Shampoo bars - BTMS 50 vs e-wax? and is Panthenol really that important?

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dixiedragon

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Has anybody made a with and without? Thoughts? Based on this SCM recipe:

CONDITIONING SHAMPOO BAR SUITABLE FOR DRY HAIR
HEATED PHASE

30% SCI (with stearic acid) –

22% SLSa or other powdered surfactant

10% SMC or SMO taurate or other gentle surfactant

15% cocamidopropyl betaine

3% cetyl alcohol

3% Incroquat BTMS-50 or cetrimonium bromide

10% hard butter of choice -

2% hydrolyzed protein –



COOL DOWN PHASE

2% panthenol

1% dimethicone


2% essential oil blend

0.5% to 1% preservative
 

DeeAnna

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Panthenol, dimethicone, and hydrolyzed protein are definitely optional. There are reasons why it's nice to use one or all of them, but I wouldn't cry if I didn't have any of them. I use panthenol because it is soothing to the scalp and supposedly adds shine to the hair. I sometimes use a silicone alternative called hemisqualane that helps with frizz.

I have tinkered around with different liquid surfactants and not seen huge differences in the outcome. I've tried CAPB, polysorbate 80, and C14-18 detergent (Bioterge). They all seem to do about the same thing, although C14-18 might add a bit more lather than the others. The key is to not use too much of these liquid surfs -- my latest recipe has about 17% liquid surfactants.

I would prefer BTMS over e-wax, because BTMS is a cationic, substantive conditioner. In other words it sticks to the hair and make the hair softer and easier to comb. The cationic nature of BTMS will also make the shampoo milder, since the main detergents -- sci and slsa -- are anionic syndets.

E-wax is non-ionic, so I doubt it will do much to make the shampoo milder. It also has no conditioning properties that I'm aware of. The world won't end if you used e-wax instead of BTMS, however -- I'd do it in a pinch.
 
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I recently made SCM's version of this using 5% cocoa butter and 5% sal butter. It doesn't lather as well as other bars - probably due to the butters. If I was to make it again I would leave the 5% cocoa butter in but take out the sal butter. I have fine hair and it does tend to weigh my hair down a bit as it's written.
 

DeeAnna

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I agree about using less fat in the shampoo formulation. I've tried 10% and agree that it's too much. On the other hand, I had to try a version with no added fat, and I'm finding it is borderline too efficient at cleaning my hair. I have to use a conditioner to make it easier to comb my wet hair and add softness and shine and reduce frizziness when my hair is dry.

So I think a little fat -- around 5% -- in a shampoo bar adds some hardness (if you use a hard fat), helps to mellow the cleaning ability of the bar, and not leave the hair quite so dry looking and feeling. I'm going back to 5% fat as that seems to be a nice compromise.

I don't expect a 'poo bar to do everything for my hair, so I generally don't load it up with every additive I can think of. I want enough useful goodies in the shampoo bar so I don't absolutely have to use a conditioner if I don't want -- panthenol being at the top of my personal list.

That said, also using a conditioner can give a better outcome IMO than expecting a 'poo bar to do it all. For example, I'm not sure the hemisqualane in my 'poo bar does much to improve wet combing, reduce frizzies, and add shine, but it sure does nice things to my hair if I use it in a conditioner.

Oh, and a tip I figured out recently -- I store my shampoo bars in my frost free refrigerator. I found the oldest bar I just started using is staying really hard in the shower. I think it's from drying in an extra-low humidity environment for some months.
 

atiz

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Agree with DeeAnna. I did a bit of experimenting recently with various surfactant:BTMS ratios; what was really clear to me from that is that having BTMS really helps with the combing of wet hair. It is a nice conditioning emulsifier.
I would say if you always use a conditioner, it is not that essential; but otherwise, I would try to include it.
 
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Oh, and a tip I figured out recently -- I store my shampoo bars in my frost free refrigerator. I found the oldest bar I just started using is staying really hard in the shower. I think it's from drying in an extra-low humidity environment for some months
Thanks for the good info DeeAnna - I think that I'll put the rest of the batch in the fridge.
 
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