Help with shampoo bar

KatalynnaKatalynna Member
edited May 2019 in Hair

I have two questions about formulating shampoo bars. I am an "amateur" formulator but willing to learn and make things right. I want simple formulas and try to avoid sulfates and silicone.  

1) I make a shampoo bar intended for general use/normal hair. Although most of my testers love it, it makes my scalp itching. I intend to take of SL in the future.

My formula contains: SCI (50%), SLSA(18%), Cocamidopropyl Betaine (15%), Cetyl alcohol (3%), a mix of oils (3%), Hydrolized Baobab protein (3%), Hydrolized Oat protein (1.5), Panthenol (1.5%),  Sodium lactate(3%), Germall plus (0.5%). 

Excepting the Baobab protein, the other ingredients were used before and now, while writing, I realized that I may have too much protein. Is this maybe what causes the itching? 

2) I also try to make a shampoo bar for fine hair; softening without frizz and weighting down, strengthening if possible. From what I read, I should avoid proteins and humectants (something else maybe?). 

I like the shampoo but is not "waw". The formula is very similar to the one above, but instead of proteins there is silk at 1.5% , aloe juice (2%), polyquaternium 7 (1%). 



  • When you say ‘mix of oils’ what oils are those ? Remove all proteins and Cetyl Alcohol and add BTMS-50. More BTMS will make a conditioning bar, less BTMS will make a bar for normal hair. Additionally to this you can add cetrimonium chloride
  • It is a hair care oil I make ... a mix of castor, olive, argan, coconut infused with some plants... it.s only 3% and I used it before I don.t think is the cause.

    But I read that BTMS is not friend of surfactants .. did I get it wrong? If no protein, what is good for hair? Keratin? 

    I am not sure I can find centrimonium chloride... I buy small quantities and have access at regular cosmetic suppliers . I.ll take a look.
  • I was curious if it's a blend of essential oils because that could be an answer.

    BTMS is cationic and indeed not compatible with surfactants.The beauty of bar products, however, is that you can combine ingredients that can't be combined in a regular liquid shampoo. Make sure you melt it and mix in quickly.

    Responding your question what is good for hair, the truth is that the hair shaft is dead. You can't heal it, all you can do is to make it look better. To make it look better you can:
    i) add cationic compounds (BTMS, behetrimonium chloride, cetrimonium chloride, polyquaterniums),
    ii) silicones and,
    iii) try to keep pH low (virgin hair have pH around 4.5)

    I personally prefer silicones in conditioners and leave in products, because they supress foam.

    I posted a question on proteins yesterday and more knowledgeable members of this forum believe that proteins are claim ingredients. They act as humectants, but you can add glycerin as a humectant (it's clearly cheaper).

    Cetrimonium chloride is not that difficult to find. Where are you based?
  • The first one is lavender wirh sweet orange essential oils.

    I can try again a version with btms.

    I know it.a a wash off and primarly intended to clean but I can tell the difference for different formulas. For my fine hair I do not use conditioner and I don.t like humectants.

    So if no proteins, humectants, silicones... what is to include?

    Thanks I looked at one of my suppliers and found centrimonium chloride. It says that is a surfactant with conditioning properties to use in a conditioner.

  • re: So if no proteins, humectants, silicones... what is to include?

    Include cetrimonium chloride. It's a detangler and won't be as conditioning as polyquats or BTMS.

    Another option is panthenol, but it's also a claim ingredient.
  • Thanks. I.ll give a try to centrimonium chloride and I.ll include panthenol but make no claims.
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