This is a fairly basic cold process soap using coconut oil, palm oil, olive oil, castor oil and cocoa butter. All water replaced with coconut milk, colorant is spirulina powder. I soaped at about 115 degrees. For the scent I used a blend of tart apple and anjou pear.
The weather is changing, the maple leaves are beginning to turn that means it is squash season. You can use many varieties of winter squash for this recipe, pumpkin and carnival squash are easy to find alternatives.
3 acorn squash, cut in half and de-seeded
1/2 onion, chopped
2 tablespoons avocado oil
1 tablespoon curry powder
4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1 cup coconut milk
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
salt & pepper
Preheat over to 350 degrees. Bake acorn squash until tender, About 40 minutes.
Meanwhile Add oil to pot, saute onion and curry powder until onion is soft, add vegetable stock and simmer until squash is baked.
Scoop flesh from the squash with a spoon and add it to the broth, simmer together to reduce for about 20 minutes. Transfer to a food processor in portions and blend until smooth.
Return to pan and add coconut milk, nutmeg, salt and pepper to taste. Return to simmer for another 20 minutes before removing from heat and serving.
I made Shampoo Bars with Coconut Milk, Coconut Oil, Hemp Seed Oil, Olive Oil, Castor Oil, Palm Oil, Jojoba Oil and Sweet Almond Oil. I added Henna Powder, Citric Acid and Panthenol, Rosemary EO, Tea Tree EO and Peppermint EO.
I made the mistake of trying to cut them way, way to early so they are going to rest for a few days. I consistently make harder soaps that can be cut the next morning so I wasn’t even thinking about how soft this was going to be until the knife was already in the soap. The rest got almost a week of sitting before I cut them. I used a brand new mold with better insulation and got a bit of overheating in some of these bars, luckily these are just for family.
For shampoo bars most people forgo the use of fragrance oils and colorants. I decided to do the same. The addition of Rosemary, Tea Tree and Peppermint essential oils are more beneficial to hair than a fragrance oil could ever be.
I am using the other half of my frozen coconut milk cubes for this recipe. so half coconut milk half distilled water. Because of the sugars it should reach a higher temperature, hence the freezing of the coconut milk. The soap wont be insulated at the end because I don’t want a mess, I find that my soap mold fits perfectly into the door part of my freezer so I will place it there until it cools off.
This soap will have two layers that are both going to discolor so I am not particularly worried about scorching. I expect it to darken considerably from the fragrance oils. I will be using pearly white mica to bring it down to a lighter brown vanilla layer and tan espresso layer with flecks of finely ground coffee. Because the fragrances will discolor differently I will have twice as much Mica in the Vanilla portion. I am also hoping to get a nice jagged look between the layers. For my extra leftover soap I made individual Vanilla and Espresso soaps without mixing them(much).
10.25 oz Coconut Oil
10.75 oz Palm Oil
10.25 oz Olive Oil
2 oz Castor Oil
1.75 oz Cocoa Butter
4.99 oz Sodium Hydroxide
5.77 oz Distilled Water
5.77 oz Coconut Milk
2-3 tablespoons Bentonite Clay
Pearly White Mica
1.2 oz Espresso Fragrance
1.2 oz Vanilla Fragrance
one pinch of Espresso, fine ground
I added the clay to the oils before the lye and I added the frozen coconut milk cubes to slushy, near frozen distilled water just before incorporating the lye into the water.
At light trace I separated the batter and added the mica then added the fragrance oil to the bottom layer, and brought it to a fairly thick trace in an attempt to make jagged edges that wont squash as soon as I layer on top of it. Once the bottom layer is poured and ready to go I added the fragrance to the second batch then layered it gently on top. In reality my technique evolved into using a spatula to create channels to pour soap into. I’ll have to regroup and try that technique again some time.
Cut Bars & Discolor Progression
This is a great recipe for greasy, oily hair or if you have long, straight, fine hair that gets stringy with the slightest bit of oil. I use this wash or a variation of it every 7-10 days.
1/2 tsp Yucca Root
1/2 tsp Rosemary
1/8 C Distilled Water
1/8 C Coconut Milk
2 tbs Aloe Vera Juice
1 tbs Honey
1 tbs Dark Rye Flour
1 ml Nettle Extract
8 drops Lavender Essential Oil
The yucca root I am using is finely shredded; powdered yucca root should work the same. I got mine from an herbal tea shop or it can be found in shops that sell herbs in glass jars.
In a very small sauce pan or tea pot heat the distilled water until boiling. (I usually start with about a 1/4 cup to make up for evaporation and then measure an exact 1/8 cup when I’m done and adding it to the recipe.)
To the boiling water add the yucca root and rosemary. Yucca root contains natural saponins it will produce bubbles and has soap like qualities… so be careful or you will have a bubbly mess. Continue to boil gently for a few minutes then remove from heat, stir gently, then let it steep for about 20 minutes. Stir well and then strain out the yucca root and rosemary bits and discard. (I mixed mine with a whisk before straining it, if you use a spoon or something you probably wouldn’t get bubbles)
Add the coconut milk, aloe vera and dark rye flour to the yucca root rosemary water and mix until all of the lumps have dissolved.
Then add the honey, nettle extract and essential oil. I used lavender but rosemary ,eucalyptus or tea tree would also work well. If you leave it unscented it smells like dusty(yucca root) coconut.
What you should end up with is a thin slightly lumpy batter like substance that doesn’t lather, this is exactly what you want. (It’s so uninteresting I have never actually taken a picture of it, my apologies.) Mix it really well and then slop it on your head generously and massage it through your hair and massage your scalp. Now relax for about 10 minutes before washing it out. You have to work the rye flower out of your hair, it can be stubborn. Make sure you have time to let it dry and then brush thoroughly with a boars hair brush and the rye flour bits will be gone if you didn’t get it all in the rinse. Once you’ve had to rinse flour out of your hair a few times you get the hang of how to wash it and brush it out. Here is my hair about 24 hours later when I had a chance to take a picture of it.
I tend to get oily buildup in my hair, and seriously dry skin. The same with the skin on my face. This lead me to one day throw out my face wash and I started using natural kitchen ingredients like banana and honey and the oil cleaning method and my problem went away so I thought… is shampoo any different than face wash so I decided to stop using it and see where that would take me. I learned that shampoo as we know it is a fairly modern thing, less than 100 years old so what did people do before that? Whatever it was obviously worked for people I am sure. So I started investigating and reading here and there when I would find articles. I gave up face wash for something better, before that I gave up deodorant with little to no problem(aside from adjusting to the 12 hour thing) so I have some determination to see this through but with hair it is a lot more difficult, modern shampoo strips all of the oil from your scalp, it makes your body over produce oil. Once you stop using it your scalp still over produces oil for some time because it’s probably been doing so your whole life until it realizes it doesn’t have to anymore, once you get past that phase and your scalp stops freaking out and adjusts to a normal amount of oil production things are much easier but that transition phase is no fun at all, especially if you have near waist long hair like me.
I Knew I wanted to use kitchen ingredients instead of spending money on different products and I decided early on I honestly don’t want to deal with baking soda in my hair, it’s the most common alternative but it is harsh and it’s just not an experiment I want to try so I’ve been using other methods and I was successfully shampoo free for about a month, I was getting really frustrated from time to time and had been relying on dry shampoo that I made with cornstarch and a little bit of cocoa powder and only using a drop of shampoo about every 5 days.
About two weeks in I used henna which I left in for about 4 hours and the lemon juice and the henna cleaned away all the oil and build up. After that I gave up shampoo entirely and have been using conditioner only, an herbal vinegar rinse and dry shampoo and a boar bristle brush. I am still struggling to find out what works and fighting past the transition. I noticed the ends of my hair getting very dry and was becoming static charged when brushed. It was also still very oily on the top and I made the terrible decision to moisturize with coconut oil. This resulted in having to wash my hair, twice! With shampoo(my bf’s harsh dandruff shampoo) to remove all of the oil.
That was yesterday. I am wondering if I need to adjust how I use my dry shampoo and just use corn starch only, I also have arrowrroot powder which I haven’t used yet, I probably need to adjust when and how I use it… which was quite often to deal with the transition. It was drying the length and loosing the battle with the transition.
I will certainly be using oil free hair masks from now on!
I mixed up some coconut milk, aloe vera juice and eucalyptus essential oil and I am going to go back to this method, you freeze it into cubes in an ice tray and dethaw what is needed, I like this because I can further adapt the recipe for the day by adding ingredients just before washing. I get the idea that I will need to change my method depending on how my hair is feeling that day, much like I do with washing my face.
I have quite a road of trial and error ahead of me. I also have some herbal tea sea salt washes in mind as well as honey and clarifying lemon and clay recipes.
I’ve been avoiding shampoo alternative recipes because everyone seems to have a story about their long and arduous journey to find what works for them. It seems to be the common theme among blogs I have visited. Maybe I’ll have better luck I am telling myself…
After some reading I have decided I do not want to even try baking soda in my hair due to the possible damage it causes so there is one off of my list. I just got a bottle of Aloe Vera so I started with this recipe.
I added a little bit of jojoba oil and vitamin e. (too much in hindsight)
I mixed this up per the recipe, poured into ice cube tray to freeze, I refrigerated half the remainder and massaged the other half into my hair and took a relaxing bath where I enjoyed my last bath bomb. It may be my skin overproducing oil or it might be that I made the mistake of rinsing my hair with cool water, I’m not loving it today because my hair is oily, but despite that my hair is clean and feels nice. I’ll give it a fair chance before I give up on it.