Pink shampoo bar - Yellow dock for itchy and flaky scalp

I really like the colour that Yellow Dock - Rumex crispus gives to soaps and I liked the dark raspberry colour of the soap that I recently made.  However I knew that I would want to use a bit less in another soap to see what type of light pink I would get.  I don't really use Yellow Dock, it doesn't grow here, but rather a local plant that is closely related to it, commonly called Njóli here,  but Northern Dock in English.

The benefits of the root of this plant has been known for centuries and it just seemed logical to me to make a soap that might carry some of the benefits.  As Yellow Dock (and Njóli) are known to be very good for skin troubles like eczema, psoriasis and itchy skin I thought it could make a great shampoo bar for people with dry scalp AND it would look pretty as a pink bar.  Since I wanted to get as many of the benefits of the herb as possible, I decided to use the infused oil at trace.  There is always some discussion going on about weather the benefits of the ingredients survive the lye and some say that the stuff that is added at trace is more likely to be the oils that are left over as superfat in the soap.  Well I can't say for sure, but I figured it was worth the try.

I made a shampoo recipe that has less castor oil than my previous shampoo bars.  I didn't have any olive oil so I used Sunflower oil which I like.  It's rather neutral in my mind.  To give the shampoo bar hardness I added some Cocoa Butter.  The resulting soap seems to have an acceptable hardness and still be quite moisturizing.

The recipe is for 500 g. of oils / 17.6 oz (the oz are approximate):

Sunflower oil    50% 250g / 8.8 oz
Coconut oil       25% 210g / 4.4 oz
Castor oil          13%  65g / 2.3 oz
Cocoa butter     10%  50g / 1.8 oz

Water 38% 190g / 6.7 oz
Lye 70g / 2.5 oz

5% SF.

Rumex infused olive oil     2%  10g / 0.4 oz.  Added at trace

I added the infused oil at trace and the soap turned a beige colour, although it really looked like it desperately wanted to be pink.  I was rather disappointed, but since I had used half the amount that I used before I kind of wasn't surprised.  But the next morning I looked at this lovely soft pink colour!  It resembles the other Rumex soap in that the center is a bit more yellow in colour so I might put them in the freezer next to stop gelling.  But I am very happy with the colour.  Now I just need to make a third soap with 15 g. of the infused oil and see what that looks like.

I can't wait to try this shampoo in a few weeks.  It should be good for hair that isn't particularly dry and hopefully the nice qualities of Rumex will sooth a dry, flaky and itchy scalp.


  1. Wow! Would love to give this a try, Have a sweet day!

  2. Ambra that is so original and thanks for sharing ..your posts are always informative!

  3. Looks gorgeous. I have been making my own Shampoo bars and I am addicted. I love washing with them.... but they leave my hair rather dry and frizzy. When you use shampoo bars, do you use a conditioner or anything else natural? Any tips? xo Jen

  4. Interesting post, Ambra..thanks! I'd be interested to know whether the color survives time or whether it morphs and fades to something else due to the sunflower oil? Also, that's a super high percentage of sunflower oil. My experience with sfo has been to keep it under 20% because it tends to have a negative influence on hardness of soap and soaps with high sfo % seem prone to rancidity or discoloring...anyway, thanks for sharing and keep us posted on the result :)

  5. Torie - Thanks :)

    Edith - Tahnk you, I'm just getting so interested in medicinal qualities of plants. I'm surrounded by books at home right now and have plants drying all over the house as well as many, many jars of infused oils.

    Jen - I have been using shampoo bars exclusively since well, I guess October. I find that I like to wash twice and let it sit a bit, not long but just a minute so so before rinsing out. I never use conditioner because that way my hair gets very greasy. But I have always had oily hair. My younger daughter love the egg yolk, beer and honey shampoo bar. Her hair is very processed and that bar is super conditioning. I would also suggest that you tweak the amount of castor oil in the recipes. That is what makes it more moisturizing.
    I also read somewhere about putting some oil on a wooden comb and combing through the hair. I have this fantastic wooden comb that I bought in Slovakia many years ago (why didn't I buy two?) I thought that could be good with rose infused oil, but for me only at the ends.

    Cocobong - Yes, The sunflower oil is a high percentage, but I was out of everything else, it was late at night and... :) That is why I added the cocoa butter. I'll keep you posted about the colour as well as rancidity.

  6. What a lovely soap! The color is perfect. Yellow Dock turned a pretty brown for me...perhaps I infused it too long?

  7. I love using yellow dock and rosemary and peppermint my scalp feels so happy.

  8. I just finished making my yellow dock soap and added Shea butter as trace as well. It turned a pretty olive green. Like Becky, perhaps I infused the Yellow Dock for too long (a week?) - Catherine

  9. Mine turned a pretty mauve. It also smelled a clean, sweet, fresh scent. Catherine


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