Monday, 6 February 2012

More Shampoo Bar Experiments

(Rhassoul Shampoo with Essential Oils of Bay Laurel, Lavender, Ylang Ylang & Rosemary. The scent is a DUD but I love the Shampoo Bar!!! New formula - with borax.)

I used to make a beer shampoo bar that I really liked for my hair, and somehow lost it.  Maybe my hair changed, maybe the water changed, maybe I copied something down wrong on the recipe, maybe I just became addicted to more suds in a shampoo bar ever since I exchanged shampoo bars with some fellow soapers last year.  In any case, I have been experimenting with shampoo bars for a couple of years now…  and experimenting extra hard since August last year.
(Goat Milk Shampoo with Rosemary Cedarwood and Thyme Essential Oils – This one was a DUD!)
Nothing seemed to work!  My hair seemed to get “the greasies” from any shampoo bar I tried!  It wasn’t the superfat, as I experimented from anywhere between 1% and 5% for my shampoo bars.  Could it be too much Coconut oil that I was trying now?  Could it be from water quantities?  Types of oils I was using?  I kept trying new oil formulations, different liquid quantities, various Superfatting…
(Goat Milk Shampoo with Patchouli and Cedarwood Essential Oils – Another DUD!)
I have come up with a new shape and size that I like for my shampoo bars and of all the different EO blends I tried, I have one I really like with Basil, Peppermint and Lavender.
(Avocado & Honey Shampoo with Basil, Peppermint and Lavender Essential Oils – Love the scent, but the bar is a DUD!)

(Beer, Egg and Honey, with Lemongrass, Cedarwood and Patchouli Essential Oils.This is an attempted repeat at my original favourite bar.Still curing so I haven’t tried it on my hair yet. )

One of the theories was that a shampoo bar needs a low pH…. So I tried adding a little borax and BINGO. I have a shampoo bar with a lower pH, that leaves my hair just as I like it. This bar has abundant lather, hair loving oils, and it leaves my hair lighter and fluffier than any other bar I have tried, and also the lightness lasts for days. (Photo of this bar - the Rhassoul Shampoo Bar is at the top of the page)
So if pH is the key, what other natural ways would there be to lower the pH in a shampoo bar? Suggestions?
(Avocado, Honey remake, with the new formula with borax.  Curing. Note the honey didn't mix in well... but I think I kind of like the speckled effect.)
I am so excited with my new Shampoo Bar formula!!
(Goat Milk and Silk with Rosemary, Ylang Ylang, Patchouli and Bay Laurel Essential Oils. This time the scent worked! Slightly sweet but I like it. Still in the mould as you can see here. New formula. This was the first time I attempted any soap with silk, and as I was keeping the temps low for the goat milk, it didn’t fully dissolve! So I had to fish out little silk clumps.  Next time I experiment with silk, I will use a different liquid so I can let the temps go higher!!)
By the way, although it looks simple... lining the round mould has been challenging! Any suggestions welcome...
Well, happy soaping everyone!!


Tara said...

SO sorry about all the shampoo duds lately but the beer, egg and honey soap sounds like the perfect shampoo. Unfortunately, no hints for lining a round mould. I also find it painful.

Nitya said...

Quite a lot of experimenting you did!! Love that all the bars have a pretty pink color. As far as lining the round molds, try using a slightly stiff plastic(eg. plastic sleeves which are used to slip papers into). Slip it into the mold and let it expand to the correct diameter. Then cello tape it from inside(just enough to not lose the diameter size) and then slide it out and cello tape it from outside. Tada!!! I hope you understood what I was trying to explain...LOL. This is how I did it for my round soaps and it works great.

Donna OShaughnessy said...

Jen, I am so happy ypu are out there never satisfied and always experimenting. Makes me feel less goofy about my own science experiments!

I too use the same shape for my shampoo bars as they fit in your hand so well. Keep up the great work!

Jennifer Young said...

Tara, Thanks for your comment! I do love the scent in the beer shampoo and hope that one turns out well too! xo Jen

Nitya, Thanks for the advice on lining!! I will see if it helps... xoxo Jen

Donna, I really like this size as well, although haven't mastered lining the mold yet... I guess we are just goofy experimenters!! xoxo Jen

MIKA said...

Beautiful colors and soaps!! I love the lovely pink.

I have round mold like you too(maybe same), but I don't use liner. I just block the bottom with a plastic film and rubber band.


Silvia en el bosque said...

Jen, great your experiments with shampoo. All yours seem nice, and basil eo is a good idea, but the silk is the touch, definitively.
Lemon juice or coffe are other natural ways to low the PH, but i haven´t try it with my hair. Congratulations and kisses from the forest!

Jennifer Young said...

Mika, Thank you for your comment. So, how do you get the soap out if you don't line it? I would love to be able to do that!!
xo Jen

Silvia, Thank you! I will do more experiments with silk, and maybe try lemon and coffee... I looooove the idea of a coffee shampoo bar... Gracias!! xo Jen

Topcat said...

I love your soap pics and I am so sorry you have had challenges with your formulations recently. Why not try adding lemon juice to one of your recipes? You never know.....

MelissaR said...

Here in the States you can find plastic tube liners that fit in a 3" PVC pipe mold. Much easier than trying to line it with paper.

Jennifer Young said...

Topcat, Lemon could be a great idea. I have made a lemon soap recently with blended up lemon in it (peel too). I will see how the pH goes in that one. i worry lemon could be harsh on hair, but i think I will try it!! Thanks for the suggestion! xo Jen

Melissa, Oh I think I need a liner like that!!!! Thanks for the tip. xo Jen

Pam said...


This is a photo of one of my soaps in a liner, I hope you can access this.


Let me know if you would like some to try.


Jennifer Young said...

Hi Pam, I am not able to access your photo not sure why... would love to see it! xoxo Jen said...

Dear Jen, I really like your blog. I really appreciate that you share all this info with us, so that we can learn from your experiments.I read all your blog and I can admit that you could write a book with all your nice posts:).
I added your blog to my lists of blogs( I hope you don't mind).

Jennifer Young said...

Nat, Thank you so much for the sweet sweet comment. I would add your blog to my blog roll but (still slightly technilogically challenged) I can't seem to figure out how to follow non-blogspot blogs... As for writing a book - I print my blog out each year with Blog2Print. I am still waiting to receive my 2011 JenoraSoaps Blog print out, this year I included the comments in the book. I missed them in 2010. So really... I have written 2 books!! You could too! xoxox Jen

Amy Warden said...

First of all, you are rocking the shampoo bar experiments!! I'm so glad you found a formula that works!! I don't line my round molds, just put them in the freezer. Then pull them out and let them start to sweat before trying to push the soap out. Still takes some hefty pushing, but it works.

If you want to see the photo in the comment, just cut and paste the URL without the IMG tags, it will show up in the browser. I found poly tubing like what she's using in the photo here and they do ship internationally.

Jennifer Young said...

Amy, thank you for the tips. I think I am going to try NOT lining this mold and just popping it in the freezer. thanks for your help. I have been trying every which was to upload the friendship soap video onto YouTube to my new channel Jenorasoaps but it seems the file is too big... I will finally get there!!! xo Jen said...

I use PVC pipe molds for my soaps... I pop them in the freezer, then use a can of something soup and push them out.
raisedbyavillage . com

Jennifer Young said...

Janet, Thanks for your comment and tip! I think I will do the PVC thing as well. That way, I could make it as long as I like. xoxoxo Jen

Anonymous said...

Just a suggestion on moulds and lining that works for me.

I have a couple of silicone loaf moulds, but I find them far fussier to remove my soap loaves from than the simple, oblong, wooden mould a friend's husband made for me (holds 3kgs of soap batter).

I line it with greaseproof paper, then cut open a plastic garbage bag, line it again with that, then tape the edges of the bag around the outside of the mould with simple electrical tape.

The soap, when hardened, lifts out so effortlessly by just grabbing both ends of the garbage bag and pulling the whole thing up. No more cursing silicone moulds :D

Jennifer Young said...

Thank you for your comment and suggestion!! xo Jen

Dayleeyah said...

I am new to soaping and want to make a shampoo bar as well. I have dreadlocs. Can you elaborate a bit about how much borax you added to your formula and if it affected anything during saponification. I've made a shampoo bar with hibiscus, rosehip oil, and the regular base oils, it's still curing...but now you have me thinking about PH.