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Issues with Hair Conditioner Bar recipe

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JillGat

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I found this recipe for a hair conditioner bar in various places on the internet:

15 gm (30%) Cocoa butter
15 gm. (30%) Incroquat (a.k.a. BTMS 50)
10 gm. (20 %) Cetyl alcohol
10 gm. (20%) oil (argan, olive, or similar)
30 drops of hydrolysed keratin


Instructions are to melt all ingredients in a double boiler - some say in a jar - and then pour into a mold. Put the mold in the freezer or refrigerator for an hour and then remove from mold.

The first version I made was crumbly. The second time I made it, it was good and got better after sitting for a couple of weeks. It was wonderful on my hair.

I did have one problem that got worse the third and fourth times I made this. The ingredients melt, but start to solidify on the stirring spoon and edges of the pot. When I poured the liquid into the mold, much solid goo was left behind, so I scraped it into the liquid. But after sitting for a few days, I notice there are pits or a darker area in the middle of the bar and the fishy smell from the Incroquat was still perceptible.

What am I doing wrong? Should I heat it even more and will that stop the solidifying process as I pour? Should I leave the left over solid stuff on the pot and spoon out of the mold?

Thanks!
Jill
 

Michele M.

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Sorry to see that no one has responded to your query. Have you learned anything in the meantime?
 

lsg

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Here is a formula from Susan Swift's Hair Care e-book.
CONDITIONER BAR FOR NORMAL TO DRY HAIR

HEATED PHASE

60% Incroquat BTMS
10% cetyl alcohol (you can use stearic if you want a harder bar, but it's going to be draggy!)
10% butter of your choice ( preferably 5% cocoa butter plus 5% something else)
5% oils of your choice
2% hydrolyzed protein of choice

COOL DOWN PHASE
3% condition-eze 7, honeyquat, or other cationic polymer
2% panthenol
2% dimethicone
2% cyclomethicone
2% cetrimonium chloride
2% fragrance or essential oil
0.5% to 1% suitable preservative

Weigh the heated ingredients in a heat proof container and put in a double boiler to melt. When it has melted, add the cool down phase and stir really well. Pour into a mold and put said mold into a fridge or freezer to set. When you take the bars out of the mold, lay on a table on top of a paper towel to sweat a little.
 
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JillGat

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I don't even remember writing that op! Yes I use a modified version of swifty's recipe now. Works pretty good. Thanks for your response!
 

Michele M.

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Whoa. That has a lot of ingredients I have no idea what they are. I will be skipping making anything like that (due to my wallet, if not the chemicals).
 

lsg

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Whoa. That has a lot of ingredients I have no idea what they are. I will be skipping making anything like that (due to my wallet, if not the chemicals).
The way to find out what they are and what they bring to the formula is research.
 

lsg

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Yes. I know this. I just know I don't want anything that complicated.
There is really nothing that complicated about the ingredients or the formula. It is pretty straight forward. I have most of those ingredients in stock.:)
 

DeeAnna

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@Michele M. -- Conditioners are lotions with ingredients chosen to be nice for hair. They're otherwise not all that much different than a body or hand lotion.

You can make a super simple hair conditioner or body lotion with a blend of BTMS emulsifier, water, and a decent broad spectrum preservative. That's all. If you want simple, this is the place to start.

When you get more comfortable making a super simple product like this, you can add stuff that makes the product even more pleasant and effective. That's what the other stuff is all about.

The cetyl alcohol or stearic acid is a thickener that smooths out the texture and helps the emulsion stay more stable. Cetyl alcohol also provides additional conditioning properties for the hair and skin. Adding either thickener is the first thing I'd do to upgrade.

The oils and butters add fat to the product, which can be nice. You can use oils only or butters only or both. Oils add shine and smoothness to the hair. The butters, because they're solid at room temp, also provide some thickening power to the product.

At this point, you can label this product a "conditioner" or a "lotion" and use it either way.

All of the other ingredients in Swift's recipe are ingredients that do nice things for hair. These additives make it easier to comb the hair and reduce frizz (the -cones), soothe and reduce itchiness of the scalp and strengthen the hair shaft (panthenol), add moisture to the hair (honeyquat), reduce static in the hair (centrimonium chloride), etc. If you don't want them or don't have the budget to get them, don't use them.

Never omit the preservative, however. It may seem to be a small ingredient, but it's vital.

I also recommend Anne L. Watson's book Simple Lotionmaking as a good, inexpensive book to get started making safe and effective lotions.
 

Michele M.

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Well, I used the soap made in Palestine today (100% olive oil plus "soda" and water, long process) to wash my hair. My hair feels very soft and very clean. So far so good! (I also rinsed with a vinegar and water mixture.)
 

linne1gi

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Well, I used the soap made in Palestine today (100% olive oil plus "soda" and water, long process) to wash my hair. My hair feels very soft and very clean. So far so good! (I also rinsed with a vinegar and water mixture.)
Many people (me included) cannot use regular soap to wash hair. It is not friendly at all to colored curly Irish hair. Yes I tried it and at first it felt fine, but over time, my hair felt and looked (more importantly) like straw. It also leached out quite of bit of my color. I spend a ton of money coloring and highlighting my hair and soap ruined it. So I strongly suggest looking into Syndet shampoo bars. They are shampoo bars made with synthetic detergents that are very hair friendly with a pH that is favorable to hair. The ingredients aren't cheap - but once you have them, you will be able to make quite a few bars that will last a long time - making this not an expensive endeavor. Also the conditioner bars are lovely. I have very very curly Irish hair - and cannot live without a conditioner. BTMS is a cationic conditioning emulsifier - cationic means it has a positive charge - and hair has a negative charge so this is why it works, unlike a lotion bar which would deposit some oils/butters, but would not be cationic. A lot of the ingredients above are removable to make it less complicated. These can't be removed:
20g | 0.71oz BTMS-50 (USA / Canada)
10g | 0.35oz cetyl alcohol
15g | 0.53oz tucuma butter
You could however, change out the tucuma butter for something else (cocoa butter would be a nice replacement). These ingredients are nice but could probably be left out:
1g | 0.03oz panthenol powder (vitamin B5)
1g | 0.03oz hydrolyzed silk
I would not leave out the preservative.
I took this recipe from humblebeeandme.com : Vanilla Spice Conditioner Bar - Humblebee & Me
 

Michele M.

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Wow, all the encouraging comments (not). Well, I've made my (non-colored) hair into straw before by using baking soda for years, so I'm pretty sure my hair will survive this. There is only so much I am willing to do for my hair -- I know, I know, it sounds awful -- but there it is. Will see how it goes.
 

KiwiMoose

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@JillGat - what you describe is exactly what happens to my pourable syndet shampoo bars. So what I do is melt the/mix all the ingredients into a microwavable jug, that is also suitable to sit atop a makeshift double boiler. I melt the hardest ingredients (quat and cetyl alcohols) in the micro first - then move it to the double boiler to add the other ingredients, remove from heat and add FOs and preservatives then quickly pour. The residual heat in the jug helps to keep it liquid, but if it does start to harden while pouring, I pop it back on the double boiler for a few secs, stir , then recommence pouring.
 

lsg

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Wow, all the encouraging comments (not). Well, I've made my (non-colored) hair into straw before by using baking soda for years, so I'm pretty sure my hair will survive this. There is only so much I am willing to do for my hair -- I know, I know, it sounds awful -- but there it is. Will see how it goes.
You may not like our replies; but we are trying to help . Let me repeat what others have stated, regular soap does not work well with most hair. It will either dry out your hair or make it gummy. If you come here with questions, expect honest replies.
 

Kiti Williams

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As one of the few who can use CP Soap on my hair, I know how she feels. I am a tough old bird, so everyone jumping in to inform me this was a horrid choice didn't bother me. That, plus I have over 1.5 years of using the soap before joining here.
 

earlene

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Wow, all the encouraging comments (not). Well, I've made my (non-colored) hair into straw before by using baking soda for years, so I'm pretty sure my hair will survive this. There is only so much I am willing to do for my hair -- I know, I know, it sounds awful -- but there it is. Will see how it goes.
You say you will only go so far for your hair, but ordering soap from Palestine is going far (across the world, in fact). So you are willing to go to some lengths. And from my own experience, I'd say going the baking soda route required a lot of dedication, so you went pretty far doing that as well. You obviously care about your hair & scalp.

I also used the baking soda hair cleaning method for a number of years (I no longer recall how long I did that but it was years.) I tried the vinegar rinses but it only made my hair more oily, so I had to stop using vinegar on my hair for rinsing. I gave vinegar a fair & reasonable chance, but it wasn't helpful on my scalp. The only trouble I had with the baking soda regime was that when I changed the water source, which was unavoidable when one travels as much as I do, so that my scalp & hair didn't adjust well to the change in whatever minerals changed within the water I used. It usually took my scalp a week or two to re-adjust to changes in water (I conclude it was minerals in the water that was the reason for this). So I just finally gave up on that method. But I did give it a really fair chance, I think considering. And my hair was below my waist during that entire process, so you can imagine how much work it was to give it a fair chance. At that point, I just returned to using commercial shampoo. Someone here had done a lot of research for themselves and found that Suave shampoo was a pretty good choice for someone wanting fewer chemicals, so I decided to give it a try and have stuck to it ever since. (Here is one post about it, but there are many others here who have mentioned it over the years at SMF.)

It wasn't until my scalp psoriasis exponentially worsened that I cut my hair short last year because I had to start using other topical medications on my scalp and the hair was just getting in the way and it was harder to maintain clean looking hair with all the topical meds for my scalp. Even when I use medicated shampoo for the psoriasis, I follow up with the Suave shampoo to help get the smell out and return my hair to a nicer feel. I don't use conditioners because they have always produced red blotchy spots on my face wherever the hair touches my face (and neck).

Occasionally I have used bar lye soap in a pinch (traveling and forgot my shampoo or something of that nature) but never on a regular basis.

I am more concerned with the discoloration of the pine tar or coal tar in my medicated shampoo than anything else at this point. That's a whole other story I won't go into here.

And sure your hair will certainly survive this. As long as the follicles continue to grow, you will always have new growth to replace any damage that may occur. Even at my age, my hair continues to grow fast and if I wanted I could grow it as long as before again, so I suspect you will be able to do the same as well if you ever need to shorted it for any reason.
 

Michele M.

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Haha. Well, I will not be purchasing that Palestinian soap anymore until and unless I find I can get a (much) less expensive bar at a local middle eastern store.

Thanks so much for the heads up on Suave shampoo. I'll have to check that out, for sure! However, my hair type seems really different than yours (that is, very dry). Example: I'm in my late 60s and I cannot remember -- ever in my whole life -- having oily hair or skin (except when I ADDED a lot of oil to my hair after washing). I wonder if Suave would work for someone like me with such dry hair and skin?

Kiti Williams (or anyone): What is CP soap?
 

shunt2011

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Haha. Well, I will not be purchasing that Palestinian soap anymore until and unless I find I can get a (much) less expensive bar at a local middle eastern store.

Thanks so much for the heads up on Suave shampoo. I'll have to check that out, for sure! However, my hair type seems really different than yours (that is, very dry). Example: I'm in my late 60s and I cannot remember -- ever in my whole life -- having oily hair or skin (except when I ADDED a lot of oil to my hair after washing). I wonder if Suave would work for someone like me with such dry hair and skin?

Kiti Williams (or anyone): What is CP soap?
Cold process soap. Hand made soap.
 

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