Today’s recipe is definitely long overdue, but I wanted to make sure it was on point before I shared it—it’s a sulphate free shampoo bar. I started working on this back in January 2018 and have been testing and tweaking ever since. About six weeks ago I decided to include this in the Mango Mango series, so here we have a Mango Mango Shampoo Bar!
Want to watch this project instead of read it?
Shampoo bars are mostly solid surfactants. As a home crafter in Canada, I can only purchase four different solid (powdered/prilled/noodle/flake) surfactants: Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate (SCI), Sodium Coco Suphate (SCS), Sodium Lauryl Sulfoacetate (SLSa), and Sodium C14-16 Olefin Sulfonate (Bio-Terge AS90) (AS90 is different from AS40, which is liquid, and will not work here). Given the whole point of this recipe was the lack of sulphates, the SCS was out, leaving me with three ingredients to create this shampoo bar around.
I knew this bar would include SCI; my previous experiments with shampoo bars have taught me I’m a big fan of SCI in shampoo bars. It’s mild, I love the lather, and the mildly acidic pH creates a wonderful base for our shampoo bars. I have found I prefer a secondary powdered anionic surfactant in my shampoo bars, though—something to give a bit more cleansing and some richer bubbles. In my Snowflake Shampoo Bar that secondary surfactant is sodium coco sulphate, but in this recipe it would need to be something else… and from what I can buy, that would have to be either SLSa or Bio-Terge AS90.
So I tried both. And, honestly, I liked them both! I have lumps of lathery things made with both surfactants (and blends of all three non-sulfate solid surfactants) in my shower at this very moment! Today’s recipe features Bio-Terge AS90 (this is a solid product—AS40 is liquid, and will not work!) as our secondary solid anionic surfactant, but I’m sure you’ll see a formula for one featuring SLSa in the future.
Something I like about this formula is how dang fast it comes together. I used finely powdered versions of both the SCI and the Bio-Terge AS90, so once you mash those together with some liquid Cocamidopropyl Betaine and the melted butters and thickeners, you’re pretty much done. I made this bar on a particularly cold day here in Calgary so I simply covered it and stuck in on my porch for twenty minutes before un-molding it and leaving it to dry for a week or so.
Something I’ve learned in my solid shampoo experiments is the benefit of extended drying periods. Much like soap, the shampoo bar lasts longer if it dries longer. While a day or two is fine, I find at least a week is great. I’ve made some particularly soft bars that seemed like they were destined to be shower slop, but after 6 weeks of aging they turned into brilliant hard bars that are surviving just fine in the shower.
I tried two different approaches for colouring—straight sea buckthorn fruit oil from SIBU and a blend of orange lake dye + the oil. Both variations were bright orange directly after making, but the only sea buckthorn fruit oil bar faded quite quickly. In just over two weeks it went from bright orange to nearly white with just a few little hints of orange flecking, while the orange lake dye + sea buckthorn fruit oil version has remained vibrantly orange (as seen in the photos in this post). For that reason I would not recommend the just sea buckthorn fruit oil avenue for colouring as it doesn’t really work.
The finished bars smell wonderfully of mangoes (thanks to the beautiful natural mango fragrance oil from Essential Wholesale). The lather is rich and luscious, and your hair is left all kinds of clean and soft afterwards. The bars last well in the shower—provided you don’t leave it sitting in a puddle you should easily get two months out of a bar depending on how often you use it. I hope you love this brick of mangoey goodness as much as I do!
Want to watch this project instead of read it?
Mango Mango Shampoo Bar
0.9g | 0.9% sea buckthorn fruit oil
0.1g | 0.1% orange lake dye (USA / Canada)
22g | 22% Sodium C14-16 Olefin Sulfonate (Bio-Terge AS90) (USA / Canada) this is a solid product!
34g | 34% Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate (SCI) (USA / Canada)
17g | 17% Cocamidopropyl Betaine (USA / Canada)
8g | 8% tucuma butter
7g | 7% BTMS-25 (USA / Canada / UK)
6g | 6% stearic acid (USA / Canada / UK)
3.5g | 3.5% cetyl alcohol (USA / Canada)
1g | 1% natural mango fragrance oil
0.5g | 0.5% Liquid Germall Plus™ (USA / Canada)
Put on your dust mask. Weigh the sea buckthorn fruit oil, orange lake dye, powdered surfactants, and Cocamidopropyl Betaine into a small heat-resistant glass measuring cup or bowl and mash everything together with the back of a spoon. You’ll end up with a bright orange stiff paste. If your solid surfactants are not already quite fine powders you may want to run them through a coffee grinder or smash them up in a mortar and pestle before blending the first four ingredients together.
Melt the tucuma butter, BTMS-25, stearic acid, and cetyl alcohol together. Pour that mixture into the surfactant mash and mash everything together. Once you’re done stirring everything together the mixture should be cool enough (below 50°C) to proceed. If it still feels hot to the touch, let it cool until it feels cool to the touch before continuing.
Add the natural mango fragrance oil and liquid germall plus and mash everything together until thoroughly combined.
Press the mixture into your mold (I used a single 100mL circular cavity mold). Freeze for twenty minutes before unmolding, and then leave to dry for a week. You can use the bar after about two days of drying, but I find more drying time = a longer life in the shower once wet.
To use, glide the bar over wet hair a couple times to deposit some shampoo—that’ll be enough to fully lather up your head and wash your hair! Make sure you leave the bar somewhere it can drain and dry out between uses for the longest shelf life.
When made as written, the pH of these shampoo bars is approximately 4–4.5, which is suitable for the hair. If you make any alterations/substitutions please test and adjust the pH as necessary.
Shelf Life & Storage
Because this shampoo bar will regularly come into contact with water, you must include a broad-spectrum preservative to ward off microbial growth. This is non-optional. Even with a preservative this project is likely to eventually spoil as our kitchens are not sterile laboratories, so in the event you notice any change in colour, scent, or texture, chuck it out and make a fresh batch.
As always, be aware that making substitutions will change the final product. While these swaps won’t break the recipe, you will get a different final product than I did.
- As I’ve provided this recipe in percentages as well as grams you can easily calculate it to any size using a simple spreadsheet as I’ve explained in this post. As written in grams this recipe will make 100g.
- To learn more about the ingredients used in this recipe, including why they’re included and what you can substitute them with, please visit the Humblebee & Me Encyclopedia. It doesn’t have everything in it yet, but there’s lots of good information there!
- If you’re like to use a different preservative, please review this page.
- If you’d like to learn more about the surfactants used and compare them to ones you might already have so you can make substitutions, check out this page.
- For a colour alternative you could use 1% orange mica (with no sea buckthorn fruit oil and orange lake dye)
- You can use a different orange oil (like buriti or sea buckthorn seed oil) instead of the sea buckthorn fruit oil, or you can replace it with a different liquid oil.
- You can use SLSa instead of Bio-Terge AS90. Any substitution made here must use a solid surfactant. Bio-Terge AS90 is a solid/powder, and if you use a liquid instead this formulation will fail.
- Please don’t substitute the SCI.
- You can use a different brittle butter, like cocoa butter, instead of tucuma butter.
- You can use a different cationic emulsifying wax like BTMS-50 instead of the BTMS-25.
- You can try cetearyl alcohol in place of the stearic acid/cetyl alcohol blend.
- You can use a different fragrance if you prefer.
The natural mango fragrance oil was gifted by Essential Wholesale. The sea buckthorn fruit oil was gifted by SIBU.
have you ever tried a shampoo or shampoo bar with no cationic ingredients whatsoever? The BTMS unfortunatelly doesn’t work well for us unfortunate souls with really greasy hair. I’ve tried to just omit it from the recipe but then my hair feels really “straw” like, not soft at all, really difficult to comb through.. I just cannot find the right formula and it’s driving me crazy.
I have some in testing right now! 🙂
Hi, Marie! I so appreciate you and all of your posts/recipes! I have made this bar and absolutely love it…but cannot seem to press it into the mold such that it looks pretty. Have you tried this recipe on your Bath Bomb Press?
I haven’t! If I was going to press it I would probably reduce the Cocamidopropyl Betaine and increase the solid surfactants to make a stiffer paste. I’ve tried pressing some different soft shampoo bars and they’ve oozed out of the mold, ha!
Okay, thank you! That is good to know. Is there a general ratio to follow if I do that reduction/increase? I was already interested in the Bath Bomb Press, and then after seeing it in action in your video, I am even MORE interested. 😉 But I would definitely want to be able to make pretty-looking shampoo bars, if I invested in it… and I’d like to stick to a bar that is safe for all hair types (including color-treated), so, thus, sulfate free. Thanks so much for your help and all of the awesome work you put into your web site!!!
Not really? Just aim for “drier than you’d think would work”, ha? I am having SO much fun with the press—not only are the bath bombs I make with it rock hard and super uniform and lovely, but I can squish SO many things into nice moulds with it! I’m sure I’ll be sharing some sulphate-free shampoo bars using the press as well 🙂 Happy making!
Hi from Montreal! Thank you Marie for all the recipes you share!
I made this shampoo bar 6 weeks ago and it’s still very soft.
I would like to know how to save it and harden it.
I just read in the comments that BTMS-25 makes a harder product than BTMS-50, and of course I used the BTMS-50.
Do you think that melting the bars and adding 10-15% stearic acid would achieve the desired hardening effect.
Thank you in advance
There are a lot of factors to look at! How humid is your home? Is probably number one.
My advice is the same as Marie’s when it comes to making something new, always make a small batch to begin with, and see what needs to be tweaked, then increase as needed. This way you are not using or wasting ingredients. I’ suggest just leaving the bar and see if it hardens up on its own over time, and making another bar with stearic acid starting at 5%!
Does the Bio-terge have the same itchy feel as SLSA in a shampoo bar?
I don’t find it to, but I also don’t find SLSa to be itchy so I’m not sure I’m the best judge here.
I’m curious, Did you try it first with mango butter and not find the bar hard enough? I use mango or kokum butter in mine.
Pretty much, yup. I needed all the hardness I could get—I made some silly-putty shampoo bars that were pretty hard to use LOL.
This is probably why mine are soft too, I used cocoa butter
Cocoa butter should be hard enough—how long did you age the bars?
How does this compare with a cold process shampoo bar? Do you still need to follow up with a ACV/citric acid rinse? I’m really excited to try this!
Forget my question! I just read on your Snowflake shampoo bar that you don’t need to use an acid rinse.
Hi Hana, this is a totally different product. The pH is lower than a shampoo bar’s so no need to use an acidic rinse.
I can’t find anyone that stocks Bio-Terge AS90 in NZ. Would I replace it with the exact amount of SLSa or will I need to play around with amounts?
It should be a straight swap! Let me know how it goes!
I find these are better—the naturally lower pH not only eliminates the need for an acidic rinse, but it also means there is no high pH to cause the cuticle to lift in the first place, which is (for most people) better for the hair.
Thanks Marie! I’m going to be trying this recipe out this weekend.
I look forward to hearing how it goes!
I made this over the weekend, though I did use some of the recommended substitutions. I used SLSa in place of Bioterge, cocoa butter for tucuma butter, and sweet almond oil instead of sea buckthorn. I omitted the lake dye, and added in 0.1g of DL-Panthenol to keep the percentages the same. I used an essential oil blend of juniper, peppermint, and cade, totaling at 1g. I left it to harden for 36 hours (I couldn’t wait a week to use it!) I absolutely of this! My hair is very fine and gets oily at the crown and dry at the ends. This shampoo lathers up beautifully and doesn’t leave a film. I was worried that the cocoa butter might weigh my hair down, but it washes out cleanly. It left my hair clean, silky, not dry and crunchy. Thank you Marie!
YAY! I am so dang thrilled 😀 Thank you so much for sharing the details of your substitutions as well, I’m sure other people will find those to be very useful! Happy lathering 😀
Hu Marie thanks for another great recipe! Question though- my Sodium C14-16 Olefin Sulfonate is a liquid not a powder (from Voyageur). What am I missing? Is it available in both forms ? I’d love to make this but I guess would need to sub SLSa ?
The liquid variety, Sodium (C14-16) alpha olefin sulfonate (Bio-Terge AS40), is different from Sodium (C14-16) olefin sulfonate (Bio-Terge AS90). They do have slightly different INCIs, so the difference should be more than just the format, though it doesn’t seem to be massive in terms of skin feel or lather from my experience using both. This recipe requires mostly solid surfactants, so you need AS90, or something else solid (like SLSa) 🙂 Happy making!
Thank you so much for sharing this! Super excited to make it.
I was wondering why you chose BTMS-25 for this, as opposed to BTMS-50. I know you mentioned we can substitute it with BTMS-50, but I’m just curious why you explicitly chose BTMS-25 in this recipe. I know BTMS-50 is more conditioning, and was wondering if that’s a negative here or something.
It was two things—the first is that BTMS-25 is a better hardener, and I was looking for all the hardening I could get. The second is that cationics and anionics are not compatible, buuuut I’ve done it many time in solid bars like this so I was just kind of rolling it back with the 25 without fully eliminating to see if I noticed much of a difference. Nothing so far—I also have some with no cationics aging up for further comparison!
Hi Marie, I am going to try this when I get back home at the weekend. I will substitute SLSa for the Sodium C14-16 Olefin Sulfonate though, as my hairdresser has advised me it is far too harsh for coloured hair and will fade it. Thanks again for your hard work 🙂
I look forward to hearing what you think! Happy making 🙂
Hi Marie. Really looking forward to creating this shampoo bar, though if you could clarify something for me, I’d sure appreciate it. Throughout the text and in the ingredients list, you reference C14-16 as Bioterge AS90, though in the substitution section you refer to it as AS40. As with another inquiry, I have AS40 liquid, but I don’t have AS90. Is AS90 a typo that should read AS40, or is it a different product that’s in powder form? And if it’s a powder, who carries AS90? Thanks for your help!
Ah, whoops. Dang super-close names, ha. I’ve gone back into the point and added several points of clarification. It’s AS90 because AS90 is solid, and it 100% has to be a solid surfactant there. AS40 is 0% suitable for this formula, unfortunately. The purchase link for AS90 is linked in the recipe 🙂 I’m afraid I could not find a US source for it; if you happen to find one please let me know and I’ll add it to the recipe! Happy making!
Makeyourown.com supplies as90.
Thank you so much! I’ve updated the recipe to include it 🙂
Amazing!! I love how dedicated you are in making sure a recipe really works
Thank you so much! I did make a few nuggets of shampoo paste in the process LOL. One is currently in my shower with roughly the consistency of silly putty.
Hi Marie, what a nice formulation ! I’ll definitely make this and have a try I have a thin hair difficult to have a right shampoo for them. My question is , to add some ceramide and/ or poliquetrium7 do you think it’s work?
It’s certainly worth a try, but I think those ingredients would probably shine more in a conditioner where they’d be in contact with the hair for a bit longer 🙂
Hi Marie! Hopefully you see this, I need your go signal if I can use SCI in replacement for the Bio-terge as both it and SLSa are very hard to find or is rarely available here in the Philippines…
Or if ever you’re familiar with it, could I possibly use Sodium lauroyl sarcosinate which is also an anionic surfactant in replacement of SLSa or Bio-terge. Thank you
Provided what you have is powdered/solid, that should work as well!
Hi! I was wondering-
Can I increase the BTMS-25 if I don’t have any Cetyl Alcohol on hand? Thanks so much for your help!
You can try it—it shouldn’t be a catastrophic failure, but you may find the bar is too soft 🙂 Happy making!
Hey Kim! The maximum wash-off usage rate for Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate (SCI) is 50%, so using entirely Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate (SCI) would exceed that by 6%. You could try dialling back the total solid surfactant to 50% and making up that additional 6% with more hardener or butter 🙂
Since this contains both stearic acid and cetyl alchohol, could I substitute both for ceteryl alcohol? I feel like it should be possible but since I know zippo about this stuff, I thought Aid better ask and expert (that’s you!)
In theory it should work, I just haven’t tried it yet. Please report back if you do!
My second bag of BTMS arrived a few days ago and I’m really excited to try this recipe this weekend! I’m allergic to sulphates and substituting ingredients I can use into recipes that use them has been hit and miss. Even more awesome, the only ingredient’s I don’t have are the lake dye and fragrance oil. Thanks for your diligence and patience devoting so much time to creating this recipe.
I can’t wait to hear what you think of it once it’s done and in use! I’m so thrilled to hear my website and videos are helping you avoid your allergens and have fun creating 🙂 Thanks for DIYing with me, and happy making
Which butters would you recommend for dry hair and for oily hair?
Good afternoon Henriquera!
It depends! Each and every persons hair is like their skin. What works for one, may not work for another. I can’t use anything on my hair with shea butter, but so many people can’t get enough of it! Have you tried cocoa butter?
I found bioterge on Amazon but it has a slightly different INCI, which is Sodium c14-16 ALPHA Olefin Sulfonate. Is this the same thing? Thanks. Here is the link: https://www.amazon.com/Alpha-Olefin-Sulfonate-8-4floz-250ml/dp/B01DE3Y582/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?crid=C82IR763JVLZ&keywords=olefin+sulfonate&qid=1555490943&s=gateway&sprefix=olefin+su&sr=8-1
The “alpha” is the differentiator between the liquid and the solid “Bio-Terge” products. The link you shared isn’t working, but take a look at the ASM and the state—I suspect the ASM will be in the 40% range, but it should be in the 90% range for a solid surfactant. You can cross compare them here 🙂
Ops it’s a liquid. Thanks Marie!
Excellent! Happy making!
Hi Marie, I’m looking forward to making a solid shampoo that’s really mild, but I can’t source the Bio Terge. Do you think I can only use the SCI? At what percentage? I can source SLSa but I think it’s not sulphate free… What do you think it’s the best surfactant combination to get the mildest bar possible? I have henna coloured hair, normal to dry, and I don’t use any styling products so I don’t need a strong cleanser. Thanks in advance for your advice.
I would use the Sodium Lauryl Sulfoacetate (SLSa)—it is not a sulfate. You could also try using all Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate (SCI), though I believe that would push or exceed the maximum usage level for Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate (SCI). A 1:1 swap is where I’d start. Happy making!
Thanks Marie, I will do that, do you think I could substitute the Cocamidopropyl Betaine with this product at the same percentage? They claim it’s a good substitute for it from a more natural origin.
I usually buy everything from this store because they sell a bit of everything in small quantities and they don’t have what you used. I really like your blog and all the research you put into it. I’m a beginner, so there are lots of things yet to learn. I wish you all the best!
I think that should work, yes 🙂
I really want to try this shampoo bar but am wondering how well you think it would work on thick hair. I have a problem with homemade shampoo and conditioners because my hair is so thick. . .
Hey Laura! I have quite thick hair as well, though it is straight, so compared to curly or wavy hair it’s not all that thick. I find I often prefer shampoo bars for my hair because they’re so concentrated, so I don’t go through them incredibly quickly (I can use 500g of cleansing conditioner in a matter of weeks!).
Thank you! I’m going to try it. I’ve never tried a shampoo bar, especially with my thick and curly hair, so I am truly curious.
Love your recipes. Thank you!
I look forward to hearing how it goes! Thanks for DIYing with me, and happy making 🙂
Hi Marie. Thank you for all that you do. I’ve learned so much from you! I have a question. First, would argan or jojoba oil be a good sub for the sea buckthorn oil and do u think Sal butter could work in place of the tucuma? Thanks!!!
Hey Dawn! Have you reviewed the list of substitutions at the end of the formula? For the liquid oil: “You can use a different orange oil (like buriti or sea buckthorn seed oil) instead of the sea buckthorn fruit oil, or you can replace it with a different liquid oil (this will eliminate the orange colour).” (So, yes 😉 ) And regarding the butter: “You can use a different brittle butter, like cocoa butter, instead of tucuma butter.” Happy making!
Hi Marie. Thanks for responding! Yes I did read all the subs and I apologize. I misread what you said about subbing the oil. Totally my fault. Sometimes my eyes and brain work at different speeds lol! . The Sal butter, I was just wanting your opinion on its effectiveness. I have some, so I’ll play around with it and see how it works! Thanks again for your awesomeness!!
Isn’t that the fun of DIY? You get to test out each ingredient and determine its effectiveness to your own skin and not be told that it “should” work for every type of skin and hair! Happy experimenting!!!
I can’t wait to try this recipe! It looks great. I was finding the ingredients, and I noticed you used powdered Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate, and I was wondering if I could use the noodle version instead of the powder so it would have that texture. Would it work the same way? Why did you choose to use powder over the noodle? Here is the link to the noodle kind I was thinking about using:
You can certainly try it—in my experience working with the needles they can create a slightly more difficult-to-worth-with “dough”—it’s a bit less inclined to stick together. Keep me posted and happy making!
Hi Marie. I bought the noodles and also find that it didn’t want to stick together right away. I had to babysit the bar and push it together every other day. I let it cure for about two weeks. What if you melted the noodles?
I’d probably try smashing ’em up (in your DIY coffee grinder or even a couple freezer bags and a rolling pin) first—that’ll get you closer to what I was working with. Make sure you wear a well-fitting dust mask as surfactant dust is awful to inhale!
Great, thank you for responding! I will definitely try it and see how it goes.
How were you able to get the ph of this to 4.5? I’ve been wanting to use bioterge 90 in a shampoo bar, but its high ph( 8-10), has been pushing me away. I’m new to testing and understanding ph. Does the ph level go down when mixed in a 10 % solution, or is there an ingredient in the recipe is bringing the ph down? Thanks in advance
The pH comes out to ~4.5 on its own, so it’s just the blend of the ingredients (a 10% dilution does not alter/lower the pH—you can learn more about that here). Both the Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate (SCI) and Cocamidopropyl Betaine are acidic, and they are 51% of the product vs. 22% for the bio-terge, so presumably, they overwhelm the basic-ness of the bio-terge. It’s definitely possible to make acidic products using basic surfactants—just be sure to test and adjust if required 🙂 Happy making!
Thanks so much for the information. Seems to be all about getting the right balance. Can’t wait to get concocting!! I recently purchased a ph meter, and it’s time to put it to work. Thanks again
Which kind of ph meter did you get? Inquiring minds want to know!
hi mary. how did you check the pH for the bar? i was just thinking, if i want to add in some botanicals and swap ingredients, i might need to make sure that the pH is within range so that it is not too harsh for hair, and also for preservative? thank you!
Hey Patricia! I made a 10% solution of the bar in distilled water and checked the pH of that with my pH meter 🙂
Hi! I’d love to try this recipe, but my normal supplier is out of the powdered SCI. Would the noodles work? Or do you think the performance would change too much?
The noodles would work, but you might want to bash ’em up a bit 🙂 Happy making!
Can I use an EDTA with the preservative? I’d like to color mine with matcha powder or other botanical colorants that might make it go bad very quickly. I’m hoping it can help with the hard water as well. How should I add it?
You can certainly try it 🙂 I’d follow the manufacturer recommendations for inclusion.
Hola. Muchas gracias por tu generosidad. Quería preguntarte a qué ph debería quedar el champú? Y como lo regulas? Gracias
Hi. Thank you very much for your generosity. I wanted to ask you what the shampoo should look like? And how do you regulate it? Thank you
Hey! It should look as it does in the photos & video; if “regulate” is a poor Google translation for “preserve”, then there is a preservative in the formulation as written 🙂
Hi Marie! Im from Vietnam and I couldn’t find any of Sodium C14-16 Olefin Sulfonate or SLSa here. I’m thinking of using 50% of SCI, 20% of coco betaine and add some clay for subtituing the remained surfactants. Do you think it will work?
By the way, I saw one shop sold shampoo bar with these 2 surfactants only, no clay added but Sodium Chloride and glycerin. I wish I could hear your opinion about this.
It’s worth a try! Start small, take lots of notes, and happy making!
hello Marie. I make shampoo sticks by myself. I also try your recipes. First of all, thanks. But I have a problem. I use SCI and SCS, but the smell of my sticks is very bad even if I use essential oil. There is a very bad raw material smell. Do you know a way to prevent it?
Perhaps try different suppliers for the raw materials to find some that smell better?
Thank you so much for your website! I love it.
I tried making your shampoo bar recipe! However I tried making it out of just a few ingredients:
1. Powder SCI
2. Coconut Oil
3. Jojoba Oil
4. Hydrolyzed wheat protein
5. Linatural Preservative
6. Essential Oils
Its been over 72 hours and it is still not dry. I melted the SCI and oils together, then added the wheat protein, preservative, and essential oils. Is there an ingredient I am missing to make it harden? Or did I make it wrong, like should I not melt the Powder SCI?
Thank you for your help!
Hey! So… between what you made, and what I shared, only one ingredient is the same, so you really haven’t made my shampoo bar at all 🙂 If you read up on the ingredients you swapped out (check out the Humblebee & Me DIY Encyclopedia (https://www.humblebeeandme.com/diy-encyclopedia/)!) you’ll see that you basically removed all the hardeners and replaced them with liquid things, which would explain why yours is so soft 🙂 Happy making!
I made this recipe with some substitutions of ingredients. And it didn’t seem to firm up, it is still soft after a couple weeks. Can I melt it down and add some stearic acid to make it harder?
Yes, just be a bit wary with the preservative’s maximum temperature (check with your supplier for whatever you used). Happy making!
Hi Marie! Would you discourage this bar from also being used as a facial cleanser? Are the ingredients gentle for that?
If it works for you, great! There’s nothing in here that screams “keep it away from your face”, ha—my boyfriend regularly uses it as face wash 🙂 Happy making!
Hello. Is there any way to have the most solid shampoo? When we use it, it crumbles. Get softer. Is there a way to solve?
I think this FAQ might help 🙂
Hi. Just wanted to give you some market research on this shampoo bar recipe haha. My friends and I are hooked. I substituted cocoa butter for the tucuma butter and used orange and peppermint EOs (I didn’t have the Mango fragrance). Other than that I kept the recipe the same. I asked 2 of my friends who have different hair than me to try it. One friend has REALLY thick wavy hair, the other one has very fine straight hair. My hair is more on the fine straight side but is very drier than my friends. This bar worked for all of us! We all found that we could actually skip a day (or two) of washing our hair without our hair feeling greasy and flat, which we wouldn’t have done in the past. My friend’s statement was…”I don’t know how to describe my hair, it just feels…clean!” I highlight my hair and actually feel like my highlights stand out more because my hair is so shiny. My next goal is to try one of your conditioner recipes. Which one do you recommend for really dry hair? Thanks again….and my friends thank you too 😉
I’m so thrilled to hear it! Thank you so much for sharing, Cindy 😀 This would be a good place to start for conditioner, but I also love this 🙂 Happy making!
Hi! love the recipe and your work! So I wanna let you know that just saw an add on Instagram and Facebook promoting a Natural Skin Care course in Mexico, using this picture. I think they should give you credit for your amazing work! Again, thanks for sharing your knowledge!
Thank you so much! Could you share the name of the course so I can get in touch? That is straight-up stealing (credit or not—I should be getting paid for that sort of usage + they would need to get permission, which they didn’t) and I would like to contact them. Thanks! Please email it to me rather than posting it publicly 🙂
Ok! I just did! I hope the info is useful! have a great week!
Thank you so much!
Hi, have you tried making solid shampoo by melting all the ingredients including the surfactants (kind of like making a solid conditioner)? if so, do you need to change any of the ingredients? thanks!
I have, but the ingredients used in shampoo bars don’t melt like conditioner bar ingredients do—you get more of sticky mashed potatoes consistency, like this. I have experimented with making even softer/more liquidy bars, but haven’t had much success at this point in time.
Hi Marie! Just curious why I never see any of the hair loving ingredients in your bars like keratin, silk or any hydrolyzed proteins?
I like to save them for conditioners and other products that will be in the hair longer 🙂
Hi! This recipe looks great! I just have a few questions for you. Is essential oil the same as the natural fragrance oil you listed? Also, is the sea buckthorn oil for scent or color? Can I omit it and use more of a liquid oil that’s listed a little further down? Lastly, for the brittle butter, is that any oil that’s solid at room temperature? I can’t find much information. Any answers you have are greatly appreciated. Thank you!!!
Just one perspective–I tried this recipe first with cocoa butter subbed in and 2g of silk peptide powder and it was…okay. It never quite hardened up, but worked all right for my (straight) hair, though it was difficult to comb after my shower and didn’t have a lot of slip to it til it dried. I remade with the tucuma butter, and even though the bars are VERY soft, I’ve gotten used to using a “stiff silly putty” consistency, so it’s easy enough to just cup the bar in my hand and let gravity keep the bar on my head while I work up the lather. I made two pucks out of this and am curing one and using the other. It. Is. FANTASTIC. Even the bar NEVER hardens up, my hair looks and feels amazing enough to be worth it. I would consider the tucuma butter to be non-optional. I’m trying to decide what to reduce next time to harden the bar without changing ANY of its other properties. Considering leaving the sea buckthorn oil out, but I don’t know if you have a strong recommendation of leaving it in?
Hi Marie, I was looking up some of the ingredients on Ecocert / Cosmos but they don’t seem to be natural certified. Do you have any recipes that are all natural?
Please read this FAQ 🙂
Hi Marie, I’m looking for some help with Aloe Vera and how I can I could add it to this dry shampoo bar recipe. I have looked at your encyclopedia and wondered whether I could add the powder directly or whether I would need to dissolve first adding too much liquid. I did wonder whether I could substitute the tuccuma butter for Aloe/Coco butter and up the harder slightly as it’s not a brittle butter. Any advice would be much appreciated : ) I love your site btw, very impressive!
Hey Mandy! If I were you, I’d try following a formulation like this one and using aloe juice instead of the distilled water. That formulation has the added benefit of being much harder + longer lasting than this one 🙂 Happy making!
After weeks of oogling at your awesome sounding and awesome looking recipes I finally accumulated enough ingredients to make this shampoo bar yesterday. I was unable to buy BioTerge and substituted with SLSa, and used cocoa butter instead of tucuma butter. However, I found the end-product smelling like a combi of SCI and SLSa! Even though I added a total of rosemary+cedarwood+peppermint EO to make 1g (and a few drops more), my shampoo bar smelled predominantly of chemicals. Additionally, I found that my cocoa butter hardened into specks when I pressed the cooled mixture into the moulds.
Does the smell of surfactants predominate DIY products? I have never used any before.
I really appreciate the passion and diligence that you’ve shown by how impressive and comprehensive this website is. Keep up the great work!
Hey Koon! Surfactants do have a pretty detergent-y smell to them, but I don’t find I notice it in shampoo bars once they’ve aged and are in use. If I leave the bar totally unscented and really take a deep sniff of it, yeah, it’ll smell detergent-y, but it’s not noticeable in use.
If you really don’t enjoy the scent and find you are still noticing it, you might consider switching to a fragrance oil—they are much more potent than essential oils 🙂
Thanks for DIYing with me, and happy making 🙂
Merry Christmas, Marie! Your reply is my Christmas present ! Needless to say, I made a beeline for the two bars that are aging and took a sniff. I’m so pleased to find that they aren’t really smelling so much of chemicals anymore – just like you said. (My hopes are rising)
But they are still very, very soft though it’s been 5days already. This made me recall reading in your blog that your solid bar recipes are best suited for temperature of 23C. Where I live it averages around 30C. Hence, could you advise on how I should tweak your recipe to make it more suitable for hot, tropical climate? (I used BTMS-50 instead of BTMS-25 and cetearyl alcohol instead of stearic acid and cetyl alcohol)
My goal is to accumulate and use the exact ingredients according to your recipes one day – then my Mango Mango Shampoo Bars will actually smell of mangos
Thank you so, so much for your warm reply.
Ahhhh, I am so envious of your warm weather! I have learned over the years that these “melt & squish” bars really aren’t well suited to hot + humid weather. They’re also a comparative pain in the backside to make when compared to the sorts of bars I make these days! I recommend checking out these formulations for far more heat-stable bars: one, two, and three. I think the first one is probably the most adaptable to what you likely already have on hand for this formulation 🙂 Happy making!