Syndet bar hardening issue

UsernameUsername Member
edited January 2019 in Hair
What’s the best way to harden syndet bar?

Formula A
sci 30%
slsa 28%
capb 10%
decyl 5%
btms 3%
cetyl 5%
stearic 7%
Emulsifying wax nf 7%
panthenol 1%
Aloe extract 1%
fragrance 1%
essential oil 1.5%
preservative .5%

Result: bar hardens but softens after two to three uses and good foam

Formula B
leaving out decyl
Higher sci & slsa
No btms
higher cetyl & stearic

result: hard bar, not so good foam but lathers well enough

Your insights are highly appreciated, thank you!


  • sci 30% - ok
    slsa 28%  - 35%
    capb 10% - 22%
    decyl 5% - you don't need it
    btms 3% - ok
    cetyl 5% - you don't need it
    stearic - it makes shampoo draggy. you don't need it
    Emulsifying wax nf 7% - You don't need it
    panthenol 1% - ok  
    Aloe extract 1% -ok
    fragrance 1% - ok
    essential oil 1.5% - too much
    preservative .5% - are you sure it's enough? what preservative?

    - Sodium lactate 3% (must add, it makes bar harder)
    - Poliquat 10 - 2% (good to have but optional)

    Try to have 70% of dry ingredients (approx)

  • BelassiBelassi Member, PCF student
    How can the cationic BTMS be compatible with the anionic surfactants??
    Cosmetic Brand Creation. Concept to name to IMPI search to logo and brand registration. In-house graphic design inc. Pantone specs. Cosmetic label and box design & graphics.
  • @Belassi, this is a beauty of syndet bars - they are very "forgiving". You can combine cationics and anionics together and it works. The main issue is how to make them harden. Sodium Lactate is the deal breaker. 
  • ngarayeva001ngarayeva001 Member
    edited January 2019
    Moreover, the formula above minus decyl glucoside will have pH below 7. Fantastic product!
  • @ngarayeva001 thank you for your insight. 
    I used to put sodium lactate as instructed from the ebook I purchased from Susan of @SwiftCraftyMonkey but it don’t harden. At all. ?
  • Swiftcaftymonkey's formulas (when done exactly as instructed) always work for me. My problems start when I start playing with surfactants :) Are you using exactly the same formula as she provides in the ezine?
  • I remember reading a post on SwiftCraftyMonkeys blog talking about the 100x aloe extract (powder) causing shampoo bars to soften. Maybe it’s the type of aloe extract you are using? 
  • @Colorfuljulie thank you. I thought so too. It must be the culprit, though I’m using Aloe vera gel extract 1x not the powder. 
  • @Colorfuljulie this is the helpful link you're referring to: .  All in all sounds like "shampoo bars" are a bit of a waste of time!
  • I have abandoned LIQUID shampoo because I love shampoo bars.

     No need for plastic bottles with a bar.

     My bars get soft after maybe 20 uses. I suppose you can use ONE bar for X amount of time, then use ANOTHER  bar for Y amount of time.Then go back to the 1st bar etc. That way, you are allowing your bars to have that water they absorbed during use, to evaporate, while you are using ANOTHER bar.

     I hope this is clear? 

    When the 2 bars you're using are irritatingly small, put both of them into a net bag to continue to use it all up. 

    Yes, get net bags for the bars. The bags also allow you to hang the bars between uses, to allow for maximal drying between uses. 

    I do NOT mean organza bags, that fabric feels like it's scraping the hair...hard to explain.

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