How to Make a DIY Solid Conditioner Bar: Zero Waste & Plastic Free Haircare Recipe

Conditioner bars are like the eco-warrior superheroes of hair care, offering a sustainable and planet-friendly option instead of traditional liquid conditioners. They last for a very long time, usually a couple of months easily (this of course depends on the size, formula, usage etc).

Conditioner bars are formulated with natural ingredients that nourish and hydrate the hair, promoting overall hair health. Suitable for various hair types, conditioner bars offer versatility and long-lasting performance, reducing the need for frequent repurchasing and packaging waste. They can be cost-effective in the long run and offers a creative outlet for personal expression.


Makes 60 gr/2.11 oz

30% Olivem 1000: 18 g/0.63 oz

20% Cetyl Alcohol: 12g/0.42 oz

20% Shea butter: 12g/0.42 oz

18.5% Coconut Oil: 11 g/0.39 oz

10% Conditioning ingredient of choice: 6 g /0.21 oz

I used BTMS-50 but you can also use:

  • Varisoft
  • BTMS-25, in which case you can add up to 20%

Add the following when the ingredients are melted and off the heat:

1% Essential oils of choice: 0.60 g/0.021 oz

I used, of course, lavender

0.5% Preservative: 0.30 g/0.011 oz

I recommend using a preservative that can withstand high temperatures, such as or Optiphen Plus or Phenoxyethanol and Ethylhexylglycerin because they can sustain high temperatures without their preserving properties disrupted.

I know some people say it is not necessary to add preservatives to conditioner bars, since they are solid and water-free, but, since the bar will be in the wet shower, I like to include it for peace of mind.

If you would like to learn more about preservatives, download the guide to using preservatives in bath & beauty products: 

Making Steps

  1. First, prepare a bain marie by adding a few inches of water into a saucepan
  2. Measure all the solid ingredients in a bowl a part from the shea butter, which I recommend to add later so not to disrupt its precious properties.
  3. As the ingredients are melting, make sure to give them a stir every now and then using a spatula 
  4. When the bar will be off the heat, the ingredients will start to solidify very fast, so make sure to prepare the mould and the rest of the ingredients you will need: the preservative and any optional essential oils.
  5. Once the ingredients are fully melted, remove them from the heat and add the essential oils and the preservative: make sure that the preservative you are using can withstand high temperatures of above 45C, otherwise you need to wait for the ingredients to cool down a little, which means that the bar might solidify, which it’s not ideal. 
  6. Once all the ingredients are in the mould, let them solidify into the freezer for about 1 hour before unmoulding, or simply leave the bar to harden up at room temperature.
  7. When the bar is hard, it is time to unmould it: this to me is the most fun part of the process, filled with anticipation and excitement to finally see and try your creation: let me know if it’s the same for you!

This conditioner has a shelf life of about 6 months. I recommend to let the solid conditioner air dry for a few hours before using it.

Some people find them a bit difficult to apply - but it’s just a matter of getting used to a new way: just rub it onto the hair ends and it will leave a creamy residue behind and glide over the hair it will not damage it but simply coat it with conditioning goodness.

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