Syndopour shampoo syndet base testing

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My first round of Syndopour shampoo bars are made. The short story - the bars I made today turned out perfectly, but something went awry in yesterday’s effort.

For context, Syndopour is a new melt and pour syndet base by Stephenson. There’s another thread by @earlene discussing Syndopour, here. In addition to the YT videos by Royalty Soaps and Ellen Ruth that were linked in the other thread, I found one by Sunshine Soap and Candle Company and one by the Soap Kitchen in the UK for a facial cleansing bar. There’s also a shampoo bar YT by the Soap Kitchen, here, but the list of ingredients gives a different base.

Photos up front. The long explanation of how I made them is below.

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Day 2: happy, happy!
white, round - unadulterated base
green, round - green tea extract, matcha tea powder, rosemary eo
I got the idea to use the “travel size“ bee molds from the Ellen Ruth video.

Day 1: not happy, for reason explained below
pink, square - NS Queen of Hearts mica (by volume, 3x as much colorant as the other batches from Day 1), BB Wild Rose FO (I used 2%, but will use 1% the next time); I washed my hands with the lower pink bar midday today and dinged it because it was still quite soft.
lavender, square - ultramarine violet, lavandin eo
green, square - blend of green and yellow oxides, lavandin & rosemary eos, provitamin B5 and silk amino acids; additives inspired by Sunshine Soap and Candle Co.

The square bars were made yesterday and all were still a bit soft and sticky this morning, at least 18 hours after they were made. Each color was made separately as 112-150 g of base split into two cavities of the mold. The suggested limit for additives is 3%, including fragrance up to 2%. I added 2% FO or EO to each batch. The green squares have additional additives totaling 1% of batch weight. I did not count the colorants in the additives. Each colorant was suspended by adding a tiny spritz of 91% IPA, which also was not counted in the additives. By tiny, I mean a few drops, based on what I saw in the bottom of the 30 ml beaker I spritzed into. That’s except for the green bars where I spritzed twice so the B5 additive would dissolve. The instructions are to heat the base to 80C. I heated each batch in the microwave until it was about 80-90% melted and then stirred until the last of the base was melted. I was worried about overshooting the correct temp and may have been below 80C, but the base was nicely fluid each time and I didn’t bother to write down the temperature at the melted/fluid point.

Based on the YT videos by Royalty Soap and Ellen Ruth and the product information, I expected the bars to firm up pretty quickly and get harder overnight. Instead I got soft and sticky. Since I didn’t make a control bar yesterday, I figured I better do it today. For the three smaller bars I made this morning, I heated the base to 80C +/- 2C. The white ones were made in one batch and are the unadulterated base. One white bar was un-molded after an hour and was just the tiniest bit soft. The second white bar was un-molded several hours later and was firm. The round green bar is made with matcha tea powder that I counted as an additive. It suspended easily into a mixture of the other additives (green tea extract in glycerin and water, plus the EO). I removed that bar from the mold after about three hours and it’s shiny gorgeous. There’s no preservative for the tea, so I will need to watch it and do some research.

Something I did yesterday caused a problem in all three batches. The alcohol? The temperature? Both? The soft bars seem to be getting a bit firmer as the day goes on, but they’re still softer than the bars made today. Based on the photos, it looks like the square green bars with the extra 1% additives were the stickiest coming out of the mold, Perhaps the additives also played a role?

The Day 1 bar that I tried earlier today made nice lather with some good size bubbles, but I don’t think testing a soft bar is a fair test and will wait at least another day before I take one into the shower.
 
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I read through the Syndopour documents before I made the bars, but without taking good notes. I’m re-reading them now and a few things are popping out:

On temperature for melting - “The base will begin melting above 50/60°C, but the base should be heated up to 70 - 85 degrees during processing to achieve the best quality bars.”

On hardening - “One of the main differences you will see with Syndopour 200-MB is the softness of the base. Once the syndet base has been poured to create finished bars the base will harden, they need to be left for longer than soap base. The longer you leave Syndopour, the firmer it will become.”

They recommend against using intricate molds because “the base is more brittle than other melt and pour.” I just checked the bars from yesterday and the edges are not at all brittle. I know for sure that the melted base for those bars was within a couple of degrees of 80C. For my next round of testing I will include an unadulterated batch heated to 83-85C.

Essential oils - can affect “setting time, hardness, clarity.“ The Day 1 bars I made using an FO are as soft as the two sets from that day that were made with EOs. That doesn’t rule out issues with using EOs, but they’re not the primary issue for me at the moment.

The base can be remelted, which is good to know for the future. I’m going to leave what I’ve made alone and keep track of what happens over time.

As I noted above, I used a little extra IPA to dissolve the dl-Panthenol. It sounded like a great idea to include some in a bar, but in the midst of flying by the seat of my pants I realized that I didn’t know how to add it. When I make lotion, I add it during the cool down phase and have never had a problem. Lotioncrafters specifies a melt point of 64.5-68.5C. According to this site, it’s soluble in water, ethanol, methanol, and propylene glycol; slightly soluble in glycerin and has a boiling point of 118-120C, so I guess I will try adding it directly to the melted base, or maybe to a portion of the base that I can incorporate into the bulk of the base. The ingredients in the base are: Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate (20-40%), Propylene Glycol (20-40%), Glyceryl Stearate (10-20%), Aqua (10-20%), Glycerin (10-20%).

I tried the pink bar again a few minutes ago. It’s a little firmer than it was yesterday, but not what I would call hard or brittle compared with soaps I’ve made. The lather looked very similar to what I aim for in my soap recipe, with a good distribution of bubbles initially, including some up to a cm or more in diameter. The lather transforms to a foam and then gets almost creamy with more rubbing. I would call the hand feel “silky,” but not slippery like a soap made with a good percentage of RBO feels. After I dried my hands they initially felt just a tiny bit tacky, but that went away as they dried further. My hands are pretty dry overall due to testing so much soap and I may not be the best one to judge hand feel. I assume the base is formulated to suit normal/average hair. My hair is fairly grey at this point, a bit coarser than it was when I was younger (coarse side of average), tries to get frizzy in humid weather and my scalp leans dry, especially in the winter and if I wash my hair more than every three days. This has me thinking that I could add a wee bit of oil to a next batch. My choices will be jojoba, or any of the base oils I keep on hand (shea?), or I could order another oil or something else. I will do more research on my own and try the bars I made, but if anyone has any suggestions for my kind of hair please let me know!
 

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You should test a bar for awhile before adding oil. The formula looks like it could be gentle enough not to dry out you scalp.
If you are adding oil, I'd go with argan or jojoba.

I'm really interested in this base. I like solid shampoo bars but buying all the separate ingredients is too expensive.
Looking forward to hearing how these perform.
If you need a oily scalped, fine haired guinea pig for testing, let me know😏
 
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Thanks Obsidian! I will test for a bit before adding the oil. I am still at the bottom of a steep learning curve when it comes to bath & body. I formulated a couple of lotion recipes a few years ago, liked them and basically stopped there.
 
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For your type of hair, I'd concur with argan or jojoba oils. Meadowfoam seed and broccoli seed might be other good choices. My dry, coarse hair responds well to all of those, as well as silk amino acids, which you already added.

Does the base have any form of panthenol in it already? If so, adding more in the form of ProVitamin B5 may not be desirable. If not, then adding that does seem prudent, although I have no experience with that specific type. My go-to is powdered DL-panthenol, but only because its readily available and not as expensive as other forms.

I really appreciate all your work and how you freely share it with the rest of us! 🤗
 

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I've been reading about, making and testing many syndet bars over the last couple months. My hair is grey, colored, curly (often frizzy), and fine. I found that glycerin just sucked in the high humidity here in the PNW and made my frizzies worse. More oil in my base didn't add much value. I save that for my conditioner. Hydrolyzed protein, daikon radish seed extract, and honeyquat proved to be the winning additives for me.
 
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@AliOop According the manufacturer, the base has only Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate (20-40%), Propylene Glycol (20-40%), Glyceryl Stearate (10-20%), Aqua (10-20%), Glycerin (10-20%). The dl-panthenol I have is the powdered form. That’s all I’ve seen on Lotioncrafter, but I see now that MakingCosmetics has it as a liquid. I forgot that I have some Meadowfoam seed oil, so I guess that’a another option to consider when I get to that stage of testing. Thanks for the tips. As for sharing, I’m here to learn and if I can help someone else avoid wasting expensive ingredients, all the better.

@JoyfulSudz I had an inkling that the glycerin might exacerbate the frizzies. I have the protein and will check out those other additives. Thanks!
 
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Today’s update:

The Day 1 bars may be catching up with the Day 2 bars in terms of firmness. Based on the bottom edges, I still wouldn’t characterize any of the bars as brittle.

The matcha tea bar is turning tan already, especially on the top side that is exposed to light and air.

I washed my hair today using the pink Syndopour bar. I also used my normal shampoo by mistake after grabbing the wrong container when I was reaching for conditioner. I used my normal conditioner after using the pink bar for a second time. Lathering up with a bar shampoo is a bit different. I didn’t want to rub it directly on my head, so I built up some lather in my hands and then rubbed that into my hair. It didn’t seem to be making much lather on my head until I added a bit more water and then all was good. It wasn’t lather like my usual shampoo makes, possibly because I use more of that than is needed, but the hand feel was enough to signal where it was in my hair and where to distribute it further. My hair was noticeably squeaky clean after both rounds with the Syndopour bar, and not squeaky clean feeling with my regular shampoo (Nexxus Therappe). My really clean hair has dried and feels good. My scalp isn’t red and it doesn’t feel irritated.
 
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There’s no sign of the bar sweating so far, but they’re sitting in my air conditioned house. I found this statement about packaging the product:

“It is a product specifically designed to help consumers conserve water, reduce carbon footprint and reduce the use of plastics, as it can be packaged in card cartons or wrapped in recyclable paper.”

The Soap Kitchen web page for Syndopour provides a link to a Stephenson Guidebook pdf that I didn’t find on the Stephenson website. It includes a few example formulations. Look in the documents section towards the bottom of the page.

In this Stephenson video, the recommended melting temperature is 85C, with a pouring temp in the range 70-85C.
 
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Day 8

The bars are all about the same now in terms of how they feel, which is dry, but not waxy or brittle. There’s no sign of sweating on any of them.

I‘ve now washed my hair twice with a rose-scented pink bar and once, earlier today, with one of the square green bars, which contain dl-panthenol, silk amino acids, lavandin and rosemary eos. My hair has been great all week, including after riding my bike a couple of days in hot, humid weather. No frizzies! My scalp wasn’t red or irritated with the pink bar, but it felt different for a reason I can’t explain (a tiny bit sensitive?) and the FO was too strong for my nose. The pink batch was the only one I scented at 2% and the only one that has an FO scent rather than EOs. My scalp feels totally normal after using the green bar, so I’m going to stick with it for a bit.

Does anyone know what a typical/standard protocol is for testing for irritation from shampoo? I can look it up, but thought I would check first.
 
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Day 9

I’m happy with the soft feel of my hair today and my scalp feels normal. My hair is remarkably straight and not frizzy even though the weather is wet outside. This is after washing with the shampoo bar and then adding about a tsp of my normal conditioner since I still haven’t gotten around to making the conditioner bars. The first photo is of the top of my head and the second one is of the bottom ends where pre-Covid coloring remains. I tried using purple shampoo to tone down the color, but the commercial brands give me a headache.

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Pre-covid I noticed that all my retired friends let their hair go grey while my professional colleagues were still coloring their hair like I was. It continues to be the expectation in my world, along with wearing at least some makeup and business dress, including heels. I can break the rules now because I’m close to retirement and no longer working for a promotion or a better raise. It’s so much easier!
 

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Looking good, @Mobjack Bay!

My violet#2 (per this discussion) came while we were in DC; Hubby just picked up our mail from the Post Office yesterday. And the Syndopour came the day before we left. So I can make a shampoo bar this week & start trying it out.

I think I'll make only one unscented bar as a trial. And see how it works for me before making additional bars. I'd like to know how the bar smells without added scent.

How long from making to using did you go? Is your white bar unscented? You said it is 'unadulterated' so I suspect it is unscented. Have you used it yet?

I don't wash my hair as often as when I was constantly sweating from hard work; I guess I just don't do the heavy sweaty stuff that I used to do quite so much anymore. Plus I keep my hair very short these days. ;)

I'll update my thread with my own experience once I make my first bar, since my concern was really as much about the violet#2 as it is about the Syndopour.


;)
 
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@earlene I’m going to be really interested in how the violet #2 works out for you because I could use a little toning on my ends. The first trial I did was on day 3, with the pink bar. I have not tried the uncolored, unscented bars, but should do that so I have the control. To my nose, the unscented bars have a very faint scent of generic soap.

To date, I have the impression that the shampoo bar is leaving less of something on my hair compared with the shampoo I was using. My hair feels soft and smooth. I’ve washed it 2x with the pink bar and 2x with the square green bar that has the dl-panthenol and silk amino acids added.

Using the shampoo bar I made is not like washing with liquid shampoo. It takes a bit more work to get a lather rather than a lotion-like feel. When I washed my hair yesterday, I lathered up the bar by hand, which softens the outer surface a little, and then swiped it across the top and sides on my head and also around my hairline along the back of my neck between my ears. With some water added from the showerhead, I was able to build up a foamy lather that felt like the shampoo experience.

The unused bars are still sitting out on my dining room table and haven’t changed in a noticeable way over the last week or so. They’re still firm, not brittle or waxy and not sweating. The color in the bar with matcha tea stabilized after the initial color change. The photo shows the green bar that has been used 3x now, including 1x by my partner, with the unused green bar. Those two bars were about 70 g each of base when they were poured.

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I jumped in an bought some Syndopour. I was ready to try a new pourable recipe but the ingredients cost over $70, so decided the Syndopour was a better deal even with the high shipping.

I'm just doing no color or scent since it is mainly for my daughter and how it gets along with her cochlear implant.

My impression after the pour and after they came out of the molds was icky. It definitely felt like a Melt and Pour soap. I think it is definitely a soapy smell right out of the container. They felt wet but were NOT sweating. After about two days it didn't feel as wet but they are soft. I made them on Saturday and this morning I checked again...no wetness, firmer but even without pressure, my fingernail will put a mark of the bar. This is the 4th day.

I did notice in the clean up process that there was not as much suds as my other syndet recipes. I am going to wait for about a week before I try it.

I did find with my other syndet bars, that because most of them broke or at least chipped off a bit that I put them in the little organza gift bags to hold all the parts together. I put the bag under the shower water for a second or two, then rub that between my hands to start the sudsing action. Then I rub it on my hair. I find that it doesn't tug as much on my hair and distributes the suds a lot better. May end up using that method even if these don't break or chip.
 
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I jumped in an bought some Syndopour. I was ready to try a new pourable recipe but the ingredients cost over $70, so decided the Syndopour was a better deal even with the high shipping.

I'm just doing no color or scent since it is mainly for my daughter and how it gets along with her cochlear implant.

My impression after the pour and after they came out of the molds was icky. It definitely felt like a Melt and Pour soap. I think it is definitely a soapy smell right out of the container. They felt wet but were NOT sweating. After about two days it didn't feel as wet but they are soft. I made them on Saturday and this morning I checked again...no wetness, firmer but even without pressure, my fingernail will put a mark of the bar. This is the 4th day.

I did notice in the clean up process that there was not as much suds as my other syndet recipes. I am going to wait for about a week before I try it.

I did find with my other syndet bars, that because most of them broke or at least chipped off a bit that I put them in the little organza gift bags to hold all the parts together. I put the bag under the shower water for a second or two, then rub that between my hands to start the sudsing action. Then I rub it on my hair. I find that it doesn't tug as much on my hair and distributes the suds a lot better. May end up using that method even if these don't break or chip.
I have almost no experience with melt and pour so the comparison is really useful for me. I have some questions and if you have the time and inclination to answer, thank you in advance. Do you know what temperature the base reached when you melted it? How soon did you unmold? Do your other syndet recipes include the other surfactant (SCS?). If I’m remembering correctly, that one is more bubbly, but less mild. I would need to go back and check my notes to be sure. With respect to the fingernail mark in the bar, does that not happen with other pourable syndet recipes you make? The only thing I have to compare with is soap and one batch of melt and pour soap that I made recently.

I will try the organza bag method the next time I wash my hair. Thanks for sharing all of the observations and the tip.
 
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I'm sorry but forgot to get my thermometer out ...I melted in the microwave in short spurts of one minute or so as I was afraid to get it too hot. When the last of the syndopour melted I poured it into the mold.

I put the mold in the refrigerator for 24 hours(it's been over 100 here for the past few days), then let it sit on the counter for an hour or so then unmolded. It was in a flower mold and unmolded perfectly. It came out feeling sort of wet...but that is what I equated Melt and Pour like.

My other recipes use both SLSa and SCI (no SCS )...neither have been pourable, so they are pressed into a moon cake mold (sort of). They are sort of dry to start with, which I think makes them crumbly, especially if I drop them. And no, my fingernail moved over the top of those will not make a mark. I bought DIY recipe for her pourable syndet bars but her recipes are totally different and is going to take a major change to go over to her new method. Buying the Syndapour was cheaper to try out than buying the full ingredients.

I plan on giving my daughter one to try out for a week starting Saturday...that gives it a week to "cure" and if it is more than that to get hard enough to use then I'll try another recipe. It usually takes about a week of use for her implant to get irritated. If it works AND lasts a reasonable amount of time then I will probably just continue to use the Syndapour. If not, then I'll get the other ingredients and try the pourable DIY recipe. I haven't had any problems with any of the syndet recipes on my own hair plus I am also one of those that can use regular soap on my hair without a problem...so I am only going down this rabbit hole to find something for my daughter. Since she does not make soap/syndets the melt and pour would be ideal for her after I can no longer mange making it.
 

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