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AliOop

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@amd and @Quanta that is all really helpful info, thank you.

Question about the silk proteins: I seem to have accidentally purchased one that is water soluble, not oil soluble. But it didn't say anything about that in the ingredient description, so I had no clue until it wouldn't mix into my lotion bars. Can anyone recommend an oil-soluble brand of silk protein from a reputable supplier?
 

Quanta

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Refresh my memory - this is the recipe from the dutch lady? I'm trying to remember what she was using for hardener, but I've been down a few rabbit holes the last few weeks and was supposed to be in Albuquerque but seem to be in Cheyboygan. :p
Yes, that's the one. She used cocoa butter for the hardener. I still haven't made one that way, but I will. I am also going to try her conditioner bar, as written. I have all the ingredients for it, except cetearyl alcohol, but I have cetyl and stearyl alcohol so I'm going to mix them 50/50 and use that.

If you're going to try substituting some or all of the SLSa in your shampoo with Sodium C14-16 Olefin Sulfonate, make sure you read this first, if you haven't already:


Basically, it's quite a bit more alkaline than SLSa, so you will probably need to adjust the pH a bit. She says it's great for oily hair, so your husband will probably like it. If you do try it, make sure you let us know how it turns out.
 
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Quanta

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@amd and @Quanta that is all really helpful info, thank you.

Question about the silk proteins: I seem to have accidentally purchased one that is water soluble, not oil soluble. But it didn't say anything about that in the ingredient description, so I had no clue until it wouldn't mix into my lotion bars. Can anyone recommend an oil-soluble brand of silk protein from a reputable supplier?
Formulator Sample Shop has one: Silk Hydrolysate OS

I haven't used it myself, I have only the water soluble kind. I know you can get powders too, but I think those are meant to dissolve into water as well. I don't know what would happen if you tried to mix powdered silk protein into oil.
 

AliOop

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Thanks @Quanta. Were you able to incorporate the water soluble silk protein into your shampoo bars or conditioner bars? I sometimes add a teensy bit of water to my shampoo bars, but never to my conditioner bars (or lotion bars). So unless there is a trick I'm missing, I'm stuck with silk proteins that are unusable for my intended purposes.
 

Quanta

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Thanks @Quanta. Were you able to incorporate the water soluble silk protein into your shampoo bars or conditioner bars? I sometimes add a teensy bit of water to my shampoo bars, but never to my conditioner bars (or lotion bars). So unless there is a trick I'm missing, I'm stuck with silk proteins that are unusable for my intended purposes.
I went back and looked at my notes, and it looks like I used to use it in both. I didn't notice any difference with it in so I don't use it anymore in rinse-off products. It never really incorporated into my conditioner bars anyway, so that may have been the main reason I don't use it in conditioner anymore. I made a leave-in hair conditioner spray and used it in that, but haven't experimented enough to be able to tell how much of a difference it makes in that product.
 

violets2217

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Thanks @Quanta. Were you able to incorporate the water soluble silk protein into your shampoo bars or conditioner bars? I sometimes add a teensy bit of water to my shampoo bars, but never to my conditioner bars (or lotion bars). So unless there is a trick I'm missing, I'm stuck with silk proteins that are unusable for my intended purposes.
I use water soluble Hydrolyzed Hemp Protein in my shampoo and conditioner bars and never seem to have trouble with them incorporating. Of course it’s a recipe I bought with lots of ingredients that probably help with the emulsion prior to solidifying!?!?
 

Corsara

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Refresh my memory - this is the recipe from the dutch lady? I'm trying to remember what she was using for hardener, but I've been down a few rabbit holes the last few weeks and was supposed to be in Albuquerque but seem to be in Cheyboygan. :p

Reporting in on my Modified More Mango bars... after using for 2 weeks, I'm really happy with my hair. I've had no fading from my salon color - my hair dresser and I were concerned with the color used on my stubborn gray streaks, but so far even that is holding well. My bar and my husband's bar are both holding up through drop testing :) so this is already putting them in the lead of any other shampoo bar we've used. My husband is really happy with how his hair is behaving and has already placed a replacement order, lol. I do want to order (and will, I just haven't got to it yet) C14-16 to see if it makes a difference, and expand my surfactant knowledge/experience. The larger batch bars that I had to add a bunch of water to are dried out now but still holding together very well despite some cracking on their surface. They've been dropped tested and handled excessively while I was playing with packaging options (wrapping, and trying different label and band sizes). I'll be doing a mail test later this week when I send one to my cousin to try out.

I'm debating starting a conditioner bar thread (one of the rabbit holes I've been down), but for the moment I'll just jot it down here.
I've never used a conditioner bar before, so I'm not entirely sure what to look for in a good performing bar, so my comments are completely based on only using this one bar. I took the recipe from the Dutch Lady (found in this post) and made a few tweaks. Off the top of my head:
I replaced the coconut oil with babassu - I have a raw coconut oil sensitivity, I'm fine with it in soap, lotions but just straight CO will turn my skin instantly bright red and itchy, I wasn't sure how I would react to it mixed with other ingredients in a conditioner bar so I decided to play it safe.
Instead of Argan oil I used sunflower oil - I didn't want to use my precious argan in something I might not like, so I chose a light liquid oil that absorbs quickly.
I did take out about 1-2% of the liquid oil and replace that with broccoli seed oil - it's a natural alternative to silicones (if I remember right, if not, well then I guess I added it by mistake!)
Oh, and then the big one, I didn't have cetearyl alcohol, so I used a 70/30 blend of cetyl alcohol and stearic acid.

My husband and I have been using this for a few days now - I've used it twice, he's used it 3 times, I think. I broke the bar almost perfectly in half when I unmolded it (it was mostly frozen), so we're able to both try it out. He likes it, which I found interesting as he told me that he doesn't use conditioner. He really uses a lot, he says he rubs it around until his hands look like they're covered in lotion. I'm a bit more conservative, I just use enough to feel a light covering on my hair. He really likes it so far, his hair is prone to being oily and this seems to not make him more oily. I like my hair the day after washing, but on skip day I wasn't as big of a fan. My hair didn't look greasy, but it felt a bit more oily and looked flat/weighed down. We're going to keep playing with this one, and more than likely I will be messing with the recipe again, I'm not a fan of how easily the bar melted just carrying it from the soap dungeon to the shower. Likely this bar wouldn't survive a summer in my house (no air conditioning). I may try a butter with a bit higher melting point instead of the babassu, or a mix of the two.
Thanks for the ongoing info! I'm considering getting the ingredients for the Mango recipe, as a place to start without trying to understand substitutions. My Lush shampoo bars that I have been using for years are starting to irritate my scalp, so I'm eager to find an alternative. I'm pretty sure they are based on SLS.

I've used a Lush conditioner bar before too, but I'm not sure which one it was, so I don't have an ingredient list. I honestly didn't find it did much, and I gave up on it pretty quickly. It sat in a box for ages, and I just threw it out recently 😅
 

Quanta

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Thanks for the ongoing info! I'm considering getting the ingredients for the Mango recipe, as a place to start without trying to understand substitutions. My Lush shampoo bars that I have been using for years are starting to irritate my scalp, so I'm eager to find an alternative. I'm pretty sure they are based on SLS.

I've used a Lush conditioner bar before too, but I'm not sure which one it was, so I don't have an ingredient list. I honestly didn't find it did much, and I gave up on it pretty quickly. It sat in a box for ages, and I just threw it out recently 😅
I don't trust Lush. Yes, their shampoo bars (at least some of them) are based on SLS, and the pH of some of their shampoo formulas is waaaaay too high for hair. Their formulators just don't know what they're doing sometimes. And while I'm at it, what is holding the SLS noodles together? The only other ingredients are aqueous plant extracts and essential oils.

I just went and read the ingredient lists for a bunch of Lush's shampoo bars on their website, and most use SLS as the only surfactant, which is stupid. SLS on its own is notoriously irritating to the skin, which is why most formulators add some CAPB to make it a lot milder. I wouldn't be surprised if Lush bars had CAPB in them and they didn't disclose it in the list of ingredients due to it being another "unpronounceable chemical" or something. I suspect they do that a lot, because reading ingredient lists for some of their other products they always seem to be missing things that should be in that type of product. Emulsifiers, preservatives, fatty alcohols, and anything else that normally has a scary chemical name. They do have a sort of ingredient encyclopedia on the website that explains some of those ingredients (they call them "safe synthetics") but not the ones with longer names or bad reputations. Undeserved bad reputations, in my opinion, but there is a lot of misunderstanding out there being passed along as fact by influential mommy bloggers.

*takes a deep breath* Ok, I need to start just ignoring mentions of Lush around here. 🤔
 

Corsara

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I don't trust Lush. Yes, their shampoo bars (at least some of them) are based on SLS, and the pH of some of their shampoo formulas is waaaaay too high for hair. Their formulators just don't know what they're doing sometimes. And while I'm at it, what is holding the SLS noodles together? The only other ingredients are aqueous plant extracts and essential oils.

I just went and read the ingredient lists for a bunch of Lush's shampoo bars on their website, and most use SLS as the only surfactant, which is stupid. SLS on its own is notoriously irritating to the skin, which is why most formulators add some CAPB to make it a lot milder. I wouldn't be surprised if Lush bars had CAPB in them and they didn't disclose it in the list of ingredients due to it being another "unpronounceable chemical" or something. I suspect they do that a lot, because reading ingredient lists for some of their other products they always seem to be missing things that should be in that type of product. Emulsifiers, preservatives, fatty alcohols, and anything else that normally has a scary chemical name. They do have a sort of ingredient encyclopedia on the website that explains some of those ingredients (they call them "safe synthetics") but not the ones with longer names or bad reputations. Undeserved bad reputations, in my opinion, but there is a lot of misunderstanding out there being passed along as fact by influential mommy bloggers.

*takes a deep breath* Ok, I need to start just ignoring mentions of Lush around here. 🤔
Don't worry, I am of the same opinion now! 😆 I used to order 3 or 4 bars once a year, and use them as my only shower product, except for shaving. It worked well when I was a single gal traveling the globe and showering in random marina bathrooms, but I have seen the light since joining this forum! I'm on my last bar anyway, so I'm getting increasingly desperate for an alternative. This is great info though for anyone else stumbling across this thread.
 

amd

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but I have cetyl and stearyl alcohol so I'm going to mix them 50/50 and use that.
I would probably go more 70/30. If I remember right when I was trying to figure out what to replace the cetearyl with, cetearyl is 70/30 cetyl/stearyl. I didn't have stearyl, so I used stearic acid which I know isn't the same, but it did provide the function of acting as a hardener. I kept the cetyl at 70% of the cetyl/stearic blend so that my formulation might be fairly close to what it should be if I had used cetearyl.

If you're going to try substituting some or all of the SLSa in your shampoo with Sodium C14-16 Olefin Sulfonate, make sure you read this first, if you haven't already:
My plan was to replace all of the SLSa. In the original More Mango bar, she [Humblebee and Me] used C14-16, and I replaced it with SLSa. I'm curious to see how the performance, pH etc changes when following her recipe as she made it. I'm also wondering if some of the mixing issue I have is because of the swap that I made.
 

Quanta

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I would probably go more 70/30. If I remember right when I was trying to figure out what to replace the cetearyl with, cetearyl is 70/30 cetyl/stearyl. I didn't have stearyl, so I used stearic acid which I know isn't the same, but it did provide the function of acting as a hardener. I kept the cetyl at 70% of the cetyl/stearic blend so that my formulation might be fairly close to what it should be if I had used cetearyl.
I can't find 70/30 anywhere, I can only find 30/70 from my usual suppliers (MakeYourOwn.Buzz and LotionCrafter) and 50/50 on Amazon. I figured if I started out at 50/50, I would have a lot of wiggle room to adjust both ways. Plus, it's a lot hotter here than where you live, and if you're having problems with it melting it'll be worse here. I have AC but I try not to run it much because I can't afford to so it gets pretty warm in my house. So since 50/50 will be a harder blend and 30/70 even harder than that, I think I will learn from your experiment and skip straight to the one with the higher melting point. I'll use the oils in the recipe, but your substitutions have similar melting points to what they're substituting for so I think in that regard it'll be similar.

My plan was to replace all of the SLSa. In the original More Mango bar, she [Humblebee and Me] used C14-16, and I replaced it with SLSa. I'm curious to see how the performance, pH etc changes when following her recipe as she made it. I'm also wondering if some of the mixing issue I have is because of the swap that I made.
What I'm wondering is how many of her suggested substitutions has Marie actually tried? I'm curious to know how this turns out.
 

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