Liquid shampoo recipe advise

Discussion in 'Liquid Soap and Cream Soap Forum' started by emi, Jul 4, 2019.

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  1. Jul 4, 2019 #1

    emi

    emi

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    Dearest Soapers, I'm so happy it's summer, for it is my soaping season! I want to tackle my long pending project of making my own shampoo. From all the reading and video watching (I can not access Craftmonkey) it seems that making any liquid shampoo involves a LS base like Bronners, or any Castile LS, or Potassium Cocoate (coconut oil LS right?), then add various oils, EOs, and a preservative. Soapqueen had a recipe including liquid crothix which I found out is a thickener and was wondering why would I need a thickener. Is that really needed since LS is not really that much waterier than shampoo? or is there some other function for it? I've made several batches of LS before and would like to start with that. Does anyone have any advise on what kind of oils to use to make a LS intended to serve as a base for liquid shampoo? Olive oil, coconut oil, or some mix of oils?

    I've read plenty about shampoo bars which are actually quite similar to a few of the more moisturizing CP bars I've made already and tried those on my hair and did not like the results. I don't want to deal with a vinegar rinse either and plan to just follow with conditioner. My goal is to eventually make it an anti-dandruff shampoo and stop buying OTC products.

    Thank you in advance for any help! I know for a fact I would've given up on soaping a long time ago if it weren't for this forum!
     
  2. Jul 4, 2019 #2

    lsg

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    Swiftcraftymonkey does not recommend the use of liquid soap for shampoo. I make my own shampoo using surfactants. Several suppliers have formulas for liquid shampoo. The Herbarie has several good recipes.
     
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  3. Jul 4, 2019 #3

    DeeAnna

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    If you don't like lye-based bar soap for shampooing your hair, it's very likely you will not like lye-based liquid soap any better. Both products are soap with all the qualities, bad and good, of true soap.

    I do not use true soap for washing my hair, whether bar soap or liquid soap. Tried it for over a year awhile back, and the experiment did not work out well. I know others prefer using true soap as shampoo, however, so in the end ... YMMV.

    Like lsg, I make a product using synthetic detergents (syndets) for washing my hair. A syndet shampoo doesn't damage my hair like true soap does.

    On the issue of using thickeners like Crothix --

    A lot of people make liquid soap and dilute it only enough so the product is syrupy. That's an easy solution, but most people don't realize the disadvantages. The percent of pure soap in this type of dilution is somewhere around 30% pure soap, and that is not really needed -- the product is more wasteful of the soap ingredients you've paid good money to make, the soap doesn't lather as well as a more diluted soap, and the high % of pure soap in the product can be more irritating to the skin.

    If the soap can be diluted down to 10% to 20% pure soap, it will most likely be watery thin, but it will also be more likely to lather better. It will also still clean effectively, there will be less soap being wasted down the drain, and the soap is less likely to irritate the skin. So lots of advantages ... but if you want those benefits and a syrupy-thick liquid soap, you'll have to also add a thickener like Crothix.
     
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  4. Jul 4, 2019 #4

    Cellador

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    I also make shampoo with surfactants as opposed to liquid soap. Like DeeAnna mentioned, if you didn't like bar soap in your hair, LS probably won't feel too different.
     
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  5. Jul 5, 2019 #5

    emi

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    This is exactly what I needed to hear. I too was thinking how LS wouldn't be that different from bar. I read a few mentions of making shampoo with surfactants, but I don't really know about that world and couldn't seem to find any recipes. The Herbarie has a whole list I'm going to dive into! Thank you all so much!!
     
  6. Jul 5, 2019 #6

    emi

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    This is exactly what I've been searching for. Thank you so much for sharing this source with me!
     
  7. Jul 5, 2019 #7

    emi

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    Thank you so much for your reply! I didn't even think of that. Of course that makes perfect sense regarding the crothix and dilution. But I'm definitely not going to make the soap shampoo and go for the surfactant shampoo recipes lsg told me about on Herbarie. So syndets is short for synthetic detergents and they are the same thing as surfactants, correct? I've only made CP/HP soap, LS, and a few simple face scrubs so this is a new world for me. As I embark upon these recipes, I'll try to learn about them as much as I can but it's always hard to know what sources to trust. Do you have any advise on particular ingredients to avoid? I know some ingredients can get quite controversial (like preservatives or EO/FO comes to mind) and is all quite personal in preference, but just curious if there are any specific ingredients you recommend to look out for?
     
  8. Jul 5, 2019 #8

    DeeAnna

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    "...syndets ... are the same thing as surfactants, correct?..."

    Yes, kind of ... but not exactly. I'm going to put my professor hat on and lecture for a moment.

    A surfactant is any chemical that functions as a "surface active agent." What this means is a surfactant is able to change how two other normally incompatible substances behave toward each other.

    Soap emulsifies water and greasy dirt so they are able to mix together. Normally water and grease do not want to mix, but soap is able to change how these substances behave toward each other. Soap is a surfactant.​

    Not all surfactants are used for cleaning. Some surfactants can't really clean at all. Instead they are used to do things like help paint to spread more easily, help emulsify ingredients that don't normally mix like mayonnaise, and so on.

    Some surfactants can be used for cleaning. These surfactants are called detergents. True soap is a detergent, as are syndets (synthetic detergents).

    So ...
    True soap is a detergent (cleaner) that is made by saponifying fats and alkali.
    A syndet is also a detergent that is made by other chemical reactions, not by saponification.
    Both true soap and syndets are surfactants, because they emulsify water and grease so these two substances can blend together.
    Not all surfactants are detergents, however, because not all surfactants can actually clean.

    "...Do you have any advise on particular ingredients to avoid?..."

    There are some ingredients that my hair and skin do not like very well, so I avoid those. Probably the biggest ingredient I avoid is SLS (sodium laureth sulfate) because my scalp gets really itchy and my hair feels too dry after using SLS based shampoo. I normally use SCI (sodium cocoyl isethionate) and SLSa (sodium lauryl sulfoacetate) as the main syndets in my shampoo because my scalp and hair do fine with these detergents.

    If you have commercial shampoo that are nice for your scalp and hair, read the ingredients list and figure out the main syndets in those products. Use that as a source of ideas.

    As far as avoiding ingredients because they're not "crunchy granola" enough, I'm not the person to talk to. I use preservatives in my syndet shampoo -- I think that is a mandatory requirement. One of the preservatives I use releases tiny trace amounts of formaldehyde (liquid germall plus) and the other preservative I use is paraben based (phenonip), neither of which is remotely crunchy.
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2019
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  9. Jul 5, 2019 #9

    Cellador

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    Any of the recipes and ingredients offered through the Herbarie are generally going to be pretty gentle. The only surfactant I would avoid through them is the SCS (Sodium Coco-Sulfate)- it's not "bad" in any way, but it's pH is pretty high. Hope this helps!
     
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  10. Jul 5, 2019 #10

    lsg

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    You can lower the pH of SCS by adding citric acid dissolved in a little hot water.
     
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  11. Jul 5, 2019 #11

    HowieRoll

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    I've been making my own liquid (syndet) shampoo and conditioner for a year and half. At the time I started, SwiftCraftyMonkey's site was still free and I learned a TON from Susan. If you pay a very small monthly fee, you will have access to a treasure trove of information that will help you understand the formulating process.

    Here is another site with information about formulating detergents:
    https://itsallinmyhands.com/2013/04/20/how-to-formulate-a-detergent/

    Another site I like to read is Humblebee & Me, and she's branched out into formulating syndet shampoo & conditioners (but please ignore her old recipes for "shampoo bars" that are really just lye-based soaps). While I haven't tried her syndet shampoo/conditioner recipes, as I formulate my own, they might be another good starting point.

    https://www.humblebeeandme.com/

    For me, formulating shampoo and conditioner has been fun and frustrating all at once, as it's a whole 'nother world of DIY!
     
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  12. Jul 6, 2019 #12

    emi

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    "Crunchy enough" hahaha!! I already have Germaben II from making lotions before so hopefully that can work. (I think that might be one of the a crunchy ones!) Thank you so much for this explanation. It was surprisingly difficult to find this out through numerous searches on syndets and surfactants. And you confirmed what I keep thinking, "... but doesn't that mean soap is a surfactant???" I'm trying to replace the head and shoulders I've been using for many years which is SLS based, but I don't really know if it is really "nice" for my hair. I don't really pay attention. It's the only affordable anti-dandruff shampoo on the market so that's the only reason I buy it. I condition with some conditioner I got at Costco. I guess my scalp doesn't feel dry or itchy, but might that be due to the pyrithone zinc in it for the anti-dandruff? I do have dyed hair so anything to help it not be more dry I suppose is preferable. I'll just dive in trying some of the recipes on Herbarie and It's All In My Hands website recommended by lsg and HowieRoll. It's amazing how much I've learned from this thread and a half hour on those 2 websites compared to the hours I spent reading all the stuff from searching "shampoo recipes", then "liquid shampoo recipes". I guess I always feel like I need to do that before I start asking the pros. Thank you again.
     
  13. Jul 6, 2019 #13

    emi

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    Awesome! The It's all in my Hands website is perrrfect. I've already learned so much reading just a few pages. The Humble Bee site had one surfactant shampoo recipe I'm going to take a look at too, and a great resource for other stuff I want to know about and tackle. I remember getting into the craft monkey site several years ago before they locked it when I was trying to make a face scrub and had trouble navigating it. But it's referred to my so many I might need to get myself access too! Thank you so much for these great sources!
     
  14. Jul 6, 2019 #14

    emi

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    This might be such a newbie question, but what's the best way to test for pH for these kinds of products? Will pH strips suffice? Or should I get one of those pool probes?

    I also have a question about water. One of the sites, https://itsallinmyhands.com/2014/05/17/water-in-cosmetic-diys/ said to use demineralized microbiologically pure water, with the complete assumption that we are using preservatives. It says it's not ideal but if needed I can get demineralized water and boil for 20 minutes and "take my chances". Correct me if I'm wrong on any of this. I've learned that distilled water is not the same thing and can still cause recipe mishaps due to charged ions I think it said. I also learned that deionized water is the same thing as demineralized water. I can find deionized/demineralized water online, but can't even find "microbiologically pure water" even mentioned anywhere else much less be able to buy it, plus have it be deionized. I've looked on several cosmetic supply and chemistry websites. Does it exist?! Or am I bound to "take my chances" with boiling deionized water?
     
  15. Jul 6, 2019 #15

    lsg

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    I use distilled water for all of my recipes without a problem. I use a pH meter .
     
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  16. Jul 6, 2019 #16

    Cellador

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    Just buy distilled water from the grocery store. There's no need for fancy water:)
    If you follow a recipe from the Herbarie (or is there another one you're looking at?), then you really shouldn't need to test pH. There are certain ingredients that do have a pretty low or high pH, but most of what you'll find is going to be suitable for skin and hair as long as you're including the water in your recipes.
    I guess I should mention that some preservatives require the pH to be in a certain range. If you wanted or needed to test pH, you could pick-up some multi-colored strips (more than 1 color match per pH level) to test your pH. You usually want to dilute the product in distilled water before testing - I see people using 1%-10% usually (1g product to 99g water or 10g product to 90g water).
    BUT, like I said, it's usually not necessary so don't get too overwhelmed by this. Just pick a preservative that has a wide pH range. I use Liquid Germall Plus.
     
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  17. Jul 6, 2019 #17

    DeeAnna

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    Microbiologically pure water = water that is safe to drink. The ultimate extreme of microbiologically pure water is sterile water, but honestly, as long as the water meets drinking water standards for microbiological purity, it's sufficiently safe to use in body care products.

    I'm puzzled by the other distinctions made in the article you linked to. In particular, the author implies demineralized water is more pure than distilled, and that's simply not true. Distillation is the gold standard for demineralization in that it removes microorganisms as well as all minerals. Reverse osmosis filtration (RO) and deionization (a process that is similar to how water is softened) are two other processes that remove nearly all of the minerals in the water. The water from these processes is also fine.

    None of this water is sterile unless it is also produced under sterile conditions, but sterility is honestly not necessary. You are not making your product under sterile conditions using ingredients that are also sterilized, so buying expensive sterile water is a waste of money.

    More info in plain language: https://www.mrwatergeek.com/demineralised-water/ Ignore the sales hype at the end.

    Bottom line -- Just get distilled water at the grocery store, do your best to not contaminate the water in the jug of water while you are using the water, and you'll be fine. No need to jump through major hoops for this. You're going to introduce far more microorganisms into your body care products from your other ingredients (they're not sterile either!) than you will by using distilled water from the grocery store.

    Distilled water is harder to find in other countries -- deionized or RO water is apparently more common and less expensive. If that's the case in your local area, go with deionized or RO water instead.
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2019
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  18. Jul 6, 2019 #18

    lsg

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    I heat water to boiling, even if it is distilled, before using in shampoo or body washes. You never know what may be lurking in liquids. For lotion or cream, I heat and hold at 160*F, both liquids and oils.
     
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  19. Jul 11, 2019 #19

    emi

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    Ah what a relief! I've made lotions and face scrubs that needed preservatives because of their water content and was always instructed to just use distilled. This website about deionized microbiologically pure water was a first. I'll take the tip to boil my distilled water for 20 minutes. Thank you so much!
     
  20. Jul 15, 2019 at 9:10 PM #20

    DeeAnna

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    I should clarify that I use the heat and hold method for making lotions -- in other words, I heat all heat-tolerant ingredients to 160F / 70C and hold that temp for 20 minutes. This doesn't necessarily kill all microorganisms, but it will kill many of the microorganisms that are most commonly found in lotion ingredients. The heat and hold method is mainly used to make a more stable emulsion with some types of emulsifiers, however, not really for sanitizing.

    I don't normally boil my distilled water for diluting liquid soap because of the high pH of liquid soap, although I do use a preservative in my diluted liquid soap. I certainly would never argue with anyone who chooses to boil their dilution water -- there's nothing wrong with an abundance of caution. And boiling water would certainly speed up the dilution process.
     
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