Workshop Notes: Shampoo & Conditioner

We hope you enjoyed today's Shampoo and Conditioner Bar workshop!

The conditioner bar that you made during the workshop can be removed from the mold immediately and used whenever you want. 

The shampoo bars should be removed from the mold within 48 hours and set aside in a ventilated space for about four weeks for best results. This will allow for complete saponification and the evaporation of excess water.
We would love to see your work!
If you enjoyed the workshop, we encourage you to tell friends and family, share your experience and photographs on Starlite Soap Studio’s social media, and tag us!

Please sign up for our other soap, lotion, bath bomb and candle workshops. They are always informative, interactive, and tons of fun!


Today’s Workshop

We recapped the basics of cold process soap making, as discussed in our Beginner's Soap Making Workshop. Every oil lend's its own unique qualities to a bar of soap, and will optimize a bar's hardness, conditioning qualities, lather and cleansing qualities.

Each oil has its own saponification factor, which requires a different quantity of sodium hydroxide to properly saponify it into soap. If you use too much sodium hydroxide, you will be left with a block of harsh, skin-irritating soap, if you use too little you could be left with an oily, partly unsaponified soap that is prone to rancidity. Measure carefully for perfect results.  

If you decide to adjust your soap recipe, be sure to use a Lye Calculator. Our preferred lye calculator can be found here.  


A basic equipment and materials list


Measuring spoons

Digital weight scale

Fats & Oils for your specific recipe

Hand and eye protection

Sodium Hydroxide

Heat-resistant mixing bowls or jugs

Distilled water 

Whisk and spatula

Essential oils or fragrance oils

Soap Mold


Stick blender 

Additives (exfoliants, nutrients, herbs)

Shampoo Bar

The usual reason to cleanse our hair is to remove the build-up of sebum without stripping out so much as to make hair unmanageable.

The shampoos that most people use are synthetic detergents such as sodium lauryl/laureth sulfate and cocamidopropyl betaine, designed to cheaply and effectively cut grease - essentially the same products used to wash dishes or scrub floors.

A soap is a milder, gentler product created through the process of saponification, creating a substance that humans have used for thousands of years to remove oil and dirt from our hair and skin. In bar form, it’s more economical and environmentally smarter than buying a product that is largely made of water.

In the workshop, we discussed OILY, DRY and NORMAL hair, and we made a batch of shampoo bars for one of these hair types - we formulated our shampoo bars so that the dry hair shampoo was superfatted to a higher level (12%) than the normal (6%) and oily hair (3%) bars.  

We also discussed some essential oils which may be beneficial for each hair type, as follows: 

Cedarwood:  *Normalizes dry and oily scalp  *Stimulates scalp and hair follicles  *Helps treat hair loss and dandruff  *Antiseptic and astringent

Eucalyptus:   *Antiseptic   *Dandruff treatment

Lavender:  *Helps itchy scalp and dandruff  *Helps balance natural scalp oils  *Soothes scalp and calms hair   *Promotes hair growth

Lemon & Citrus Oils:  *Treatment for dry scalp and dandruff  *Helps balance natural scalp oil production   *Adds natural shine   *Stimulates the scalp

Lemongrass:   *Balances scalp oil production  *Strengthens hair follicles 
*Promotes hair growth

Peppermint & Spearmint: *Dry hair *Promotes growth by stimulating circulation
*Dandruff & itchy scalp treatment

Rosemary:  *Strengthens hair follicles  *Dandruff treatment  *Promotes hair growth  *Conditions hair

Tea Tree:  *Oily hair  *Treatment for dry scalp, dandruff and lice  *Soothes dry, flaky scalp  *Unclogs hair follicles  *Promotes hair growth


The Shampoo Bar Formulation: 

Our Shampoo Bar differs slightly from our usual soap bar formulation.

The oils used are the same for oily, normal or dry hair. Because we superfat to different percentages, the oily hair shampoo bar will have less residual, unsaponified fats than the normal or dry hair shampoo bars. You’ll find dozens of shampoo bar recipes on the internet for every type of hair, but we love this one!  

190g distilled water

71g Sodium Hydroxide (oily hair),
69g Sodium Hydroxide (normal hair) 
65g Sodium Hydroxide (dry/damaged hair.)

3ml salt
5ml sugar 

190g coconut oil
190g olive oil
150g castor oil
110g sunflower oil
110g sustainable palm oil

5 - 10g scent
Colour as required.


Don’t forget!  If you change the types or volumes of oils in your formulation, be sure to run your recipe through a lye calculator to ensure that your shampoo will be saponified correctly.

With gloves and goggles, carefully dissolve the sodium hydroxide into the distilled water, then add the salt for hardness and the sugar for extra lather.

Allow to cool.

Heat the oils to about 45 Celcius, and with the Sodium Hydroxide solution cooled to a similar temperature, combine everything together with scent and colour until you reach a medium trace level, then pour into your mold. 

Allow to cure for at least 3 to 4 weeks before use.


Conditioner Bar 

This conditioner bar is used to improve the feel, appearance and manageability of hair while removing negative static charges and restoring some of the oils that we strip out while washing our hair.

After washing your hair, slide the conditioner bar down the length of the hair a few times and massage well. Leave for a couple of minutes before rinsing. 


120g BTMS Conditioning Emulsifier

20g   Cetyl Alcohol

10g   Cocoa Butter

10g   Shea Butter

10g   Avocado Oil

  4g   Hydrolyzed Oat Protein


8G    Honeyquat

4G    Fragrance


Gently melt the main ingredients together in a double boiler or microwave. Do not allow to overheat.

When cooled to approximately 50 Celcius, mix in the cool-down ingredients and then pour into your mold. Allow the bars to harden fully. No curing time is required.


That's it!

This brief re-cap was designed to jog your memory about the workshop. Do you have any questions or concerns?  Please don't hesitate to contact us at hello@starlitesoapstudio - we love to hear from our past participants. 

Thank you again for your business, we appreciate it, and we hope to see you again soon!

© Starlite Soap Studio 2020