Sunday, April 11, 2010

My Boozy Bubbly Shampoo Bar Experience

In celebration of curly girls everywhere, I'm trying to concoct the perfect curly girl shampoo bar. Here's my first attempt!

The night before:
1) First I took 2 bottles of beer (Budweiser, that Toby's favorite brand) and simmered it on low heat until it was only 4 ounces in volume.

2) Then I put 2 Tablespoons of dried rosemary into a little coffee filter bag and steeped it in 1.5 cups of hot filtered water. I let this sit in the fridge overnight before I removed the rosemary tea bag.


The big day:

3) I mixed the lye into the rosemary tea. I like to do this outside to keep the lye fumes away from my family. Of course I wore gloves and goggles while working with the lye solution.

4) I measured out the oils and melted in a crock pot on low. I like to soften the solid at room temperature oils in the microwave for about a minute to reduce the time it takes the crock pot to melt everything.

5) When oils were melted, I blended the lye into the oils to reach a light trace.

6) At light trace I blended in the beer, Castor oil, vitamin E, and honey.

7) I made sure that the crock pot is on low and cooked the soap with the lid on the pot for about 30 minuets. What did I do during this time? I cleaned the kitchen, prepared my molds, and crocheted.

8) After 30 min had passed, the soap was gelling. I stirred in the un-jelled raw soap and continued heating it.

9) I checked on the soap in 10 min. intervals until the soap had completely gelled (about 1 hour total time). Then I gave it the icky licky test. (Scoop out a marble size blob of soap. Allow it to cool. Roll it in your palm to create a ball. Give it a little lick. If you get a zap, then continue to cook and check it at 5 min intervals.)

10) At this point I needed to mix in the fragrance oil and vinegar. I started to wonder if I had over cooked the soap because it was so stiff that I had to have Toby mix in the fragrance and vinegar.

11) I spooned the soap into the molds. For this batch I used silicon muffin molds. I let it cool and set up overnight. When I un-molded it in the morning I was disappointed. Most of the bars looked really lumpy. So, what did I decide to do? REBATCH I think I could avoid this in the future if I cooked it less. I fear I let it dry out a little too much.

The next day:

12) Greg and I used the cheese grater to break the soap into little pieces.

13) We heaped those pieces back into the crock-pot and poured 1/4 cup water onto them.

14) With the lid on the pot and the pot on low, I heated the soap until it had all melted. I stirred it occasionally just to check the consistency.

15) When the soap was nice and smooth, I poured it into a new mold. This time I used a rectangular Rubbermaid container. I know it looks like bar cookies, but don't eat it!

16) The next day I released the soap from it's mold and cut it into rectangular bars. I was really pleased at how much smoother the rebatched soap appeared. I did let this soap cure for 3 weeks before using because it had a lot of water to lose.

I love this soap! It seems to enhance the curl in my hair. I think it might be a little heavy for someone with fine hair, but for my dry, curly hair it works great!

Want the recipe?

2 ounces cocoa butter
6 ounces Coconut Oil
14 ounces Olive Oil
12 ounces Crisco Oil
14 ounces Sunflower Oil
12 ounces rosemary tea
6.45 ounces lye
4 ounces reduced beer
1.5 ounces castor oil
2 ounces honey
6 grams vitamin E
0.4 ounces Oatmeal, Milk, and Honey Fragrance Oil
3 oz vinegar


  1. Cool! Let me know if you ever make a shampoo bar for finer non-curly hair.

  2. Congratulations on the honorable mention for the MMS Perfumer's Kit! Excellent directions and sharing of your experience!