Making shampoo & conditioners

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Monab

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Hey, everyone!!
I was wondering if anyone make shampoo and conditioner? This is something that I'm hitting a wall with like everytime. I've made liquid soap but how do I go about making shampoo?? Conditioner?? What do I add to make it gentle on your scalp? My hair is very brittle right because of the conditioner I use. So, I need to make something that add to my hair or get a good idea?


Anyone, with information please help☹.
 

Arimara

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Shampoos and conditioners are not like soap, which is alkaline. They are closer to being pH balanced, especially for hair. The best ones for hair in general are made with surfactants, emulsifiers, emoliants, and humectants. Since there is more science involved, your best guide would be found at Susan's blog here which houses a lot of information that can better help you.
 

cmzaha

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Hey, everyone!!
I was wondering if anyone make shampoo and conditioner? This is something that I'm hitting a wall with like everytime. I've made liquid soap but how do I go about making shampoo?? Conditioner?? What do I add to make it gentle on your scalp? My hair is very brittle right because of the conditioner I use. So, I need to make something that add to my hair or get a good idea?


Anyone, with information please help☹.
Do you realize hair conditioner is basically a lotion? You will need to read about preserving and making lotions in order to make hair conditioners. There are some very good commercial conditioners available.

My question is why is your hair brittle? Is it a health problem, medications, are you using soap to wash it, or hair product damage, sun damage, wind damage etc.? When I would have customers with damaged I would try to get to the bottom of the issue, many times it was medications and there was nothing we could do but regular hair cut. You have to remember hair is dead and damaged hair cannot be fixed only cut off and regrown. Hair conditioners will coat and smooth the hair shaft but will NOT fix damage no matter what ads tell you.

What the vitamins help nourish is the scalp root hair, follicles not the dead ends. So conditioners do have a purpose they just do not fix dead hair.
 
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ilonaliss

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Check out Humblebee and Me- Marie's recipes for liquid and solid shampoos and conditioners are a great starting point. Bear in mind that it might take a lot of experimentation with different formulations to find one that your hair likes. Basic formulations available online may not work for problematic hair and ones with lots of "goodies" (hydrolysed proteins, silicones, plant extracts, vitamins, exotic oils etc) can be expensive to make. I'm not trying to discourage you, just letting you know. Why do you think your current conditioner is making your hair brittle?
 

Monab

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Do you realize hair conditioner is basically a lotion? You will need to read about preserving and making lotions in order to make hair conditioners. There are some very good commercial conditioners available.

My question is why is your hair brittle? Is it a health problem, medications, are you using soap to wash it, or hair product damage, sun damage, wind damage etc.? When I would have customers with damaged I would try to get to the bottom of the issue, many times it was medications and there was nothing we could do but regular hair cut. You have to remember hair is dead and damaged hair cannot be fixed only cut off and regrown. Hair conditioners will coat and smooth the hair shaft but will NOT fix damage no matter what ads tell you.

What the vitamins help nourish is the scalp root hair, follicles not the dead ends. So conditioners do have a purpose they just do not fix dead hair.
Yes, I am aware but I already cut hair off about a few months ago because I used a shampoo and conditioner that literally made my hair brittle, dry and was falling out. I try to stay away from a lot product because they damage my hair within the first use. Making shampoo and conditioner is not just for my but it for my whole family. I know its alot of work but I dont mind. There is a lot of information on solid but not so much on liquid.
 

lsg

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I make shampoo using surfactants and have made conditioners. The Herbarie has some good recipes.
 

cmzaha

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Yes, I am aware but I already cut hair off about a few months ago because I used a shampoo and conditioner that literally made my hair brittle, dry and was falling out. I try to stay away from a lot product because they damage my hair within the first use. Making shampoo and conditioner is not just for my but it for my whole family. I know its alot of work but I dont mind. There is a lot of information on solid but not so much on liquid.
I will stick to what I originally said, it sounds more medical than a shampoo or conditioner problem. Even extreme stress can affect hair almost overnight. When I was going through a couple of years of extreme family stress my hair became a mess, you would have thought I was on chemo treatments, it has taken over a year to improve, although it is not even close to what it was. Very seldom falling out hair is caused by external products other than chemical damage such as hair bleaching, perm solutions, curling irons, etc. Have you consulted a Dermatologist, if not I would highly recommend it.
 

Zany_in_CO

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I was wondering if anyone make shampoo and conditioner? ... My hair is very brittle right because of the conditioner I use.
The subject of lye-based shampoo vs. Syn-Dets (Synthetic/Detergent) shampoo has been discussed many times. Search "Shampoo" for more information.

I have been using lye-based shampoo, bars & liquid, since 2004. I rarely use conditioner because I don't need it but here is a recipe I've made and used in the past:
ZANY'S HAIR CONDITIONER WITH LEMON

Since your hair is brittle now, I would highly recommend cleansing your hair and scalp with Polysorbate 80. It's very mild and you will be amazed at how soft and shiny your hair is once all the product has been removed. When applying, pay special attention to the scalp.

When it comes to making Liquid Soap as Shampoo, there is no "One-Size-Fits-All". You can use the LS you've already made. The key is to rinse thoroughly with cool water until it is as cold as you can stand it to close the hair shaft, then use an Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse to restore the acid balance of the scalp.

There is good information on this site to learn about the different oils that are beneficial for different types of hair. With that information you can then formulate a recipe, hard bar or LS, that works well for your hair.

HTH and Good Luck! :)
 

MKLonestar

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Hey, everyone!!
I was wondering if anyone make shampoo and conditioner? This is something that I'm hitting a wall with like everytime. I've made liquid soap but how do I go about making shampoo?? Conditioner?? What do I add to make it gentle on your scalp? My hair is very brittle right because of the conditioner I use. So, I need to make something that add to my hair or get a good idea?


Anyone, with information please help☹.
It is very possible that your hair has become very brittle from OVER shampooing and conditioning it. I know this sounds weird, but if I shampoo/condition my hair more than twice a month it gets extremely brittle and breaks or falls out. My hair actually does better being shampooed/conditioned once monthly, especially in winter. Yes, in summer I do need to shampoo more often, but I do not condition every time. I also use serum in the summer on my hair that is made with Quinoa and Caffeine that also really helps when I have to wash it on a more frequent basis.
 

Monab

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It is very possible that your hair has become very brittle from OVER shampooing and conditioning it. I know this sounds weird, but if I shampoo/condition my hair more than twice a month it gets extremely brittle and breaks or falls out. My hair actually does better being shampooed/conditioned once monthly, especially in winter. Yes, in summer I do need to shampoo more often, but I do not condition every time. I also use serum in the summer on my hair that is made with Quinoa and Caffeine that also really helps when I have to wash it on a more frequent basis.
Yes, I usually don't use shampoo but I tried something new and within a week my hair was dry. I just went back to what I was using. Hopefully, it get back to normal but I'm still figuring out how to make hair product.
 

lonalea

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does adding citric acid to rebatched cp soap make the ph ok for shampoo?
 

GemstonePony

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Just to clarify, are you looking to make soap and use it as shampoo? Or are you looking to jump into synthetic detergents? It's kinda two different universes. My two cents it that if your hair is already damaged, the alkalinity of soap might not be your friend, but some people's hair seems ok with it, so maybe you'll be fine
 

Professor Bernardo

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does adding citric acid to rebatched cp soap make the ph ok for shampoo?
It will adjust a little bit. The average pH of liquid soaps is around 9.5 pH or so.
Too much citric acid will cause the fats to separate out and make a mess of your liquid soap.

Some hair care people recommend using a conditioner after shampooing with a liquid "castile-type" soap.

I use a Castile Orange oil scented liquid soap, which I made, and have no issues. I have oily hair and I know that this soap really cleans my hair exceptionally well.
 

lonalea

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I have been making a shampoo bar...I rebatch and add the citric acid...I haven't noticed any problems but don't want any down the road
 

Juggsy

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I make shampoo and conditioner but not with soap nor castile/Bastille soap but with surfactants. Personally, I don't find it hard - kinda like Soapmaking- it's a formula and you need to follow it closely. Because hair produces are water based they need a preservative. I do this because hair is different from skin. The pH levels for acceptable shampoos are very different from soap (I explain further if you keep reading). I don't use anything lye based for shampoo etc and find the formulas easy to follow.

I actually started with chemical formulation books - ancient, outdated, not natural - but they were widely available for cosmetic industry and if you've made hot process soap, I think you'd have no issue. For me, reading and understanding chemical formulas was the lead into soap. I started with chemical formulation and moved into soap making (I assume the opposite of most).

But shampoo is just about understanding what's needed.

You basically need:

Primary Surfactant: main foaming/cleansing agent (30 years ago the most popular would have been SLS - NOT as popular now but still widely used)

Secondary Surfactant: foam building/reduces the drying affect of primary

Viscosity Builders: thickening agents etc. interesting when you think about why. The why, is simply perception (a bit like liquid soap) - our brains equate thickness to how concentrated something is and if you've ever made liquid soap you know this isn't necessarily true.

Stabiliser/Foam Boosters: it's crucial to stabilise the foam boosters added because we aren't making bubble bath so you want some foam bubbles but not lots. Foam boosters aren't necessary but it's a bit like liquid soap again, we like the foaming action because we can see it.

Preservative: 110% necessary and no matter what any one says, vitamin E isn't a preservative it's an antioxidant - it slows oil oxidisation. Anything water based needs a preservative. Same as rosemary extract etc. While some essential oils do have some preservative levels (wrong word, but brain fart) we don't use them in concentrations that would kill microbes etc.

Conditioning agents: yes, shampoo has conditioning agents helps with moisture content, static etc.

Opacifiers/pearlisers: again, it's a brain thing. Consumers equate pearl-esque (my brain hates me again) shampoos to be more luxurious and creamy/rich.

Humectants: Essential for scalp especially but they keep moisture in etc.

pH adjuster: I aim for 3.5 - 4.5. It's interesting as hair natural pH is about 3.7 but scalp pH is 5.5 - scientists consider high pH shampoo as shampoo with pH greater than 5.5 - soap can't get that low and is why it's not great for hair. It's why if you do wash in castile/Bastille soap you need to rinse with ACV. Although it still won't rinse out completely. I've not come across any hair stylist, hair technician or hairdresser that recommends washing with soap.

Fragrance: Essential oils are best especially when used for their properties- rosemary will help, restore, peppermint will invigorate the scalp (helps with hair loss) etc.

Specialty additives: proteins and added nutrients like hydrolised wheat protein, antifungal actives, etc are added for scalp treatment and/or adding nutrients. Depending on hair condition and type. As an example, I make three different shampoos for my family alone - we all have different hair structure, texture and scalp conditions.

Suspending agents: These help water-insoluble additives disperse in shampoo without affecting the stability, foaming, cleansing actions etc.

Chelating Agents: added for hard water, important for people who swim regularly (me) as they have ability to remove chlorine and mineral deposits (eg. limescale) from the scalp and hair. They also prevent colour and fragrance degradation.

Once you understand the different functions of the ingredients and the process it isn't too hard to formulate your own shampoo.

Someone above said that conditioners are just like lotions. This is true. If you've ever made lotion, you will have an idea how to formulate conditioner.

As for formulas I think Elise's blog WholeElise has a good basic clarifying shampoo.

I came across Elise's blog when I was trying to find the approximate percentages of Aesop's Handwash as one of my clients loves it so much but would prefer to buy local. I put an Australian twist on the Aesop's with lemon myrtle and bush mint. I also make one with banksia flower and native bee honey - seriously the best smell and sustainable for me as I have several native bee hives and a friend who is a cellular extractor (seriously don't ask me to explain that - it's too complicated).

Also, Tracey from Oh, The Things We'll Make, makes a great basic baby shampoo or her sydnet shampoo bars (made from surfactants) I believe are good for beginners.
My ten year old daughter follows Oh, The Things We'll Make as she has some wonderful crafts and she begged me to use the dishwasher to cook after seeing Tracey's post on dishwasher cooking. 🤣😅 If my daughter can make lotions from that blog, I'm positive others can too.

Both Elise and Tracey have some good basic information and while I'll always advocate books first, I do think these are valuable resources if you haven't made shampoo, conditioner and/or lotions before.

Making shampoos is different from soapmaking but I find it extremely rewarding. My hair was regularly shedding/falling out (scary amount) and although it was/is stress based, the improvement to my scalp condition due to formulating my own shampoo was amazing. I do believe in holistic care but don't believe that vitamins and minerals alone will improve scalp and hair condition.

Edit: corrected spelling
 
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Quanta

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I have been making a shampoo bar...I rebatch and add the citric acid...I haven't noticed any problems but don't want any down the road
If you add enough citric acid to soap to actually bring the pH down enough to make it safe to use on hair (shampoo pH should be between 4 and 6) then the soap will fall apart and separate and you won't have soap anymore. If your rebatched bar is still in one piece and lathering properly, that means the pH is still too high for hair and it will make your hair dry and brittle due to damage to the cuticle. This can be partially fixed if you rinse with an acid (like vinegar) because that closes the cuticle, but this means that every time you wash your hair with soap and rinse with vinegar, you're opening and closing the cuticle. This is the same damage that occurs when hair is chemically treated (dye or perm) except it happens every time you wash. This is why people who regularly use soap to wash their hair don't wash it as often.

I make syndet bars to wash my hair and it is much, much gentler than soap. I also make a conditioner bar and my hair has never been softer. There is no need to open the cuticle when you wash, it doesn't get your hair cleaner than leaving it closed and it only leads to damage.
 

Quanta

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I use a Castile Orange oil scented liquid soap, which I made, and have no issues. I have oily hair and I know that this soap really cleans my hair exceptionally well.
Some people have oily hair because their shampoo removes too much natural oil from their scalp, triggering the scalp to produce more oil to replace it. It becomes a vicious cycle of stripping the oil out and the skin overcompensating by producing a lot of oil, which is then stripped again by harsh shampoo.

Has your scalp always been oily? Have you tried using a more gentle shampoo for a few months to let your scalp adjust to not having to produce as much oil?
 

Zany_in_CO

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I have been making a shampoo bar...I rebatch and add the citric acid...I haven't noticed any problems but don't want any down the road
You may want to read this post for more info about making lye-based shampoo bars:

https://www.soapmakingforum.com/threads/making-shampoo-conditioners.82617/#post-870660

rinse with an acid (like vinegar) because that closes the cuticle, but this means that every time you wash your hair with soap and rinse with vinegar, you're opening and closing the cuticle.
Your advice is well taken. 🙂 Just a minor correction from one who has been using lye-based soap to shampoo ever since I first started making soap in 2003. The key is to rinse thoroughly with cool water until it is as cold as you can stand it to close the cuticle, then use an Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse to restore the acid balance of the scalp.
that means the pH is still too high for hair and it will make your hair dry and brittle due to damage to the cuticle.
There are quite a few members on SMF that have experienced that problem. Personally, I believe it is due to not taking the time it takes to rinse all the soap residue from the hair. This happens with DIY laundry soap too. If you don't rinse all the soap scum out, your clothes and linens become stiff, dingy looking and smelly over time. :thumbs:
 
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Quanta

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Your advice is well taken. 🙂 Just a minor correction from one who has been using lye-based soap to shampoo ever since I first started making soap in 2003. The key is to rinse thoroughly with cool water until it is as cold as you can stand it to close the cuticle, then use an Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse to restore the acid balance of the scalp.
Not so. The skin will rebalance its own pH within 15 minutes of being washed with soap. If what you're saying is true, we would need to rinse our hands with vinegar every time we use soap to wash our hands.

It is a very well established fact that the pH of a solution applied to hair has more to do with the cuticle opening and closing, than the temperature. This is the mechanism by which hair dyes work. An alkaline solution is applied to hair to force the cuticle to open so that pigment can be deposited under it, and then an acid is applied to force it back down, trapping the pigment. That's why permanent hair dyes are always in two parts. (Not temporary dyes, those just deposit the color on the surface of the hair strand.)

I'm sorry, but I think you're misunderstanding the role of acid in your hair care routine. You are using it, so your cuticle is being forced back down, but it's not the temperature that's doing it. It's the acid.

There are quite a few members on SMF that have experienced that problem. Personally, I believe it is due to not taking the time it takes to rinse all the soap residue from the hair. This happens with DIY laundry soap too. If you don't rinse all the soap scum out, your clothes and linens become stiff, dingy looking and smelly over time. :thumbs:
Most people's hair is just not able to tolerate repeated alkaline washes. You can even buy special shampoos and conditioners meant for chemically damaged hair (for people who have repeatedly permed or dyed their hair - same kind of damage) so this is a well known phenomenon. There are a lucky few whose hair is remarkably tough and can handle soap, but that's very few people. You seem to be one of them, but your hair is the exception, not the rule.
 

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