Make a Natural Shampoo

All-natural shampoo is in great demand. Making your own all-natural shampoo requires more effort than picking up a bottle of shampoo from a grocery store shelf, but the extra effort results in the satisfaction of knowing that you are taking steps to protect your health and your hair.

What You'll Need
  • 4 oz Jojoba oil
  • 4 oz Castor oil
  • 8 oz Extra virgin olive oil (plus extra for molds)
  • 20 oz Water
  • 2.74 oz Lye
  • 1 1/2 tbs Vegetable glycerin
  • Stick Blender
  • Slow cooker
  • Grater
  • 30 Drops Peppermint essential oil
  • Candy Thermometer
  • Gloves
  • Safety glasses
  • Glass or stainless steel bowl
  • Stainless steel or wooden mixing spoon
  • Soap molds or muffin pans

A: Add Oils to Crock-pot

Pour all oils—except the peppermint essential oil—into the slow cooker. Turn on the slow cooker and place it on the highest setting.

B: Take Safety Precautions

Put on your gloves and safety glasses. Because you will be working with lye, this step is imperative. Lye is caustic and can burn the skin. Keep children out of the area.

 

C: Mix Water and Lye

For ventilation, place your bowl under a running range hood, or do this outside. Pour eight ounces of water into your bowl. Slowly, add the lye and stir until it dissolves. The order of this step is crucial. Do not pour the water into the lye because it could cause a violent reaction and overflow. Always add the lye to the water—not the water to the lye.

D: Add Lye Solution to Oils

Pour the lye solution into the oils in the slow cooker. Use a stick blender to blend the mixture. Continue blending until the mixture thickens to the consistency of runny pudding. This point is termed trace. Once the mixture has reached trace, you can stop blending. Allow the mixture to cook until it becomes thick but not stiff. Use the spoon to take a sample of the soap. Place it on a plate. If it solidifies as it cools, the soap is ready. If it is still runny, allow it to cook longer. The cooking temperature of your crock-pot will determine the length of time the soap must cook. Note the required time and record it for future use.

E: Add Essential Oil

When the soap has finished, turn off the crock-pot. Stir the soap to encourage cooling. Use the candy thermometer to check the temperature. Once the temperature is below 153 degrees, the point at which the peppermint essential oil will not burn off, add the peppermint essential oil to the soap. Stir vigorously to incorporate it well.

F: Mold Soap

Lubricate the soap molds or muffin tins lightly with olive oil. Pour a few drops into each mold, and use your fingers to coat the entire surface. Pour the soap mixture into the molds. Try to do this quickly because the soap will solidify when it has cooled. When the molds are filled, shake them back and forth to release any air bubbles trapped in the soap. Allow the soap to sit at least 24 hours before using it.

G: Grate Soap

Grate four ounces of soap using a grater. If you grate it finely, the process will go faster.

H: Dissolve Soap

Boil 12 ounces of water in a saucepan. Add the grated soap, and stir until the soap has completely dissolved into the water.

I: Add Glycerin

Add the glycerin to the dissolved soap solution and stir it thoroughly.

J: Add Essential Oil

Mix the 10 drops of peppermint essential oil into the soap solution. It gives the shampoo a nice scent and helps prevent bacterial growth. For safety, store the shampoo in the refrigerator between uses. It should keep for two weeks.
The hardest part of making your own shampoo is making the soap, but once you have practiced, it is much easier. If you prefer a shampoo bar, stop at step six, but if you prefer liquid shampoo, follow all 10 steps. That is all it takes to make your own all-natural shampoo.