Thursday, June 11, 2009

Solid conditioner bar - the recipe

Thanks for waiting! School ends today, and I had some assignments to get in at the last moment...But I got 100% on my assignment, so that's good, eh?

So we've figured out what we need for the solid conditioner bar - see the formulating post from Tuesday - so let's get to it!

SOLID CONDITIONER BAR RECIPE

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

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 mould and put said mould into a fridge or freezer to set. When you take the bars out of the mould, lay on a table on top of a paper towel to sweat a little. (I like to let them sit for at least 24 hours before using because they'll harden up and won't smoosh when you drop them in the shower. But if you can't wait to use them, then choose a sacrificial one you can use right away, and accept it will be funny shaped!)

I like to make my bars at least 100 grams, but you can make them smaller or larger as you wish. It is easier to hold a larger bar in your hand for gliding over your hair as you enjoy a shower!

As for substitutions...
  • if you don't like silicones, then substitute a silicone substitute like Crodomol STS or SR-5 or add more oils or cationic polymer...
  • if you don't have cetrimonium chloride (cetac) leave it out. But if you can get it - get it! It's incredible stuff! Just 2% in this bar makes me able to wet comb my hair with ease (and you've seen how much I have!)
  • the originator of this bar, Cathy MB, suggested using 1/2 Incroquat BTMS and 1/2 Incroquat Cr for the conditioning agent. This is a good idea as the Incroquat CR is cheaper. Feel free to do this. Do not use cetrimonium bromide in its place - it will not harden well.
Join me tomorrow to learn how to modify this bar into a shaving bar that will make your legs, face, and other body parts say "thank you"!

52 comments:

blandine said...

how funny!
I make a solid conditioner with 90% cocoa butter and 10% BTMS and it orks great

SwiftCraftyMonkey said...

90% cocoa butter and 10% BTMS? How does that work for your hair? I would worry it would be too much for my oily hair, but it sounds great for dry hair, or even normal hair.

blandine said...

I hava normal hair
and it works great, leaves my hair soft but not greasy at all!
you should try it

the only bad point is that you have to huse hot hot water

SwiftCraftyMonkey said...

I imagine it would make your hair lovely and soft as cocoa butter is very nice for hair - I will recommend it to my best friend who has normal, but fine hair. This wouldn't work for my hair: If I use a conditioner with 5% oils it'll be greasy by the end of the day (before it's even dry!).

Why hot hot water? I'm curious now!

blandine said...

Hi :)

If I use cold water to rince it off, well it doesn't rince it off very well :)

Quetzal said...

Does hydrolyzed protein contain water? (does hydrolysis involve water? my hydrolyzed protein is liquidy, so it must be dissolved in something? It does not have water listed in the MSDS though...)? If it does, does it boil off or evaporate when you're drying the bar?

... if it doesn't, would I need to put preservative in it?

If that's the case, I wonder if dehydrated hydrolyzed protein powder would work? It's not soluble in the bar, but might work out when it dissolves in the shower... I don't have any to test though.

Quetzal said...

Whoops never mind, I see you answered that somewhere else~

Helen said...

just letting you know you left out the 2% cyclomethicone in this recipe too. I made a few batches already without it, and didn't use any preservative either. Do you think I should melt them down and add these things, and re-mold them again before I sell them?

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Helen. Thanks for letting me know I left out the cyclomethicone again! I seem to have a blind spot for that ingredient!

You can use these bars without the cyclomethicone, depending on your hair type and preference. Many people leave out the silicones or substitute something else to get the same effect.

I'm apprehensive to suggest re-melting the bars because the cool down ingredients don't play well with heat. If you can keep it below 45C, then give it a try. Use a tester bar to see if you can get it liquid enough at that temperature. Otherwise, save the bars for personal use and make another batch.

I'm going to be honest here...I tend to forget the preservatives in my bars all the time. I only make my products for personal use, so I have control over how things are used and stored and I can give my friends and family heck for doing something that might introduce contamination. If you are selling, I'd use a preservative because you can't control what the end user is going to do with it.

Additionally, if you are going to sell a product like this, I'd suggest making a batch and leaving it in various conditions for at least 6 months to ensure the product is stable, doesn't go brown because of your chosen fragrance oil, doesn't get too hard or too soft, doesn't melt in the heat, etc., so you really know what the customers can expect when buying your products.

Helen said...

Great advice Susan! Thanks so much for the response.

Willow22 said...

I have a question.. If I leave out the Cyclomethicone can I just up the Dimethicone?

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Willow - You could up the dimethicone to 4% if you really want to, but there are so many other conditioning agents in this bar, it's kinda pointless. If you want more dimethicone, consider using a leave in conditioner or an anti-frizz spray.

Renee said...

Thank you for the response. I wasn't really looking for more Dimethicone just don't have any cyclomethicone on hand. This will be the first time using some of the ingredients so I'm still learning how to sub for this and that.
Thank again
BTW I love your blog it has been soooo helpful exactly what I was looking for.

Apryl said...

If the BTMS I can find is listed as simply BTMS (Behentrimonium Methosulfate (and) Cetearyl Alcohol) does that mean it is the one your referred to in your conditioner tutorial as being 25% Behentrimonium Methosulfate? How would that affect the formulation of this conditioner bar? Thanks much! Love reading the blog; a bit over my head quite often, but I'm learning!

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi April. Yes, you have BTMS-25. In this formulation, it won't change it a lot as we have a ton of BTMS in there, and it will still be solid and condition your hair . If you're making a liquid conditioner, it will make a difference.

Check out this post on substituting BTMS-25 for 50 in a liquid conditioner.

Magia said...

Hi,

My favourite conditioner is currently this one:
https://www.lush.co.uk/products/haircare/conditioner/jungle_1609.html

I'm hoping to incorporate some of the ingredients into my own conditioner. The thing that's perplexing me is formulating with fresh fruit.

They use Fresh Figs (Ficus carica), Fresh Organic Bananas (Musa paradisiaca), Fresh Passion Fruit (Passiflora edulis), Fresh Kumquat (Fortunella japonica).

I was wondering if you could offer any advice please?!

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Magia. We've had a debate about this, which you can find in this post on Lush with my theories on how they can use fresh fruit in their products. (Definitely watch the video noted in the comments.) And we had another discussion here about it.

I couldn't find the exact conditioner you like - your link didn't load well - so I'm not sure which one you like. But if you look at the ingredients for the American Cream conditioner, you'll see the active ingredients are cetrimonium bromide with propylene glycol (humectant) and cetearyl alcohol (boosts the substantivity as well as slip and glide). The rest of the ingredients aren't really that important. Retread contains pretty much the same things, as does the Veganese. The Jungle conditioner bar contains pretty much the same ingredients with a ton of cocoa butter thrown in to make the bar harder. (Although I'm really not sure why the SLS is in a conditioner!)

What is the purpose of the fresh fruit? What does it bring to our hair or skin and can we get those same things from an extract? I think the answer to the first one is "to sound good and lovely" and the answer to the third is "we can use extracts to get the same effect" because we don't want to use fresh fruit in our products as they will go bad very quickly. What each brings to the party is something for another day of research!

Tami said...

Hi Susan,
I absolutely love your blog! You have re-ignited a love of chemistry in me that I haven't experienced since my freshman year in college. I would like to try your conditioner bar, but want to avoid using silicones on my mixed-race curly locks. Where do I find the silicone alternative you mentioned?
Thanks and take care!
Tami

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Tana. Here's my post on silicone alternatives. You can find it under the guide to ingredients on the right hand side of the page.

Anonymous said...

Hi Susan; a silly question.can i use this conditioner as a leaving conditioner?

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Anonymous. I couldn't use it as a leave in conditioner as my hair would hate it, but try it if your hair can handle more conditioning! (And it's not a stupid question. As one of my teachers used to say, the only stupid question is the unanswered one.)

catherine said...

hi i would like to try making this conditioner bar but i am short a couple of ingredients:

- i have dimethicone but no cyclomethicone. should i use twice as much dimethicone (4% instead of 2%)?

- i have no panthenol. can i use glycerin or maybe i have another humectant? or just leave out?

- does elhibin soy protein count as a hydrolized protein? if not ok to leave out?

- if i leave out ingredients what should i increase to total 100%, butters or oils or something else?

thanks!

catherine said...

Hi. I made this conditioner bar and we use it as conditioner and shave bar in one (seemed close enough to the shaving bar recipe). While my husband has been supportive of my newfound lotioning hobby :) for the first time (after using shave bar) he said 'wow this new hobby is really paying off!'

I used half cocoa butter half coconut oil as butters. And sunflower oil. I don't have cyclomethicone so I used 4% dimethicone. Used soy protein (is that hydrolized protein?), honeyquat, left out centri. chloride and fragrance. Smells nice as is w cocoa butter and coconut oil.

This is great as conditioner! I have combination hair...roots can get oily but the ends and gray hair that frames face are dry and wiry (yes! Only gray hairs! Other still-black hairs not wiry. I don't think you hear enough about combination hair but I digress.) The bar is great for applying only to dry parts. What a great recipe! Thanks!

Ps. I didn't get the divot you write about...maybe bc I use a stiff metal muffin tin. I'll send a pic.

Sânziene şi Mătrăgună said...

Hi Susan!

What is your favourite preservative for water free products? I am planning to make some solid cream bars to giveaway to friends and family (nothing fancy, just emulsifying wax, oils and butters, some mica and perhaps fragrance) but I am worried about preservation. I only have LGP and Microkill COS at home. Planning to place a lotioncrafter order soon, so I was wondering if I should choose Phenonip or some other oil soluble preservative?

also, is there a paraben-free oil soluble preservative that you would endorse? I have nothing against parabens, but I have a hard time convincing my relatives that they are safe :). So, if possible, I would love to add a broad spectrum preservative, oil soluble and paraben free (phenonip is actually in my cart already, but I am just wondering if there might be something else.... maybe on a different supplier?)

Million thanks!!

Sânziene şi Mătrăgună said...

Oh, shoo... how on earth did I miss that?

http://swiftcraftymonkey.blogspot.co.uk/2009/07/shampoo-conditioner-bars-additional.html

Ok, now you mention there that one could use Optiphen. Microkill COS is phenoxyethanol, caprylyl glycol and chlorphenesin. It is not water soluble, so that means for me oil soluble, is this correct? I could use it in the solid shower cream, but I ... I'd like to hear first your opinion (in the meantime I am doing additional research :)

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Sanziene! Look for a few thoughts about your comment in a Weekend Wonderings Post that will be up on Sunday, February 10th! Great thoughts!

Anonymous said...

Hi Susan,
Thank you for generous and informative post.
I made your solid conditioner recipe and used it on my hair, it has a very good de-tangling and anti static property and also I love the ease of use. The problem is, I have very fine and limp hair . I have read your other conditioner recipes but I couldn't find anything in a solid form which would be suitable for my hair. If you can find time could you please tell me what can I add to your recipe to give some volume or body to my lifeless hair.
Thanks again, Sarah

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Sarah. I'm sorry to say, but I don't think the conditioner bar is for you. I've written a few things in today's Weekend Wonderings that might help!

Anonymous said...

Hi Susan,
Thank you for responding quickly last time. My daughter loves your recipe and she is using the conditioner all the time but she would like to know is it okay if she uses it as a leave in conditioner?
I previously mentioned I have fine hair and you said I need more of the humectant, so what do you think if I Reduce the oil and butter and add some glycerine, polyquat7, aloe vera ?
Also can behentrimonium Chloride be used in a leave in conditioner? If so, what is the recommended usage?
Thanks again for all your generous info, it makes life much easier for people like me.
Sarah

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Sarah. She can use it and any other conditioner as a leave in, but it might be too much for her hair, depending upon the type. Why don't you try making those substitutions, one by one, in the recipe in small batches and see how your/her hair responds? If you look at the leave in conditioner recipes I have on the blog, you'll see that behentrimonium methosulfate - which is very much like behentrimonium chloride - is regularly used in leave in conditioners, so the answer is yes. Please see those recipes to see how the inredient is used.

Thanks for your kind words. I'm having a very frustrating week, so it means a lot to me!

Annie said...

Hi Susan,
I love your blog. You inspire me so much!
Is there a difference between BTMS-225 and BTMS-25? I've seen them both as having the same ingredients. One website says Rita BTMS-225 and another says Incroquat BTMS-225.
I've read everyone of your posts on conditioners and recipes - but I'm still not sure if the 2 are the same :(

Anyway - I have all the ingredients to make a solid conditioner bar except I have the BTMS-225 instead of the BTMS-50 you have on your recipe. What do you suggest I change it to?

Thanks for all your help! You are such an inspiration!

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Lauren. I've used your question as part of today's Weekend Wonderings. The short answer is that they seem to be the same ingredient. As for using it in a conditioner bar, sure, it'll work!

Annie said...

Susan you are so wonderful! Thanks so much for answering my question :) Off to try solid conditioner bars this weekend! I'm so excited!

Ray said...

Hi Susan!
Reading your ebook on hair products now - it's superb! Thank you for all your hard work!
Just was wondering around no-shampoo idea (no-poo method :). As solid conditioner contains lots of BTMS and some cetrimonium chloride, I am guessing it can also be used as a cleansing conditioner(if leaving out silicones from formula), what do you think? Maybe I need to increase cetrimonium chloride a little to improve silicone cleansing properties or add something else. Thank you!

Jim said...

Susan, your blog is my main "go to" source for information on bath and body ingredients. It's the chemistry content of your articles which gives me comfort and confidence that you really know what you're talking about, and I appreciate your thoughtful explanations that even I can understand!

Now for my questions -- When making conditioner bars, do you let the heated phase cool before adding the cool down phase mixture? (Isn't Panthenol heat-sensitive?) Also, why do you add the hydrolyzed protein to the heated phase -- isn't that heat-sensitive as well?

I just made my first batch, and discovered that if I let the heated phase cool down, it starts to solidify before I can add the cool down phase.

Thanks again for your awesome blog!

Jim

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Jim. I don't worry about it cooling down too much because I don't get the ingredients very hot to begin with. I get it to melted, then add the other ingredients. For the most part, the cool down phase can handle temperatures up to 60˚C, but it's a pain to have three phases - the heated phase, the cooler phase, and the cool down phase - so we just do the two phase thing.

Hydrolyzed proteins are not heat sensitive, but they can be sources of contamination as they are kinda botanical in nature, so we add them to the heated phase. If you add it to the cool down phase, it just sits there in a big lump at the bottom of the container because you've added a cold water soluble ingredient to the product and it doesn't integrate well.

Cindy Pierce said...

Hi, Susan, sorry for two comments in one day. With the solid conditioner bar, I find mine tend to separate out a bit, with a sticky (honeyquat?) section at the bottom. Do I need to be stirring this for a while before putting it in the mold? I did try one where I whipped it and really liked the more pliable texture, but then you lose a lot of product that cools on the side of the container.

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Cindy! Comment all you want! That's kinda the point of the blog!

Can you share your complete recipe with percentages and process so we can take a look at it?

Stephanie said...

I'm still pretty new to making my own beauty products and mostly just make CP soaps. I've never heard of any of these ingredients (except the oil, butters and fragrance) and have a couple questions. What is a hydrolyzed protein? Is there a certain one that would be best to use in this recipe? What are your suggestions? As for the Incroquat BTMS, is BTMS 50 (Incroquat Behenyl TMS 50) the same thing? When I searched for it online that's what kept coming up.
Also you listed a couple cationic polymers so does it matter which one I use or is one going to be better than another?
Sorry for so many questions, this just all seems complicated having never done anything like this before. Thanks and I really like your blog.

Stephanie said...

I know you haven't answered my first questions yet but I've come up with some more trouble trying to find these ingredients. The recipe calls for panthenol, is that the same as DL panthenol or am I looking for something else? Also when I searched for the cetrimonium chloride I found something called Cetac 30% Cetrimonium Chloride. Is that the right one? Lastly, what oils do you suggest using for thick curly hair? I know coconut oil is usually considered good but I'm not sure of the benefits of other oils for hair. Figuring out what these new things are and what they all do and everything is hard for me since I've never done anything nearly this complicated before. :) Thank you so much for your help.

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Stephanie. To be honest, I didn't answer your first batch of questions because a few minutes of searching on the blog or looking to the list on the right hand side of the blog would give you want you sought! And I think it's much more satisfying to discover something and follow your curiosity to its logical place!

As for DL panthenol, there's a powdered one and a liquid one. You can use either. Just make sure you dissolve it well. Yes, 30% cetac is what I use. (Check out the post on cetrimonium chloride in the list of ingredients to the right of the blog!)

Can I suggest taking a look at the hair care section of the blog? There's loads of information there on the biology of our hair, different hair types, and suggestions for ingredients that you might consider for a product. Start at the top and work your way down. I think you'll find all kinds of information that'll get your brain excited about doing this kind of project! Let us know how it turns out!

Anonymous said...

Hello
I'm just wondering is it possible to add surfactants to solid conditioners? I was just thinking of formulating a solid cleansing conditioner bar after seeing one by LUSH. While I'm not a fan of their use of fruits in their products, it really made me curious. Also will adding surfactants in conditioner bar effectively clean the hair and scalp? I just wanted to hear your thoughts on it.

Here's the link to the product:
https://www.lush.co.uk/products/shampoo/avocado-co-wash

Sincerly,
Anna

Anonymous said...

Please disregard my previous comment. I just found my answer on your blog.
Thanks
Anna

Kirsty said...

Hi Susan,

I love your blog! I am learning do much. I have been making a solid conditioner, it works well as a conditioner, but wondered I can make it feel more creamier when I use it. The ingredients percentages are:
67.4% conditioner pellets (behentrimonium methosulfate & cetearyl alcohol)
12% Cetearyl alcohol
12% Coco butter

4% Glycerine
2.3% hydrolysed wheat protein
1.5% D panthenol
0.8% geogard 221 preservative

Look forward to hearing your thoughts

Kirsty

Eliza said...

I've altered this a little to my tastes and hair type and LOVE it. Thank you for always sharing so much information. I was wondering if it is possible to pour these into a round column mold and cut into bars (I'm thinking this would work). Has anyone ever tried this? I love my oval soap bar shape for the shampoo bars, but the conditioner bars break prematurely for me when in this shape.

Rose Williamson said...

Hi in croquat behenyl doesn't seem to be available anywhere
in the UK. Any suggestions? Thankyou.

Pierrette Guertin said...

Hello Susan, Thanks for this recipe. I made it with 60% Tms-50 which I bought in Voyageur. INCI name is the same than BTMS-50.
It is wrote on their specification levels to use it at 1 -10 %.
I hope I was right to use it at 60 % which is quite an amount, than I will have to reorder some more. Is it possible to lower it for a future batch and to replace it by another product. I have normal hair.
For now on I will use the batch I just made upon your answer telling me I am Ok with TMS-50.

Thanks a lot for all your posts. Very instructive.

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Pierrette! Yes, this is the same ingredient. It's where I buy my ingredients, and they've changed the name slightly. You can totally use it in this recipe. If you're in Canada or buy from other Canadian stores, check out Creations from Eden. They carry conditioner concentraate, which is the Incroquat CR I use as the other 30% in this recipe. It's awesome, and cheaper than BTMS-50.

Pierrette Guertin said...

Thanks Susan,
Hope I understood well; so I could use Incroquat CR ( Cetearyl Alcohol (and) PEG-40 Castor oil (and) Stearylalkonium Chloride) at 60 % instead of TMS 5 any recipe which it is not the same INCI name. It doesn't seem to carry the same ingredients.
I should say that I try your recipe with TMS 50 (Behentrimonium methosulfate (and) Cetyl Alcohol (and) Butylene Glycol) and it is SUPER. It gives volume and softness to the hair. So now I am asking myself if TMS 50 would be a better choice even if it is more expensive.
Thanks for the link. I will take a look to products from Creations from Eden and compare them. I always buy my products from Voyageur,for me they carry one of the very best qualities.

Ostrijj said...

Hello, it's me again! I made this conditioner bar shortly after putting my shampoo bar in the freezer. My recipe was;
heated phase
70% BTMS (25)
5% cetyl alcohol
10% cocoa butter
5% soy bean oil
cool down phase
2% cyclomethicone
2% cetrimonium chloride
2% fragrance
1% preservative
I melted my heated phase together, waited for it to cool, but I think I may have waited a bit too long as it got to about 30c before I added in my cool down phase. When I went to pack it into the mould, it was already solidifying and rather crumbly and I lost a fair bit off the edges. I popped it into the freezer for roughly an hour and the top edge was still crumbly after I took it out. I left it to cure for a day. When I used it the first time, it was fine. No bits breaking off. It's kept it's shape and is quite hard, not squishy at all. I recommend to put it in a mould as soon as possible after you mix in your cool down phase at 45c, so it's still a bit smooshable.
The conditioner feels lighter than I'm used to. It's slick and slippery when it gets wet, which is nice. I tended to slather my hair in heavy conditioner for dry hair when I used commercial brands, and this bar doesn't feel like there's much conditioner coming off it. It feels, not quite weightless, but moisturising without being too heavy. I think my mum's fine hair would love it. After rinsing, I can feel my hair is conditioned. Even the shampoo bar I made can leave my hair a bit too dry, so using this bar afterwards helps smooth it down and make it tangle free. It takes a bit of getting used to, but I do find it easier to use than liquid hair products. I've been converted to solid hair care! I will make some more modifications when I get some more ingredients, but for a basic bar, my hair feels much nicer than when I use rather expensive brands. For anyone contemplating making this, if all you have is the basics, try it out anyway! I made a 50g bar by halving the percentages, so you could make a small 25g bar by halving and halving again, but if you don't like it, you won't have wasted lots of ingredients. Then after trying it out, you can modify it and compare to see what your hair likes and what it doesn't! Personally I'm doing it this way just so I can have an excuse to make more things. I want to be able to use them all up quickly, lol.
Also, I forgot to mention preservatives in my shampoo bar, but I was only able to get phenoxyethanol and ethylhexylglycerin which I wasn't sure would work in it, (and found out isn't broad spectrum, though the supplier says it is!), but I got too nervous to leave it out of my conditioner bar, (and it has more emulsifier, so I assumed that would stop it weeping out). I've managed to find germall plus at gracefruits, so next time, I'll add that to my shampoo bar as well as my conditioner and see if the BTMS can hold it together. I'm having a lot of trouble finding an anhydrous preservative in the UK, even after reading the FAQ and European supplier suggestions, so I'm just going to stick with emulsified anhydrous products that go in the shower, just to be safe.
Amy, (I'm sorry for the wall of text!)

Kenzie Fox said...

I was wondering what the melting point of the finished bars are. I am concerned about shipping in the summer. Also, does this recipe need to be put into single molds or would i be able to make a large batch in a soap loaf and cut it after it hardens?

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Kenzie! I've address your question in Tuesday, July 11th's Weekday Wonderings. The short answer is that I think they would be shippable in the summer and yes, you could put them into a large batch and cut them. Check out the post tomorrow for more information.

Thanks for a great question!