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5 from 2 votes

Cold Process Solid Shampoo Bars for Fine or Oily Hair

Shampoo bars are formulated with super nourishing ingredients that clean hair without stripping it or drying it out. And in many cases, they can act as conditioner, body wash, or even face wash to boot.
Prep Time15 mins
Active Time1 hr
Cure Time30 d
Total Time30 d 1 hr 15 mins
Course: At Home Hair Treatment
Cuisine: DIY
Keyword: shampoo, soap
Yield: 6 bars
Author: Stephanie Pollard
Cost: $15


  • Immersion blender
  • Crock pot for warming oils
  • Digital Scale
  • 1 quart mason jar for mixing lye and water
  • Candy thermometer
  • Silicone soap mold
  • Wooden spoon
  • Gloves and protective eyewear
  • White Vinegar (in case of spills)



  • Weigh tallow, coconut oil, olive oil, and castor oil.
  • Combine in a crockpot and melt on low.
  • Note: I do the remaining steps outside because you have to work quickly and lye causes toxic fumes, so you need to be in a well-ventilated space
    Go outside and weigh lye in a dry glass or plastic container. Then weigh the water separately in your 1-quart mason jar.
  • Once the oils are melted (stir with a wooden spoon to help the tallow melt faster), check the temperature. You want the oils to be 100 degrees F. Continue to heat or cool as necessary.
  • Once oils reach 100 degrees F, put on your gloves and safety goggles (make sure you're outside for this part), then carefully and slowly pour the lye into the water. Stir gently until the lye water turns clears, then leave it to cool for 10 minutes.
  • Carefully pour the lye water into the oil mixture.
  • Note: If you don't have an outdoor power outlet or extension cord, you can do the remaining steps inside. I do them outside just to be safe.
    Using an immersion blender, blend the mixture until it starts to thicken and becomes a light pudding consistency (this is called "trace").
  • Add the essential oils and blend again to incorporate.
  • Pour the soap into your mold and use a wooden spoon to create texture. Then cover lightly with wax paper and wrap molds in towels, so it can cool slowly and evenly.
  • After 24 hours, remove soap from mold and slice into bars. Space them out to allow good air flow and let them cure for 4 weeks.


You can store it as you would any other bar soap, so in the shower is fine. But to help increase the longevity, let it dry out between uses by placing it on a soap dish with ample drainage or in the linen closet.
Store unused shampoo bars on a shelf in the closet. While you might want to wrap them loosely in wax paper to keep the dust away, letting them air out will ensure they last longer.