Colour Safe Syndet Shampoo bars

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KiwiMoose

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So I've had a few people ask me if my shampoo bars are colour safe, and I reply that to the best of my knowledge they are because I use them on my own colour-treated hair.
It made me do a google search on what exactly makes up colour-safe shampoos ( according, mostly, to actual colour-safe shampoo brands). It seems the two main things mentioned that are no good for coloured hair are sulphates and high pH. The ideal colour-safe pH range cited by one brand is between 4.5 and 5.5.
I would assume a 'mild' surfactant of any kind is better than a 'harsh' surfactant, but how do you determine which fits into the mild category?
I can confirm than my bars fit into the non-sulphate and under 5.5pH criteria. But wondering if there's anything else i should be considering.
Any help from more knowledgable others gratefully received.
 

AliOop

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Totally following this thread, as I haven't been able to find anything other than what you just shared. Hoping someone has some good info to share.
 

violets2217

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NO CLUE... but on a side note a friend of mine & her husband who are my test subjects... she dyed his hair purple for him and he was using my soap bars to wash all over & said she'd have to color every week almost. But once she convinced him to switch to the shampoo/conditioner bars she was able to color his hair less often. Every 3-4 weeks she said.
So I'm basically posting to follow this post as well!!!
 

KiwiMoose

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Interestingly I just looked at an old bottle of shampoo i still have in the cupboard from before I started making shampoo bars, to find that it's loaded with sulphates and sodium chloride (all within the top five in the ingredients list). OK, so it was a cheap, supermarket brand of 'colour-safe' shampoo, and not redken, matrix, kerastase or similar. So I wonder what they decided made it colour-safe?
 

AliOop

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Interestingly I just looked at an old bottle of shampoo i still have in the cupboard from before I started making shampoo bars, to find that it's loaded with sulphates and sodium chloride (all within the top five in the ingredients list). OK, so it was a cheap, supermarket brand of 'colour-safe' shampoo, and not redken, matrix, kerastase or similar. So I wonder what they decided made it colour-safe?
I'm guessing it's like the term "natural" - everyone gets to decide what they think it means.
 

KiwiMoose

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I'm sorry, but that article is highly misleading and incorrect.

I don't subscribe to Susan's blog but Swift Crafty Monkey would be much better information. She won't try to scare you to get clicks.
I do subscribe to her blog, so I'll see what she says. I just found a huge number of blogs such as the one above by doing a google search. Bear in mind that this is what our punters might find too if they go looking.

Further delving has found that most commercial shampoos contain a high amount of salt which is not good for hair as it dries it out.
 

AliOop

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I agree, @KiwiMoose - the issue is not always whether the ingredient is actually harmful or not, but whether buyers now believe it is harmful. The salt thing makes sense to me, tho - I'm sure it's mostly there to thicken the shampoo into the viscosity that people expect from liquid shampoo. Yet another reason to go the solid syndet bar route...
 

paradisi

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Except for the fact that you rinse the shampoo out of your hair.

Lots of these beauty bloggers & unsciency people don't understand, or perhaps consider, the difference in reaction by dosage.

Too much salt (or water) can kill you, as can too little.

Cyanide is poisonous, it also occurs naturally in peach pits and apple pips. Neither fruit is dangerous, let alone poisonous, and you can eat apples whole including the seeds without danger.

The parabens that are toxic to humans aren't the ones used in cosmetic preservatives. Blueberries and other fruits contain parabens naturally.

Etc.
 

AliOop

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Except for the fact that you rinse the shampoo out of your hair.

Lots of these beauty bloggers & unsciency people don't understand, or perhaps consider, the difference in reaction by dosage.

Too much salt (or water) can kill you, as can too little.

Cyanide is poisonous, it also occurs naturally in peach pits and apple pips. Neither fruit is dangerous, let alone poisonous, and you can eat apples whole including the seeds without danger.

The parabens that are toxic to humans aren't the ones used in cosmetic preservatives. Blueberries and other fruits contain parabens naturally.

Etc.
So true, but again, if we want to sell our wares, we have to be mindful of what our target buyers think of the ingredients. That's especially true if we aren't selling in person, where we might have a chance to talk to folks about misconceptions.

Even then, most folks come to the stall (or website) with pretty firm notions about what they don't want in their body care products. Right or wrong, those are the buyers. Attempting to change their minds usually means no sale. If we want their cash, the product needs to meet their expectations, not our own. That includes not only the ingredients, but the smells and colors (or lack thereof), shape, size, etc.
 

Quanta

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Further delving has found that most commercial shampoos contain a high amount of salt which is not good for hair as it dries it out.
It isn't chemically possible for shampoo to contain a "high amount of salt" because of the "salt curve". When you have surfactants and water mixed together, it is very thin and watery until you add a tiny bit of salt. If you add a little more salt, it will get a little thicker.

But there is a point at which more salt means it starts getting thin again, and a little more salt means it gets even thinner until it's back to a watery viscosity. The top of that salt curve is somewhere around 2%. Meaning, it probably has less than that because you want to be able to get it out of the bottle, and more than 2% is only a waste of salt. It's only added as a viscosity adjuster. And since it's rinsed off, it won't dry out the skin.

Out of curiosity, I googled "salt in shampoo" and got mostly results from random blogs instructing people to add salt to their shampoo for its supposed benefits. I got only a handful of results telling people to avoid salt in shampoo. None of the results I saw were from websites explaining the chemistry of how salt functions in a surfactant based product.
 

Asterousia

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Very interesting topic, I'm curious too. From my experience with henna treated hair (no artificial colours, just henna from Egypt mixed with ayurvedic plant powders), SCI is devastating for such hair. I made my own syndet shampoo bar containing 30% SCI, 10% hydrosoluble avocado oil, some distilled water, the rest being ayurvedic plant powders, preservative and essential oils. I wash my hair with ayurvedic plant powders in normal conditions and I'm quite happy with results (dark long hair with 15% gray) but when I go for a summer holiday, I need a harsher blend of surfactants to really clean the hair. With this syndet bar, after three rounds of hair washing, henna was completely stripped from hair. Became curious, went to google and came across many French blogs and websites where women with henna treated hair stated the very same problem. SLMI came as a safe solution according to them, but unfortunately I don't have it available anywhere near me and shipping is too expensive to make experiments. Next time I will try to combine coco glucoside, coco betain and SCI. Maybe I'll get a milder bar and certainly, I will come back here to report on the outcome at the end of September :)

So Kiwi, from what I learnt, I'd suggest you aim for SLMI instead of SCI, 'cause if it's gentle toward henna treated hair, it will be gentle toward coloured hair too.
 

Quanta

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... coco betain...
I would use cocamidopropyl betaine instead. Coco betaine is the more natural form, which means it is harsher. Cocamidopropyl betaine has been processed more to make it milder for skin care products. It is also much easier to find in most places.

Also keep in mind that Coco Glucoside has a very high pH, even higher than most soaps. This will strip permanent dye out of your hair lickety split (and most likely that includes henna as well) because high pH products open up the hair cuticle, releasing the color deposited under it. Most hair colors work by depositing pigment under the cuticle with a high pH product, and then follow up with an acidic rinse to close the cuticle and trap the color underneath. When you open the cuticle again the next time you wash the hair, all that color is released. I would either adjust the pH with citric acid, or stick to surfactants that have a lower pH to start with. You want to aim for a pH somewhere around 4.5 or 5 or so in your finished shampoo.
 

Asterousia

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I would use cocamidopropyl betaine instead. Coco betaine is the more natural form, which means it is harsher. Cocamidopropyl betaine has been processed more to make it milder for skin care products. It is also much easier to find in most places.
Yes, I should have been more precise. Most of the distributors advert it as coco betain, but when you look for INCI, it says it's actually cocoamidopropyl betain (look at the attach). It's easier to find CAPB than pure coco betain.

Also keep in mind that Coco Glucoside has a very high pH, even higher than most soaps. This will strip permanent dye out of your hair lickety split (and most likely that includes henna as well) because high pH products open up the hair cuticle, releasing the color deposited under it. Most hair colors work by depositing pigment under the cuticle with a high pH product, and then follow up with an acidic rinse to close the cuticle and trap the color underneath. When you open the cuticle again the next time you wash the hair, all that color is released. I would either adjust the pH with citric acid, or stick to surfactants that have a lower pH to start with. You want to aim for a pH somewhere around 4.5 or 5 or so in your finished shampoo.
Thanks for the advice, I'm aware of a high pH of coco glucoside. I also use amla powder and Althaea officinalis (synonyme : Malva officinalis) root powder in my formulations, both are acidic, and so far I didn't need to adjust pH. But since the new formulation will contain 2 new surfactants, I do plan to adjust pH with citric acid.

Henna works differently than chemical dyes. It never opens the cuticle, just binds to the surface of hair and sticks to the outside layer of hair. That's why it rinses gradually and thus it's important not to use harsh surfactants, otherwise it wont last.
 

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Quanta

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Yes, I should have been more precise. Most of the distributors advert it as coco betain, but when you look for INCI, it says it's actually cocoamidopropyl betain (look at the attach). It's easier to find CAPB than pure coco betain.
Then the distributors are probably not aware that those are two different chemicals. Also, "cocoamidopropyl" on that page is a typo. It's actually spelled "cocamidopropyl" without that extra "o".

Thanks for the advice, I'm aware of a high pH of coco glucoside. I also use amla powder and Althaea officinalis (synonyme : Malva officinalis) root powder in my formulations, both are acidic, and so far I didn't need to adjust pH. But since the new formulation will contain 2 new surfactants, I do plan to adjust pH with citric acid.
I am glad to hear that. Too many people lately think the pH of shampoo doesn't matter, and it absolutely does. Sounds like you already know what you're doing.

Henna works differently than chemical dyes. It never opens the cuticle, just binds to the surface of hair and sticks to the outside layer of hair. That's why it rinses gradually and thus it's important not to use harsh surfactants, otherwise it wont last.
Good to know.
I had done a quick Google search before posting to see what type of dye henna is, but found that it's available as different kinds so I wasn't sure what you had. But the important thing is, if harsh shampoo will remove even permanent dye, it will definitely remove the more temporary kind.
 

KiwiMoose

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Very interesting topic, I'm curious too. From my experience with henna treated hair (no artificial colours, just henna from Egypt mixed with ayurvedic plant powders), SCI is devastating for such hair. I made my own syndet shampoo bar containing 30% SCI, 10% hydrosoluble avocado oil, some distilled water, the rest being ayurvedic plant powders, preservative and essential oils. I wash my hair with ayurvedic plant powders in normal conditions and I'm quite happy with results (dark long hair with 15% gray) but when I go for a summer holiday, I need a harsher blend of surfactants to really clean the hair. With this syndet bar, after three rounds of hair washing, henna was completely stripped from hair. Became curious, went to google and came across many French blogs and websites where women with henna treated hair stated the very same problem. SLMI came as a safe solution according to them, but unfortunately I don't have it available anywhere near me and shipping is too expensive to make experiments. Next time I will try to combine coco glucoside, coco betain and SCI. Maybe I'll get a milder bar and certainly, I will come back here to report on the outcome at the end of September :)

So Kiwi, from what I learnt, I'd suggest you aim for SLMI instead of SCI, 'cause if it's gentle toward henna treated hair, it will be gentle toward coloured hair too.
We can't get SLMI in NZ. I do use SCI, but I also use foaming apple, SLSA, Capryl Glucoside and DLS. It is said that the more surfactants used, the milder the recipe, so that's what I was aiming for there. I don't use cocamidopropyl betaine by choice as it's a known irritant for eczema sufferers. The pH of my bars falls around 4.8 - 5.3 at most.
 

AliOop

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Not wanting to hijack this thread, but I just had a look-around for SLMI and found one brief reference to it on SwiftyCraftyMonkey, but no linked suppliers and no explanation of its properties as a surfactant. Anyone have more info to share about this ingredient?
 

KiwiMoose

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Not wanting to hijack this thread, but I just had a look-around for SLMI and found one brief reference to it on SwiftyCraftyMonkey, but no linked suppliers and no explanation of its properties as a surfactant. Anyone have more info to share about this ingredient?
There’s an Aussie site that sells it. Derived from palm and synthetic ingredients. Mild.
If you put in the full name rather than just the acronym you should find it.
 
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