This sunny Orange Blast Solid Conditioner Bar has a new position of prominence and glory in my shower. It smells like the juiciest of oranges, leaves my hair feeling downright divine (I’d invite you to run your fingers through it via the internet if I could), and I’m fairly convinced it just might last forever. In the quest for a low-waste, easy-peasy shower, this conditioner bar is citrus scented Lancelot. I think you’ll love it.
My first exposure to conditioner bars was on the LUSH website, and I liked the idea. I find I’m very fond of solid versions of things that are usually liquid. Shampoo bars and bars of soap are all kinds of awesome, especially when it comes to travel—that way I’m not hauling water around the world, and solid things don’t leak (ask me about the time I flew with 4L of maple syrup in my suitcase…). Solid things are also much more concentrated than their watered down counterparts, meaning they last longer, and you can customize their potency by adding exactly as much water as you want.
Conditioner bars are delightfully easy to make. It’s pretty much measure, melt, stir, pour. If you can make a body butter bar, conditioner bars are a cinch. The only difference is the incorporation of a wee bit of aging time (just a day—nothing like soap!) since these bars will be getting wet and we want to give them a chance not to turn into a squishy shower blob right off the bat.
In order to be a true conditioner, we must include some conditioning ingredients; that is, ingredients that are cationic. Cationic (or positively charged) ingredients adsorb (creates a very thin film on) our negatively charged hair. This leaves our hair feeling silky and soft, helping reduce breaking and increase hydration.
My cationic ingredients are BTMS-50, BTMS-25, and honeyquat PF. I’ve discussed some alternatives at the bottom of the recipe, but whatever swaps you make must also be cationic! If they aren’t, you are making more of a hair lotion bar than a true conditioner. Hair lotion bars can be pretty darn cool, too, but they aren’t conditioner.
To that cationic base I’ve added some other rather fun things—some super fragrant orange wax, some rich shea butter, hydrating silk and panthenol, and some plant sourced keratin to help your hair bounce and shine. I even played with adding 2% dimethicone; a mid-weight silicone that adds some extra slip to the hair (substitutions for that are also discussed below the recipe). I’m pretty new to working with silicones, but so far, they’re pretty fun—I can definitely see why they’re popular! The slip they offer is so lovely it almost feels like cheating 😝
I’ve been using this conditioner bar for about ten days, and I love it. I’ll glide it over my hair from about the ears down three or four times, massage everything around, and then gently rinse. My hair is oh-so soft and shiny, and I haven’t made a dent in the conditioner bar, leaving me to believe it may last upwards of three months. We’ll see! In any event, this Orange Blast Solid Conditioner Bar is lovely, it smells amazeballs, and you should make one so you, too, can have a shower that smells like a Florida orange grove and super soft princess hair.
2021 update: I’ve shared several newer, simpler, easier-to-make conditioner bar formulations since this one, and I’d recommend those instead. This one needs only BTMS-25 as the main conditioning ingredient, while this one needs only BTMS-50. This one is very simple, with just six ingredients. These formulations don’t do the “gloppy” thing some readers have reported here, nor do they get a weird wavy top. Happy making!
Orange Blast Solid Conditioner Bar
30g | 1.06 BTMS-50 (USA / Canada)
30g | 1.06 BTMS-25
5g | 0.18oz orange wax
5g | 0.18oz tucuma butter
11g | 0.39oz cetyl alcohol (USA / Canada)
5g | 0.18oz unrefined shea butter (USA / Canada)
2g | 0.07oz silk peptides (wondering about substitutions?)
Cool Down Phase
5g | 0.18oz honeyquat PF (USA / Canada) or Polyquaternium 7 (USA / Canada)
2g | 0.07oz panthenol powder (vitamin B5) (USA / Canada)
2g | 0.07oz plant sourced keratin (USA / Canada)
2g | 0.07oz dimethicone
0.5g | 0.017oz Vitamin E MT-50 (USA / Canada)
0.5g | 0.017oz Liquid Germall Plus™ (USA / Canada) (or other broad spectrum preservative of choice at recommended usage rate [why?])
Weigh the heated phase ingredients into a small saucepan, and melt everything together over low heat (the silk peptides will not melt, so you’re done when you can only see the powdery bits of silk). I found it was difficult to fully melt everything together in a water bath, hence the recommendation of direct heat. Be sure to keep a close eye on the pan so you don’t scorch your ingredients!
While the heated phase is melting, weigh all the cool down phase ingredients into a beaker or glass measuring cup and stir to combine.
When the heated phase is fully liquid and clear, remove it from the heat, stirring. You’ll quickly start to see wisps of it beginning to cool and opacify. Quickly stir in your cool down phase, and pour the conditioner bar into a 100mL (3.3fl oz) mold to solidify. I used a single cavity of my round cavity soap mold.
Once the bar has set up, pop it out of the mold and leave it to fully set up for ~24 hours before use.
To use, glide the bar over wet hair in the shower, and rinse out any excess. Over time you’ll figure out if you’re a short swipe/long swipe/multiple swipe/swipe party kinda person.
- You can use 100% BTMS-50 if you don’t have BTMS-25, but I wouldn’t recommend using 100% BTMS-25 or you may encounter emulsion difficulties
- Do not use a different emulsifying wax or you won’t be making hair conditioner—just a sort of solid hair lotion bar
- Read this to learn more about orange wax substitutions
- If you don’t have tucuma butter, you can use cocoa butter instead. I’d recommend unscented if you want all orange scent, but chocolate orange is also a delicious scent combo!
- I do not recommend substituting out the cetyl alcohol. You could try stearic acid instead, but it is skiddy while cetyl alcohol is silky.
- You can use a different hydrolyzed protein instead of silk
- You can use a liquid oil instead of the dimethicone
- If you don’t have honeyquat, panthenol, and/or plant sourced keratin, make up those amounts with more BTMS
Recipe inspired by a framework recipe from Susan of Swift Crafty Monkey.
I’ve been waiting for a conditioning bar recipe! Hooray! I stopped coloring my hair and am letting it grow out to get the best benefits from shampoo bars. I’ve had issues with my hair looking dirty and getting sticky with a couple of shampoo bar recipes, I wonder if it was because my hair was so porous.
The steps would be shampoo hair with shampoo bar, use an acid rinse to close the cuticles and then use the conditioning bar?
You’ve got the steps down 🙂 I’ve found with shampoo bars you do need to pay extra attention to really washing all your hair (the full length of it), and then thoroughly rinsing out. When my hair looked dirty/was sticky, that was either because I hadn’t washed it thoroughly enough, or because I’d left shampoo in it by accident
How cool I was wondering when you would start making solid condtioner. I’ve made a plain cocoa solid hair condtioner and liked it alot.
Oooh, lovely! Was that a simple blend of BTMS and cocoa butter, or did you do anything else special?
BTMS, Cetyl Alch, jojoba,panthenol and beautiful smelling cocoa butter. Loved it and want to try your recipe too.
Hi Cruz, would you be happy to share the recipe for your solid conditioner? I am trying this one tonight, and I like the sound of yours too. Only if you are happy to share it though 🙂 If not, I understand. Sarah
Lovely! Sounds like a decadent cocoa bath treat 😀
I’m beginning to hope that you will start selling some of your products. The ingredients lists are becoming ever more exotic, and I already have a yarn addiction that funnels my not even extra budget money. I’d love to buy this bar! (Out of my household budget.)
I completely agree with Annalisa, I just looked at the cost of the first few ingredients and there is no way I would be able to afford to buy all of this. In the past, I have found kits that have exactly the amount of what you need to make an item (or a few of them) at home. That would be wonderful, or just selling the bars already made would also. Unfortunately, other than either option, I would never be able to try these wonderful bars myself.
I do try to keep the cost of my recipes down, and most of the stuff I publish is relatively simple, but I also want to have fun and play with new things 🙂 I’ve been doing this for over 6 years now, so I have done a lot of recipes with beeswax and cocoa butter, and I don’t want to limit myself to simple ingredients forever!
I think if I sold this in kits you would not like the cost of that, either; taking the time to individually portion everything out and re-package it would probably mean the kits would be at least $70.
I do sell some of them! That said, selling something is nowhere near as simple as making something once and then throwing it up on the store—I’ve written more about that here 🙂 If this bar stands the test of time you may see it on the store in a six months to a year, but no promises 🙂
I’d love to buy a bar from you as well. I wanted to make one but it’s too costly to make for just myself. Please let me know if you sell one!
Ariane sells beautiful handmade conditioner bars, I highly recommend them!
This looks lovely, Marie. Can’t wait to make it and try it out! One question though: is it possible to substitute dimethicone for bamboo bioferment?
Yeah! That’s a great idea 🙂 Let me know how it goes!
Will do! Just need to get Honeyquat PF and BTMS-25 on my shopping list before I dive in!..:-)
Made this bar yesterday with bamboo bioferment instead of dimethicone. It’s amazing! My hair has not been as silky and soft before! It’s a keeper!!! Thanks…:-)
What about sea kelp bioferment? Would that have any benefits for hair??
According to the package of sea kelp bioferment I received whilst still living in China, it is said to be a fantastic oil free moisturiser that is much loved by Asian women for their hair and to make it sound even better, they say due to the high iodine content can help prevent hair thinning. I say make a small batch and see how it works!
Hi! I’m intrigued by the idea of bamboo bioferment instead of silicone but where do I find it? Help!
I found it at FSS 🙂
Awesome recipe Marie! I have most of these ingredients (Thanks Susan!!) in my stash except the keratin and tucuma butter, but I’m sure I can find some substitutes in my inventory. I like the idea that Regina had of substituting bamboo bioferment for the dimethicone, since I don’t use silicones on my hair. You can also use a conditioner bar to shave your legs with, so it’s a double duty product. Always a plus when traveling!! Thanks for a great recipe Marie!!
BelindaSK, awesome idea to use as a shaving bar 🙂
I have been using it to shave my legs! I love how it leaves my skin feeling, but do find I cut myself more often using it :/
I am a master at cutting myself while shaving! I find the conditioner bar works best if you really put a nice, thick coating on your legs. It also takes a bit of adjusting how you shave. I tend to press a bit too hard with the razor (hence the gazillions on cuts on my legs…), but with the conditioner it works better to let it glide over your legs. Does that make sense? It took me using it a while to get the hang of it without looking like I had run through thorn bushes, but now I really like it better than shaving gel.
Ok, I tried it again with your suggestions and I think it helped! I look less like I just tried to battle my way to Sleeping Beauty
Love this! I’ve been burning through a couple of Susan’s books and am learning a LOT. She is an awesome resource!
She’s a fargin’ GOLD MINE!
Wow, Marie…this is exactly what I have been waiting for. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I have everything, with just a tad substituion, already so I’ll be making this one asap. Now if we could just get you to conjure up a nice hair gel that holds great and doesn’t make the hair brittle would be awesome!! I have fine greying and wavy/curly hair that needs to be tamed down (if not it looks like stuck a finger in the light socket hair). Ugh! Love your blog and love your creations. Thanks. Look forward to any and all future creations from you. You’re awesome.
Yay! For hair gel… you would not believe how many requests I get for gel, all requesting I remove the “fillers”… AKA the core ingredients that make it a working hair gel. LOL. I’m not sure my audience is interested in the sort of hair gel I could make that I know will work, the interest seems to be solely in a 100% natural thing that also, magically, works, which I have not managed to devise yet! In fact, I’m not sure anybody has… I’ll have to do some research to see if I can find such a thing on the market 🙂
Ever try linseed? You can soak them and they make an excellent setting gel for curling hair, I wonder if it’d have a similar hair gel effect?
I’ve read that it’s pretty good, though hardly high hold, and pretty much impossible to preserve, which is definitely a downside. I haven’t been impressed with it when I’ve tried it, either, but my hair is heavy and stubborn :/
Hi Marie…the link for BTMS-25 leads to a web site for BTMS-225. Which is correct ? I have BTMS-225 and can only find BTMS-25 at Creations from Eden (Canada). Thanks
I think I found the answer. They are the same. The INCI is the same for BTMS 25 and BTMS 225. And, Voyageur says this about Rita BTMS-225 : “Can be used in recipes to replace the premium Croda Incroquat Behenyl TMS-50, but as the Rita BTMS-225 product has less actives, it may not have the same level of detangling and conditioning properties when replaced using the same percentage”.
When researching BTMS-25 it says the same thing. All these products are soooooo confusing as many of them have the same INCI but different brand names. Really have to know your product INCI’s
I read the same things you did (in your follow-up comment), and preferred to link to Voyaguer than where I actually got mine as I’m not thrilled with that source and don’t feel great about recommending them to readers.
The 50 or 25 in the name represents the amount of behentrimonium methosulfate in the product, which is the conditioning agent for hair. Susan on Point of Interest has some recommendations on her site for swapping BTMS 25 for BTMS 50 in a conditioner product, although the swap may pertain more to a liquid conditioner vs a solid one. For a solid bar, I would think using all BTMS 25 in the recipe would still offer a good amount of conditioning.
When using Susan’s recipe, I think I read somewhere that I can use the same amount of BTMS-225 instead of BTMS-50. Actually I only use BTMS-225, I think it might also be less expensive than BTMS-50. I find using this is more cost effective 🙂
you can sub BTMS 50 for 25 but if a recipe calls for BTMS 50 at 3% you would need to use 6% of the 25. Also take into account that the 25 has more cetearyl alcohol so you will need to allow for this too. So if the recipe has 2% cetyl/cetearyl alcohol, you can leave it out because you have used it in the BTMS 25.
Shampoo and conditioner bars are so great. I have used C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate instead of dimethicone in a shampoo bar because I was worried about build-up in my hair. It is a great alternative for people wanting to stay away from silicones. I haven’t seen much difference in my hair so I am going to try some silicone too in my next order of cosmetic stuff.
Oooh, how interesting! Just what I need, another thing on my shopping list
Hi Marie, I made liquid soap base at the weekend, using your method, but oils etc in my cupboard,it was so cool I used some of it to make a Citrus Rosemary Shampoo, which has left my hair so silky soft. Thank you for the inspiration and giving me the confidence in myself to try these things I can’t find btms 50 or 25 in the UK would soy lecithin work?
Keep them coming Marie How about a Soap, shampoo and conditioner book next? Lol
Hey Pauline! Soy lecithin won’t work for LOADS of reasons, but the biggest three are that it is a completely different consistency, it is not a complete emulsifier, and it is not cationic. It would be roughly as effective as using syrup instead 🙁 Or shea butter. So… total no-go there 🙁 Glad you’re loving the shampoo you made, though!
Argh! Syrup,Yuk! 😀 Thank you for clarifying that for me Marie.
Does this bar affect the ph of one’s hair? Can you use this conditioning bar after using a shampoo bar, instead of doing the acid rinse? Thanks!
If you are using CP shampoo you will still need to pH correct, and then finish up with this bar 🙂 They do different things!
Hi Marie, just to clarify….this is a conditioner after shampooing? You cannot skip shampoo, right? Thank you!
It’s just conditioner, not shampoo, and it won’t clean the hair, so yeah… keep the shampoo!
For some reason I keep clicking the email link to your recipes which has become pointless as I don’t have shares in a supply warehouse. I’m making my own toiletries to avoid long list of unknown ingredients. I am unsubscribing now.
Well… ok. But did you know that as of this moment, there are 917 posts published on Humblebee & Me? I’d say ~700 of those are recipes, 250+ of which I’d call “crunchy” (relatively few, simple ingredients, no emulsifiers, no preservatives), and another 120+ are “chewy” (some emulsifiers and preservatives, no lathering surfactants or cationic ingredients). So that’s… 375 recipes you probably could make? Or at least 250? That’s not enough for you? I have to keep using the same simple ingredients after publishing 2-4 recipes a week for nearly 6 years to keep you happy? And, might I suggest that if you don’t know what an ingredient is, perhaps research it rather than rejecting it offhand? I’d never eat any Indian food if I rejected dishes based on my knowledge of their spices… anyhow, some food for thought.
Also, I’m definitely not abandoning simpler recipes! Thursday’s is going to be pretty darn cool and quite “crunchy”.
I like your EXOTIC recipes Marie! Who wants to use the same 5 ingredients all the time? That gets boring! I think it’s cool how you’re branching out and not afraid to try new things.
AGREE 100 % with Belinda. You work so hard to bring us new projects and I applaud you. THANK YOU for all you do !
Yes! Thank you for encouraging us to try something new and doing it in a fun and non-intimidating way. I’m So looking forward to making this recipe!
Thank you! 😀
I agree 100% with Belinda and the others! I appreciate the great range of recipes you offer. It gives us so many choices and it seems to me there is something for everyone. But I do look forward the “exotic” recipes!
Thank you! 😀
Thank you! After years of doing this, I tend to agree 😛 I still enjoy the simplicity of simpler concoctions, but I think some contrast with the fancier ones is required to keep the appreciation from tipping into boredom!
When I make my conditioner bars they look like brains on the top when they have set.
Do you know why this would be happening?
I’ve discovered this doesn’t happen when the formulation includes some water, like this 🙂
I cannot find the amount of
Polyquaternium 7 to use.
It’s definitely there; do an in-page search for “Polyquaternium 7” 🙂
Thank you thank you thankyou. One quick question can you put up a link for the round silicone soap mold? It’s exactly what I’ve been looking for!
Belinda…I have the same mold from New Directions Aromatics ( http://www.newdirectionsaromatics.ca). There are 12 cavities and the cost is $16.75 – Canadian.
🙂 This is a placeholder comment to fool my comment system since you weren’t talking to me. I’m going to delete it right after posting, so disregard if you get an email notification! 🙂
Can I use Phytokeratin instead of plant source keratin?
Could I substitute Tacoma butter with any other butter?
Phytokeratin is plant source keratin. The phyto- indicates that it comes from plants. Also, Marie already said you could substitute cocoa butter for Tacoma butter.
Katrina is correct on both fronts 🙂
oh, oh, oh! I think you heard me askin’ 😀 I’m sniffing at the monitor wishing that smell could come through, lol. This is perfect for traveling with. I can’t use the orange wax on my face, I get hives, so I’m hoping that in my hair will be okay. Lovely lovely recipe!
Thanks! I look forward to hearing what you (and your hair) think! 😀
I believe Tucuma butter is a source of silicone so could I use broccoli seed oil instead?
Silicones are synthetic—you won’t find them in any butter. Also, tucuma butter is super hard and brittle and contributes to the hardness of the bar—broccoli oil will do exactly the opposite! I would recommend the substitution listed at the bottom of the recipe.
Marie, I’m thrilled to see you taking these baby steps and branching into unknown ingredient territories.
Sending me over to Point of Interest on the subject of hair care just scared the heck out of me. No cp soap on hair??? I just hit my two year soap anniversary and following her links is telling me, no cp on hair.
So my hair grows too fast. Shouldn’t be a complaint but it kinda is. I wear bangs and twice a week I trim. So I’m guessing that in two years my hair has grown the complete length of my head, to my neck. At least. Looks good. Looks darn good compared to the old pre soap hair from nape to bra strap.
So what are you doing these days, after reading her warnings? Are you still washing your hair with soap?
I love how much you’ve learned and are putting into all this. So in your educated insight, should we/I dump the soap and go back to shampoo? I don’t wanna. But I also don’t want to wake up one day to a destroyed mane. It’s that one thing I’ve always been complimented on. I know, that’s vanity, but I like my hair.
Ok, after doing a bit of research on her site, I noticed I was reading old, pre-knowledge of cp soap articles.
Not done researching but feel better knowing my hair isn’t going to disintegrate.
On a happier note, I have most of the ingredients for this bar and plan to make it. I’ll just have to fudge a little without a few things.
Honestly, from all my experience, CP on soap is totally fine if it works for you! It works for me, and has for 5 years (though I am currently toying with syndet shampoo bars since I can’t leave well enough alone). I know it doesn’t work for everybody, but if it works for you, I say go for it! (And I’d say you would know within a month or two if it was working—there shouldn’t be any surprises!)
And thanks so much for your support—I always worry about push back when I try new things, which is sort of dumb as this is my blog and I do it for fun, to try new things, and to learn!
Oh, I love your new things!
Sometimes I’m a little intimidated by new products, I’ll admit. I chew on them, chew the cud is what I say and ponder. I usually get sent over to Susan’s site by you and she makes a whole lotta sense.
Ya, my eyes opened twice their size at the dimethicone. I read about it over on her site and tonight I’m excited to tell you that it’s on my list. My summer hair needs dimethicone and I’m not ashamed to say it.
Keep experimenting, Marie. Open our horizons!
You’re awesome, thank you 🙂 Believe me, I’m intimidated, too. I bought that dimethicone well over a year ago and have been dithering over it. Adding a bit of it to this or that just to see what happened—that sort of thing. I’m an expert cud chewer, it would seem 🙂 I’m not convinced my hair needs dimethicone at this point, but I am quite intrigued by the possibilities of cyclomethicone in hair mists. We’ll see! As always, thank you for reading and DIYing with me!
The drama! They only sell refined orange wax here!
But my question Marie is if you have this electrified hair problem after a day of using self made conditioner. Admittedly I do not have BTMS 50 so I have to do with 1/3 Behentriumonium Chloride + 2/3 cetearyl alcohol replacement.
I did try ojon hair mask replication by Susan but electrified hair problem remains. Yesterday I read off the ingredients from reliable dove intensive repair conditioner and had a stab at it with Behentriumonium Chloride, Stearamidopropyl Dimethylamine and some wheat quat for conditioning /deelectrifiers. I used it this morning (with menthol and tangrine eo, thanks for the idea) and half day through it looks amazing. I’ll see tomorrow if the hairstyle together.
Ack! Why would one refine orange wax?! GASP!
It sounds like your hair is a big fan of even more conditioning (the quat). Have you tried adding some hydrolyzed protein? That should help keep your hair a bit more hydrated (though I’ve read they’re not great if you are prone to frizz, rather than static, which is [I think] what you are talking about?).
Really excited to make these bars – I have ordered some tucuma butter and the BTMS 25 and now patiently awaiting their arrival. I so look forward to your posts and can hardly wait to see what you are making next! I don’t mind purchasing the extra odd ingredients as I know you will use them again in a recipe down the road and I can’t help but want to make everything you post. You are very talented! Glad your book signing went well. I almost Wish that I lived in Alberta! (Ha ~ never thought I’d say that as I really don’t miss the winters) as I would love to join you for a workshop. I have really loved everything I have made from your multitude of recipes that you so generously share.
Thanks so much, Kathleen! I’m always thrilled to hear people await my next concoctions—and it keeps me on my toes, too 😉 Be sure to get in touch if you ever visit Alberta… no need to move here haha 😛
I have family in Edmonton. Actually, it’s my parents 50th Anniversary June 28th. I live here in Nanaimo and my sons do also (24 and 21) Anyway, somehow those two sons agreed to do a road trip with me to Alberta to surprise the grandparents and what a surprise it will be. We moved to Nanaimo when they were still high school. I can’t wait. Anyway, I would love to bring my mom to Calgary for a bit of shopping (yellowbee, windy point) and perhaps a workshop? 🙂 We will bin in Alberta for a week. Also, I will be in the States in June. Do you need anything? I could try to get it for you. I was thinking of ordering a thing or two from Brambleberry and having it shipped to my hotel. I will be there from June 13 – 18th. Then road trip June 27-4th.
Ah, Nanaimo! My parents live on Gabriola, so I’ve spent plenty of time both places. I’ll likely be in the US myself in July, so I shan’t trouble you, but I do appreciate the offer! Happy surprising, and I hope to meet you at a workshop next month!
Wohoo! I have been using solid conditioner bars for years now (and shampoo), from Susan’s recipes – honestly I can’t go back to regular shampoo and conditioner anymore. I use cocoa butter and use hair loving oils like brazil nut and pracaxi oil.
So glad to see your formulation! I’ve been loyal to my recipe but finally have a use for my tucuma butter now LOL.
I’m having so much fun with mine, and I swear it’s still the same size it was when I made it! I love shaving my legs with it, too 😉
Hi Marie. I’m just waiting for my panthenol to arrive then plan to make this lovely-sounding conditioner bar exactly as written. My question is, if this works for me, can I make another in a different scent by substituting the 5% orange wax with 5% of another (hair-friendly) liquid oil and add an essential oil such as rosemary and/or mint? Thanks gobs, I’m so excited to try something new!
Yup! I’d choose something lightweight like camellia seed or macadamia nut 🙂 Enjoy!
Ooooh, I made the recipe, used it and it’s fantastic! I have very long, fine hair and was a little worried about it looking heavy or greasy but it was PERFECT. No static, either.
I can see there is a learning curve to using these new ingredients and I have just one question. Is the silk powder supposed to dissolve and become clear in the heated phase? My heated phase looked cloudy with the addition of the silk.
I was also wondering if your BTMS 50 had an odd, almost fishy smell, but found my answer from Susan at Point of Interest.
Thank you so much for the recipe, my hair loves you 😉
Yay! I, too, have long, fine hair, which may make you a bit more interested in my other hair recipes 🙂 Since the silk is water soluble it would only dissolve into the phytokeratin and the liquid quat, so if either of those were swapped out you definitely wouldn’t get any dissolving action. In any event, the silk will dissolve nicely when you use it on your wet hair!
Thanks for reading and DIYing with me!
Aaaaaaaand… your recipe came out just in time for me to take it with me to Hawaii for a 10 day trip. It was so easy to pack and it worked brilliantly on my wind-whipped, wet and salty sea-sprayed hair that got washed at least twice a day. Thanks again!
Awesome! I’m so glad my little recipe made it into your suitcase 🙂 I wish I had some salty sea-sprayed hair right now, haha 😛
You really knocked it out of the park with this one! I love how this makes my hair feel, it’s silky, shiny and my fine hair isn’t weighed down at all. Love this recipe, great job!
Thank you so much, Danielle! I just used it again tonight and I love it, too 🙂 It’s also a pretty damn good shaving bar 😀
“I always worry about push back when I try new things, which is sort of dumb as this is my blog and I do it for fun, to try new things, and to learn!” words to live by Marie!
I do try to make every recipe you make simply because I love trying new things but like to have a recipe to begin with when it is some new and strange sounding ingredients (I’m looking at you SCI-85!). And once I’ve learnt a little about it, worked a little with it, the gloves come off and I get to play! I just wish I could spend an entire day finding the same joy playing in a sandbox as I do an entire day creating in the kitchen. Would be so much cheaper.
At the end of the day, this is your blog. These are your creations. And you make what you want to make and post whatever you want. If you want to dedicate an entire post to the dryer trolls who eat random socks or to the magical fairies who steal Edward Cullen’s glitter and pollenate your tomatoes… it is your blog.
I’m not sure this is the place to actually come out and say this, but meh. I’m going to say it. It’s your blog. Post what you like. People can choose to read it/click or not choose not to read. Comments of “it’s not natural enough for me” can continue to buy Lush products or visit any of the other countless blogs out there using clove and cinnamon powder for eyeshadow.
a HumbleBee&Me avid and dedicated and loyal and awesome and #hashtaggedthehelloutofthingslearner and someone who thinks you’re great at what you’re doing so keep up the amazing work!
PS- I plan to make this and use it as a shaving bar!
Wow!Penny, well said I love reading Marie’s recipes and really look forward to monday and thursday to see what she has come up with next.I can’t make all of them, we don’t get all of the ingredients in the UK. I can’t source Btms 50 or btms 25 for a start, but I love trying the ones that I can get ingredients for. I could do with some fairys to pollenate my tomatoes, heck, I could do with some to make my tomato plants grow, it’s so cold here at the moment they don’t want to stick their heads above ground What is SCI 85? Is it the same as Sodium cocoyl isethionate? Something else I’m struggling to find Keep them coming please Marie
Well HELLO Pauline!!!
1) BTMS-225 https://www.thesoapkitchen.co.uk/cgi-bin/sh000002.pl?WD=btms&PN=btms225%2ehtml#SID=119
2) I might have a solution to that! I think this might be it SCI- http://www.aroma-zone.com/info/fiche-technique/tensioactif-sci-aroma-zone but it’s in french and I didn’t look too closely.
Hopefully you clicked on the notification thingie! Drop me an email yenpennyATgmailDOTcom and let’s see what two heads can accomplish!
You da best, Penny 🙂 And this bar does make an arse-kicking shaving bar! 😀
First of all, thankyouthankyouthankyou! I have been trying to make solid conditioner for eons now, and really didn’t have much success.
I am sad because it looks like orange wax is not available in Europe, at least not if you are not a company and need to buy it by the 44kg pail, grrr….
No biggie, I will make do with orange EO, but I would have loved to try it since your furniture recipe. Oh well.
I have a question on a specific ingredient substitution. You say “If you don’t have honeyquat [..] make up those amounts with more BTMS”, but honeyquat is in the cool down phase, and BTMS needs to be melted, and I guess if I melt it and add it to the rest of the ingredients it is going to immediately solidify again… any advice? Thanks!!
You’re welcome! If you are using more BTMS, add it to the phase with the rest of the BTMS 🙂
haha, it did cross my mind one second after I hit Submit… and I did feel like a bit of an idiot 😀
Thanks for taking the time to reply! Off I go to ask another question on a different post…
Patrizia, have you tried Amazon for the Orange wax? There is an American company selling it through them. I am in the UK and that’s where I got mine.
Thanks Pauline! That’s exactly what I did in the end. The shipping doubled the price, but luckily it wasn’t that expensive to start with.
I just made this yesterday afternoon, and it smells divine. But I don’t know if I did something wrong, as it hasn’t seemed to totally set up overnight. I wish I could attach a photo to show you, but I doubled the recipe and made two bars, and when I was getting the second bar out of the mold, a bit of the bottom stuck to the mold and left a little place on the bar. And that place is still of a creamy consistency this morning. Will it continue to set up? Or do you think I did something wrong?
It’s very likely fine 🙂 If I dropped mine it would definitely dent—these don’t get hard like a bar of soap, just reasonably firm. Thanks for DIYing with me and enjoy!
wondering what the emulsifying wax is you refer to in the bullet points is? I don’t see it mentioned in the actual recipe, do you mean emulsimulse?
BTMS-50 is an emulsifying wax 🙂
I’m also having problems getting orange wax but do have some lemon wax. There shouldn’t be a problem substituting that instead, should there?
As long as your lemon wax is liquidy and smells wonderfully of lemons that should work great 🙂
Crap. Now I want lemon wax too… 😀
LOL the dangers of the comment section…
Dammit!So do I,where can I buy that from? 🙁 Pleased you managed to get the orange wax Patrizia, it smells amazing 🙂
The lemon wax came from thesoapkitchen.co.uk. I haven’t used it yet but did eventually get some orange wax and it is just so orangey! Wonderful. I used 1% in a cream and it went a lovely pastel golden yellow colour. Gorgeous!
Next time I go to the UK I’ll have to get some… call the whole trip a business expense just for the lemon wax
Ooohhh. And it’s on sale! I wonder if they ship to Switzerland at a not too crazy price
Hi, I have tried making this conditioner bar a few times and still have some questions. Will the heated ingredients actually become clear at some point? I melted them, but the mix is still somewhat opaque after heating for some time. Should I wait longer?
After adding the cooled ingredients to the heated ones, I poured it all into a mold and put it in the freezer for an hour (Susan recommended this, but you didn’t…) The very bottom doesn’t solidify and looks yucky. Any idea what would cause this and how to remedy it?
Hey Jill! I found the heated phase never became completely transparent; partly because the silk won’t melt, but also because the BTMS’ really doesn’t like melting for me.
The bottom of my bar had a slightly different appearance, but it definitely solidified. Did you make any changes or substitutions? You could try stirring the bar as it cools until it’s thick enough to hold everything in suspension, and then packing it into your mould. A cold water bath would probably come in handy here since the BTMS isn’t quick the re-solidify 🙂
I’d love to have a run-down of your hair care routine now! Do you use liquid shampoo or a shampoo bar? Soap-based or surfactant based? What’s your favorite conditioner/rinse for after washing? I need to knowww.
I finally caved and bought BTMS-50 and am trying to figure out what to do with it. However, I still can’t make liquid soap due to lots of restrictions on materials and space where I live. So I’m pretty much just looking for some recommendations on things to make that go together (oily, curly, tangle-y hair here).
I’ve been experimenting with different surfactant based shampoos (mostly Amphsol CG + SCI + SLSa) and BTMS powered conditioners. I find I have to wash my hair more often, which is interesting, but I don’t miss the acidic rinse. Other than that the only differences I notice are from the occasional inclusion of some silicones in things—no massive texture differences, though.
So I’ll be honest. I did not expect this recipe to work. Of course, I didn’t use this EXACT recipe, but I did a much simpler test run with cocoa butter, BTMS-50, and olive oil.
This morning I washed my hair with a bar of soap, and then used the tiny conditioner bar (actually a mini hexagon) — side note, I love the tiny bars rather than large ones because they’re easier to rub into my hair and finger comb at the same time. My hair didn’t get tangled like it does with rinses. It really seemed to like having cationic cocoa butter rubbed onto it, actually! And now, a few hours later, the curls I have seem to be holding. So far… And, most surprising, I don’t feel like I need to add silicone to my bars or hair, because the cocoa butter and BTMS-50 seem to have solved most of my hair tangling problems by themselves!
Of course, this is only after 1 use. We’ll see how it goes after multiple 😀
Anyways, I was overly skeptical about this recipe when I shouldn’t have been. And I’ve VERY glad I finally bought some BTMS-50 for my stock, instead of trying to use regular e-wax.
How interesting! And awesome! You’ve got me thinking I should try a similar simple bar—strip it back and see what I like before throwing in loads more fancy schmancy stuff
Hi Marie, thanks so much for this recipe. I had requested a solid conditioner recipe previously. I buy solid conditioner bars from Beauty and the Bees (Tasmania), and love them, but they cost $23 each. I have been interested in making my own but it was too hard to work out how to do it from the ingredients list of their bars. I will be trialing yours tonight! And maybe adding a few of their ingredients too. Hope i don’t stuff it up lol. I could only find BTMS with no number (25,50). It says ‘btms..behentrimoium methosulfate.. cetearyl alcohol’. Hope that is the same ingredient as your recipe. Sarah
That one is BTMS-25 🙂 Have fun and happy conditioner making!
one more question.. just a word about acv rinse after cp soap shampoo. I have made a trial batch of cp soap using acv in place of half of the water. Do you think that might help with reducing the tendency of hair becoming porous? And.. someone wrote somewhere (soaping 101 on youtube) that you can’t use an acidic ingredient like acv or lemon juice with lye as it cancels the reaction out.. I haven’t found that to be true, and I read in a soaping forum that someone makes cp soap totally substituting the whole amount of water for acv. what do you think.. sarah
The person on YouTube is right. Remember that vinegar + baking soda volcano from science class? You’re basically doing that. Obviously you aren’t cancelling out all of the NaOH, so you will still get soap, but you now have a soap with a substantially higher superfat than you did before because there is far less NaOH in there than there was supposed to be, meaning you have a bar that will be softer and significantly more prone to growing mould and DOS. Soap is self preserving because of the high pH, which you have messed with by making a bar that’s short on NaOH. You may also find this interesting 🙂
Basically—soap is, by definition, highly basic. If you do not want to use something highly basic, do not use soap. It’s like you are trying to figure out how to make sugar less sweet when it would make more sense to not use sugar in the first place 🙂
ok, no prob. I thought that might be the case. won’t go there again 🙂 Thanks so much for the reply.
Hi Marie, I absolutely love your recipe for this bar, I just made my 2nd batch. I’m not sure why.. but my heated phase never goes clear.. I am careful not to scorch the oils, so thats not the problem.. I use your recipe exactly with no substitutions, only difference is I use the microwave (short bursts checking frequently)
Does this effect the overall product at all (not being clear, I mean its still pretty fabulous, so just wondering)
Hey! I’m glad you’re enjoying it 🙂 Be sure to check out the link to Susan’s site in the post to learn even more about conditioner bars! Mine never became totally transparent, either, I wouldn’t worry about it.
I’ve tried to read the post you referred to but it says it’s by invite only. I’ve been trying to figure out how to request access but i can’t figure out how.
I’m afraid that is not my website; I no longer have access, either.
FINALLY managed to make this 🙂
It looks like it is VERY solid though, I wonder if that could be because I replaced the BMTS-25 and the honeyquat with BMTS-50, as per replacement instructions? I have no idea what BTMS-25 looks like, so that might be the culprit. In my next try I will swap the butters for fractionated coconut oil, thoughts?
It should be very solid, so how solid are we talking? Mine is too solid to dent with normal use, but it did get a bit dinged up at the point of impact when I dropped it in the shower. I wouldn’t swap a solid ingredient for a liquid one since the solid ingredients contribute to the solid-ness, and we want it to be solid!
I think I was expecting it to leave some residue on my hands when rubbed, and it didn’t. But in use, i.e. rubbed with wet hands, it does turn into lotion and works well on my hair 🙂
So I guess BTMS-25 is also solid,eh? (See? I speak Canadian :-D)
That all sounds just as it should, eh 😉
I made this and it turned out amazing. But I prefer liquid versions of products, sooo how can I manipulate this formulation and turn it into a liquid conditioner? I know I need to add a water phase, but I’m just not sure what parts I need to remove from the original. Like how much less of each ingredient, particularly the Emulsifiers, should I use?? Thanks so much for another great recipe!
Hey Jen! Honestly, I would start with a liquid/cream conditioner recipe rather than trying to convert this one. This one would be a good place to start 🙂
Hi, Great recipe! Three questions:
The heated ingredients… do they actually melt enough to become clear? I get them to liquid, but it’s still opaque.
If there are some solid bits sticking to the pan, should I scrape those into the liquid in the mold, too?
Your solid bar conditioner doesn’t require freezing like Swift Crafty Monkey, right?
I don’t find BTMS ever melts enough to become transparent for me in a water bath, and there are some non-oil-soluble ingredients in here, and those will never become clear. You shouldn’t have solid bits, but there will be some powdery bits as the silk and panthenol will not dissolve—so if that’s what you’ve got, definitely get that into the mold! You certainly can but the bars in the freezer, but I didn’t find it to be necessary (also, my mould was too floppy to move anywhere after pouring haha).
I made this and it was awesome! Thank you by the way for the recipe but I dont like the shape I made them into, is there a way I remelt these and repour them into a different mold and still be okay? I didnt use orange wax and added different eos and sub orange wax with some more liquid oil.
If you do that you’ll likely torch your preservative, so I wouldn’t, because you risk using too much preservative if you add more.
that makes sense, darn
Thank you for everything and will look for that other recipe it was online and post it and give the other person credit. After trying your recipe I enjoyed your conditioner bar more vs the one with mostly cocoa butter.
I’ve been experimenting with some simpler ones, and enjoying those as well! And be sure to check out the links to Susan’s site from the blog for more conditioner fun!
What’s the worst that can happen without cetyl alcohol? I’m trying to save money and want to avoid purchasing more diy ingredients
It’ll be noticeably softer, you’ll use more of it (effectively waste), and rinse more of it down the drain… so kind of the opposite of saving money, I guess? Out of all the ingredients in this bar the cetyl alcohol is one of the cheapest and most versatile—I’d really recommend getting some!
what does the 50 or 25 stand for in the BTMS? is it the melting point?
It’s the percentage of active matter; 50% or 25%. Susan has a great explanation here.
Do you have any suggestions that could make the bet any harder? I absolutely love this conditioner but it’s very soft and would like it to be a bit more solid.
That is strange, I thought I had the opposite problem i.e. the bar being too hard… but then I realised that once rubbed on wet hair it does emulsify nicely and does its job. Maybe you accidentally weighed less cetyl alcohol than needed?
My experience, too!
Do you live somewhere SUPER hot? ‘Cause this bar is HARD. I’ll drop it on tile and it will barely dent.
Hello Marie! I just did this recipe, the only thing I substituted was cocoa butter for the Tucuma butter. The bar is rather soft, (after 48 hours), I could squash it if I wanted to. Is this the correct consistency?
No, not at all—it’s really firm. Like, it will barely dent if you drop it in the shower. Are you certain your scale is accurate?
Do you have any substitute for BTMS 50?, here i cant find less than 40 lbs.
Thanks! Love your recipes
Dang, that’s a lot of BTMS-50. I don’t have a substitute that’s easier to find or easier to purchase in smaller amounts, unfortunately.
I love the recipe, but can you suggest purely natural recipes ( for hair)without those complicated chemical names and with the material available in easily. Here in India, it is difficult to get things mentioned by you. And I prefer natural ingredients only and dont mind if the shelf life is less.
I’d recommend checking out the “crunchy” section of the blog here. Do keep in mind that many things cannot be achieved with “natural” ingredients, especially if your definition is quite narrow. Happy making!
Hi Marie, The plant keratin you link us to says to add in the water phase – since there is no water phase here, does it mix okay? And the panthenol is a powder to be melted in water ….? Just wondering how this all comes together. I asked lotion crafter and on the panthenol and they said to use a little water to melt it and add it like that and the water would evaporate. Thoughts?
Oh, one more thing. What do you think about silk amino acid in place of the silk peptides? Thanks!
As long as they are both hydrolyzed, go for it!
There’s lots of emulsifier in here (all the BTMS) so the watery things mix in just fine. I added the panthenol as a powder and didn’t have any issues, but adding a small amount of water likely won’t be problematic, either 🙂
Just learning about all of this, haven’t made anything yet, so excuse my ignorance.. but is there a way we can make this bar but a different scent? Like if I remove the orange wax should I be adding something in it’s place or can I just remove that wax and add essential oils or something else?
Hey! You might try this recipe instead; it’s less structured around a central fragrance ingredient 🙂
Hi Marie, so I used polyquat 7 as suggested and it doesn’t mix in with the other ingredients. Is this because it’s water soluble or is there a trick to it I don’t know about. When I make this it just separates and sinks to the bottom of my mould. I threw out my first batch because i thought i did something wrong but when i re made it, it did the same thing. Btw, I am totally in love with your snowflake shampoo bar recipe!
That’s rather odd—the BTMS should fully emulsify it. In any event, not everything in this bar fully dissolves with everything else—you can try giving the mixture a blast with your immersion blender to get everything as mixed as possible, moulding it, and then popping it in the freezer to get it to set up as much as possible while everything is still in suspension 🙂
Hi there. I made this bar last night and was wondering why my heated phase never became clear/translucent. I heated and stirred for a really long time but it never happened. I used all BTMS 50 since I didn’t have 25 or keratin. I also used argan oil in place of dimethicone. Any ideas? Thanks for all that you do. Love your recipes and especially love that they are all small batch recipes. Perfect for someone like me who only makes for personal use. Thanks!
I find BTMS never really fully melts for me in a water bath, and I often have to give my mixtures a wee blast in the microwave to get them to fully melt. The melting point of BTMS isn’t so high that this makes sense, but that’s been my experience.
I made this bar and didn’t have any problems with melting everything down and it set up in the mold very nicely. It’s also hard but easy to spread in wet hair. My problem though is that they ‘sweat’. Little droplets that look like glycerin dew popped up after a few hours and they still keep sweating even after a few days. Any ideas? I’m thinking the culprit could be the 2% fragrance oil I used but I’ve used several other FOs with the same sweating issue.
Hmmm, interesting. Do you live somewhere very humid?
Hi Marie! I bought the orange wax from your link from Dr. Adorable. It is thick, not thin and only faintly like oranges. Is it the same one you purchased? Or did you get the one from NDA or other?
Mine is from NDA (I typically don’t send people there for single ingredients because of the shipping cost and $100 minimum order—people end up complaining to me, ha), but yours should work as well. You could try thinning it out with some orange essential oil if you really want to make sure you get a strong orange scent!
What a gorgeous recipe! Looking forward to trying it! I apologize to bother with a silly question but is this recipe enough for one or more bars. In advance, thank you for your kind reply.
The number of bars you make depends entirely on the size of the mold you use 😉 As specified in the recipe, this will fill a 100mL mold; but that also means it could fill two 50mL molds, etc.
Ive been.making Conditioner bars for a while now and sometimes they set really wrinkly on top. Why?
I have found the same thing, and for now I’m afraid I have no reason to share with you. It’s just an aesthetic thing, though! You can definitely still use the bar 🙂
Hi! Is there a good alternative butter you could recommend that isn’t palm-derived? Bonus if it’s good for fine, wavy/curly hair! Thank you!
The only butter in here is tucuma butter, which is not made from palm oil. Tucuma is a type of palm (Astrocaryum Tucuma), but it’s not the palm everybody is concerned about these days (Elaeis guineensis). Coconut oil is technically a type of palm as well.
That said, the functional ingredients in this bar (the BTMS) are palm derived, and I do not have a palm-free alternative for those.
The whole issue is a fairly complex and irksome one—this article provides a good overview of the general frustration of it if you’re interested 🙂
Has anyone used 10x orange oil in this recipe and does the scent fade quickly? Going by cold process soap measurements, it would be 1oz per lb which will fade. This would mean about 6g per 100g in the orange blast bar (similar to the wax). I’m in Australia and I could only find one place in the US that would ship the wax at $143 AUD postage for a $20 purchase…….
Hey Lynn! This isn’t soap, so ratios for soap are totally irrelevant here. 6g per 100g would be 6%, which is way too high for essential oil usage in something that isn’t soap. 1–2% should be fine for this recipe 🙂
Thanks Marie. I made the bars and I had a slight problem. After melting the heated phase, I added my cold phase ingredients (germall, polyquat 7 and orange oil) and I started getting a gelatinous mass and the heated phase started to clear. I’ve used oil and germall before together with no problems, and with added silk peptides, so I’m thinking it’s the polyquat. I’m wondering if the polyquat has bound up the silk peptides perhaps????
Good morning Lynn!
Since the silk peptides are water soluble so they need to be dissolved into the phytokeratin and the liquid quat. If you swapped out those, the end result would be some form of weird glob going on. Try dissolving the silk into the phytokeratin and the liquid quat before adding them in. Good luck!
Hi Barb, I swapped out the wax, keratin and dimethicone and subbed for for macadamia oil or btms50 as suggested. The silk peptides were in the heated phase and I then added the PQ7 with powdered panthenol vit e and germall. When I added this, I got a jelly like mass floating in my mix. I just scooped it out and the bar works fine. I’m just about to make some more (severalbars) and it would be super if it didn’t do this. My only other comparison is the vanilla spice bar made exactly to the recipe which didn’t do it. Is that any help in working out the issue?
Hello again Lynn!
It sounds like you’ve done a lot of swapping! Can you provide your new (and possibly older) formula/recipe for us to look at?
Hi Marie, your conditioner bar looks lovely. A question can you make one for blonde hair to take away the yellow look please.
Thanks, Shar! I will keep it in mind 🙂
I made this and its INCREDIBLE! I’ve been using it with the snowflake shampoo bar for a week and my hair looks even better than it did when I was using my $100 shampoo and conditioner products (Monat)! I want to make a concentrated liquid version of this bar and I was wondering if I just need to include water and take away from some other ingredients? If so, which ingredients do I need to reduce and how much water should I add to keep it in liquid form, but still very concentrated?
In a previous comment, Marie mentioned this, “Hey Jen! Honestly, I would start with a liquid/cream conditioner recipe rather than trying to convert this one. This one would be a good place to start ” Hopefully this helps!
Wondering if I can sub BTMS-50 for Lexfeel Natural? And sub liquid germall plus for Euxyl K903?
I’ve noticed you’ve taken a course from formula botanica. I am currently enrolled in the hair care course with them. I’m also addicted to your site. Love all the info. you post. So much to learn! Thank you in advance
For the first one; no. Lexfeel Natural is a silicone alternative, and BTMS-50 is not a silicone and does not do any of the things silicones do in products. Please read about it in my encyclopedia to learn more 🙂 You can try the preservative alternative; I have not worked with that one in particular so I can’t offer any insights. Happy making!
Hi there, first time commenting 🙂
What is the benefit of using BTMS 25 in the bar instead of just BTMS 50?
It’s two fold; BTMS-25 is typically less expensive than 50, and it also offers more hardening 🙂
Thank you, how does it provide additional hardening?
BTMS 25 is 75% cetearyl alcohol, which is a good hardening ingredient.
That explains my troubles then, thank you. This is too hard and broke 🙁
First of all! What a true inspiration you are! I wanted to ask if plantaquat is a good substitution for honeyquat?
Eager to receive your reply!
xx Heja from the Netherlands
Hey! It doesn’t look like it—honeyquat is a liquid with plantaquat looks to be a solid, more similar to the BTMS than the honeyquat. You likely could swap the two since the amount is so low and we want this end product to be solid anyways, but generally speaking they aren’t good alternatives. Happy making!
Could polysorbate 80 or any other polysorbate be used as a replacing emulsifier? Would you recommend any other emulsifiers in place? Thanks!
I can help you out with your question:) The polysorbates are liquids and they’re more solubizers, than emulsifiers. They also aren’t cationic. To make a solid product, you’ll need the solid emulsifier. And it needs to be a cationic one so that it charges to the hair strand. If you use a non ionic emulsifier like EcoMulse, you’d basically be making a lotion bar and all the hair softening goodies would rinse right off. Hope this helps!
Jen’s reply is bang on 🙂
Is it possible to use only btms-25? Will it still condition correctly? Thanks!
From a conditioning angle that should be fine, especially if your hair doesn’t need a ton of conditioning (I know some of my curly haired friends need a lot more than my straight 1B hair does—they might find that drop in conditioning to be very noticeable). That said, BTMS-25 contributes a lot more hardening to the formula than BTMS-50 does, and if this product’s melting point gets too high it won’t apply well. Think about trying to rub an eraser into you hair, lol… like that! I recently tested a conditioner bar with that problem LOL. Whoops! So, if you make that swap you may want to reduce the amount of other hardeners in the formula, and then be sure your first bar is nice and wee so you can be sure it works before scaling up. Happy making!
When I went to buy BTMS 50 and cetyl alcohol; on their info sheet BTMS max usage rate was 10% and cetyl alcohol is 5%. You recipe has much higher percentages. Are they safe percentages for the conditioner bar?
This bar features 30% BTMS-50 & 30% BTMS-25, which would be a lot for an emulsified cream conditioner, but solid products require more solid things (like BTMS), so they end up being formulated differently. Obviously, safety concerns are still a thing, but it’s also worth keeping in mind this is a this be fine Cosmetics Info and the CIR haven’t been very helpful regarding maximum usage rates for BTMS, only typical usage rates.
I would think the 5% for cetyl alcohol was a recommended usage rate, not a maximum, as it’s a very safe, non-irritating ingredient. 5% would be a very sensible maximum if you were using cetyl alcohol to thicken an emulsion, but it won’t be effective in something like this 🙂
I hope that helps!
Hi Marie! I love the smell, color, and feel of this orange wax! If I wanted to use it in a solid shampoo, (example: your solid Mango bar) I know I would use it to replace the dye and fragrance, but should I also replace some from either the tacuma butter or sea buckthorn? Basically, I’m asking would the orange wax act as a small percentage of a soft or hard oil? Neither? Thanks for any advice, opinions, etc, 🙂
Hey Brookelyn! I’d use it in place of some of the liquid oil (as the orange wax is liquid—or at least mine is!), keeping to that 5%-ish realm 🙂 Let me know how it turns out and happy making!
I’ve given up trying to make this work! lol I’ve tried it 5 times and not gotten it to come together at all – or even close!
I did not use orange wax, opting instead for fractionated coconut oil and some orange 10x essential oil.
I could only find Polyquaternium 7, not honeyquat PF, I pretty much have no clue what a ‘plant sourced keratin’ IS even, so I added 1 gram each to BTMS-50 and 25. I bought some dimethicone (silicone 350 CST).
1st time my heat phase scalded trying to get the silk peptides (also purchased just for this conditioner bar) to melt. Ended up with a gloppy mess after blending with cool down phase.
2nd time, I didn’t let the mixture scald, silk peptides never melted, ended up with a gloppy mess.
3rd time, I just tried it all again, being very patient. Same exact issue as #2.
4th time, I purchased some tucuma butter (not cheap!) thinking the cocoa butter was making it look grainy. Nope – it IS the silk peptide! Same gloppy issue.
5th time, re-researched all the substitutes, left out the silk peptide and used hydrolyzed oat protein instead, added the above mentioned added BTMS 50 and 25. this was just a liquid mess that I threw away in disgust.
I’m moving on to a different recipe. This is obviously too complicated for me!
I’m so sorry about this! I think part of the problem here is that my instructions don’t state that the silk won’t/can’t melt, but make it sound like it will. Sorry! I’ve just updated the directions to clarify that. Hydrolyzed silk is water soluble, so it won’t dissolve in an oily base—it ends up suspended throughout the bar and dissolves at the time of use on wet hair. I’m not sure why so many of your attempts ended up gloppy, though. You might like this video on making solid conditioner bars from my friend Ariane 🙂 Best of luck and I’m so sorry this one isn’t working for you.
Could you swap out the orange wax and use something else and if so what would be a good non-wax substitute?
I’d use 1g orange essential oil and replace the remaining 4g with more tucuma butter 🙂
I realize that this an old thread and you have tons of other questions to address, but I have some other plant waxes, like rose wax, which I would love to try out in place of the orange wax. Are they chemically similar enough to do this?? The orange bar is my absolute favorite hair product and I’ve been using it daily for 2 years. I just feel like its time to switch things up!
Hey Jennifer! I can’t see why not—though if they’re super fragrant and more expensive than orange wax (my rose wax sure is) you may want to dial back the usage to around 1%, making up the additional 4% with a liquid oil of choice. Happy making!
Just a quick question: what would happen if I added more keratin in the recipe. My hair is long and fine and old and just frizzes a lot. Would adding more help my situation?
Hey Lisa! My two thoughts around adding keratin for frizz are:
1) Keratin is liquid, and this needs to be and stay solid, so adding more liquid can start to compromise the integrity of the bar
2) This bar lasts AGES (I am quite literally still using the one in the picture a full 2+ years later), so I would recommend making a liquid hair conditioner with lots of keratin first and seeing if that works for your frizz before making something like this—that way, if it doesn’t work as well as you’d like you don’t have an ineffective product that will last you the next year or two.
omg! I have been such a long time fan of yours but this is my first time posting. I just made these conditioning bars and Im so blown away. I’ve spent so much money on hair products, as my hair is dry and frizzy and after making these, my hair has a soft “slip” feeling that I havent felt before. Wow!!!
Some of the small changes I made are that I used LuxGlide350 instead of dimethicone, cocoa butter instead of tacuma. I didnt have any keratin so I subbed with 2 extra grams on BTMS-50.
Really impressed. Just out of curiosity, is it the LuxGlide that makes such a soft conditioning bar? or the BTMS?
Thank you so much for an awesome recipe!
I’m thrilled you’re enjoying it! The BTMS is the major conditioning ingredient in this bar 🙂
Also! I did have a question, I bought my BTMS form lotioncrafter and it says useage rates are 1-10%. If the recipe above calls for 30g, am I correct to read that as 30%? Is that too much? Thanks!!
This bar features 30% BTMS-50 & 30% BTMS-25, which would be a lot for an emulsified cream conditioner, but solid products require more solid things (like BTMS), so they end up being formulated differently. Obviously, safety concerns are still a thing, but it’s also worth keeping in mind this is a rinse-off product, and usage rates tend to be higher for wash-off vs. leave-on. I’ve found supplier conditioner bar formulas with 60% BTMS as well Cosmetics Info and the CIR haven’t been very helpful regarding maximum usage rates, only typical usage rates. I hope that helps!
I want to make this but with fragrance oils I already have. If I didn’t want to use the orange wax, would 4grams of a different lightweight oil work (like apricot kernel) or 4grams refined cocoa butter then 1gram of the fragrance oil?
Hey Leslie! I’d probably go with the harder thing (the cocoa butter) since we want this bar to be nice and solid 🙂 That said, orange wax is a thin liquid, so the lightweight oil is also a very sensible alternative. So, basically… you can do whichever you want, ha, and it’ll very likely be fine either way 😛 Happy making!
Yay Thanks so much for replying. I’ve got FO I purchased for liquid soap making that I love and wanted to use them when I try this.
OOooh enjoy and happy making!
Hi Marie. Have you tried natural alternatives to silicones? I bought some from lotioncrafter but am still working on simpler recipes. It would be great to have input from someone who has worked with them.
Hey Elise! I’ve experimented with LuxGlide products a bit; my experience is that they aren’t as silicone-y as silicones, basically. The one that’s supposed to be an alternative for dimethicone 350 doesn’t offer the same level of richness and slip as actual dimethicone 350 does. I haven’t experimented extensively with them, though 🙂 Happy making!
Hi Marie, thank you so much for sharing what you have studied, made and tested! I made these with some small tweaks and they set up beautifully. My girls are trying them this week :). I had a question about the preservative. I believe it needs to be added at 122 degrees F or less, but my (double boil) heated phase was quite hot. Have you tried stirring in the cool phase ingredients except the preservative, stir quickly, take the temp and then add the preservative once it is cool enough, and still have it successfully mix in without hardening too much first? Thank you so much for taking the time to answer all of our questions!
Hey Laura! For conditioner bars, I’ve switched to using Optiphen Plus as it is heat stable up to 80°C—that’s much easier to work with 🙂
Thank you SO much! I’ll have to do that with the next batch. We LOVE how ours turned out! It was so simple to make and so effective! Thank you again oodles, Marie!
Hooray! Thanks for DIYing with me, and happy making 🙂
Hi Marie – Love everything you do. A question for you – I have made batches of this conditioning bar several times and love it. This time, I didn’t have any BTMS-25 so just included BTMS-50. It, not surprisingly, came out a bit too soft. I now have BMTS-25 and wondering if I can melt the batch down, add the BTMS-25 and then add the other ingredients at the appropriate rate? What about the preservative. I assume if I melt it down i made the preservative inactive that was put in, should I put in the preservative at the full rate, or a lesser rate since there is already some in there?
I am in the UK and I am very interested in trying out this recipes. Can you tell me, do i use BTMS 50 and BTMS 25 or just one of them?? I have had a look about and can only seem to get the BTMS 50.
If you just want to use BTMS 50, check out this formulation instead. It’s much better!
Hello! Ok, a few questions…between Argan and Rosehip Seed Oil, which one would be best to substitute the orange wax? Also, could I use NatraSil in place of the dimensioned? And lastly, can I use all btms-50 since I don’t have btms-25? I see you directed someone to your village spiced conditioner bar but this one has so many more goodies in it! 🙂 Anyway, thanks!!
Gah, *dimethicone…damn spell check! Guess I should proofread before submitting comments, lol
If you’ve got BTMS-25, check out this formulation instead. If you try to use it here you will have to create several versions to get something that has the right melting point 🙂 That newer formulation is also better!
Hello, I am wondering if it might be possible to use liquid panthenol in this recipe rather than powdered. I have read the general guidelines for subbing liquid for powder but am not sure if it would work in this formulation since there is no water to reduce. Thanks!
I’d recommend this formulation (or this one) instead—they are better + have water for easier adjusting and dissolving 🙂
I tried this recipe last night, and I had the same “gloppy” issue as a previous commenter. As soon as I mixed the cool down phase in the pot, it got gloppy and stringy. I just mixed it as well as I could, and put it in the molds. As of this morning, it didn’t feel super hard, but it has set nicely.
I used cocoa butter, and I used 1g fragrance oil and 4g abyssinian oil instead of the orange wax. Everything else stayed the same.
Hey Elizabeth! In the future, I’d recommend one of my newer conditioner bar formulations—I think they’re better than this one and nobody has reported any gloppy-ness with those 🙂 I like this one and this one. This formulation isn’t bad, but I think the newer ones are better 🙂
I will try the newer formula (just ordered some cetearyl alcohol….I’ve been getting away with a blend of cetyl alcohol and stearic acid for other things….but want to make the conditioner bars right).
But, I also LOVE the performance of this bar. Even though the bar itself isn’t pretty (see: ‘gloppy’ pouring), I absolutely love it! The product comes off on my hands and onto my hair perfectly, and it makes my hair soooo soft.
I can’t wait to try the newer one, too!
I’m so glad to hear it! And you will love having cetearyl alcohol in your pantry 🙂
Kinda rhetorical/rumination and kinda an actual question….I wonder if tallow would work instead instead of the butter? Tallow is really hard and is moisturizing. Hmmmmm.
It would probably work, BUT I would recommend one of my newer conditioner bars instead—this one or this one 🙂 Happy making!