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Last year, I discovered something that I couldn’t imagine living without. Something that has become my secret weapon in the fight against that evilest of all evil. . . Bad Hair Days.
What is this thing that I’m raving about? Shampoo bars. Oh yes, they’ve become my end-all, be-all for having nicer looking hair than I’ve ever had.
So, since its been awhile since I last shared a soap making recipe with you, I thought I’d share the one for our Lavender Rosemary Shampoo Bars.
The addition of bentonite clay in this recipe makes this soap an excellent travel bar that can be used for hair, shaving, and all over.
All measurements are by weight, not volume.
9 oz castor oil
1 oz jojoba oil
*For the clays, you generally mix 1 teaspoon of clay with 1 tablespoon of distilled water. So, for the recipe above, you would need 3 tablespoons of water in all. I mix the sea and bentonite clays separately, then divide the soap mixture into three parts. Sea clay is added to one part, bentonite clay to the other, and the third remains a pure, white color. Then, they’re all swirled together for a very pretty design.
** One of the best and least expensive suppliers (and the main I use) of soap making oils and lye is Essential Depot. Before checking out, be sure to visit their Facebook page and check for current promo codes to receive extra discounts.
Safety: If you’re new to cold process soap making, please stop! Make sure you know all of the ins and outs of working with lye. It is a caustic chemical that can and will burn your skin. Always wear gloves and goggles while making soap and dealing with lye, and always work in a well ventilated area. Never leave lye or raw soap unattended. Never use aluminum utensils or containers as lye reacts with it to create toxic fumes. Always use stainless steel or heat safe glass or plastic. There are lots of websites, Youtube videos, and books that can help you to learn the basics of cold process soap making.
1) Slowly and carefully add the lye to the slushy coconut milk (when making soap, you always add the lye to the water – or in this case, coconut milk). Stirring gently until the lye has completely melted. Set aside to cool.
2) Measure out the solid oils and butter (palm and coconut oil and shea butter). Melt those in a pot on top of the stove until they’re just melted and have turned to liquid. While the solid oils were melting, out the liquid oils (olive, castor, jojoba, avocado, and vitamin E oils. . . tip: Use scissors to cut each vitamin E capsule, then squeeze the oil out disposing of the capsules). Once the solid oils have melted, remove them from the eye and set aside to cool. Add the liquid oils to them. At this point, I also go ahead and add the lavender and rosemary essential oils.
3) While the oils and lye solution are cooling, measure out the clays (I use disposable plastic cups to mix my colorants, clays, and other additives in). Combine the clays with the water (see the beginning of the Vine video below) and set aside.
4) Once the lye and oils have cooled to about 130F degrees or less, add the lye solution to the oils (always add the lye solution to your oils). Using a stick blender, mix until the soap reaches a thin trace.
5) At this point, I divide my soap into three batches in heat safe plastic containers. One batch will have the sea clay added to it, the other bentonite clay, and the other will have nothing extra added. Then, swirl the colors together and pour into your prepared mold (I use a 5lb wooden mold lined with a silicon liner from Brambleberry).
6) After 3-4 days, unmold and cut into bars. Allow 4-6 weeks curing time before using.