Shampoo Bars

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.

Spring Hair Conditioner Recipe

I ran out of hair conditioner while moving so I made this up quick.

I went heavy on the extracts and there is almost no oil in it because I co-wash. If you use this small amount of oil, melting the BTMS-50 in a double boiler can be a bit of a struggle, make sure the Distilled Water is also hot and whisk as you mix them, I recommend checking the instructions and temperature listings on the ingredient packages so you know when to add your extracts. I scented it with Pikake flower and tart apple as my last ingredients along with the preservative.


28.3 grams BTMS -50

5.66 grams Argan Oil

411 grams Distilled Water

5.66 grams Pantenol

28.3 grams Aloe Extract

28.3 grams Avocado Extract

28.3 grams Nettle Extract

28.3 grams Liquid Silk

5.66 grams Hydrolyzed Oats

5.66 milliliters Optiphen ND



Project List

My hobbies have grown so my project list needs categories now, here’s what I’ve got in the works, who knows what I will get to, I should have some free time in a few weeks.


Cold Process Soap Making

Idea: I made a lot of soap last year, I have  isolated my favorites and will be recreating some variation of them. All of my soap sold or was given away last year so I only have the newer two that I made in November that were curing at the time I ran out.

  1. Charcoal soap split (Lavender/Rosemary Soap, Cedar/Bergamot)
  2. Breton Sea Salt Bar
  3. Coconut Milk split scent ( hawaiian jasmine, sandalwood)
  4. Beer Soap (new soap type)

Other Soap

  1. Shaving Cream (will run out soon)
  2. Laundry and Dish Soap ( will run out soon)

Lip Balm

This is meant to be as a set for holiday presents but it didn’t happen. I will be infusing the black tea into the oils.

  1. Black Tea & Lavender
  2. Black Tea & Peppermint
  3. Black Tea & Bergamot


I might make these with Black Tea Infused Oil as well.

  1. Apple/Sage Conditioner
  2. Apple/Sage Lotion


I’m an extreme beginner, I still cant sew a straight line or understand some terms and instructions. The seam ripper is my best friend and I keep stabbing myself with pins and burning myself on the iron… but I have determination.

  1. Skirt
  2. Purse
  3. Backpack
  4. Jean Quilt
  5. Tri-Fold Wallet

Paper Projects

  1. Handmade Paper with Botanical Imbeds
  2. Hardcover hand made blank journal


  1. El Pollo Loco Chicken ( pineapple and lime glaze)
  2. Teriyaki Tofu ( I can’t get it right!! Eventually…)
  3. Corn Tortillas


Winter Hair Conditioner

I have several recipes I want to try so I worked out a change of recipe each season depending which ingredients fit the season best.

My summer conditioner was argan and nettle, I’m trading those for carrot, oat and avocado.



411 grams Distilled Water

28 grams BTMS-50

6 grams Panthenol

30 grams Oat Extract

28 grams Carrot Extract

28 grams Liquid Silk

6 grams Hydrolyzed Oats

6 grams Avocado Oil

1% Optiphen ND


In a double boiler heat the BTMS-50 and avocado oil until it is clear and mixed well.

In a microwave heat the distilled water past the melting point of your BTMS-50 but not to boiling point.

With a whisk add the Pantenol into the water until disolved, then add the BTMS-50 into the water and whisk constantly for about 5 minutes. While mixing add the remaining ingredients.

While still heated pour into bottles and set aside to cool for at least 8 hours before putting the cap on.


Beard Oil and Coffee Scrub Recipes

Got a few requests this week, here’s what I am up to this evening.



Beard Oil

1 oz Jojoba Oil

1 oz Sweet Almond Oil

2 tablespoons Argan Oil

3-5 drops Cedarwood Essential Oil

3-5 Sandalwood Essential Oil

Mix all ingredients together and then pour onto dropper bottles.

Coffee Scrub with Coconut Oil

1/2 cup fine ground coffee

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup coconut oil

1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

Mix well, (don’t forget to add the preservative of your choice) place in wide rimmed container or 4 oz canning jars. The coffee and pumpkin pie spices takes a few days to defuse into the coconut oil. When that happens a wonderful scent develops.


A problem I have with coffee scrub is it looks like the yummiest cake batter you have ever seen when you mix it.

Hair Conditioner Recipe

Here we go, I’ve been reading up on this for a while a few things to get familiar with before you start should be cationic quaternary compound’s and PH.

I feel like I am ready to try making a batch of hair conditioner. I researched ingredients for a while then built some basic recipes around what I have on hand. Sketched out several recipes for General Use(Argan & Nettle), Moisturizing (Coconut & Avocado) , Dandruff(Tea Tree, Avocado & Nettle), Winter Hair (Carrot & Oat), Invigorating(Jojoba, Rosemary & Peppermint).

My first attempt is as follows, this was my ‘general use’ idea.

90.5% Distilled Water

3% BTMS-50

1% Panthenol

3% Nettle Extract

1% Argan Oil

1% Fragrance (I used green apple)

1% Optiphen


It was a little on the thin side, and very appley! If I were remaking this recipe right now I would make the following adjustments 0.5% fragrance and 4% BTMS-50.






Rye Flour Hair Wash

I’ve been doing this nopoo thing for a little over 3 years. Most of that time I have used some variation of a rye flour hair wash because it works so well.

What is nopoo?

They say it’s a modern resurgence of washing your hair with something other than shampoo or something like that. It is most often associate with baking soda and apple cider vinegar but it’s also much more than that. Shampoo, as we know it, came into existence in the early 1900’s. Nopoo (as I  define it) pulls from the global history of what people did before modern shampoo and also adding in modern understanding of hair care science. Initially I was interested in the history of pre-industrial age hair care ingredients from an anthropological standpoint. I gathered and tried many of those things, in the name of science. This is where that random interest eventually lead me. As I see more people becoming interested in this particular hair wash I thought I’d share my experience with it.

The Flour:

There are various brands of  dark rye flour and rye flour, you just want to make sure there are no additions like gluten. I generally find mine in the health food aisle with the specialty grains. It costs me about $3 for a bag and it takes me over a year to use it all.

This is something you mix right before you use it, do not store it pre-mixed. I highly recommend you do not use this in the shower it can lead to drain clog issues. It’s best done in a kitchen sink.

My Technique:

Most of the time I find 1 tablespoon in a ramekin and  a 3/4 cup warm water is just right. but you can adjust that ratio one way or the other.

As my scalp adjusted to nopoo and stopped the crazy oil production, the space between it needing washing stretched out considerably. In the beginning I was washing with rye every 4-6 days and now roughly every two weeks. The time frame of when to wash varies from person to person and can change over time.

I mix a tablespoon of rye flour in a small bowl with warm water. (I suggest placing a 4 qt bowl in the sink if you have really long hair to keep away from the drain and I fill that also with warm water.) Hot water just causes problems and should be avoided. I wet my hair and then work in the rye flour for about 2 minutes, focusing just on my scalp, roots and any oily areas before washing it out.

Rye flour is very good at clearing away oil and build up, it shouldn’t need to be left in your hair beyond a few minutes of scalp massaging. Rye flour is mildly exfoliating so don’t scrub your scalp in a vigorous manner that will damage your hair.

Stop rinsing when it seems like no more is coming out of your hair, not all of the rye is going to come out while your hair is wet. It’s more effective to spend your time drying your hair instead, once your hair is dry the bits fall away practically on their own, but I recommend towel drying and brushing your hair over a sink especially with long hair just as it’s going from damp to dry to remove any remaining debris in an easy to clean location.

The end result is that my scalp and hair are clean and feel as clean as using any shampoo. Rye will leave your hair feeling very soft and it shines for about the cost of a nickel every two weeks. For showers in the interim of my rye washes I will wash and scrub my scalp with my fingertips and warm water I am careful not to get any soap in my hair or hot water on my scalp.



Henna Hair Dye

After years of using chemical dye to try and maintain red hair I started using henna. It made a world of difference because I had thin, fine hair and it strengthened it. My hair became thicker, stronger and shiny and I have used henna ever since.

Henna is something that is often over complicated. It get’s processed and unnecessary ingredients get used and you end up with something containing metallic salts and your hair turns green. I wouldn’t recommend using any of those kinds of henna with added chemicals. It doesn’t need much more than lemon juice to activate it and I generally keep it that simple. Occasionally I add paprika to slightly alter the color but most of the time I just use henna powder, lemon juice and water.

There are natural ways to slightly adjust the color of your henna. Paprika seems to make my hair a little more copper. Coffee and rosemary will darken it slightly and chamomile tea is used to make it a bit lighter. If you add amla you will get a brunette color and indigo can be used for black hair dye. Whatever the starting color of your hair is will also factor in because henna does not dye over your hair color it binds to the protein in your hair and blends with whatever hair color you are starting with.

So this is the henna I am using and I get it from



It is a plant based green powder like this.


If you have hair that has been dyed with chemicals a natural henna like this is safe to use but a henna with added chemicals will probably turn your hair green so make sure you know what you have got. I usually add about a half a cup of fresh squeezed lemon juice, some people use apple cider vinegar. I have also tried citric acid powder but the color did not come out as nice.


You want to mix it until it is a thick slippery sort of paste, After all of the lemon juice is added then use as much water as you need to get it to this consistency. I usually use a fork to mash it up.



After it is all mixed cover it with plastic wrap and set it in a warm spot for 24 hours. After this point you will need to have plastic gloves on at all times when touching it or else you will dye the skin on your hands. I generally place it on the warm stove after I cook something or while I am baking something, or just near the heater overnight if it’s winter the gentle heat helps the dye release. When I lived in the desert I could get the dye to release in a matter of hours if I set the bowl on the porch when it was 100 degrees. The mild acid of the lemon, vinegar, tea or coffee is also essential for the dye to release.

After 24 hours you should see the surface of the mix has darkened in color slightly and it has lost its green for a bit of brownish red color from the dye. At this point you want to add water at about 1/8 – 1/4 of a cup at a time and mix well before adding more, henna absorbs water strangely so it takes a bit of mixing each time you add water. You want it to be the consistency of yogurt or pudding.

Apply lotion to all of the skin along your hair line, neck, shoulders and face, let it soak in and then apply another layer. Henna will not dye cotton or counter tops or bath tubs or floors but it will dye hair, skin, wool and other animal based stuff. It’s ok to get some on the floor or the counter or on the towels or a cotton t-shirt it will wipe off like it’s mud.

Ok so glove up and smoosh the henna into your hair. It is messy so I recommend keeping the mix on the thick side, you will want to keep this in your hair for at least 4 hours so you don’t want it dripping all over. Use a lot of this stuff, it’s thick so really put a lot on there.



Then I usually take a roll of plastic wrap and just sort of… plastic wrap my head, then wrap a towel around my head, this keeps heat in and catches any escaping henna. This is where I generally watch a science fiction movie from the 1960’s or old episodes of Batman until 4 hours have gone by. If it is uncomfortable and bothersome or more drippy than I want I just take a 4 hour nap. You can leave the dye on for longer, some people do, I find that I get the color I want after roughly 4 hours and leaving it longer doesn’t seem to give me better color.

After 4 hours rinse this out of your hair kneeling at the bottom of your bathtub or in the sink( it will save you some shower cleaning time) until most of it is out of your hair and then get in the shower and wash the rest out. Whatever method you use to wash your hair you will need to repeat it about three times because mud has been drying in your hair for 4 hours. Once you have all of the mud out of your hair and off your scalp and skin don’t waste your time getting the bits of lemon out of your hair… it’s easier to remove when it’s dry.

Let your hair dry completely then brush it a lot. You will also loose a bit more hair just like when you use chemical dye, the slightly acidic mud releases hairs that are going to be falling out soon by removing the build up still holding them in place so expect a small bit of shedding. This is part of why I let it air dry completely before brushing it at all. Once it is completely dry the last of the lemon bits will slide right out. Here’s the color (with lemon bits) right out of the shower.



And with it dried and brushed.



This particular henna also cover’s grey hair really well. It will be very orange at first, this will darken over a three day period as oxidization happens. After roughly three days you will have the final darker color of your hair.

While you are waiting for your hair to dry it’s a good time to use some sort of exfoliant on any skin that has dye marks on it, it should come off pretty easily if you applied a good amount of lotion to your skin before hand and wiped away any spills and drips.

The red will fade much slower than a chemical dye and it wont fade to different colors like chemical dyes can.

For color comparison here is a picture I took of my hair from when I made Coconut Rye hair wash, (I had rye in my hair for this picture before the brush out) You can see my natural hair color is the first inch or so of growth from my scalp.





Also after about 4 years of henna every 2-3 months this is what the length of my hair looks like about three months after the last time I used henna. Every time you henna your hair again the color becomes stronger and deeper.





Coconut Milk Rye Hair Wash Recipe

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.