I’ve been making my own shampoo bars for about a year, and I love them. There’s really very little difference between a shampoo bar and a bar of plain ‘ol cold processed soap. Shampoo bars tend to be a bit more gentle and more lathery. That’s achieved by using more castor oil (USA / Canada) than usual (20% instead of 5%).

I can’t decide what my favourite shampoo bar recipe is; it’s a toss up between a unrefined shea butter (USA / Canada) citrus bar and a gingerbread bar. Today I’m going to share my gingerbread bar. It’s great for brunettes, and it smells wonderful. I have no idea if the molasses is good for your hair or not, but I think it makes my hair a bit shinier. Or something.

Molasses Shampoo Bar

20% olive oil (pomace) (USA / Canada)
20% castor oil (USA / Canada)
25% refined coconut oil (USA / Canada)
25% beef tallow
10% walnut oil

7% superfat (or lye discount)

Per 500g (1.1lbs) oils:

2020 update: Given the irritation potential for this essential oil blend, I’d recommend using a vanilla spice fragrance oil rather than the essential oil blend. Please refer to supplier documentation for maximum usage rates for the particular fragrance oil you’re using when used in soap.

Follow the basic soap making process. Be sure to let the oils and water cool to room temperature before mixing. Add the molasses after you reach a light trace, slowly drizzling it over over the mixture and stirring it in. Make sure it’s roughly the same temperature as the soap mixture or it will cause the mixture to curdle. If that happens the mixture will sort of look like runny ricotta cheese. You can still pour the mixture into the mold, but the bars will be a bit crumbly.

Calculate your final amounts of lye and water in the recipe using a lye calculator.