Home Cosmetic Science Talk Formulating Shampoo bar not hard enough

  • Shampoo bar not hard enough

    Posted by Kay on October 14, 2023 at 2:02 pm

    Hi !

    I’ve been making these shampoo bar for a moment now, and for some reason sometimes its hard, but sometimes it doesn’t get hard enough (like if I press it in my hand, it will separate),

    also I seem to notice that when I do 100gram (1 bar) its not that bad, but if I scale it say to 6 bars, then it doesn’t get hard enough, I’ve try pop it in the freezer as well but still not get hard as much as I would expect.

    I suspect that it has to do with maybe the powder quantity ? So knowing that I really do want to keep them what would be the maximum I could stretch it at ?

    I did not want to up too much surfactant (at first I didn’t want more then 35-40%, now im up to 45%), and the idea of my formulation was to suppress some of it and replace it by natural cleansing powder (Rhassoul, shikakai…), this formula is for natural curly to oily hair, so everything drying for the hair I try to stay away!

    I read everywhere that SCI is not damaging to hair, but I did feel that overtime use (on curly, coily hair) was changing my hair (tangle and knotting faster then usual, more flyaway hair in between washes), that’s why I was trying to keep surfactant has a minimum and balance it with natural cleansing powder).

    The powders and oils are also to add some type of nourishing/moisture into hair considering that formulation is made for curly to coily hair. I already took off vitamin e and b5 has I understood it wasn’t necessary here, especially in rinse off product.

    Here’s my formula

    Heat phase A

    SCI 35

    SCS. 5

    Glycerin 4

    Water 7,5

    CocoBetaine. 4

    Lactic Acid. 1. (Hardener?)

    Heat Phase B

    Cetyl Alcohol. 3. (Hardener?)

    kokum butter. 4

    Macadamia oil 4

    Mango powder. 6

    Castor oi. 2,5

    Marshmallow roots. 3

    Colloidal oat powder 5,5

    Rhassoul clay. 15 (natural cleansing benefits)

    Cooling phase

    EO/Fragrance. 2

    Phenoxyethanol 0,5

    Bonus question 😅 ; What phase is it best to had the lactic acid ? And also is there and order to add surfactant, I think I read somewhere (but dont remember where) that you should put SCI, SCS and then Cocobetaine (or vice versa I can’t remember) does it really change something !?

    Ouuffffff I hope I was clear enough somebody can help me !

    Kay replied 2 weeks, 1 day ago 3 Members · 3 Replies
  • 3 Replies
  • Cafe33

    October 27, 2023 at 9:46 pm

    Ingredients to never put in a shampoo bar:


    Propylene Glycol


    Colloidal Oat (Even in close to claim ingredient levels it can snap bars in half)

    Oils and Butters (use only claim ingredient levels 0.01-0.10 %)

    Now, “Shampoo bars” are simply syndet bars which are applied to hair. Now would you wash your hair with clay, butters and oils? Mango powder? Or whatever else you can think of putting in? The point of washing your hair is to remove dirt and oil; not add more of it.

    A successful shampoo bar is a syndet bar which is lower in waxes so it can slide properly on hair and not be so “greasy or heavy”. It is difficult to process at scale since it is not as malleable as soap. Adding humectants to a shampoo bar is counter productive as it will not have the structural integrity to deal with any absorbed water. (It can turn into mush very easily)

    • Graillotion

      October 28, 2023 at 1:12 pm


    • Kay

      May 10, 2024 at 12:42 am

      Thank you so much for your answer ! It will help me figure out another alternative !

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