I am so excited to share this recipe with you guys. I’ve been working on it since shortly after new years, and sharing the progress on my Instagram stories as I’ve been testing and tweaking. This is a conditioning shampoo; more lather than a cleansing conditioner, but more conditioning goodness and lovely oils than you’d usually find in a shampoo. It’s a lovely, lazy hybrid for those of us who like as few things on our shower to-do list as possible. As I’ve been using this conditioning shampoo I’ve been amazed by two big things: the amazing volume and incredible detangling powers. Like… wow. I’ll wake up in the morning after shampooing the previous evening and my hair is so light and voluminous, and then when I go to comb through it—it’s so easy! I’m pretty much completely besotted with this stuff, and I’m so excited to share this formula for Silky Volumizing Conditioning Shampoo so you can be besotted with me.
Over the last year or so I’ve been doing more product research in the realm of purchasing and trying products made by, well, not me. Le gasp. Anywho, that research is where the inspiration for this DIY came from. I tried Hair is Fabric’s Hydration Support and fell for it hard and fast. It was creamy and fragrant, worked up into a decadent lather, and left my hair feeling utterly amazeballs. The ingredients list was a bit dense at first (Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate, anyone?), so I fired up a spreadsheet to get a better idea of what was going on.
The general gist of it was this: a few surfactants I’d worked with and quite a few I hadn’t, some conditioning/cationic ingredients, hydrosols, emollients, thickeners, humectants, preservatives, and some nice smelling things. A few things stuck out: the oil (Abyssinian Seed Oil) was fairly high up in the ingredients list, most of the thickeners were made from stearic acid, and there were no silicones. I wasn’t interested in working on an exact dupe, but I really liked the product and was interested in riffing on it, using more accessible ingredients.
The surfactant blend for this conditioning shampoo is all about gentleness and low, but rich, lather. A blend of SCI and foaming silk (two anionic surfactants) is made even gentler with the addition of some cocamidopropyl betaine (an amphoteric surfactant). Earlier versions of this conditioning shampoo had a fairly low active matter percentage (I tried as low as 12%), but I found that had me using a lot of product to feel like I was getting my hair clean. I decided I’d rather use more surfactants to create a product I could use less of, so I worked on increasing the active matter and settled at 16.74%. I found this to be a good balance between enough lather to feel like a shampoo, but not so much that you were left wondering where the “conditioning” part went.
For conditioning we’ve got BTMS-50 (also an emulsifier, which is useful in this formula), and some cetrimonium chloride. I chose cetrimonium chloride over a different quat for its excellent detangling abilities, and because it’s less expensive than the other quats I have. To thicken we’re using a blend of guar gum and glycol distearate, which also ensures we have a nice creamy looking (and feeling) end product. Sodium lactate and panthenol help hydrate our hair, and some wonderful broccoli seed oil helps soften, add gloss, and otherwise pamper our locks.
I chose straight labdanum to scent this shampoo as it is one of my favourite scents (I had been planning something else but then took a giant whiff of it while I was gathering my ingredients and all other plans went straight out the window). You are more than welcome to use something else you like—citrus essential oils can be a good choice here since this is a wash-off product. Woo! Anyhow, enough of my general rhapsodizing; let’s make some Silky Volumizing Conditioning Shampoo!
Silky Volumizing Conditioning Shampoo
28g | 14% Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate (SCI) (USA / Canada)
10g | 5% foaming silk (USA / Canada)
22g | 11% Cocamidopropyl Betaine (USA / Canada)
10g | 5% broccoli seed oil
8g | 4% glycol distearate
10g | 5% BTMS-50 (USA / Canada)
1g | 0.5% guar gum
90g | 45% distilled water
4g | 2% sodium lactate (USA / Canada)
8g | 4% cetrimonium chloride (USA / Canada)
6g | 3% panthenol powder (vitamin B5) (USA / Canada)
Cool Down Phase
2g | 1% labdanum essential oil
1g | 0.5% Liquid Germall Plus™ (USA / Canada)
I opted to make this over direct (low!) heat rather than using a water bath as I’ve had difficulty in the past melting SCI and BTMS-50 in water baths. You are certainly welcome to use a water bath if you like, and if you join me in doing this over direct heat, PLEASE keep that heat low, and keep an extremely close eye on your concoction as you work! Direct heat is nowhere near as forgiving as a water bath and you can burn things if you aren’t paying attention.
Prepare a water bath by bringing about 3cm/1″ of water to a bare simmer over low to medium-low heat in a wide, flat-bottomed sauté pan.
Weigh the surfactant phase ingredients into a small saucepan. Weigh the water phase ingredients into a small heat-resistant glass measuring cup or beaker, and weigh the oil phase into a second small heat-resistant glass measuring cup or beaker. Place the water phase and oil phase in your prepared water bath to warm them up and keep them ready for action.
Place the saucepan with the surfactants over low heat and stir as they soften, melt, and become uniform. Once you have a smooth, white paste with no visible bits of SCI, add the oil phase. Stir to combine. When your mixture is uniform, add the water phase. At this point I used the MiniPro Mixer from Lotion Crafter to blend it all together (more on that here). By using very short bursts and keeping the blending disc below the surface I was able to prevent too much lather from working up/the incorporation of too much air, and the mixer sped up the dissolving process immensely! If you don’t have a small blender or mixer you can just leave the mixture over low heat until the surfactant paste softens up and dissolves (I recommend covering the mixture to reduce evaporation).
When the heated mixture is uniform, remove it from the heat and stir it as it cools—somewhat constantly initially, but as it gets cooler you can reduce the frequency. Once it has reached room temperature, stir in the essential oil and preservative, and decant into a 250mL/8oz tottle or squeeze bottle. I find this is far too thick for use in a pump-top bottle.
To use, work generous amounts into soaking wet hair, working up a good lather, and ensuring you get all your hair clean. Leave for three minutes or so (that’s a good time to shave your legs or work on your Lion Sleeps Tonight solo) before thoroughly rinsing out. Enjoy!
This conditioning shampoo should be suitable for most types of hair; the surfactant blend is quite gentle, and contains no sulfates, so if should be fine for coloured and grey hair. My hair is thick, fine, and straight, and it loves it! The amount of conditioning ingredients (9%) may be a bit much for some curly hair, but as somebody who does not have curly hair I really don’t have much insight there.
Shelf Life & Storage
Because this conditioning shampoo contains 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 200g.
- You can use a different liquid anionic surfactant instead of the foaming silk; foaming oats would be a good option! Look for something that is approximately 30% active matter for a similar final total surfactant concentration.
- Glycerin will work well in place of sodium lactate
- You can use a different liquid cationic ingredient instead of centrimonium chloride, like Polyquaternium 7 or Honeyquat.
- You can use a hydrolyzed protein, like silk or oat, instead of the vitamin B5, or simply use more water.
- You can use a different liquid oil that your hair loves in place of the broccoli seed oil
- You can use a different essential oil (or blend of)
- If you do not have guar gum and glycol distearate you can replace them with more water and then thicken the final product with Crothix™ liquid or salt. However, please be aware that removing the glycol distearate will mean the mixture will foam significantly more when blended, which introduces other issues—mostly product loss and the general irritation of ending up with a giant whippy cloud of product.
I’m coveting your new mixer 🙂 What kind is it?
There are links on it in the recipe instructions 🙂
Hi Marie, I’m Ava from Rome Italy. I use the surfactants recently, is Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate (SCI) anionic compatible with BTMS cationic?
I read that anionic and cationic are not compatible.
I did a shampoo experiment two in one with SCI and in phase C I used centrimonium clhoride cationic he too became all watery!
thanks for your future reply.
Hey Ava! You are correct in that anionic and cationic are not compatible. That said, I kept this for over 18 months and it remained stable throughout 🙂
Chemist here. You can add cationic polymers (BTMS) to anionic surfactants. Cationic surfactants and anionic surfactants when blended form individual, insoluble salts. A molecule of the cationic combines with one molecule of the anionic (+ to -).
However, on a cationic polymer, there are multiple sites of a cationic charge and the molecule is very big. It can fold over on itself so many of the cationic sites are shielded from the anionic. There normally isn’t enough interaction to create an insoluble new molecule and you won’t have an issue with the shampoo foaming. Hope this helps!
Thank you so much for this, Krystal! I really appreciate it 🙂 This is super helpful and really well explained!
I did the recipe and finally I got the same texture as u have shown. The problem is , the shampoo is filled with numerous tiny bubbles and when I filled the shampoo in bottles, next day the bottle is left with half bottle shampoo. And though it cleanses the hair and remove the oil, and very very less foam i got.
How to avoid bubbles forming.
Any video regarding this recipe on YouTube.
Let me know.
With this one, I’d cover it overnight and let the bubbles work their way out before filling 🙂
Hi Marie am new to this but i love your formulas am trying everything so am from Egypt and here glycol diest. Is liquid so does it still needs heating also we don’t have sci all i can get is liquid alfa olefen sulfonate (biotarge 40)… i tried this formula using the above it’s so stable and really nice to my hair but when heated the smell ends up quite detergenty not nice at all so my question can i only heat the water and oil phase and blend the liquid surfactant while it’s cooling down
I’ve been hoping for a recipe like this! I’m super excited to try it; however, I’m also allergic to betaine (I break out in hives all over my head—not cute). What can I use instead?
All betaines, or just the coconut derived stuff? The best swap I can think of would be babassuamidopropyl betaine. I’ve found some discussion on it here and here, but I’m not sure how sourcing any of the potential alternatives will go.
Yeah, unfortunately I am allergic to all betaine, or at least every single one I’ve ever used. It’s totally possible that they’ve all been the coconut kind, but I’d kind of rather not take the chance. Thanks for the link. 🙂
Sorry I can’t be of more help, and good luck!
You can sub betaine with foaming silk
I’ve been waiting for this one!! Can’t wait to make it!!
Wheee! Happy making 😀
This sounds like a perfect product for me. Since I would have to buy all the ingredients to experiment as a complete newbe, where could I buy this from you instead, and then, if I love it, invest in the materials and make my own thereafter.
I have long, thin, straight hair.
I have an FAQ on this—the short answer is no.
Can you substitute the 4.0% Glycol Distearate with extra guar gum — bringing the full amount to 4.5% guar gum?
Oh yuck, please don’t—you’ll make booger-slime shampoo LOL.
Gah, I ordered ingredients last weekend and now I really want to make this! It sounds amazing! Unfortunately I’ll have to wait because I have to order it from the UK (most of the stuff is either very expensive or impossible to get here in Sweden), but doing that means I need to buy more than just two or three things in order to justify the shipping cost. Luxury problem, I know, but still annoying. Thank you for all the inspiration and lovely recipes!
I know the feeling! I’m very lucky (well, maybe my wallet isn’t haha) to have Windy Point in town now 😀
Love reading your instructions 🙂 What ingredient(s) make this volumizing? My hair is fine and NOT thick or curly, so volumizing is always a good thing. But, typically products that are good for preventing tangles are not good for creating volume for me. Thanks for all of your great information!
I think the volumizing is more of a sum-of-its-parts than any one or two specific ingredients; I didn’t set out to formulate it to be volumizing, but once I started testing it I realized it was super volumizing!
Taaa! I’ve spent the last week looking for the perfect shampoo recipe! I went through all(?) of Susan’s hair care posts, and just when i thought i found the best to start with, you go and make the most unconventional of shampoo recipes! Hm, i could try it with a few alterations, as you suggest in the substitutions section, but the oil and BTMS 50 make me hesitate. I have slightly oily, wavy to curly hair and wonder if it will weight it down and whether it can battle the greasies. But the detangling and smoothing potential of this intrigue me! Awh! You made it again Marie! 🙂
The oil & the BTMS are more part of the “conditioning” bit than the shampoo bit; if you usually use conditioner after you shampoo I don’t think you’d have any issues with this—it certainly gets my hair clean!
Also, I suppose you don’t need a conditioner after using this, right?
Nope! It’s all-in-one 🙂
I can’t wait to try this. I have a few questions before I attempt: you mention in Substitutions that you can use hydrolized protein (which I have) in place of Vit B5 but I don’t see Vit B5 in the recipe? Also, I don’t have guar gum or glycol disterate so do I sub the same amounts with water? And when do you use the salt to thicken? Dissloved in the extra water? How much? Thanks so much for your help. I love your recipes!
Panthenol is vitamin B5. Yes, use an equal amount for the guar gum or glycol disterate, and you thicken with crothix or salt at the very end. I’ve detailed that more specifically here, and it’s the same slow-add-when-cool for both salt and crothix 🙂
Also, can I sub carrot seed oil for the broccoli seed oil since that’s what I have on hand and its also good for your hair? Thanks!
I have a large bottle of Shikakai Oil (Acacia Concinna) that I have no idea what to do with. I was told its good for hair. Can that be used instead of the broccoli seed oil? Thank you.
Yup—this is covered in the substitutions list 😉
Yup—this is covered in the substitutions list 😉
Thanks for the recipe and, as always, the informative post! I’ve seen on your other posts that you’ve been more concerned with pH in skin cleansers. I know how darn picky my scalp can be with shampoos, and I’m wondering if that’s part of it. Could you tell me the pH of this shampoo?
Hey! Sorry for the delay in getting back to you, I had to find the time to have the product in the same place as my pH stuff. The pH rings in at about 4.5, which is great for hair 🙂
Thanks so much, Marie! I can’t wait to try it! You really are amazing!!!
“Incredible detangling powers?” For real? If so, this’s the answer to my prayers, and I’d better start saving up for the ingredients! My super fine thin hair takes any excuse to tangle, and since it’s past my hips (the longest bits are probably close to my knees by now; I wear it up and the only time I take it down is to wash it, comb it, and put it back up again) detangling it takes forever…
Oh wow, that’s a head of hair! Mine was somewhere between waist and hip length for years, but I’ve moved up to about bra strap length and I must admit I do enjoy the ease of it. The cetrimonium chloride is a big part of the detangling goodness, so if you get some of that you could also make your own detangling spray 😉
You are amazing! I can’t wait to make this for my daughter and myself!
Thank you 🙂
Enjoy! Thanks for reading & DIYing with me 😀
Hello Marie, do you have any recipes for a solid conditioner bar without sulfates?
All of my conditioner bars are sulfate free, and I’m currently testing a couple different sulfate free shampoo bars (I assume that’s what you meant 🙂 ).
I did mean solid hair conditioner bar sulfate free.
I found out that apparently BTMS 50 (Behentrimonium Methosulfate: it’s in the name) is not considered a sulfate as such, which was my concern.
Is there a comparable substitute at all?
There are other solid conditioning ingredients like Varisoft EQ 65, though I have only worked with it a handful of times and have not tried it in a solid conditioning bar.
I would like to make shampoo. I always use a few sheep tallow in my products also in cream Can I use talow in shampoo and liquid soap? and how do I use talow instead of what?
I suspect you have been making a cold processed shampoo bar? I wouldn’t recommend adding tallow to a shampoo like this—it wouldn’t have the same effect that it would in CP products.
Thank you so much for your wonderful recipe.
I’m from Jordan, and it’s very difficult here to find the ingredients.
There’s no foaming silk or the substitute
There’s no glycol distearate
There’s no powder panthenol just liquid.
Just phenoxyethanol preservative.
Can I put Aragan oil instead of broccoli seed oil.
What can I do.. Please help
Honestly, I don’t think this is the formulation for you if you’re having this many ingredient sourcing challenges. Perhaps this one, with its shorter ingredient list, will be more accessible? Happy making!
I want to try that!!
I didn’t even know there was such a thing called broccoli seed oil, hahaha! Is it same consistency as olive oil or lighter, like grape seed oil?
Also: I’ve always wanted to try to make colour enhancing shampoo for my (artificially maintained) copper-red hair… (it turns a dull reddish brown if I don’t use a colour enhancing product and I don’t like dying it too often) Do you think adding red iron oxide in there would work?
I’d say broccoli seed oil is somewhere between olive oil and grapeseed oil—more slippy like olive oil, but lighter, like grapeseed.
I believe you’d want a dye rather than a pigment for your hair; oxides aren’t known for the dying/staining abilities.
Hi Marie, I adore your site and your book, my cupboards are full of your products and I can’t wait to try this recipe!
I was wander if anyone has found a UK stockist for foaming silk or oats, I’m really struggling!! Thank you very much
I’m afraid I haven’t, though I do not spend much time examining the inventories of stockists that aren’t Canadian. You might want to try swapping it out as suggested rather than pull your hair out trying to find it 🙂
OMGosh…. I have been waiting for this forever.. thank you, thank you, thank you!!! I stopped my subscription to Wen because I’m trying to cut costs and was worried about having to go back to shampoo. this could not have come at a better time. I have ordered all the ingredients, the cetrimonium did raise red flags because of all the warning signs on the bottle, but I will be very careful when using it.
Can’t wait to try it on my super curly latin hair. I’ll post a pic and tag you when after I make it and use it on my hair.
Update: followed the instructions to a T, making the product was pretty easy. unfortunately, when I tried it, I lost a ton of hair and my hair was not manageable at all. when I ran my fingers through my hair more hair would come out. I ended up rewashing my hair with Shampoo then Wen. This one was a fail or me 🙁
Ok; I’ve been doing some research and asking around to try and figure out what might’ve happened. I just finished typing it all out and then apparently hit the wrong key and it got deleted so let’s see how I go on try #2 😛
For the manageability: Apparently, for some people, cetrimonium chloride has the opposite effect. I’ve got a friend who cannot use it as it turns her hair into a rat’s nest, but she gifted the product (not my recipe—a detangling mist) and the giftee loves it and find it works like a dream. I’m not sure why that might be the case, but perhaps that is what happened for you?
For hair loss: it honestly makes no sense that a single use of any shampoo would result in immediate, noticeable hair loss. I know WEN did face (and settle) a lawsuit over their product causing hair loss, and you did mention you’ve been using them for quite some time, so perhaps that is connected? WEN is also a very gentle cleanser, so perhaps it’s possible that introducing something with slightly more cleansing power might have dislodged some hair that had disconnected but not fallen out yet? I don’t know, I’m just hypothesizing here. You’re the only person who has reported anything like this, and there’s nothing in this recipe that has any associations with hair loss.
I’m sorry you had a bad experience with this formula 🙁 I hope it doesn’t scare you off DIYing.
I have 2a to 2c wavy hair. It’s thick and frizzy fun. Shampoo/conditioner shopping is hell. It’s always either too drying or too conditioning. I no longer have to buy shampoo/conditioner. My hair is so soft. It was a tad too heavy but I’m positive I used too much. Next time I won’t use so much on the ends. I am so excited! Thank you so much!! I need to make a t-shirt with your face on it. My hair, my silky shimmery skin, my wonderful make up, all reciped by my favorite Canadian!!
YAY! Your comment has filled me with all kinds of warm fuzzies and general happiness 😀 Thank you so much for DIYing with me and sharing your results!
I made a large batch of this shampoo. It’s got to be the best one I have ever used! I have long curly hair, my husband thick black hair, and my daughter thick straight long brown hair. It works for all 3 of us!!! Buy all the ingredients and make it!!
YAY!!! I am so glad, wheee! Thanks so much for sharing and for DIYing with me 😀
Hello Marie. Is there any substitute for SCI ? I live in India and it’s super hard to find it here. 🙁
You could try SLSa or SCS, but both will make for a stronger end product.
Hi Vidhi, You can source SCI & most DIYing ingredients from firstname.lastname@example.org. It’s a Delhi based supplier :http://www.pioneerchemicals.co.in/. Thanks.
I noticed in your description of the Hair is Fabric product, that you said Abyssinian oil was used but you don’t use it in your product. Could it be used, and in place of what? Would it make a big difference? Also, I added up the ingredients and it’s quite pricey. How many recipes would this make? Thanks!
“You can use a different liquid oil that your hair loves in place of the broccoli seed oil” <-- that's where you could use the abyssinian oil 🙂 It would not make a big difference at all. I have no way to answer your second question as I have no idea whatsover what quantities of anything you were looking at, but you could answer that question yourself by looking at the weights called for in the recipe and comparing those with the weights of the ingredients you are considering purchasing 🙂 Generally speaking, though, these ingredients go a very long way!
Can we use the same amount of honeyquat as cetrimonium chloride?
You can, though I don’t find it to have the same detangling effects as CC 🙂
Glycol distearate substitute plz…..
Read the substitutions list at the end of the blog, please.
The SCI I have is in prill form and it took forever to melt in my first go round. So, I have a Nutri-Bullet for making smoothies. ( I put the SCI in it and pulsed it to make the SCI almost a coarse powder. (Of course, I washed the Nutri Bullet very well before and after!). This made melting and mixing the SCI SO much better and faster–and the product was more uniform without the re-hardened bits of SCI. Also, I covered the beaker with foil to keep the heat in. Everything melted so much better and more uniformly. I love this formula. Thank you!
Yes, great tip! SCI is such a pain to melt, and I have definitely done similar things with my coffee grinder. You can also keep an eye out for powdered SCI. When I make my pastes now I tend to take an immersion blender to the mixture once the melting has made some progress and that is a huge help, though of course you have to be making a pretty big batch for an immersion blender to do much.
I’m so glad you’re loving this recipe!
Thanks for this recipe. I’ve been researching all day and my head is spinning, hope you can help me with this. I’ve noticed that you use both cationic ingredients (BTMS-50 & Cetrimonium Chloride) and an Anionic ingredient (SCI) in this recipe. How do they work together without any problems? I thought that you should not mix the two in a formulation?
They work together just fine; mixing charges of surfactants is part of creating milder blends 🙂 So I suppose you could say that they reduce the efficacy of one another to a degree, but we’re doing that on purpose to make a gentler end product. You can learn more here 🙂
Marie, I’m piggy backing onto Renesha’s question. I absolutely love this formula. Have made 3 small batches–but will now make a much larger batch–demand has been high for this one! I was told after making the 3rd small batch that mixing BTMS with anionic surfactant (SCI) WILL separate. There were no ifs, ands, or buts with this person (who is highly respected). There wasn’t a qualifier, “might separate”, but that it “WILL”. Yikes! The first two batches are over 2 weeks old–and NEITHER have separated. Have you or any of your followers observed any separation issues?
Hmm. Well, I still have the original (unpublished) trials of this and the original now-published version from early January and neither shows any hint of separation, 7 months and counting. For what it is worth, everything I’ve ever made that has separated has split well before the 7 month mark.
I love making your recipes and so far have really liked each one. I just have be patient because I almost always have to buy at least 1 new ingredient per great new product to make. Darn these budgets! Can’t wait to try this one! Thank you!
I can definitely understand! Developing new recipes is a constant battle between introducing new ingredients and trying to keep things accessible. I try to make sure that when I introduce something new it is worth owning 🙂
Hi Marie, I love the idea for this shampoo to be my first DIY… But I was searching for one recipe to do all of this but in the bar form, can you adapt? From liquid to solid but with the same result? Shampoo and conditioner
That would be a complete re-working of both formulations and likely months of work at a minimum 🙂
Hi Marie, I made another batch for my sister who has very fine hair–and I decided to add 2% Rice Protein in the cool down (reduced water by same). She is RAVING about it. She says her hair feels so full and nurtured. Apparently, my research showed that Rice Protein adds volume to hair. Going to make another batch for myself to ‘test’ it out! I’ll let you know if it does same for me–as my hair is not fine/thin–but I would like a bit more volumizing.
That’s fantastic—whee!!! I’m so glad 😀 Thanks for sharing and DIYing with me!
Oh oh….I made this lovely shampoo using lemongrass eo and salt to thicken because I didn’t have the glycol distereate or guar gum. I made this yesterday and it was a lovely white colour…it’s now PINK!! Does anyone know what the heck I did wrong lol!!!
Oh and I used sweet almond oil in place of broccoli seed oil ..
I had the same thing happen! Mine is also pink 🙂
Weird! Did you make any of the same changes Diane did?
I have no idea—how incredibly strange! Sarah said the same thing happened to her, so I wonder if we can find any similarities between your two products? Hmmm.
I figured it out and I’m sorry I didn’t post sooner. I used far too much lemongrass…what was I thinking lol!!! As soon as I adjusted it, it turned out great!!!
How interesting! Thank you so much for that update 🙂
Is it possible to use Xanthan Gum rather than Guar? Thank you!
It’s worth a try, but I do find xanthan to be much more “boogery” than guar 😛
I tried it with much success, I just don’t use as much and it’s best to hydrate in the water phase using mixer until homogenous then adding the rest of the water phase ingredients.
Fantastic! Thanks for sharing your experience 🙂
Xanthan gum is super soluble in Glycerin, D-Panthenol or PEG 400 (Inci: PEG 8) – I didn’t even need to use an electric mixer (a glass rod was enough), so it’s good idea to firstly mix Xanthan gum with one of these substances and then with other phase 🙂
Not sure if PEG 8 is harmful in a shampoo formula, but in shop where I buy there is info that it’s not toxic to the skin and mucous membranes. Anyway Glycerin or D-Panthenol works well too 🙂
I have made this shampoo several times; it’s my go to recipe! My hair loves it! The only thing I would like to change is the thickness. I know formulations are tricky so I’m not sure whether to just add more water or reduce the glycol distearate, since you mentioned this was the thickener. I hesitate to add more water because for me it doesn’t lather that much until I do a second wash. I already totally eliminated the guar gum, but it is still thicker than I would like. Suggestions?
I’d reduce the glycol distearate and increase the water to compensate—start with ~2% and go from there. I’ve been having the same thoughts about this recipe, ha!
Hi Marie, I made this batch with a few substitutions but Im having a few issues with it. I substituted Cetremonium chloride with honey quat and glycerine (half half same percentage), panthenol or silk peptides and I thickened with carrageenan as opposed to guar gum and glycol dystearate. I am havign quite a problem with foaming, at the end of mixing I am not getting a creamy consistency, more like a creamy foam. it eventually settled into a very very light cream but it took many days and I lost a ton of product, how can I fix this? Also wehn I tried it I found my hari to be quite dry and stringy, how can I make it more conditioning ( I’m sticking to naturally derived ingredients)
Hey! Honestly, you’ve made so many changes that I can’t offer a whole lot of advice. The reason it foamed so much when you mixed it is because you used different thickeners—glycol distearate reduces foaming AND makes this much creamier. Shampoo is a fairly tricky thing to formulate well—I’ve found small changes can make a pretty big difference in how it lathers and how the hair feels, and you’ve made a lot of changes.
This recipe has got me intrigued, so much so that I’ve ordered most of the ingredients, and will soon be heading out to a soap-making shop near me for the rest. I am struggling to find a Canadian source for the glycol distearate: you list salt as a possible substitute, do I use the same weight in salt? Also, the soap-making shop carries an emulsifier with an INCI similar to Emulsimulse, could I use that instead?
And final question: I’ve noticed that you’ve posted recipes for cleansing conditioners, does that mean you no longer like this shampoo?
Thank you for your fascinating blog! I’m not a beauty product diyer, but I love reading your posts.
You can get glycol distearate from Voyageur. If you’re not familiar with salt thickening I’d really recommend making this as-is as removing the glycol distearate introduces other issues. Glycol distearate inhibits lather, which is why we can blend this electronically; with it, you’ll get a massive bubbly mess, so you shouldn’t use the blender, which makes this whole thing much trickier/more time consuming to make. Don’t use emulsimulse instead.
I do still like this shampoo, but I also love cleansing conditioners. They’re both in my shower right now! Remember that I share new recipes 2x a week, and that’s a lot! Just because I’m eating soup today doesn’t mean I don’t like the pasta I had last week 😛
Thanks for your reply! I’ll have a look at Voyageur’s site.
Hi Marie, I made this Conditioning shampoo once and decided to make some changes more suitable for my hair type. I have waist length hair, fine but thick. I found your shampoo way too heavy in conditioners and not enough cleansing action. I used Coco Glucoside instead instead of SCI. I used Cetyl alcohol and Glycerine instead of Glycol distearate. I omitted the BTMS-50 and Broccoli oil and used 5% Argan and 5% Baobab hydrolized protein. Instead of Guar gum I used Xanthan gum. I used Lavender instead of Labdanmum.
My hair feels incredible. Thoroughly Clean and soft and shiny. I’m so excited about this formula, it’s a keeper! Today I’m making a light conditioner for my ends.
Thanks for all your wonderful recipes and tips.
I’m so glad you’ve found something that works for you! I just got some baobab hydrolyzed protein a couple days ago, I can’t wait to play 😀
Dear raven, can you tell me the exact recipe how you changed the shampoo ?
I Marie, I forgot to mention the citric acid also to reduce the PH.
Good call—coco glucoside is quite basic 🙂
First of all, I wanted to say that I simply love your recipes! There isn’t a single one I’ve tried yet that I’ve been disappointed by.
I have made this conditioning shampoo several times, for myself as well as my mother and mother-in-law and it’s been great for all of our hair!
I had wanted to make another batch and your other recipes caught my eye (the cream of earl grey and the cardamom one…), but all three of the recipes seem to be missing ingredients from the recipes. I’m not sure if this is something wrong on my end or yours, but I thought I’d bring it to your attention.
Thanks again for all the lovely recipes!
Hey! I’m so glad you’re loving this shampoo 🙂
What do you mean by “missing ingredients”? I checked and everything looks good to me, so are you seeing blank spots, or is this a personal opinion thing…? I know some people have had issues with Safari not displaying things properly, so if it’s a blank spot thing perhaps try a different browser? Hopefully that clears things up!
If I were to substitute the foaming silk for another surfactant, would it need to be anionic?
I ask because I have a couple non-ionic surfactants already and I wondered if I could use one of them instead of buying a new one.
If you’ve already got some non-ionic ones those’ll work. Just take care to adjust the amounts so the total ASM stays the same (the how-to for this is in my latest blog post!) and check the pH as most non-ionic surfactants are quite basic. I’ve got a helpful table here!
Brilliant! Thanks for your help
No worries—happy making!
I’m not sure if I asked you already, but:
Is BTMS, which is cationic, compatible with SCI, which is anionic? I think they aren’t, BUT I read in chemistscorner forum that CETAC became compatible with anionics because of Cocamidopropyl Betaine and I see you used it in your recipe too – is this the solution? 🙂
This is a good question! I’ve seen the use of both cationic and anionic ingredients recommended as a way to make the surfactant blend milder, but I’ve also seen it discouraged. There is, of course, plenty of variation possible when it comes to +/- ingredients, so some combinations way work (or not work) better than others. That said, I have had this exact product sitting in my bathroom for over a year now, and it is still perfectly stable.
I wonder if I can use an electric mini oven to melt SCI with CAPB? Water bath isn’t super effective, like you noticed. The oven isn’t a microwave and I can manually set temperature from 0 to 230°C.
Also, do you know what is max safe temperature for SCI and CAPB?
I used a mortar and pestle to make SCI prill to powder form as close as I could and it dissolved quite quickly, but I’m curious about the oven anyway 😀
I suppose it’s worth a try, but I’d keep the temperature below 100°C to start with—you’d also want to be removing the mixture from the oven very frequently to stir it.
Personally, I’ve started using an immersion blender to thoroughly combine the two after maybe 10 minutes in a water bath. Works a treat!
I’m interested in trying this but I don’t have guar gum or the glycol distearate, however, I did just purchase some GuarCat from Lotioncrafter. I didn’t see this in the encyclopedia. Could I sub in the GuarCat for both?
Guar Cat will likely work instead of regular guar gum, but it won’t work instead of the glycol distearate. See the last point in the substitutions list for alternative ideas 🙂
I know this is going to sound ridiculous but this is a shampoo correct? my normal shampoo recipes are clear to golden color and this is white like conditioner. lol sorry for this question just wanted to make sure before I started.
It’s a conditioning shampoo 😉 It cleanses, but also conditions!
Hi Marie, thank you SO much for this recipe! For the first time in a long time my scalp is not itchy anymore and I can’t stop looking at my hair in the mirror 🙂
The shampoo came out very thick (paste-like), though, so next time I’m planning to leave out the guar gum. I suppose that would be the first logical step towards achieving a slightly more liquid shampoo?
Cheers from The Netherlands!
Yup—reducing thickeners like the guar will help thin it out 🙂 A lot of the thickness of this formula is from the core ingredients, like the Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate (SCI) and the BTMS-50, so drastic thinning will likely require re-development 🙂 I’m so glad you and your hair and loving it! Thanks for DIYing with me, and happy making 🙂
Super site, super formula (wife, daughters love it), But for me (short but thick fine hairs) I prefer a shampoo with no conditionner agents. Can I do that:
28g, 14% Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate. PH 5.5 mild anionic (-) surfactant
10g, 5% Foaming silk
22g, 11% Cocamidopropyl Hydroxysultaine. PH 7 mild amphoteric surfactant
1g, .5% Broccoli seed oil (USA, CDN)
1g, 0.5% Natrosol 250 (nonionic). Xanthan gum (anionic) would work too. Guar gums (cationic) do not work well with anionic surfactants
90g, 45% Distilled / pure water
4g, 2% Sodium lactate or Glycerin
8g, 4% Cetrimonium chloride (USA, CDN)
6g, 3% Panthenol
Cool Down Phase
2g, 1% Labdanum essential oil (USA, CDN)
1g, 0.5% Liquid germall plus (USA, CDN) (or other broad spectrum preservative of choice at recommended usage rate)
You can try it, but keep in mind the BTMS-50 is also an emulsifier, so without it we are missing an important emulsifying agent and the product may separate. Cetrimonium chloride is also conditioning 🙂
Thanks, and what about this (to be used before your leave-in acidic rinse):
15% Cocamidopropyl Hydroxysultaine
10% Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate (SCI) 85% (not really water soluble)
5% Foaming silk (Sodium Cocoyl Hydrolyzed Silk Protein) 31.5%
67.5% H2O (I like to infused it with calendula flower and then keep in fridge)
Cool down phase
2% D-Panthenol (humectant + hair protect / fix) <– Right phase ?
0.5% Germall Plus Liquid (a water soluble preservative)
Will the SCI dissolve in the other surfactants or do I need an emulsifier (I'd like a suggestion on emulsifier only ingredient I may lack). Will 5% Foaming silk make a to sticky product ?
Super Site! Super videos, Super materials (I've ordered many and I'm ready to formulate for my family), I'll support you.
It looks like it should work—you’ll want to heat the Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate (SCI) and Cocamidopropyl Hydroxysultaine together first until even before adding everything else. If the panthenol is powdered it can go in your heated phase, while liquid panthenol should go into the cool down phase. I think you may find you’ll want to thicken this with some Crothix, as it will likely be extremely thin and watery as written 🙂 Happy making!
Thank you for lovely recipe! I love dabbling in do it yourself stuff! I did some swaps you suggested since my budget is not allowing anymore new products at this point… I actually never did add any thickeners to this cuz I like my shampoo a bit thinner and wow it’s STILL quite thick! No need at all for thickening it in my opinion! In fact I’d gladly have it thinner yet. Any suggestions to make it thinner? Maybe pumpable even?
Hey Jane! If you want to decrease the viscosity enough to make it pumpable I think you will be entering a bit of re-development territory as you’d need to decrease the oil and surfactant phases and increase the water phase 🙂 Happy making!
I haven’t made this YET, plan to as soon as all my product arrives. Question is: can I also add some silicones? I really like how they make my hair so comb-able
You can! I’d dial back the broccoli seed oil to make room for them 🙂 Happy making!
I absolutely Love this recipe. I’ve tried a number of others and yours allows me to really tweak it for my needs and still come out a great product.
I’m so thrilled to hear it!
Hai Marie, thank you for all of your research and recipes. but I want to make a liquid shampoo with detergents for oily hair. can you help me with a recipe please ?
I haven’t shared a formulation for something like that yet, but I’ve been testing a few things 🙂
Ohh! thank you ever so much for this recipe. and my question is, how can I precisely calculate the total surfactant percentage in the formula and how to decide the percentage of each if I am using a blend of SAA. anther question for substitution BTM 50 with cetyl alchol?
Hi marie, im from india. I couldn’t find glycol distearate can I substitute it with stearic acid (or) glycol mono stearate?
Please look up glycol distearate in the Humblebee & Me DIY Encyclopedia (https://www.humblebeeandme.com/diy-encyclopedia/) for substitutions 🙂 Happy making!
Hi Marie,thank you for replying but substitutions are also not available expect stearic acid or ethyelene mono stearate
May I use HEC hydroxyethylcellulose to thicken this? I’ve got a (hec) of a lot of it. Thanks, Marie.
It’s worth a try 🙂 Happy making!
Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate just a chelating Agent like EDTA or sodium phytate
I wasn’t demonizing it, I simply didn’t know what it was on first reading of the ingredient list 🙂
Gee Whizz Marie! you have so many recipes and ingredients. Seems like I’m able to find a recipe with an ingredient I have and don’t why or what I bought it for. Then there are other ingredients I’ll need to buy for that recipe and it’s a never ending cycle :))
I wish I could make a list of all the alien ingredients I have, and have you create something out of them 😉 Thank you for all the serious work you do!
Hey Marie, this shampoo recipe really has stood the test of time! I always come back to this one:)
I’ve used it for a few years now, but I can’t seem to always get the lather amount that I want right, I’d like just a tad more.
What would you suggest?
Hi Kat! I’m actually working on a Bee Better of this right now, so I’d stay tuned for that. Happy making!
I made this shampoo, and it is great! A little goes a long way. Great formular.