Home Cosmetic Science Talk Formulating Shampoo bar formula help needed

  • Shampoo bar formula help needed

    Posted by Eva on November 14, 2021 at 1:47 pm


    Maybe someone could offer comments on the shampoo bar formula below?

    SCI 48%
    Caprylyl Glucoside 26%
    Cocoa butter 10%
    BTMS-25 5%
    Hydrosol 3%
    Calendula extract 2%
    Castor oil 2%
    Panthenol (liquid) 1%
    Niacinamide powder 1%
    GSB (preservative) powder 1%
    EO 1%

    Overall, for the hard water I have, it’s not that bad. Seems to wash ok, no hairfall or static, not too much tangling and kinda gives volume.
    But, here’s what I don’t like about it:
    1. Not solid enough. 
    2. Clogs pores a little.
    3. Hair has this teeeny sticky feeling to it. It doesn’t look oily, but it is annoying and it attracts dust more than usual, so after a day, hair looks more dull.

    After reading some of the threads here, I am thinking to substitute cocoa butter for Mango or Shea, with lower comedogenic rating to help with issue no.2 (won’t help issue no.1 though..).
    To make it more solid, maybe increase SCI and BTMS a little, decrease hydrosol, panthenol and calendula. 

    But I have absolutely no idea what to do with the sticky feel. What is that? Is my ASM too low? Would panthenol really have that effect in such small quantities? Decrease fatty matter (wouldn’t want to get rid of it entirely)?
    Any advice?


    Eva replied 2 years, 7 months ago 3 Members · 10 Replies
  • 10 Replies
  • Syl

    November 14, 2021 at 3:48 pm

    Decrease cocoa butter, increase dry surfactant. Fat makes your surfactant work harder and makes your bar softer. You can also add sodium lactate and bit of strearic acid to make your bar harder and add structure.

  • ozgirl

    November 15, 2021 at 10:31 pm
    Decrease cocoa butter (or remove completely) and Caprylyl Glucoside and add more dry surfactant.
    I never put oils/butters in my shampoo bars as this is what you are trying to remove. Just use a separate conditioner bar if you want to condition/ moisturise your hair.
  • Syl

    November 15, 2021 at 11:10 pm

    @ ozgirl, interesting, I think we use a different way of making them. Do you melt your ingredients before molding?

  • ozgirl

    November 16, 2021 at 12:00 am
    Yes I melt the  SCI (majority) and SLSa (minor) with cocamidopropyl betaine until it is a paste.
    I get nice solid bars using around 70% dry surfactants.
  • Syl

    November 16, 2021 at 1:17 am

    I do the same, but I need a bit of fat to homogenize and get the right  consistency to be able get an appealing look in 3d mold. Don’t you?

  • ozgirl

    November 16, 2021 at 3:00 am
    I do use some cetearyl alcohol (around 5- 8%) as a binder (and emollient) and get a pretty smooth consistency. I just stay away from butters and and oils as I don’t see the point of adding them just to wash them away especially when they are usually expensive.
  • Syl

    November 16, 2021 at 4:05 am

    I also use cetearyl, at lower percentage. I think our formulation are pretty similar… I do not beleive in butters or oils, as far as I am concern they are marketing ingredients. I noticed that they were affecting texture, but it is very possible you could get the same effect by increasing Cetearyl alcohol. 

  • Eva

    November 16, 2021 at 10:13 pm

    Thanks for the advice! Decreased the oil and water part, increased BTMS and SCI. I’ll see how that works out and if it helps with that stickiness.
    Don’t have cetearyl alcohol on me, but if the above doesn’t help, I’ll get it and try again.

    I do have a stupid question though @ozgirl , you said to use a separate conditioner bar if more moisturizing is needed, cause the oils in the shampoo are going to be washed away anyway. Do you mean a leave on conditioner bar? Otherwise, the conditioner is going to be washed away as well, isn’t it? Or is the main difference that the conditioner is used after the shampoo?

  • Syl

    November 17, 2021 at 12:38 am

    She means that if the shampoo bar which contains BTMS ( conditioner) is not able to clean and detangle you should use a conditioning bar or conditioner after shampooing. BTMS is positively charged and will stick to your hair to detangle, control static …
    Shampoo washes and conditioner conditions, it is difficult to clean (remove) and condition (add) to the hair at the same time. That is why we normally shampoo, then we use a conditioner because if is more effective.

  • Eva

    November 22, 2021 at 3:28 pm

    Ok, got it, thanks a lot!

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