Hey Experts, 
I am working on making conditioning shampoo with bar black soap 

I put 0.5kg of bar black soap inside 2.5 litres of hot water to turn it into liquid 

I love it when I used it, very foamy and cleaning very well.

However I still need advice on how to achieve the following:
Thickener, 10% Conditioning and Fragrance.

Kindly help with some natural ingredients to achieve this. 



  • This is not how shampoo is made. This is some DIY soapy water and your first question, if you really want to make this strange thing, should be "How do I preserve this?"
  • @ngarayeva001 is right on the preservatives.

    And to add to the "conditioning shampoo" is not a thing that can actually be made with real soap. In order to be conditioning, you need a surfactant/emollient that is cationic (positively charged), which as it turns out is,  due to basic chemistry, not compatible with anionic (negatively charged) soap.
    Dabbling Formulator — Qualified Cosmetic Safety Assessor — experienced in claim substantiation & EU regulatory affairs.
  • @Hapygreen actually i tried something like you did , actually for % 16,67 of soap genearally you will not need to add a thickner , however may you need citric acid to low the ph cause soap have almost basic ph however you need ph between 7 and 4,5 you need also presevative , perfume may adding some emmollient like vegetable glycerine also amphoter and cationic surfactant can be added if you want but for naturel causes better you do not.
  • @Fekher, thanks for your input. 
    May I know your end result after all the combination.
  • edited September 2018
    @Hapygreen actually i did just basic shampoo with only soap bar and water the goal was to see if with dilution soap need preservative or not and answer is it needs cause soap with some vegeteble oils wich have high antioxydant potentiel did not need presevative .
     for my suggestion i just remember that i added citric acid 0,1% and it gave better product.
  • @Fekher antioxidanrs have nothing to do with microbial stability. The reason your soap bar does not need preservatives is a combination alkalinity and extremely low water activity.

    The diluted and pH lowered soap allows for microbes because of the addition of water and a near neutral pH.
    Dabbling Formulator — Qualified Cosmetic Safety Assessor — experienced in claim substantiation & EU regulatory affairs.
  • I'll just point out that soap makes a terrible shampoo. This is why sulfates & other detergents were created.
  • edited September 2018
    @Sibech when we talk about oil we don't talk about microbe in conservation it is about antioxydant potentiel and life of soap depend on oils and "concentration of soap" not ph as you said  and some basic soap need preservative cause contains oils wich have low antioxydant potentiel. 
    i already made soap has ph equal at 7 and it did not need preservative so it is not about ph . 
  • edited September 2018
    @Perry not always i made liquid soap with koH , olive oil ,coconut oil , Maize oil and it is really great just the problem in oder and i'am thinking now how can i solve it . i tried adding perfume even in high quantity i did not reach my ambition.
    About why we use sulfate it is also price reason oils are soo expensive compare to sulfates and also in oder sulfates have neutrel oder however oils are not.
  • @Fekher You are right that when it's about oils microbial growth is unlikely, but when you make a liquid soap diluted with water then you need to consider microbial contamination.

    The reason bar soaps don't have to worry about microbes is as I mentioned alkalinity and the lack of water. True you can have a water-rich product with a high pH and no growth, just like you can have a low-water product with a neutral pH without growth. The two does not need to both be present - but pH and water activity are crucial factors in liquid soap without added preservatives.

    To simplify, what you define as "Concentration of soap" can be directly translated to "Less water present and available".

    When you say the KOH shampoo is great, do you base that on your personal opinion or tests conducted on tresses to show improvement of the hair cuticles? 

    @Perry mentions soap makes a terrible shampoo, here is why:
    Dabbling Formulator — Qualified Cosmetic Safety Assessor — experienced in claim substantiation & EU regulatory affairs.
  • @Sibech you have right about water activity so if soap too diluated we talk about microbal contamination and we needs preservative about ph i did resaerch so we did not need preservative only at ph lower then 2 or ph higher then 11 so it is not only for high basic solution but also about high acid one however for soap bar even it is basic it must be lower then 11 so if soap is not diluated "means for my experience has concentration 40% active or higher " it just depends on oils type the conservation but i will work to discover the minimum of concentration active wich did not need presevative for my formula cause i'am sure that (evry formula has different caracteristics).
     for all my products  i just use only ph paper to see final ph all other caracteristics for me viscosity , perfume,foam , cleaning,cream effect,softness no better then users to evaluate so about my liquid soap it not only personel opinion it is about almost whom tried it.
  • @Fekher - quality control measures like viscosity should not be left to users for evaluation.  And pH paper should not be relied on as a measure for pH. Maybe it works for someone making soap as a hobby in their kitchen but no serious formulator would use pH paper for measuring pH. 

  • edited September 2018
    @Perry what is wrong with ph paper ? even professional use it .
    For mesure it is just personel choice i did not say that is the true choice however that choice is giving my products sucess.
  • @Fekher - it's just not accurate and reliable enough.  If you are following GMP then pH paper should not be used.

  • edited September 2018
    @Perry for precision you have right ph meter is better almost but i have idea that in solid product ph paper can be more useful and even ph paper  with its less precision is usefull for many  products wich did not need a very precision value.
  • I have never been in a Cosmetic lab (and I have visited many) that utilized pH papers. They are NOT acceptable in Cosmetic manufacturing. Microformulation Cosmetic Consulting provides Custom Formulations for both large Commercial accounts as well as smaller entrepreneurs. We can provide Naturally compliant Formulations under the NSF, NPA, Whole Foods and USDA Organic Certifications.
  • @Fekher, if you formulate with acids, say glycolic acid, you would need to adjust it to a pH of 3.83 (for it to be effective). You can't do it with paper.
  • @ngarayeva001 you have right for what you said and thanks for new information.
    @Microformulation evryone talk from his side no one have the perfect truth you talked about your experience and i belive it however i worked with three different manufactuers and no one have ph meter they use only ph paper and their products have no problem .
  • @Fekher, if you want to say that the presicion is not important for your soap/shampoo it's your right, but saying that there is no "perfect true" when you are talking about best practices and standards of the industry is an overconfidence. 
  • @Fekher you say you want to find the lowest level of soap/active matter which does not need preservatives. I don't know how you intend to do that but what you should do is send them off to a lab for preservative efficacy/challenge testing.

    Regarding having worked with 3 different manufacturers without issues on pH paper only - everyone can be lucky not to have issues, that does not mean it is good manufacturing practice. Get a pH-meter with at least 2 decimal points, the low-end ones they are relatively cheap.
    Dabbling Formulator — Qualified Cosmetic Safety Assessor — experienced in claim substantiation & EU regulatory affairs.
  • @Sibech thanks for suggestion
  • Agree, there are pH meters on Amazon with 2 decimal points starting from $15
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