DIY Cosmetica

Shikakai Solid Shampoo


Shampoo bars are such a great alternative to regular liquid shampoos, they are plastic-free, easy to travel with, they last for many showers and you can design them according to your hair needs. This recipe is using shikakai powder, Shikakai is extremely gentle and considered a natural hair cleanser. I have used Shikakai powder for a long time and I really enjoy adding it to my hair care.


Phase A

  • 40 gr SCI (sodium cocoyl isethionate)
  • 18 gr Cornstarch
  • 4 gr Coconut oil
  • 6 gr Argan oil
  • 4 gr Olivem 1000
  • 4 gr cetyl alcohol
  • 4 gr Shikaki powder
  • 2 gr Citric acid

Phase B

  • 2 gr Panthenol
  • 2 gr Wheat protein
  • 2 gr Silk protein
  • 10 gr Coco betaine
  • 1 gr Lavender essential oil
  • 1 gr Preservative (Cosgard)


  1. In a heat resistant beaker, place all ingredients from phase A, then place the beaker in a double boiler on a medium heat, mix every now and then.

Shikakai Solid Shampoo 1

  1. After the ingredients form a paste texture you can take the beaker out of the heat.

Shikakai Solid Shampoo 2

  1. Let the mixture cool down (less than 40 degrees celsius) before adding the ingredients from Phase .

  2. Once adding the phase B ingredients, mix everything and shape the shampoo bars.

  3. You can shape the bars using your hands, I usually shape them into balls and then flattened them a little. You can also place them into silicone mold, pressing them hard into the mold, Another option is using 3D mold.

Shikakai Solid Shampoo 3

  1. Once your bars are shaped they just need 24-48 hours to cure (to harden) and they are ready to use.

Shikakai Solid Shampoo 4


  • My favorite surfactant for solid bars is SCI, it's a very mild and gentle cleansing agent, obtained from coconut oil so it’s suitable for vegans. It gives a great lather, and it is used in many baby products so I can use it on my little one as well as the other family members. However if you want to try a different surfactant you can replace it with Sodium Coco Sulfate (SCS) or Sodium Cocoyl Glutamate.

  • Cornstarch helps to firm the bar and also gives volume to the hair, and absorbs dirt from the scalp. You can replace it with yucca starch or add more SCI instead of the cornstarch.

  • I used coconut and argan oil but you can switch them to any oil you prefer (Shea butter, avocado butter, avocado oil).

  • I have used Olivem 1000 as an emulsifier and cetyl alcohol as an emollient, both helps with creamy smooth texture and both are conditioning agents to the hair.

  • If you can’t get shikakai powder you can replace it with reetha powder (soapnuts), which is also a natural cleanser.

  • I always add citric or lactic acid to my shampoo bars, for the shampoo bar to be PH adequate to the hair we need to lower the PH level to 5.5-6, by adding the citric acid to phase A I ensure my bars will be in that PH range. If you skip the citric acid your bars will probably have a higher PH level which is not recommended for hair products, if you wash your hair ,after shampooing it, with vinegar that usually will balance the PH level of the hair.

  • The phase B ingredients are optional (other than the preservative which is mandatory), you can replace most of them with other ingredients, the proteins you can replace with plant extracts or skip them and add the amount to the chosen surfactant. You can skip the Coco betaine which is another gentle surfactant and add the amount to the SCI. If you can combine another surfactant you’ll enjoy a better lather in your bars, but it’s not mandatory. You can replace the lavender essential oil in any other essential oil you prefer (eucalyptus, rosemary or tea tree are great for the hair), you can also use a fragrance oil instead.

  • I used cosgard as my preservative but you can change it to your preservative of choice, just remember to check the percentage recommended by the supplier and to make sure the preservative is suitable for this PH range.

  • The best way to ensure that your shampoo bar will last a long time is to place it in a soap dish where it can dry out between uses.

Enjoy your bars!