how to make a solid shampoo bar

When you learn how to make a solid shampoo bar with essential oils, you will discover an exciting world of essential oils packed with benefits for your scalp and hair, alongside beautiful fragrances.

You can create solid shampoo bars in no time by simply taking a ready-made solid shampoo base and combining it with carrier oils and essential oils. With the addition of ingredients like honey and dried petals, you can elevate your solid shampoo bar into something decadent and luxurious.

Try out our professional's favorite recipe and essential oil blend for yourself. Discover a wealth of information on the best essential oils, taking all the guesswork out. Feel great about contributing to saving the planet by reducing your plastic waste, moving to solid shampoo bars, and ditching those bottles. Have fun with this!

What Are Solid Shampoo Bars With Essential Oils?

Solid shampoo bars are just that, a solid bar, like soap, designed to wash your hair. They are a bar with all the surfactants (foaming elements) and cleansing properties you need to clean your hair, minus all the additional water you get in a bottle.

You can get conditioning bars too, but we'll only focus on solid shampoo bars for this project.

You hold them like a bar of soap, rub them into your hair, or build a good lather in your hands and use the lather to clean your hair. I have long hair and find the latter more accessible, but those with short hair might find it easier just to rub the bar across your hair. Then, just like bottled shampoo, you rinse it off.

Over the years, I have learned that not all solid shampoo bars are equal.

I have done a lot of research on this subject for this article, and while it is a project that I have dabbled in over the years, I never pursued it avidly before this.

This might be because I've had quite disappointing results with some of the commercial solid shampoo bars I've purchased. Some I have used have stripped all the natural oils from my hair, leaving it squeaky, dry, and frizzy.

I've discovered that this is because they have too much surfactant. Using a ready-made, tried, and tested base can alleviate this.

It wasn't until I found the Pebbles from Tropic that solid shampoo could be a good thing, and I have used them ever since.

Once you realize how easy they are to make for yourself using a ready-made base, you won't look back, and you will wonder why it took you so long to discover them.

However, it can take a good couple of weeks for your hair to adjust to the difference in products, so be prepared to give it some time.

The Benefits of Hair Care and Solid Shampoo With Essential Oils

To You

Shampoos and hair cleaning products are often full of sodium lauryl sulfate which is a surfactant - basically, a product that creates the foaming effect that we associate with our shampoo.

Sodium Laureth Sulphate or SLS, is now known to be quite toxic to our systems and something we should try to avoid as much as possible. Read what the David Suzuki Foundation has to say about SLS.

Learning how to make a solid shampoo bar with essential oils gives you control over the ingredients you use, and you can eliminate any you don't like the look of.

To The Planet

Shampoo and conditioners tend to come in plastic bottles. At the same time, most are recyclable; it is still perpetuating plastic going into the system, polluting the planet. Green Whale states, "In the United States alone, 550 million empty shampoo bottles are thrown away every year, enough to fill 1,164 football fields. This number does not include conditioner, body wash, or other bathing products – only shampoo bottles". We can avoid adding to that, too, when we learn how to make solid shampoo bars with essential oils.

Think about what YOU can do to help to reduce that number. Please encourage others to think about it; maybe make a couple of solid shampoo bars with essential oils for your friends and family to try out for themselves.

What Ingredients Are Best For Solid Shampoo Bars With Essential Oils

If you are a beginner, start with a ready-made solid shampoo base. I have used Stephenson's for years, and it is readily available in the US.

Solid shampoo, like shampoo itself, is one of those products that can quickly feel intimidating when defining and buying the individual components to make it from scratch. It is quite a scientific process that demands some understanding of the ingredients involved.

I will link to an excellent tutorial, so if you want to take that next step, the information is available for you to access.

You can add extras to your solid shampoo base, like exfoliants, butter, and oils. Not to mention pretty decorations like dried flower petals. There are plenty of ways that you can personalize your solid shampoo bars.

Best Essential Oils for Solid Shampoo Bars

Cedarwood essential oil is well known for its use in hair care preparations and is widely used in the cosmetic industry. Used with other essential oil, it can strengthen the hair follicles. Please read about it in Cedarwood Oil for Hair: For Long, Luscious Locks.

Lavender essential oil is one of those wonderfully gentle essential oils that can be used for the whole family, so if you are looking for an essential oil that covers all bases, this should be your first choice. Discover Is Lavender Oil Good For Hair?

Ylang Ylang essential oil acts as a natural sebum regulator, which can help keep levels balanced. This can reduce the risk of hair breakage and leave hair stronger and shinier. Read more about Ylang Ylang Essential Oil for Hair: Nature's Conditioner.

Other related articles that you may find of interest:

5 Best Essential Oils for Hair Growth: Investigating the Pros and Cons

Best Carrier Oils For Hair Loss And Regrowth: Top 9 Oils for Natural Hair Care

How to Dilute Rosemary Essential Oil for Hair

Is Peppermint Oil Good For Your Hair?

Is Tea Tree Oil Good For Hair?

How to Make Solid Shampoo Bars with Essential Oils


    • Microwave safe measuring jug
    • Stainless steel spoon or stirrer
    • Molds
    • Alcohol in a small spray bottle
    • Candy thermometer 
    • Packaging materials and labels

Optional Equipment 

    • Weigh scale
    • Backing rack


    • 500 grams/17 fl oz Ready-made solid shampoo base - I like Stephenson's for consistent results.
    • 15ml/0.5fl oz carrier oil of your choice.
    • 5 - 20 ml of a selection of essential oils or fragrances. 
    • Selection of exfoliants or dried petal decorations.


    1. Remove the ready-made solid shampoo base from the outer box, cut into 1-inch cubes, and place it into the measuring jug.
    2. Place the jug and solid shampoo base into the microwave and microwave on high for two minutes, then in 30-second blasts, until melted throughout.
    3. Leave to cool for a few moments and then add your carrier oil and any exfoliant you add; mix thoroughly until combined.
    4. Add your essential oils or fragrance and mix again thoroughly.
    5. Ensure the melted base is at around 55-60°C. 
    6. Spray your chosen mold with alcohol spray.
    7. Pour the base into the molds in equal amounts, and use a weigh scale to help you if necessary.
    8. Spray the surface of the soap with alcohol spray to pop any bubbles and create a smooth surface to the base of the solid shampoo bar. Use a pin to help you prick the bubbles if necessary.
    9. This is the point of adding any decoration to the surface of the solid shampoo bar. Bear in mind you don't want substantial soggy petals rubbed into your hair. Keep things small, light, and natural.
    10. Carefully unmold and leave to dry for a couple of hours on a baking rack in a warm place.
    11.  Wrap tightly in saran wrap to prevent moisture in the air from affecting the bar and package accordingly.
    12. Label meticulously with all ingredients and dates.

My Favorite Recipe and Essential Oil Blend For Making Solid Shampoo Bars


    • As above



    • Follow the directions above, adding the honey with the jojoba carrier oil.
    • Decorate by making a sunflower pattern with the dried and pressed calendula petals in the center of the solid shampoo bar.
    • Wrap, label, and enjoy.

Some would like to attempt something more challenging than using a solid shampoo base. During my research, I came across this beautiful solid shampoo bar tutorial from Whole Elise and thought it would be great for those who wish to take the next step in their cosmetic journey.

How Often Can I Use Solid Shampoo With Essential Oils?

Solid shampoo bars with essential oils can be used daily.

However, it is worth noting that it may take a couple of weeks for your hair to get used to the new product, so it is worth persisting with it. It can be a tricky transition at first.

I found that my hair and scalp health improved by reducing how often I washed my hair. I used to wash my hair daily, and now I try to clean it every third day.

My scalp noticed the most significant improvement and eliminated the flaking I used to get. You should give it a go for a couple of months and discover what it can do for your lovely locks.

When everyone is looking to save money, this could be a small solution benefitting your scalp, hair, and pocket, not to mention the planet. Changing from every day to every third day reduces your product and water usage throughout that time.

The Final Word

Solid shampoo bars with essential oils are worth trying because the benefits of using these products are for yourself and the planet. They are being able to both control the ingredients that you use and reduce plastic waste.

You can create a wonderful blend of essential oils perfect for your hair type. Take control of the ingredients and tailor-make the bar just for you, your friends, or your family. It is like couture for your hair.

Have fun with this and experiment with different carrier oils, essential oils, and decorations to create exciting solid shampoo bars that are a pleasure to use but highly beneficial to your hair.

Starting with simple ready-made bases is the easy place to begin your experience, and access to more information is there if you want to take things a step further and learn much more.

What are you waiting for? Go and learn how to make a solid shampoo bar with essential oils!

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