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Corsara

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I was looking for syndet recipes on Etsy, and I came across this one.


If you sign up for her email, you get free access to the recipe and other info.

I was super curious if someone with some experience with syndet could let me know what they think of such a simple recipe. Is it really going to be any good with only 4 ingredients?

Edit: Obviously I don't want to share her recipe on here, so I'm hoping one of you would be willing to sign up and take a look at it for me!
 
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Quanta

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I haven't looked at the recipe, but I don't think I can narrow down my current recipe to only 4 ingredients. Are at least three of them surfactants? If I absolutely had to make a shampoo bar with only 4 ingredients, I'd use sodium cocoyl isethionate, sodium lauryl sulfoacetate, cocamidopropyl betaine, and either BTMS 25 or cetyl alcohol. Is that even close to this recipe?

ETA: I went ahead and signed up for her list to get the recipe. The ingredient she uses as a hardener is a lather killer. Also, in a shampoo it will not stay in the hair the way most people think it will, because it is the very thing that surfactants are designed to remove and shampoo is mostly surfactants. Save that ingredient for a conditioner bar. I'd still use either BTMS 25 or cetyl alcohol as a hardener in this recipe. I would have to experiment to settle on one or the other but I would try BTMS 25 first since it already contains some cetyl alcohol. I would also lower the hardener to 10% and add the difference to the main surfactant.

I also looked at her conditioner bar. It mostly looks good but might be a little draggy with cetearyl alcohol. I would swap that out for cetyl alcohol instead. She says to use it you get some on your hands and spread it through your hair that way, but mine I rub directly into my hair (same with shampoo). I guess that's why the draggy-ness matters to me. One other change I would make is to increase the first ingredient significantly. The conditioner bars I make are 60% that ingredient.
 
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Corsara

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I haven't looked at the recipe, but I don't think I can narrow down my current recipe to only 4 ingredients. Are at least three of them surfactants? If I absolutely had to make a shampoo bar with only 4 ingredients, I'd use sodium cocoyl isethionate, sodium lauryl sulfoacetate, cocamidopropyl betaine, and either BTMS 25 or cetyl alcohol. Is that even close to this recipe?

ETA: I went ahead and signed up for her list to get the recipe. The ingredient she uses as a hardener is a lather killer. Also, in a shampoo it will not stay in the hair the way most people think it will, because it is the very thing that surfactants are designed to remove and shampoo is mostly surfactants. Save that ingredient for a conditioner bar. I'd still use either BTMS 25 or cetyl alcohol as a hardener in this recipe. I would have to experiment to settle on one or the other but I would try BTMS 25 first since it already contains some cetyl alcohol. I would also lower the hardener to 10% and add the difference to the main surfactant.

I also looked at her conditioner bar. It mostly looks good but might be a little draggy with cetearyl alcohol. I would swap that out for cetyl alcohol instead. She says to use it you get some on your hands and spread it through your hair that way, but mine I rub directly into my hair (same with shampoo). I guess that's why the draggy-ness matters to me. One other change I would make is to increase the first ingredient significantly. The conditioner bars I make are 60% that ingredient.
Thank you so much for signing up and taking a look for me! That's some really helpful info. I feel like syndet is not quite as complicated as I thought if it can have so few ingredients 😅
 

Quanta

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Thank you so much for signing up and taking a look for me! That's some really helpful info. I feel like syndet is not quite as complicated as I thought if it can have so few ingredients 😅
Yeah, syndet bars can be pretty simple. The main thing is you want more than one or two surfactants so that it will be mild. Three or four seems to be the sweet spot. Then you need something to hold it together and harden it. I put other stuff in mine, too, mostly to make it easier to apply to the hair. I find that it's faster to rub the bar directly on my wet head in the direction of my hair than trying to make leather in my hands and then transfer to my hair. Therefore I need it to be nice and glidy and I have ingredients for that.

I am going to go ahead and make little tester bars to see which ingredient works best as a hardener with this formula. I will make one trial sized bar of each: BTMS 25, BTMS 50, and cetyl alcohol. Usually I use BTMS 25, cetyl alcohol, and stearic acid, plus sodium lactate to help it harden. We're about to find out what happens if I can only pick one! I already know it's not stearic acid because too much of that is a lather killer, too. And we would need a lot of it if it was the only hardener. It also is too draggy and does not glide. I try to keep the percentage low in my bars but it does help in small amounts.

Anyway, I'll update here when I have had a chance to compare them.
 

Corsara

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Yeah, syndet bars can be pretty simple. The main thing is you want more than one or two surfactants so that it will be mild. Three or four seems to be the sweet spot. Then you need something to hold it together and harden it. I put other stuff in mine, too, mostly to make it easier to apply to the hair. I find that it's faster to rub the bar directly on my wet head in the direction of my hair than trying to make leather in my hands and then transfer to my hair. Therefore I need it to be nice and glidy and I have ingredients for that.

I am going to go ahead and make little tester bars to see which ingredient works best as a hardener with this formula. I will make one trial sized bar of each: BTMS 25, BTMS 50, and cetyl alcohol. Usually I use BTMS 25, cetyl alcohol, and stearic acid, plus sodium lactate to help it harden. We're about to find out what happens if I can only pick one! I already know it's not stearic acid because too much of that is a lather killer, too. And we would need a lot of it if it was the only hardener. It also is too draggy and does not glide. I try to keep the percentage low in my bars but it does help in small amounts.

Anyway, I'll update here when I have had a chance to compare them.
That's fantastic, I can't wait to hear your results!! I really want to learn more about syndet bars, but it's pretty overwhelming how much info there is
 

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Hi, Good info. I just started making and using shampoo bars.... I bought my recipe from Etsy. I love how my hair looks and feels, but; my scalp has started to itch.... Any idea if any of the (common) surfactants used for shampoo bars are prompt cause itching?
 

Quanta

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Hi, Good info. I just started making and using shampoo bars.... I bought my recipe from Etsy. I love how my hair looks and feels, but; my scalp has started to itch.... Any idea if any of the (common) surfactants used for shampoo bars are prompt cause itching?
Are you using the Etsy recipe that uses something like 73% sodium cocoyl isethionate? Because that is far, far above the safe limit for that ingredient. It should be 50 to 55% maximum. If you're using a different formula, you may need to do some trials to see what is causing the itching. Compare the ingredients of your bars to the ingredients of whatever you were using before you started itching to see what ingredients are new to your scalp. That will help narrow it down.

Always check the ingredients you're using to see what the safe limit is. The vendor should supply that information. If not, do a search online.

Having said that, anyone can be allergic to anything. I was itching and went to a dermatologist for a patch test, and it turns out I am allergic to preservatives that are formaldehyde releasers, which are incredibly popular among DIY skin care formulators. It is also what a lot of commercial manufacturers are using these days as consumers pressure them to stop using parabens.
 

justjacqui

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@Emmamia Some people report having a reaction (itching etc) to SLSa (sodium lauryl sulfoacetate) and SLS (sodium lauryl sulfate). If you are using either of these surfactants try substituting it with another surfactant.

Hope this helps :)
 

Quanta

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That's fantastic, I can't wait to hear your results!! I really want to learn more about syndet bars, but it's pretty overwhelming how much info there is
The test bars are made and drying now. In a few weeks when I've had a chance to use each one a few times, I'll report back.
 

violets2217

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I was looking for syndet recipes on Etsy, and I came across this one.


If you sign up for her email, you get free access to the recipe and other info.

I was super curious if someone with some experience with syndet could let me know what they think of such a simple recipe. Is it really going to be any good with only 4 ingredients?

Edit: Obviously I don't want to share her recipe on here, so I'm hoping one of you would be willing to sign up and take a look at it for me!
So I subscribed and it took me to the website and I’m pretty sure it’s all in German! So no clue what I’m looking at or where the free recipe might be...
What did I do wrong?
 

Emmamia

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@Emmamia Some people report having a reaction (itching etc) to SLSa (sodium lauryl sulfoacetate) and SLS (sodium lauryl sulfate). If you are using either of these surfactants try substituting it with another surfactant.

Hope this helps :)
Yes, it does help me a lot... thank you much for responding... And yes; I’m using SLSa. Just wondering if all surfactants can be substituted by another one at the same %.
 

Corsara

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So I subscribed and it took me to the website and I’m pretty sure it’s all in German! So no clue what I’m looking at or where the free recipe might be...
What did I do wrong?
I just entered the password as directed and scrolled down, and the recipe was there in English. My phone also offers to translate it, but I found it easy enough to navigate without
 

Corsara

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@Emmamia Some people report having a reaction (itching etc) to SLSa (sodium lauryl sulfoacetate) and SLS (sodium lauryl sulfate). If you are using either of these surfactants try substituting it with another surfactant.

Hope this helps :)
I'd heard that about SLS, but not about SLSa. What other options are there?
 

Quanta

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Yes, it does help me a lot... thank you much for responding... And yes; I’m using SLSa. Just wondering if all surfactants can be substituted by another one at the same %.
Not really. Each will have its own maximum safe percentage. This should be available from the vendor you buy it from.
I would first verify that the SLSa is what you're reacting to. Can you post just the surfactants and the percentage you're using in your bars? Not the whole recipe, since that was purchased. Also, what shampoo were you using before the itching started? What surfactants are in that?
 

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earlene

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So I subscribed and it took me to the website and I’m pretty sure it’s all in German! So no clue what I’m looking at or where the free recipe might be...
What did I do wrong?
Does your browser have a Translator option? Mine does. It's in the upper right corner for FireFox and is a red T.

1617704881896.png



Chrome & Safari use Google Translate, some others use add-ons for Translators. If you do a search with your search engine, you can learn how to use the translator you have or install and use one for your browser (and device).
 

amd

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I signed up and looked over the recipe, it's essentially the same as HumbleBee and Me's More Mango recipe here: More Mango Sulfate-Free Shampoo Bar - Humblebee & Me
Which I coincidentally made over the weekend. The only difference is HumbleBee (Marie) used a different surfactant (Sodium C14-16 Olefin Sulfonate, which you can sub SLSa with) added in a Polyquaternium 7 and reduced the amount of butter. It shouldn't kill the lather even if you leave it as done in the original Etsy recipe. (I'm not sure where this idea comes from honestly, I have not yet seen it happen yet in soap or syndets.) I have not tried the HumbleBee bar yet, I made it on Sunday so I'm testing my patience to wait until Wednesday to try it. I'm really leaning towards less is more these days as I read and learn more about hair and shampoo. Although I did tweak the HumbleBee recipe a bit (I didn't have the Sodium C14-16 Olefin Sulfonate so I used SLSa, or Polyquaternium 7 so I used honeyquat, I also used walnut oil instead of a butter, and added in 1% silk amino acids because that is one thing I can tell the difference in all the recipes I have tried), so it's probably closer to the syndet that you linked above.
 

amd

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So I subscribed and it took me to the website and I’m pretty sure it’s all in German! So no clue what I’m looking at or where the free recipe might be...
What did I do wrong?
Nothing. Did you get the password entered from the email link here?
1618264382645.png

Enter password in the circled, and click the box by arrow.
Once you're in the website, scroll to the bottom and the first video on the left is the shampoo bar, click the link (circled red) to open the pdf. It opens in English.
1618264506039.png


I'm not sure if this is how it looks for you - I happen to work for a German company so my website options may already be set to translate.
 

Quanta

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Nothing. Did you get the password entered from the email link here?
View attachment 56037
Enter password in the circled, and click the box by arrow.
Once you're in the website, scroll to the bottom and the first video on the left is the shampoo bar, click the link (circled red) to open the pdf. It opens in English.
View attachment 56038

I'm not sure if this is how it looks for you - I happen to work for a German company so my website options may already be set to translate.
The website is in Dutch for me, as it is in your screenshot. I don't know if or how some people are seeing it in German, but if you are, you might have accidentally set your browser to translate Dutch into German.
 
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