Laura Avatar

        Is there an alternative natural conditioner for colored hair?

  9. Layla Avatar

    Is there a hot process way to make this soap? We usually go through soap quickly, so waiting a month and a half would mean I would constantly have to have a couple of batches curing. I just don’t have room for that. I make coconut oil soap from mommypotamus.com that takes about an hour start to finish. It’s hot process though, so we can use it that night. Other than this soap, I have no experience. I don’t know how to make this the quick way. Thanks in advance for your reply.:-)

    1. Lorie Avatar

      So glad you have joined the sisterhood of soap crafters! As you have experience with the Hot Process [HP] technique from “mommypotamus.com” you have the skills to work your magic with this recipe too. The same safety precautions apply so be certain you have vinegar, chemical resistant gloves and goggles. Evict any items made of aluminum (kitchenware etc); plus kids, pets, spouses, etc. out of your soaping zone. In 9 years, every ( Cold Process, Goat Milk Base, Beer Base, Pure Castile, Pine Tar, etc ) soap recipe I have found or developed has worked as a HP recipe. Please let me share a bit of experience: 1. Check the maximum temperature that each oil, and ingredient can tolerate. Temperature in HP is especially critical for Essential Oils and Fragrances and may be listed as “Flashpoint”. I try to stir in any chosen scent as late as possible…just before the “mashed potatoes” turn to concrete phase lol! 2. Some ingredients and oils can cause a recipe to reach trace in a matter of seconds (seriously !) while others can cause a soap to “seize”. ALWAYS check the properties of a new oil, ingredient, fragrance, or essential oil. A few moments of research can save you many hours of salvage & rescue work. 3. “Seized” soap can be shredded in small batches with a food processor and set aside in a covered container to finished curing for 2-3 weeks. 3. If you need to thin a HP batch that has cooked a bit too long,add a tablespoon of milk. Resist the urge to add more milk. Use a potato masher if you have one, it will make this job so much easier. If not; stir hard. Only add the very least amount of milk that you need to get the soap out of the crock pot. Any excess milk will not be readily absorbed. I hope these tips are useful to you, and I have no doubt that your skills and knowledge will continue to grow as a soap artisan !

      1. Lynda Avatar

        Are the ounce measurements in this shampoo bar the “weight” or “liquid” ounces?

    2. Anna Suddeth Avatar
      Anna Suddeth

      mine, after being wrapped up,gelled SO HOT , it hp on its own 🙂 I tested it after cutting the next day, it was good to go 🙂 squishy and soft but good to go

  10. Dawn Marie Avatar
    Dawn Marie

    Oh my gosh, I must be such a wuss. But I thought I was gonna pass out when I read the part about the cow butchered. (My husband eats meat. You should have seen me prepping a chicken soup for him one day with a whole chicken. OMG, I almost hit the floor just washing it. I was practically jumping around at the sink. And then when the giblets fell out – which I had no idea about what they were til then – well I couldn’t stand. I had to lay down. Suffice to say my family and friends were hysterical laughing. I laugh about it now, but my hubby’s in charge of taking care of any meat now, LOL. Yeah, I am too wussy.)

    Anyway, besides beef tallow and palm oil, could you recommend any other alternatives for that part?

    Dawn Marie

    1. Elysia Avatar

      Ahahaha!! Sorry to laugh but I loved your post. Esp the giblets omg lol! I am a light meat eater and have cooked for years but when I make bone broth and you rub the bones with oil before roasting – there were streaks dark blood on my hands and I thought I’d cut myself, then realized it was from the bones ???? My tummy definitely did the flipflop. And I also did a full body cringe when I read that line about butchering. So you are not alone! But I am not a wuss – I am a strong, resilient woman who has certain sensitivities! ????

      1. Elysia Avatar

        Oops, I’d put emojis in my post and they came out as multiple question marks! Ignore those!

        1. Dawn Marie Avatar
          Dawn Marie

          Elysia, OMGosh, I was thinking about doing the bone broth for my hubby. I’m glad you mentioned about the blood. I could just see me hitting the floor then, LOL. I pass out every time the doctors do my bloodwork. I guess the hubby’s going to have to do the bone broth too.

          Oh, I don’t mind the laughing. I’m so used to it. Makes for great conversation, LOL. Yeah, those giblets really freaked me out, LOL. Maybe it’s because I’m a city girl. My hubby was raised near farmland.

  11. Katie Avatar

    5 stars
    If I ever work with lye, I will make this soap! A note about the ACV: when I rinse with ACV, I wash it out afterwards, and my hair STILL has the vinegar smell (yet very faint.) Isn’t it bad to leave it in your hair?

  12. marie Avatar

    Just last week I made this exact soap (a few differences in percentage of each – not much though)!!!! Didn’t have a recipe, just read about each oil and the tallow and gave it a shot. I am eagerly waiting for the curing to finish so we can try it 🙂 Was hoping it would work well as a shampoo bar, as my husband is very sensitive to regular shampoo and had asked me to try making a shampoo bar. I used the room temp method and it worked great! First time making soap on my own. Thank you for an inspiring post! Always love to learn how to make-my-own when it comes to body care(and everything else 🙂

  13. nicole Avatar

    5 stars
    Great recipe! I’ve been thinking about trying a shampoo bar ever since I started CP soap… I’m going to try this out!!

  14. Rhonda Swetnam Avatar
    Rhonda Swetnam

    Hi. Thanks for the information and recipe for the shampoo bar. I recently tried an organic shampoo bar that I purchased online that was made with coconut oil . I was hoping to love it. It lathered nicely, and smelled wonderful. After shampooing, I used my normal conditioner, as I had no ACV at the time. I towel dried my hair as usual, but when I went to comb it out, what a mess! My hair felt gummy, and was an absolute tangled mess! It took me the longest time to get it combed out. I allowed it to air dry, but once dry, it was dull and lifeless looking, and actually still felt gummy and just nasty. It was very hard to brush even when dry.

    I really want to get away from commercial shampoos and conditioners, and I would love to try your shampoo bar recipe, but I cannot have my hair like that. Any ideas would be really appreciated.

    Thank you in advance!

    1. Katie Avatar

      It sounds like the issue may be your normal conditioner. Maybe try again, but with the ACV rinse afterwards?

        1. Dana Avatar

          Hi Rhonda, I’ve been no poo for a year and it’s really process to find what works for you, but if you’re like me at all I’ll save you some time and some sketchy hair. Shampoo bars (I made them similar to this recipe) work great for my husband with short hair, but what I experienced was soap scum like on your shower door in my long hair because I don’t have soft water I think. So, I finally found that if you boil 2 cups of water, add 2 Tbs baking soda, let it cool and put it in an old shampoo bottle, wash (not sudsy but your hair will be clean), and then rinse with a Tbs white vinegar in warm water in the shower (rinse it out) it works great. I only do this twice a week, and in between I’ll use the shampoo bar on the hair around my face, maybe on a ponytail or dry shampoo day. Hard to comb at first but once all the chemical gunk is gone it’ll be soft and tangle free I swear. It took months to arrive at this, I hope it helps 🙂

          1. Chloe Avatar

            My hair is always really frizzy, do you think the baking soda would help with that or just dry my scalp out even more? Also, do you just use the vinegar as the conditioner? (Btw I also have hard water.)

          2. Megan Avatar

            OMG thank you so much for this I have made some coconut oil shampoo bars and its been almost a month… my hair has been gross to say the least with soap scum and that was with the ACV. My conclusion is that it was my hard water because I went on vacation and washed my hair with the bar then and it was amazing. 🙁 I had almost given up hope, so I am so glad I saw this. Thanks for sharing!

          3. Dana Avatar

            Chloe, sorry it’s now June 🙂 my daughter has curly frizzy hair and she’s going with co-wash, it’s like washing with conditioner and Amazon has one from As I Am, coconut co-wash, it smells like heaven.

    2. Maile Avatar

      Your hair may also be going through detox. You can Google it but it can take several shampoos to completely get all the gunk from commercial products out of your hair. Took my hair about a week and a half to get past the yuckyness.
      Good luck! It is worth it in the end, my hair is much softer now 🙂

      1. Rhonda Swetnam Avatar
        Rhonda Swetnam

        Thank you. I appreciate the input! Do you use ACV as a rinse? What dilution of ACV to water do you use? Do you rinse it out?

        1. Dana Avatar

          If you’re like me at all acv will add to the waxy feeling, I use white vinegar diluted with warm water and rinse it. Also any soap can leave soap scum in your hair if you don’t have soft water, so I use baking soda dissolved in boiling water, rinse with diluted white vinegar twice a week, and then use the shampoo bar on the hair around my face between washings. It took me months to figure this out. Also, give it a few weeks and it will be soft and tangle free, you do need to get rid of the chemicals for it yo work well so stick with it.

        2. Sherry Avatar

          Rhonda, if it’s any help, I use 1/3 cup ACV to 1 cup water. I usually rinse it out.

    3. Heidi Avatar

      I make my own soap and a tea tree oil shampoo bar. After the first use of the shampoo, my hair ended up just as you describe, it was disgusting! I realized it was cleaning all the built up product out of my hair! I kept using it for each shampoo, and after about the third was, my hair was squeaky clean! Now I don’t need any conditioner or ACV and my hair glistens and is baby soft. The best part is that instead of washing it every day, I only need to wash it twice a week! Homemade shampoo bars are the best thing ever!

      1. Rhonda Swetnam Avatar
        Rhonda Swetnam

        Thanks for the info. Heidi. I appreciate it. I will stick with it and endure the “funk” stage. I would like to ask if you are willing to share your shampoo bar recipe made with tea tree oil? Thank you in advance!

        1. Melanie Avatar

          It also could be that your hair is different-all hair is different. It may never get better. I cannot use soap for shampoo because it is too alkaline and my bleached hair can’t handle any more damage. Soap makes it so brittle it breaks off! I don’t understand why people think soap is natural. Lye is a caustic chemical. Soap is way too high ph for hair but if someone’s hair is really healthy it probably makes the cuticles stand out and gives it some needed “damage” making it fluffier. That is what bleach does for my hair. I don’t think that soap is natural. I think shampoo made from a derivative of coconut oil is more natural than that and the right pH for hair.

          1. charman Avatar

            5 stars
            Firstly everything is made up of chemicals even your fancy pH balancing soaps (that have no effect BTW because the skin very quickly returns to is natural pH after using any type of cleanser, just Google it.)

            Secondly Lee is considered ‘natural’ because it’s is naturally derived, they used lye (pot ash) in Egypt when the first soaps were being made. Soap made correctly will have NO lye left over in the end product … You don’t even need to list it in the ingredients list when selling.

            I don’t really understand how you can start out saying everyone’s hair is different but then go on to say soap is bad for ALL hair … ???

            Please educate yourself before preaching.

          2. Marilene Avatar

            A basic understanding of shampoo– it is comprised of a liquefied SOAP… and commercial shampoo has all kinds of fuglies that you cannot possibly pronounce added to it which will also dry out your hair and cause it to become brittle and break off. You should see the difference in both breakage and fallout of my hair since I made the switch!!
            As an FYI- Lye soap isn’t the type of “soap” you are familiar with. The commercially produced soaps have been stripped of any glycerin, are drying and just fugly to use. They dry out your skin, and would of course dry out your hair.
            Homemade lye soaps are the opposite. They can be customized to your own needs. Using a soap calculator, and varying the oil mixture- you can be in control of the conditioning levels. Your shampoo can be more moisturizing, cleansing, bubbly: choose an attribute… I just made some scrumptious shampoo bars that went in overload mode for restructuring (hemp oil, jojoba oil, avocado oil, shae butter, coconut oil and a touch of olive oil) for my ultra dry, flyaway and hard to manage gray hair. Once lye has been through the saponification process (fancy term for the chemical process that binds molecules and turns oil into a cleanser), then the lye no longer exists- nor do the oils- you now have the glycerine rich, true soap that our ancestors used. Mahvelous!
            Perhaps you should give a shampoo bar a good 3 week trial before knocking it.

    4. Istuke Avatar

      That “gummy” problem you’re experiencing is likely the “funky” period many people go through as the old shampoo build-up is worked out of your hair when switching to the solid shampoo. This “funky” period can last one wash, or up to a week. If you can, stick with it for a week or so before you make up your mind that it’s not for you. The vinegar rinse may help. If you continue to have a problem, then it is likely other hair products reacting.

      I switch back and forth between salon products and solid shampoo, depending on when I can buy the solid shampoo. I remember one time switching back and I had so much build-up on my hair from old products, it was almost like I had gum stuck in my hair! That’s a good thing to get out, even if the process is messy at first!

      I look forward to making my own bars with this recipe so I don’t have to depend on availability in my local shops!

      1. Leah Avatar

        Places like Etsy sell bulk shampoo bars for pretty good prices if making your own isn’t up your alley. Most sellers will even make you custom orders if you ask nicely. They have a great selection and have vegan, all natural, handmade, and with any kind of scent you can imagine. Shipping can be a bit pricey, but if you buy in bulk it usually balances out and you save anyway since the bars last way longer than a bottle of shampoo plus you don’t need conditioner!

    5. Suzie Avatar

      Soaps made with all or mostly coconut oil are extremely cleansing but can be harsh. You need to balance the soap with some other, more moisturising oils like olive oil, and castor oil gives superior lather etc. so perhaps this shampoo bar recipe will work better for you as it has other oils as well, not just coconut. I also add neem oil in my shampoo bars. It’s excellent against dandruff, psoriasis, eczema and even headice! It doesn’t smell great but I try and override the natural neem smell with tea tree and Rosemary essential oil in the bars. But as far as a natural shampoo bar it works great.

      1. Lynn Avatar

        Soap made with a high percentage of coconut oil should also have a high superfat. I have a 100% coconut oil shampoo bar that I also use for a body bar and have never experienced a problem with dryness. Because it has a high superfat 🙂

    6. Sheila Avatar

      That gummy feeling may have been it cleansing the buildup residue. I started using homemade soap with a little higher than average super fat- due to general dry skin- and once I had used it a few times, the gummy feeling went away. I don’t condition anymore. I do keep my hair pretty short, but I am growing it out, and it seems like it detangles easily now that I have stopped using commercial products. Except gel and hair spray. I haven’t found a good sub yet for my short hair, but hopefully once it gets a little longer…..

    7. Angela Avatar

      Hi all. I wanted to share my experience with “funky” hair. I always had greasy nasty hair that was dry from the ‘oily hair’ shampoo stripping it, but then I switched to the ‘normal hair’ shampoos & conditioners and that vicious cycle went away. Then I started using Kirk’s Castile Coconut soap a few years back as a whole body bar. I plan on making a 100% coconut oil soap soon as the prices & availability of Kirk’s are becoming ridiculous. Anyhow, the first time I did this was during an Epsom salt bath soak and I left it in my hair for a while—not quite until it had dried completely, but real close as it was hard and crusty. When I rinsed my hair of the soap I thought “OMG what did I just do to my hair?! I’m gonna have to bic my head!!” Then as I always do, I put my conditioner in and let it sit for a while before I started to use a pick to get through the snarls. When I rinsed out the conditioner my hair felt spectacular!! I didn’t seem to have the problem switching from regular shampoo to the Kirk’s bar that I see so many complain about and I think it is because the first several times I used it on my hair I let it sit for a long time to really get that drawing action working. I use ACV rinse, 3-6 oz in 6-9 oz water in a 12 oz plastic spray bottle and for I can’t remember since when, my hair is shiny and flowing with few snarls. I have fine hair so this gives it nice volume.

      Same on my face—as a mask on my face where you take bar just barely wet on a wet face and rub the bar everywhere, let it dry—it gets tight and turns your face white. For open zits or chapped lips it is gonna sting, almost burns, so I don’t leave it on chapped lips for long. With the zits, the stinging and tingling is just drawing out the toxins so I deal with it. The more often you do it, the less it stings because it is doing its job &and there are less toxins there. Coconut oil is a very powerful drawing agent and the soap is too. Is it drying? Yes, but that is what you want for acne anyhow, so just follow with witch hazel and aspirin (4-5 uncoated aspirin in a bottle of witch hazel supplies the salicylic acid) applied with a cotton ball and a good lotion or whipped coconut oil when your face is damp…you’ll be right as rain. By the way, this routine of Kirk’s as a mask with the aspirin witch hazel as a toner can bust up a hormonal break out around the start of your period in just one or two uses. I know many people complain of the Kirk’s stinging the nether regions and I don’t know why it does that—it is not a lye heavy soap—I use it to brush my teeth with no issues at all.

      Using Kirk’s like this, well I don’t remember feeling this clean since I was a kid. The soaps of today just are different then 30-40 years ago. We have hard water here in the Rockies of Colorado and it lathers very luxuriously and does so even in salt water of the ocean. Kirk’s has gotten rid of DH’s dandruff and backne, the kiddos severe puberty acne and brought waves to my bone straight, post-menopausal hair. I only pray that a homemade 100% coconut soap will have the same benefits for my family!!

      Thanks for letting me ramble, hope this helps others get through the funky stage.

  15. Fiona Avatar

    Great idea. I make soap all the time so I’ll try this too. With ACV though although the vinegar smell goes away when it dries, I find it tends to come back when I sweat at the gym or in the summer making me smell like a salad. Any ideas?

    1. Elysia Avatar

      Hoping you get a reply because I have the same issue. It’s ok now I’m winter but as soon as I step in my warm, slightly steamed bathroom to shower the whole place instantly reeks of vinegar. I can’t imagine trying this in the summer if you live in a humid climate! Wondering if you can apply the vinegar and then rinse it out? I’d be willing to wait & let it sit a min or 2 before rinsing if it means not smelling of vinegar.

      1. Marnita C. Avatar
        Marnita C.

        I would think it would be okay. I always rinse the vinegar out of my hair and it never smells like vinegar later. And I don’t spray it on, I pour it all over my hair. Hope this helps.

        1. Dorothy Avatar

          Most posts I have seen recommends that you rinse the vinegar out anyway because it can become drying to your hair… I have always rinsed mine out and I have never smelled of vinegar..

      2. Heather Avatar

        I always tense acv out with good results. I have pretty oily hair to start with.

  16. Abby Avatar

    Sorry if this is a silly question, are you at all worried about the oil building up and clogging the drain pipes?

      1. Mary Tinsley Avatar
        Mary Tinsley

        I worked as a receptionist for Roto Rooter. One of my Favorite Plumbers told me to poor 2 cups boiling water weekly down every drain. It cleans grease build up, soap goop, dust and light dust bunnies. NOT ANY HAIR EVER! ACID will not dissolve hair! use a baby bottle brush or crochet hooks.
        the acid can turn the clog into a volcano backing out the pipe at you causing painful burn to standers by. BE SAFE

  17. Sarah Avatar

    Would this type of shampoo help restore my natural hair color? I’m naturally bright blonde but after living overseas on an island with very hard (and dirty) water my hair looks constantly dark. As soon as I go back to the states my hair goes back to being blonde. Thank you for your help/tips!

    1. Erica Avatar

      @ Sarah. I suspect that it would help your hair to return to its natural color over time if you made sure to always make the apple cider rinse with distilled water, and then try to wash it out with clean, clear water (rain water if at all possible) rather then the water from your shower.

      I know exactly what you’re going through as growing up I lived on a rural property that had hard water with lots of iron in it, and when you have hair that is naturally quite porous (some hair is more porous then others and will retain colors — both good and bad — for much longer. That’s my hair.) the minerals in the water get absorbed into the shafts of hair, and it’s really hard to get it out again.

      I’ve noticed that since using apple cider vinegar rinse several years ago, the reddish iron stains in my hair have disappeared, so I have no doubt that with a bit of persistence and forgoing the use of the hard water to wash your hair, you will get that natural hair color back too. 🙂

      Good luck!

    1. Melissa Ore Avatar
      Melissa Ore

      Hey wellness mama, I’ve recently stumbled upon your blog and immediately fell in love with it! This might be a silly question, but I see that a lot of your post have distilled water, I searched for the meaning of it and I’m still confused, may you further explain please? also how can I make distilled water or where to buy it? .. Thank you again for the amazing posts and tutorials!

        1. Janette Koneski Avatar
          Janette Koneski

          The water from your dehumidifier is distilled water. You don’t want to drink it, but it’s good for filling steam irons, car batteries, spray bottles, etc.

        2. anna Avatar

          I grew up with homemade soap. Mom would collect soft water or rain water or distilled water from outside But it worked beautifully. She even collected rain water for laundry in an old ringer washer. She said it made the clothing softer. Haha, maybe that dates me. I’m just over 40 lol but we grew up poor but rich in experiences! Happy soaping 🙂
          great recipe

      1. Dorothy Avatar

        Not sure where you are from but in my area ( Indiana) and most all of the US, you can find it in the groceries and places like Wal-Mart..

        1. Lynne Avatar

          Distilled means boiled – and the steam collected until it condenses back to water again. The resulting water is a very pure form, with none of the harmful chemicals.

    2. Erica Avatar

      @ Katie – apple cider vinegar rinse will strip the color from colored hair, so no, it’s not a good idea to use it if you do have colored hair; this usually doesn’t happen after just one rinse, but after two or three rinses you will notice the change in the color. I suppose it ‘cleanses’ anything unnatural?

      For any hair besides colored it is brilliant though, as long as you don’t use it more then once a week or so. Speaking for myself, in summer I will usually use it on every second wash (every 4 or 5 days), whereas in winter when I only wash my hair about once every 7 or 8 days, I use it for every wash.

      Rambling on a bit now, but figured it couldn’t hurt to share! This hair-washing schedule came after I used to wash my long, thick — and rather temperamental — hair every single day, and HATED to do it because it took an age and wasted so much water in the process (and usually ended up oily by the next day), but then after making up my mind to wean myself off that bad habit and let my scalps PH level and oils regulate themselves, my hair has become neater and more manageable then it’s ever been (and thankfully only gets oily at the scalp on the last day, when I use dry shampoo to get me through the hours of the day til I wash it). <3

      1. Susan Avatar

        Do you have a suggestion for a different type of rinse that would be ok for colored hair?

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