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Shampoo Bars

Lustrous Hair

People are looking for more natural alternatives to their beauty care regimens, and replacing commercial shampoo with a natural shampoo bar that contains ingredients designed to promote silkiness and shininess to the hair.

What is a Shampoo Bar?

A shampoo bar or “hard shampoo” as it is sometimes referred to, is a bar of soap with additives that make it preferable for use on hair. It is formulated and made in almost exactly the same way as a standard soap bar, with the exception of using ingredients that promote silkiness and shininess in hair. Use of a shampoo bar is also similar to a standard soap bar; consumers can use the bar directly on their hair or lather it in their hands before using it to wash their hair.

Common Ingredients

Making a shampoo bar won’t be too much of a stretch for anyone who is already making soap; you likely have all the ingredients. Typical shampoo bars are a mix of base oils like olive, coconut, castor, sunflower and/or sweet almond oil (to name a few). Then, additional ingredients are added depending on what you’d like the finished product to accomplish.


So, what exactly are these additives that transform your typical soap bar into a magnificent, crowd-pleasing shampoo bar?

Tussah Silk:

Tussah silk is an ingredient commonly found in shampoo bars. If you’re not familiar with tussah silk, it is an interesting little fiber that is harvested from the cocoons of silk worms. Tussah silk lends a silky, luxurious texture to soap and a little goes a long way; just a pinch in your lye water will do. And worry not about the silk worms! There are companies that source the silk after the silk worm has emerged, making it cruelty-free.


D-panthenol or d-pantothenyl alcohol contains vitamin B5 and is commonly used in a variety of handcrafted products, including shampoo. D-panthenol in a shampoo bar will provide added moisture and shine.

Jojoba Oil:

Jojoba oil also provides moisture, and can help to smooth heat-damaged hair.  Jojoba oil is also similar to the sebum that our scalps naturally secrete, which is helpful since much of the nourishing sebum is stripped away during the shampoo process.

Egg Yolks:

We aren’t just scrambling for additives here, adding eggs to your soap is no yolk! Bad puns aside, many handcrafters add egg yolk to their shampoo bars to supercharge the vitamins and protein.

Sample Recipe

With all of these possibilities in mind, we’ve concocted a basic sample recipe for you to play with. Customize to your heart’s content!

This is a 2 lb recipe, superfatted at 5%:

  • 12.16 oz Water
  • 4.47 oz NaOH
  • 2 oz Sweet Almond Oil
  • 2 oz Avocado Oil
  • 8 oz Castor Oil
  • 9 oz Coconut Oil
  • 11 oz Olive Oil
  • 1 oz Fragrance (if desired)
  • Optional: add a pinch of tussah silk to your lye water and let it fully dissolve.

This recipe will work for hot or cold process soap! As with any bar, this shampoo bar will be better the longer it cures, so make sure to let it sit for a few weeks before use. As a side note, avocado oil can discolor your bar a bit with a lovely light greenish yellow tint-if you’d like to avoid this, just switch it out for another nourishing oil of your choosing.

Final Thoughts

You are already making products to pamper your customer, so why not encourage them to use your products for haircare, too? A conditioning, hair-loving shampoo bar is just the ticket to help keep your customers brand-loyal and exclusive!

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