Category Archives: Syndet Shampoo Bars

Kokum Butter Syndet Shampoo Bar

This is a small simple recipe, I’ve played around with several different formulations but I keep making this one. I like to make 2 small bars out of it. For shampoo bars I like to make small 1.5-2.5 oz sizes. They last incredibly long time. A hard oil like Kokum butter really helps with the hardness of the bar. 




6 g stearic acid

5 g cetyl alcohol

10 g BTMS-50

5 g Kokum butter

Add Hot

15 g CAPB

32 g SCI Powder

22 g SLSa

1 g Panthenol-DL

Cool down (below 120 degrees)

2 g honeyquat

1 g oat extract

1 g rosemary tree essential oil

.5 ml liquid Germall Plus


This recipe is in three phases, add the things from the melt into a double boiler, once they are melted together remove from heat and add the things in the add hot category, mix carefully at first, you do not want to get a bunch of surfacant powder in the air. You should have a mask for this part, you do not want this stuff in your lungs. It will all melt in together as you stir. Once it is all combined check the temperature and let it sit for a few minutes until it is cool enough to continue, It’s a good time to add a colorant if you plan on doing that. Once the temperature drops below 120 add the final ingredients and mix until thoroughly combined. press into a mold, or use a press to mold. I use a moon cake press. 


Syndet Shampoo Bar Test (Ziziphus)

I was looking for a way to get a more solid bar of syndet shampoo and I decided to give this a try.

Ziziphus powder has been used as a hair wash/conditioner for over 1,000 years. It is a lot like henna without the dye. It was used to condition and strengthen hair as well as clean.

I decided that this was probably the best thing I have on hand to improve the solidity of my bars.

I also modified my second formulation from the original a bit more.

Be careful on how much Ziziphus powder is added, make sure it is a fine powder. You could use rice flour as a replacement.

My press arrived a day late but I took the sampler bar I had made and pressed it anyways, despite having already cooled and set it turned out ok, it had cracks but that’s to be expected.

Ziziphus Shampoo Bar Experiment



6% Stearic Acid

5% Cetyl Alcohol

10% BTMS-50

5% Cocoa Butter


13% CAPB

32% SCI

22% SLSa

2.5% Ziziphus Powder

Below 120 degrees

1% Panthenol

2% Honeyquat

1% Oat Protein

.5% Fragrance

.5% Liquid Germall

Notes: This bar is not over cleansing, it is hard and lasts a long time. It works well but it does not lather as well as my first bar and the ziziphus powder has a slightly rough texture. I’ve been using this for a bout a month and it has hardly worn down. my hair is happy aside from my mentioned issues. Perhaps in the place of ziziphus I will try half as much of something like rice flour, clay or activated charcoal next time and bring my CAPB up by 1.5%


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


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.

.5% Liquid Germal Plus


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.