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How to Make Homemade Liquid Shampoo Using Liz Ardlady's Famous Shampoo Bar Recipe

Sharon has been making and selling soaps and personal care products for about five years.

Homemade Shampoo All Dressed Up in Nice Bottle. The color is normally amber, but this batch took in a more reddish tint due to the addition of a little dark patchouli essential oil.

Homemade Shampoo All Dressed Up in Nice Bottle. The color is normally amber, but this batch took in a more reddish tint due to the addition of a little dark patchouli essential oil.

How to Make Real Soap Shampoos From Scratch

I began making homemade shampoo around five years ago and was delighted with the improvement in my hair. I found that it made my hair feel as soft and silky as it did when I was ten years old.

The reason why many people prefer a "real soap" shampoo (and body soap) is because most commercial shampoos, liquid soaps, and bar soaps are "detergent bars" that strip your skin, scalp, and hair of oils. They can cause excessive drying of skin and scalp, resulting in scaly skin and dandruff. Plus, many contain sodium lauryl sulfate, which is an allergen for some people, and many contain harmful phthalates.

My earliest homemade shampoo recipe was made by grating 100% olive oil soap, whirling it in a blender with either distilled water or rosewater, and adding canned coconut milk to supply a touch of coconut oil for moisturizing. This was great stuff, and I didn't notice spoilage even stored at room temperature, but any concoction made with milks, hydrosols (like rosewater), or even distilled water will spoil after a while, even if refrigerated, and such combinations can be full of bacteria, even if they have no tell-tale smell or bad appearance.

My coconut milk liquid shampoo is easy to make—you don't need to be a soapmaker to whip up a batch. Here is the easy recipe.

But if you are a soapmaker, the next step is to make a shampoo bar. Shampoo bars are a type of bar soap that is specially formulated to work well on hair.

Most of us, regardless of whether we make our own soap, know that neither homemade nor commercial bar soaps work very well on hair. They seem to work okay for some people, and men especially can have success using any old bar of soap for shampoo, but most of us find that ordinary bar soaps leave our hair dull and gummy.

However, it's possible to make a homemade bar soap only from all-natural oils and butters (along with lye and water) that leave your hair silky and shiny and keep your scalp healthy and free of debris. You just need the right formula!

This is why I was delighted to discover Liz Ardlady's shampoo bar recipe. Liz has freely shared her recipe—along with all the research she has done to develop her formula—on her blog and in many soap-making groups. The blog explains why she chose particular oils and butters to use for hair. Her shampoo bar formula is so good it has made her a bit of a celebrity among soap makers. So my next step in making a great shampoo was Liz's recipe.

Here is her recipe, which includes a couple of variations.

After I had used Liz's shampoo bar recipe for a year or so, I became interested in making liquid soap and thought, "Why not make a liquid shampoo using Liz's formula?"

It turns out that Liz's shampoo bar formula can easily be adapted to make an absolutely lovely liquid soap! It makes up into a liquid soap that is a perfectly clear, pale amber.

Note: For some people (like me), natural soap shampoos produce outstanding results immediately. Many other people have problems with these shampoos. See the sidebar to understand the cause of these problems and what to do about them.

Shampoo bars can be lovely too! This one is mad with Liz Ardlady's formula and scented with geranium essential oil and sprinkled with white mica.

Shampoo bars can be lovely too! This one is mad with Liz Ardlady's formula and scented with geranium essential oil and sprinkled with white mica.

Another shampoo bar made with Liz Ardlady's formula: Scented with ylang-ylang and orange essential oils.

Another shampoo bar made with Liz Ardlady's formula: Scented with ylang-ylang and orange essential oils.

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