My DIY Solid Shampoo Experience

“If your hair is done properly and you have on good shoes, you can get away with anything.” – Iris Apfel

I was fourteen when I was finally allowed to grow my hair past the tops of my shoulder. Prior to that, I had to fight to keep from going to the hairdresser. It meant hours of crying, throwing a tantrum, and hugging the banister of our staircase. Dad insisted on having our hair cut because he felt long hair meant using up more shampoo. Using up more shampoo meant buying it more frequently. By the time I was fourteen, Dad probably realized my hair grew so fast, it was more expensive to keep going to the hairdresser than to just buy shampoo.

I loved having long hair and would always delay trips to the salon, waiting until I saw signs of my hair needing a cut. Luckily, I was born with straight hair that did not require much maintainance. Deep inside though, I wish I had hair with elegant curls instead.

I loved trying out different kinds of shampoos. Recently though, my friends have been telling me about solid shampoo bars. It’s like soap but for the hair. Shampoo bars are great for those who wish to be more environmentally friendly because regular shampoo used plastic bottle packaging that get thrown away eventually.

Out of curiosity, I researched DIY shampoo bar recipes and ended up realizing I have the ingredients on hand, most of which were from my soap making projects earlier this year. I settled with the following recipe:

0.5 lbs of goat’s milk soap base

0.5 tsp shea butter

1.0 tsp of castor oil

5.0 drops of peppermint essential oil

7.0 drops of grapefruit essential oil

Red liquid coloring

I melted the shea butter and soap base in the microwave for two minutes. Then, I added the castor oil and essential oils. I dipped two toothpicks into the red liquid coloring then dipped them into the shampoo mixture to give a pink tint to it.

I poured them into my round soap mold and was able to make around five and a half of solid shampoo.

They looked so adorable! The pink tinge was just right and they smelled lovely! Grapefruit and peppermint combo was awesome at perking up your senses!

I immediately used the smallest one to test it out. The result? Errrr…

I struggled to make it lather up enough for my long hair that’s currently past my waist. But, it did rinse out pretty easily. However, it left my hair feeling squeaky clean. That being said, my hair did not feel soft like it would have felt using regular shampoo. I struggled combing my hair because it tangled up pretty badly.

After it dried, it felt much softer than expected but did not have its usual shine. It also felt like it had all its moisture sucked out of it. Okay, maybe not that drastically. But, I was not fond of the results no matter how light and bouncy my hair felt.

I searched for reviews of people who transitioned to using solid shampoo and it turns out that I was not alone. Some recommended an acid rinse, wherein one uses apple cider vinegar, to help in the transitioning. Errr…. no thanks.

Thankfully though, it makes an awesome soap for the skin. I should probably stick to that and leave my hair alone.

I really hope manufacturing companies of bath products will be able to come up with environmentally friendlier packaging much sooner.

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