Category Archives: hair

Syndet Shampoo Bar Testing

I have been lurking on shampoo bar making websites for about a year and I have finally gotten the stuff to give it a shot.

This is a trial and error exploration. My first attempt was using someone else’s recipe and slightly modifying for what I had on hand, it was too soft. This is what I learned from that recipe, my own modifications and what direction to go from there. This is a beginners formulation made by me from trial and error.  I did not use dimethicone, if you add it I would say at 1% would be a good place to start.

The things I learned about making shampoo bars from my initial failures:

1. You can follow a recipe precisely and still get a different result depending on what company your product is from or form it comes in.

2. Ensuring you get a hard bar is key, mine and many first attempts fail due to softness. Your surfacant is going to wash away the oils you add so think of them in terms of hardness instead of what the oil can do for your hair. Use kokum butter, cocoa butter or up the stearic acid to ensure you get a solid bar. On my first attempt I made the mistake of using jojoba oil and coconut oil and I ended up with something that was like Play-doh.

3. Make 2-4 oz test batches and document eveything until you get it right.

4. If its too soft you can remelt and add ingredients but you would need to add your preservative again as well.

5. You should pH test to see if it needs adjustment.

If this recipe doesn’t work out for you I recommend writing down the usage rates of all the ingredients you are using and then reading about their function in the product, then adjust for what you need more of within the limit of the usage rates. Start by adjusting 2% – 5% on the ingredients you need more or less of until it works for your hair.

Syndet Shampoo Bar – Beginners Formulation #2

Ingredients:

Heat Phase:

32% SCI

22% SLSa

15% CAPB

10% BTMS-50

5% Stearic Acid

5% Cetyl Alcohol

5% Cocoa Butter

Cooling Phase:(add when under 120 degrees)

2% Honeyquat

2% Panthenol

1% Oat Extract

1% Tea Tree Oil

Hydrated Green Chrome Oxide mica (to desired color)

Weigh your batch then calculate 1% of the total recipe for the preservative, I do this by weighing the bowl and spatula before I start then discounting that from the total weight.

1% Liquid Germal Plus

Instruction:

Use a safety mask for this so you do not breathe surfacant fumes while heating. Make sure you are working in a well ventilated area.

In a double boiler melt the Heat Phase ingredients, mixing every few minutes until combined well, blend smooth and set aside to cool.

While your hot phase is cooling, mix the panthenol, oat extract, honeyquat and tea tree together until well combined. Once cooled to the desired temperature add cooling phase ingredients and mix well. Weigh and add preservative, mix until well combined then press into mold. Place the mold in the freezer until solid.

 

 

Lotus Flower & Nettle Hair Conditioner

 

Ingredients:

55 oz Distilled Water

4.30 oz BTMS-50

.84 oz Panthenol-DL

.84 oz Hemp Seed Oil

1 oz Nettle Extract

1 oz Lotus Flower Extract

Preservative. (I am using Optiphen ND at 1%)

Instruction:

In a double Boiler melt the BTMS-50 and hemp seed oil. In a mixing bowl as your distilled water and heat in the microwave until it’s about 120-140 degrees. Remove an oz of water and dissolve the Panthenol-DL.

Once everything is hot and the BTMS-50 is melted and completely clear, mix them together slowly while whisking constantly. Once fully incorporated continue to mix for 30 seconds then add the Panthenol-DL/water and whisk. Once incorporated add the Nettle Extract and mix until incorporated, Add the Lotus Flower Extract and whisk for one minute. Let the bowl rest for about 5 minutes and whisk again, add fragrance and preservative and whisk for one minute. I used a tart apple fragrance. After all ingredients are mixed use a pH test strip (you want to be between 5-6.) You will need to adjust if you are outside of that range. Citric Acid is used to increase acidity.

Also important to note that I am using Optiphen ND which causes my conditioner to thin  when I add it so before adding it you should have a fairly thick conditioner, if you are using a different preservative you may need to adjust your water or BTMS-50 ratio quickly. With any new recipe (most of the time for me) I have the new recipe back-up ingredients ready on the side: some extra hot water and some extra BTMS-50  that is ready to quick melt, just in case my conditioner is too thick or too thin.

Continue whisking for a few minutes. After the preservative is added no new ingredients should be introduced. Test your conditioner with a pH test strip. It should be in the 5-6 range. Let your mixture rest for 5 minutes then whisk again on and off for at least 5 cycles or until the conditioner is just slightly warm. Bottle the conditioner when it is still warm, it’s thinner and easier to work with the warmer it is. You also need to ensure you have a good emulsion so it doesn’t separate so do not skip the whisk and wait steps, I like using a glass bowl so I can see if there is separation.

I find a turkey baster works well for bottling conditioner and bottling at a hotter temperature is best for thicker conditioners. Leave the containers with the lids off, until they reach room temperature, this prevents condensation.

 

 

Rosemary Hair Conditioner Recipe

 

Ingredients:

500 grams Distilled Water, hot

28.5 g BTMS-50

5 g Panthenol

28 g Nettle Extract

6 g Oat Extract

6 g Hemp Seed Oil

preservative of your choice

Instruction:

Disolve Panthenol into a few tablespoons of distilled water and set aside. Heat the remainder of the water in the microwave.

In a double boiler, melt the BTMS-50 and Hemp Seed Oil. Once clear and completely melted, whisk slowly into the heated distilled water.

Let the mixture cool for a few minutes and then add the remaining ingredients. (I used Optiphen-ND for my preservative at 1%)

pH test, you want to have your conditioner to have a pH of 5-6.

When slightly warm still, pour into containers, allow to cool with cap off for several hours or over night before sealing.

 

 

Shampoo Bars

I made Shampoo Bars with Coconut Milk, Coconut Oil, Hemp Seed Oil, Olive Oil, Castor Oil, Palm Oil, Jojoba Oil and Sweet Almond Oil. I added Henna Powder, Citric Acid and Panthenol, Rosemary EO, Tea Tree EO and Peppermint EO.

I made the mistake of trying to cut them way, way to early so they are going to rest for a few days. I consistently make harder soaps that can be cut the next morning so I wasn’t even thinking about how soft this was going to be until the knife was already in the soap. The rest got almost a week of sitting before I cut them. I used a brand new mold with better insulation and got a bit of overheating in some of these bars, luckily these are just for family.

For shampoo bars most people forgo the use of fragrance oils and colorants. I decided to do the same. The addition of Rosemary, Tea Tree and Peppermint essential oils are more beneficial to hair than a fragrance oil could ever be.

Spring Hair Conditioner Recipe

I ran out of hair conditioner while moving so I made this up quick.

I went heavy on the extracts and there is almost no oil in it because I co-wash. If you use this small amount of oil, melting the BTMS-50 in a double boiler can be a bit of a struggle, make sure the Distilled Water is also hot and whisk as you mix them, I recommend checking the instructions and temperature listings on the ingredient packages so you know when to add your extracts. I scented it with Pikake flower and tart apple as my last ingredients along with the preservative.

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28.3 grams BTMS -50

5.66 grams Argan Oil

411 grams Distilled Water

5.66 grams Pantenol

28.3 grams Aloe Extract

28.3 grams Avocado Extract

28.3 grams Nettle Extract

28.3 grams Liquid Silk

5.66 grams Hydrolyzed Oats

5.66 milliliters Optiphen ND

 

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Project List

My hobbies have grown so my project list needs categories now, here’s what I’ve got in the works, who knows what I will get to, I should have some free time in a few weeks.

 

Cold Process Soap Making

Idea: I made a lot of soap last year, I have  isolated my favorites and will be recreating some variation of them. All of my soap sold or was given away last year so I only have the newer two that I made in November that were curing at the time I ran out.

  1. Charcoal soap split (Lavender/Rosemary Soap, Cedar/Bergamot)
  2. Breton Sea Salt Bar
  3. Coconut Milk split scent ( hawaiian jasmine, sandalwood)
  4. Beer Soap (new soap type)

Other Soap

  1. Shaving Cream (will run out soon)
  2. Laundry and Dish Soap ( will run out soon)

Lip Balm

This is meant to be as a set for holiday presents but it didn’t happen. I will be infusing the black tea into the oils.

  1. Black Tea & Lavender
  2. Black Tea & Peppermint
  3. Black Tea & Bergamot

Lotion/Conditioner

I might make these with Black Tea Infused Oil as well.

  1. Apple/Sage Conditioner
  2. Apple/Sage Lotion

Sewing

I’m an extreme beginner, I still cant sew a straight line or understand some terms and instructions. The seam ripper is my best friend and I keep stabbing myself with pins and burning myself on the iron… but I have determination.

  1. Skirt
  2. Purse
  3. Backpack
  4. Jean Quilt
  5. Tri-Fold Wallet

Paper Projects

  1. Handmade Paper with Botanical Imbeds
  2. Hardcover hand made blank journal

Cooking

  1. El Pollo Loco Chicken ( pineapple and lime glaze)
  2. Teriyaki Tofu ( I can’t get it right!! Eventually…)
  3. Corn Tortillas