DIY Oatmeal Stout Shampoo Bars

Beer has long been a luxury treatment to give hair shine, strength and bounce.  It fast became one of the staples of my shampoo line and now I can hardly keep Oatmeal Stout shampoo in stock because people absolutely love it!  Not only does the Oatmeal Stout fragrance smell wonderful, but this shampoo gives bubbly lather that leaves hair soft, shiny, manageable and bouncy.

This post on my DIY Oatmeal Stout Shampoo Bars is a sponsored post by Brambleberry that has affiliate links.  I’ve been using their products for several years now and have always had fantastic results!AffiliateButton4If you are brand new to cold-process soap making, I recommend that you check out my post on Soapmaking 101 to learn which tools and materials you will need..

Ingredients (makes 3 lbs of cold-process shampoo soap)

OatmealStoutTutorial-3815 oz. Olive Oil

15 oz. Coconut Oil

10 oz. Castor Oil

6 oz. Rice Bran Oil

2 oz. Shea Butter

1.5 oz. Cocoa Butter

7.2 oz Lye

7.2 oz Distilled Water

6 oz Flat Beer (I love using Stout beer but sometimes I use what my husband, the brewer, has on hand – any beer works well!)

6 oz Aloe Juice (I find mine at Walmart)

1.5 oz Oatmeal Stout Fragrance Oil

Make sure you weigh out all ingredients.  Do NOT use volume measurements!

Why use beer?

Beer and aloe impart shine, bounce and body to your hair.  The protein from the hops and malt in the beer condition hair and help repair damage.

Why use aloe juice?

Aloe is regenerating, anti-bacterial, and very conditioning to give you shiny beautiful hair.Ingredients for oatmeal Stout shampoo barsBefore you start, make sure you’ve got your mold ready.  I’ve used several different kinds and each has their perks but I have loved my silicone log molds from Essentials Depot.  No more lining molds!DIY Beer ShampooTime to get cooking!

  • First, mix together the lye and distilled water in a plastic bowl.  REMEMBER – always add lye to water, never water to lye.
  • OatmealStoutTutorial-29Once the lye is fully dissolved, add in the aloe juice and the beer.  This creates a bit of a funky smell as the lye reacts with the beer and aloe.  It’s really not awful but if you’re not expecting a stronger smell then it can be surprising.  Fair warning.
  • OatmealStoutTutorial-31Set your lye mixture in a sink filled a few inches with cold water and ice.  This will help cool it quickly.
  • While you’re waiting for the lye to cool, you can measure out your solid oils to melt.  Put the shea and cocoa butters in a microwave-safe bowl to heat for about 2 – 3 minutes in the microwave, until melted.  Depending on the time of year, your coconut oil could be solid instead of liquid.  It melts quite easily though so just add it after you’ve melted the butters.
  • OatmealStoutTutorial-33Add in the rest of the oils and stir well.
  • At this point, your oils and lye should be about the same temperature.  Because of the alcohol content in the beer, this shampoo does better when it’s soaped at room temperature.  I recommend waiting just a bit longer to let things cool down.

Alcohol will cause cold-process soap to trace very quickly or even seize.  It also heats up the gel phase so you will want to cover and insulate your log well to keep the top from cracking from uneven heat distribution.

  • Once your oils and lye are both fairly cool, pour the lye mixture into the oils.  Although I do use an immersion blender, it’s almost unnecessary with this recipe.  It will want to trace very quickly so I recommend just tapping the blender on a couple of times initially and then hand stirring until you get to a light trace.

OatmealStoutTutorial-3OatmealStoutTutorial-6OatmealStoutTutorial-7At this point, you need to work fairly quickly:

  • Pour 13 oz. of the base soap into another container.
  • OatmealStoutTutorial-8Mix in 1.5 oz. of Oatmeal Stout Fragrance Oil into the larger part of soap.  Again, you won’t want to blend too much – just enough to stir the fragrance oil in and then hand stir.
  • Pour the soap into your prepared mold.
  • OatmealStoutTutorial-10Stir the unscented part with a spatula to ‘loosen’ it up (if it has started to set up, you can briskly stir it and it will become pour-able again).
  • OatmealStoutTutorial-11Pour the unscented soap on the top of the scented soap.
  • OatmealStoutTutorial-13You can leave the top as is or make your favorite design on the top.
  • OatmealStoutTutorial-15Cover and insulate the soap mold and let sit for 24 hours.

I cannot begin to tell you how amazing this shampoo smells.  Although these shampoo bars make fantastic gifts for men, both women and men alike are drawn to this sweet, rich and spicy scent.  If you don’t have time to make some now or just want to try one before committing, you can find Oatmeal Stout Beer & Aloe Shampoo Bars in my store!OatmealStoutTutorial-27







    1. Nevermind, I got some juice from Walmart and it came out beautifully. Thanks for this recipe. We have been using a bar for a few weeks now and love the scent and lather.

  1. Hi Emily,
    I am going to make this shampoo bar…it sounds amazing! What oil would be the best substitute for the rice bran oil since I will have to order that online. Have you tried a substitute oil such as canola or used extra olive oil instead?

    1. Hi Lisa!
      I’m so glad you’re wanting to try out this shampoo bar recipe. Yes, you can definitely substitute out the rice bran oil with the same amount of olive oil or canola oil. If you go with olive oil, you’ll just add that amount onto the 15oz you’re already using in the recipe.

    2. Hi Emily : )…Thank you so much for responding. I will use the olive oil and after I make the soap I will let you know how mine came out and after it cures how it works too. Do you and your customers use the apple cider vinegar rinse as a conditioner? I find that works amazingly!! 16 ozs distilled water + 2 tbsp acv + 2-4 drops of lavender or other essential oil you like that is good for the hair. You can use more acv …up to 4 tbsp…if you have thick or oily hair. I am thinking that the beer in the shampoo bar has the same effect of shine and bounce and conditioning so maybe it will enhance the effect of the acv rinse or maybe you don’t even need to use the rinse. What do you do and recommend in the way of conditioning your hair?

    1. Hello Gillian, you know, I’m not sure. I would think so but I really don’t use the hot method so I can’t say for sure. If you try it, let me know how it turns out!

    2. Hi! When I made this recipe, I did it with a crock pot and the hot method. I didn’t end up having the top layer color difference, since I was worried about taking some out (and having it solidify) while I was mixing in the fragrance. Otherwise, it worked beautifully! I can post pics later, they aren’t on my phone… have funď

  2. I’m not sure how you achieved the color difference. I don’t see any ingredient that would cause that. It is so subtle and pretty. Can you explain?

    1. Hello Roberta! The Oatmeal Stout fragrance oil colors the soap to a dark brown. To keep the top light, I separate a small amount before adding the fragrance. Once the main part of the soap is poured, I spread the unfragranced portion on the top. The fragrance oil is strong enough that you can’t tell the top is unscented. I hope that helps!

  3. Hello! I love your recipe, especially how you make the “head” on the top layer! Two questions: Do you let the beer go flat before you start making the soap? Also, in the recipe, you use 1.5 ounces of the oatmeal stout fragrance oil, but in the instructions, you use 2.0 ounces. Which one is right? Thanks so much for posting this.

    1. Hi Lauren,
      Yes, I usually try to let beer go flat before using it in soaping. When it’s been carbonated, I’ve had some scary reactions with lye water when mixed together!
      And thank you for pointing out my measurement discrepancy on the fragrance oil. It’s a pretty strong fragrance so I use 1.5oz for this size batch! Have fun and let me know how your bars turn out.

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