When I was in university I had the most wonderful roommate in second year. Harriet and I started as roomies and are still fast friends to this day. There were many things that made us fantastic roommates, including our shared appreciation of pizza nights, clean door handles, quiet nights in, and removing our possessions from the shared shower. You see, Harriet’s first year roommate owned approximately thirty different bottles of shampoo, conditioner, shaving cream, and heavens knows what else, and they all lived in the shower. There was barely room to stand in the middle of the asteroid belt of bottles ringing the perimeter of the shower, like some sort of packaging-themed art installation. Anyhow, the point of this tale is that bottles are sort of silly, thirty of them definitely is, and I really like using shampoo and conditioner bars instead. This Vanilla Spice Conditioner Bar works perfectly with my desire to have next to nothing in my shower.
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If you want to call something a conditioner, it must be cationic. Cationic ingredients are positively charged, while hair (and skin) is negatively charged, so cationic ingredients bond with our hair (and skin). You can include just 1–2% of something like BTMS-50 or honeyquat PF in a concoction and bam—it’s conditioning. After that, you’ve got room to play. If you use BTMS-50 as your emulsifying wax in a lotion, now it’s a conditioning lotion (or creamy hair conditioner). If you add a bit of a quat to a hair mist, now you’ve got a conditioning hair mist. Add BTMS-50 to a body butter bar, voila—conditioning body butter bar. You get the idea. Since the conditioning ingredient is far from the only thing in the concoction, you’ve got room to add other ingredients to round it out, like hydrolyzed proteins, essential oils, nourishing oils, and more.
The “conditioned” feel really is noticeable, and lovely. It is distinctly different from plain ol’ emollience or hydration, and is especially great in hair, where it helps control static, protect your hair, reduce damage caused by friction, and leave your hair silky smooth and lustrous. While you can (and I have) make an emulsified “hair conditioner” without a conditioning ingredient, and it will leave your hair feeling softer and better, you’ll be missing out on the awesomeness of true conditioning, and that’s rather sad.
The first conditioner bar I made was this one. It is lovely (I’m still using it—conditioner bars last for ages!), but it sure has a lot of ingredients. In the comments section a reader (thanks, Cruz!) mentioned her simple recipe—basically cocoa butter and BTMS—and that got me thinking about something a bit more… naked. A bar that worked, but had less than a dozen ingredients. So, I started working on something from the ground-up back in July, and here we are.
If you want to make a solid conditioner bar, it’s got to have a conditioning ingredient in it, and given that we are aiming for a solid final product, a solid conditioning ingredient is a good choice—I’ll be using BTMS-50. The bar will be mostly that, with added hardeners and some other good-for-hair stuff. We’ll mostly thicken with brittle tucuma butter and cetyl alcohol; you definitely don’t want to use wax here as that’ll be horribly sticky. Our good-for-hair goodies include hydrating panthenol, film-forming hydrolyzed silk peptides, and detangling cetrimonium chloride.
Once we’ve got everything together it’s a simple melt-stir-add cool down ingredients-pour-chill process that’ll be very familiar if you’ve made lip balm or body butter bars before. When that’s done you’ve got yourself a lovely bar of conditioning goodness!
I’d like to thank It’s All in My Hands, WS at Sciency Hair Blog, and Susan at Point of Interest for the fantastic resources they have provided to help me learn all about this! All three websites are definitely worth visiting and binge-reading.
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Vanilla Spice Conditioner Bar
20g | 0.71oz BTMS-50 (USA / Canada)
10g | 0.35oz cetyl alcohol (USA / Canada)
15g | 0.53oz tucuma butter
2g | 0.07oz cetrimonium chloride 30% active (USA / Canada)
1g | 0.03oz panthenol powder (vitamin B5) (USA / Canada)
1g | 0.03oz hydrolyzed silk (USA / Canada)
0.25g | 0.0088oz Liquid Germall Plus™ (USA / Canada) (or other broad spectrum preservative of choice at recommended usage rate [why?])
0.44g | 2 “blobs” benzoin resinoid
0.20g | 2 drops cinnamon bark essential oil
0.025g | 1 drop clove bud essential oil
0.02g | 1 drop nutmeg essential oil
2020 update: Given the irritation potential for this essential oil blend, I’d recommend using a vanilla spice fragrance oil rather than the essential oil blend. Please refer to supplier documentation for maximum usage rates for the particular fragrance oil you’re using when used in leave-on products; 0.1–0.2% should be more than enough to adequately scent the product.
Prepare a water bath by bringing about 3cm/1″ of water to a bare simmer over low to medium-low heat in a small saucepan.
Weigh the first six ingredients into a small heat-resistant glass measuring cup. Place the measuring cup in your prepared water bath to melt everything through.
When the heated phase is fully liquid, remove it from the heat, stirring. Quickly stir in your essential oils and preservative, and pour the conditioner bar into a 50mL (1.7fl oz) mold to solidify. I used a single cavity of a silicone muffin pan. Transfer that somewhere cold—I used my porch because it’s winter in Canada, but your freezer will also work.
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 BTMS-25 if you don’t have BTMS-50, though that does have half the amount of conditioning power
- Do not use a different emulsifying wax or you won’t be making hair conditioner—just a sort of solid hair lotion bar
- If you don’t have tucuma butter, you can use cocoa butter instead. I’d recommend unscented if you want all vanilla spice, but vanilla spice + chocolate is also a delicious scent combo!
- I do not recommend substituting out the cetyl alcohol. You could try stearic acid instead, but it isn’t as glossy.
- You can use a different hydrolyzed protein instead of silk
- You can use a liquid oil instead of the centrimonium chloride and/or the panthenol. This isn’t a proper alternative-for-the-function substitution, this is just to keep the recipe in balance.
Yay! Been waiting on this bar!
Am I able to replace tucuma Butter for another?
Sorry. Got so excited !! As I read on , I see cocoa butter lol.
This. Looks. Fabulous. Out of curiosity, you mention that this has some ability to control static, but is there anything you know of that might be able to provide a little extra oomph in that area? In this recipe or in general? I just moved to a very dry climate a few months back, and ever since I got here my hair has been nothing but a giant cloud of static. It will. Not. Stop. No matter what I do. I’ve been using a store bought conditioner that definitely has some of those lovely cationic ingredients but it’s never enough. I’ll probably try my hand at this one both because it sounds lovely and because I also think bottles are silly, but do you know of any way of giving it an extra anti static boost, or ways of dealing with static in general? Thank you so much for sharing your amazing recipes!
Perhaps something like this? It would allow you to replenish your cationic ingredients between washes, and the water will help kill the static as well.
Ooh, that does look lovely. I’ve been using your Rosewater Everything Spray when in desperate need of a quick fix, but that only works temporarily, I imagine because the water was the only thing dampening the static rather than it neutralizing the charge. I’ll have to give this one a try with it’s lovely cations, though I’ll need to order a few ingredients first.
Also, this is unrelated to the static issue, but do you think this conditioner bar would be color safe? From the little I’ve read it always sounded like an issue of pH and this looks like it should be in the right range, but you probably know more about this than I do. It’s not a huge concern for me since I basically only tint my hair with a bit of henna and if it fades it just shifts subtly back to my natural brown, but I like to cling to my red tones as long as I can lol.
Many thanks for everything!
This recipe is an amped-up, cationic version of the rosewater spray, and might be perfect for your needs 🙂 I know it’s doing great things for my staticky hair these days!
I believe this bar should be colour safe; there’s nothing in here that would cause the hair to swell/open up and release dye 🙂
This sounds awesome! Would it work on fine, limp hair as well? I stay away from conditioners that could make my hair even more limp than it is by itself.
Living in The Netherlands I wonder if I can find some of the ingredients you mention in the recipe. Do you know any alternatives? And are these special ingredients also being used in other products? I’d hate to spend oodles of money on ingredients that I will only use once. I’m quite waste-conscious…
I’ve got quite fine hair and I find it works very well for me; the nice thing about a bar is that it’s very hard to use too much!
Out of everything in this recipe I’d say the cetrimonium chloride and tucuma butter don’t get a whole lot of use—the other ingredients I use all the time. For a conditioner you really will need a cationic emulsifying wax like BTMS to build the recipe around so you actually end up with a hair conditioner. There is a substitutions list at the end of the recipe that is worth reading as well 🙂
Thank you so much for this tutorial. I really wanted to make one of these
I can’t wait to try making this after the holidays when my money is mine, LOL
You’re very welcome! Happy making 🙂
Looks fantastic! How can you pair this with soap bar as a shampoo and acidic rinse? Maybe adding citric acid in this recipe would do the job? I have been using the 2-in-1 conditioner recipe for the last few months but I’d like to try something new!
CP Shampoo > acidic rinse > conditioner bar. I’m not sure how adding citric acid would work out; I’d be concerned about the distribution not being even enough to properly pH correct the hair. Let me know if you try it, though!
Hi there. In this recipe what is the percentage of BTMS used,? I’ve read that you say generally up to 10% is the recommended amount for the entire recipe – but this seems to be a lot more, am i correct in thinking around 30%? I just wanted to check before I start making my own. Thanks so much
This bar features 40% BTMS-50, 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, so I assumed 40% would be fine 🙂 Cosmetics Info and the CIR haven’t been very helpful regarding maximum usage rates, only typical usage rates. I hope that helps!
Great Recipe! Love that you include substitution suggestions. 🙂
Thanks so much! Happy making 🙂
Thank-you Marie! I made this bar this morning. I had to exchange a few ingredients, cocoa butter for the tucuma butter, and1g jojoba oil &1g f.coconut oil for the Cetrimonium Chloride. This sounds like it could be true lotion body bar for damp after shower skin. My benzoin arrived last night and I like it so much more than I thought I would, I typically don’t care for the smell of lotions that are vanilla scented but this oil smells like a delicious warm drink. I currently wear all my make up from your book (with the exception of the mascara). Thank you again.
I’ve definitely been having the same thoughts about lotion bars! Them gears in my head never stop turning haha. I’m so glad you are loving benzoin; I find it to be so much more complex and enjoyable than vanilla fragrance. SWOON.
Hi Marie! I am going to try this out! I notice another poster asked about using with bar shampoo and acidic rinse. I’m curious about that as well. Also how is this bar used? Do you wet it and rub on your hair or do you rub between your hands and apply that way? Thanks so much!
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 🙂
This bar is not an acidic rinse, so if you are using a CP shampoo bar you will require a separate acidic rinse.
I tried this with kokum butter instead (and a touch of orange wax per the other recipe!) and really happy with the results. I’ve never used a solid conditioner bar before and surprised how well it works! Thanks!
Oooh, lovely! Enjoy and thanks so much for DIYing with me 😀
I have very oily hair and have to wash it everyday. I’ve been using this conditioner bar to cowash for the last three days and my hair is not greasy or limp at all! It’s so soft and shiny! This is my new favorite conditioner! Thanks so much for sharing!
YAY! I am so glad 😀 WOOHOO! Enjoy your soft and shiny hair 🙂
I wonder if there’s any room in here to add in some cocoanidopropyl Betaine (would that work in a none water mix?) to really have more of a co wash bar ….?
I’d be worried about it making the bar too soft in the amounts you’d need for it to add enough cleansing power to wash the hair. When I make cleansing conditioner I typically have CAPB at about 30–50% of the oil phase, and that would be impossible to do while keeping a bar solid. You can certainly try it, but that’s why I haven’t 🙂
I am desperately trying to find a conditioning rinse bar for dogs .. have you done anything like that perhaps?
I haven’t, sorry.
Hi, a question do you think there is another ingredient, that I can use instead off BTMS? In other countries is super hard to find this.
Thanks for your support.
At this point I cannot recommend anything other than BTMS 50 or 25—especially not anything that will be easier to purchase internationally. Sorry!
Hi Marie! I’m having trouble finding BTMS-50 down here in Australia, and can only seem to get a hold of BTMS-25. I know that it won’t be as effective a conditioner, but I was wondering if it would also cause issues in the emulsification process? If so, how could I remedy that?
It should be a fine swap, though yes, less conditioning. I don’t have BTMS-25 yet, so if you give it a go do let me know how it works out!
This is the first post I’ve read with Cetrimonium Chloride, would you say it’s an ingredient that needs to be purchased and available for other formulas?
I’m really enjoying working with it for detangling as well as conditioning—it’s a really neat multi-purpose ingredient that way 🙂 It’s also pretty inexpensive, so if you can pick up 120mL/4oz or or so, that’d do you well! I’ve only used it for haircare stuff at this point, but it’s definitely a useful ingredient in my book, especially considering the cost/usefulness payoff 🙂
Thank you so much for clarifying. I’m learning so much… I’ve been a skincare/soap maker for 16 years and you’ve opened up all new ingredients and ways of making things!!
Awesome! 😀 Happy making 🙂
You mentioned the Cetrimonium Chloride was a good detangler,I was wondering if I added to a coditioner recipe and adjusted the water to make sprayable would it make for a good detangler spray? I don’t see a spray in your archives.
Yes! I’ve done this before but just haven’t shared a recipe. It was pretty much this recipe, but with ~3% centrimonium chloride 🙂
Is the consistency of the bar soft enough that I could just melt everything in a glass jar and have it in there for use? I haven’t invested in a silicone mold yet.
Not even close—it is designed to be hard enough to rub the solid bar against your hair in a hot, wet environment, so it is VERY far from being the sort of thing you could use in a jar. I would also be extremely concerned about having a glass jar living in your shower as the potential for breakage is very high combined with a lot of bare skin! You don’t need a silicone mould (a measuring cup would work), either 🙂
You can use paper muffin molds. They do get a bit oily but work well.
Great tip, thank you!
This looks terrific. But as you mention in the video, the panthenol and silk are not oil soluble, and so am wondering if it leaves a gritty texture to the bar? Since I don’t have those on hand, I am weighing whether I just want to leave them out. I already have the BTMS 25, and just that feels pretty conditioning to me! I am assuming though, that when rinsing the hair, any of those particles would then dissolve in water.
I don’t find they do at all—the particles are small and the bar is always applied to damp hair, so they dissolve immediately on application. They are both incredibly useful ingredients to have in your pantry, though!
Oh My…… Swoon. I haven’t done much in the way of hair care products yet, because I was scared. If I don’t like makeup, or skincare, I just wash it off, and try again. But if I don’t like my hair care, it means jumping back in the shower, or 3 days of pony-tales, and baseball caps. But I was almost out of the conditioner base I’d ordered from ND, so I thought I’d try this recipe. It makes such a little amount, I figured there was nothing to loose. I was able to make this recipe as written, with a substitution on the butter. I could see that the silk etc. wasn’t going to suspend, so I just stirred it till it was thick, then transferred to the mold. Once it was cool, I was surprised to find it like a brick. I couldn’t figure out how this was going to spread onto my hair, but once it was wet and warm, it spread onto my hands like a lubricant. On my hair, this stuff is Amazing. Not only could I finger comb easily because it’s so slippery, but it rinsed clean, and the detangling continued on even out of the shower. My hair stayed soft, and it didn’t get as poofy as it normally does. Look at you all putting the ND conditioner to shame. Atta Girl. Anyone reading this, this conditioner is a must have.
YAY!!! I am SO FREAKING THRILLED 😀 Thank you so much for taking the leap and DIYing up some hair care goodies with me! WHEEEE!!!
I love this so much I’ve been using a couple months now. Thank you for sharing. Could honeyquat PF and keratin be added too?
You certainly can, though I’m not sure adding another quat will be noticeable with all the BTMS and cetrimonium chloride in there 🙂 I’d add keratin at ~2%, removing it from the BTMS.
is there ‘one’ place where I can get all the ingredients in one?
Windy Point! I’m not sure if they have all the EOs, and you’ll need to use cocoa butter instead of tucuma, but they’ve got all the foundation ingredients 🙂
thank you very much
Your recipes makes me wonder how wonderful you are and all your creations are. Just thank God for you
Going to make this one soon.
Thanks so much, Christine!
I was able to find all the ingredients exept for BTMS 50–the only BTMS my supply company sells is Incroquat Behenyl TMS-225. Can I use this instead? Would love to know your thoughts. Been dying to make a conditioner bar.
That should work—please report back if you try it!
About your solid conditioning bar…if I want to make 6 bars is it as simple as using your recipe times 6 for the larger batch?
I would like to know this too!
I’ve got a whole post on this 🙂
Hi, thanks for all the information, what happens if i change some ingredients like the cetrimonium chloride, panthenola and hydrolyzed silk to coconut oil, argan oil and hydrolyzed collagen each. Will it still turn out to be a conditioner? i cannot find the other igredients.
The loss of cetrimonium chloride will make the bar less conditioning and less detangling, and the loss of panthenol will make it less moisturizing, and you won’t get the lustre/sheen boost panthenol gives. Replacing those ingredients with oils will potentially make the bar softer, and will challenge the wash-out. I’m not sure if it’ll be challenged to the point of leaving your hair looking greasy, though. Hydrolyzed collagen is a decent alternative for hydrolyzed silk. Hope that helps!
hello!!! love all your recipes! i just placed a big order from windy point so i can make some facial cleansers as well!!!
i was wondering how i can add some liquid oils to this? maybe jojoba or camellia? can i subtract from the BTMS 50?
Woo! I don’t recommend adding liquid oils to this—it needs to be solid, and if you take away from a solid ingredient (like BTMS) and replace it with something liquid you are starting to degrade the solidity of the end product, which is not good. If you want to include liquid oils I’d look at a cream conditioner recipe instead, like this one.
This is amazing. I’m in Mexico so chemicals are a pain to obtain. I can’t get cetrimonium chloride nor hydrolized silk, but I’m replacing it with panthenol, and symhair restore (which I believe is a hydrolized protein). I can’t get benzoin resinoid either, but I see it is a thickening agent. ¿Could I replace the benzoin with guar gum or beeswax?
The first two swaps sound good, but benzoin is there for vanilla scent, not thickening 🙂 Don’t add guar gum or beeswax, add an essential oil or fragrance.
Hi Marie! I love reading your blog and have been greatly inspired by you!!
My question is; why must we use a preservative for conditioner bars and shampoo bars? Are they not like CP soap in a sense, we don’t have to add preservatives to soap, so why to the latter? I have tried doing research as to why but can’t really find anything on it. I made shampoo bars with CSL needles , no water added, just oils and butters along with BTMS-50 and cyteal alcohol. (I looked at LUSH ingredients for their shampoo bars, no preservative). Not sure why a preservative is needed if no water is used in recipe.? Thank you!!!
Hey! Anything that constantly gets wet needs a preservative. Cold processed soap is a bit of an oddity in that it has such a high pH that it is self preserving; syndet shampoo bars and conditioner bars don’t, so they need a preservative 🙂 I suspect the pH of LUSH’s bars is quite high as they use SLS as their surfactant, and the ph of SLS is around 10—similar to that of soap. That’s not great for our hair, but it does look like it can eliminate the need for a preservative if enough if used. I hope that clears things up!
You mention going to “Susan, at Point of Interest” to get more in depth information about taking care of hair but when I click on the link and go to her site, it says she only allows people to read her stuff by invitation only. I didn’t see a link to ask for an invitation so now I’m back to you asking if there’s another way to get to her site. Thank You.
I’m afraid I no longer have access to that website, either. Try The Science-y Hair Blog to learn more about hair related things!
You have to be a paid subscriber at $1, $3, $5, or $10 a month for Point of Interest blog.
Hi! Looking forward to making this bar. I have tried your Orange Blast. In that recipe, you use both BTMS-50 and BTMS-25, while this one only calls for BTMS-50. Would you be so kind as to explain what is the difference between both bars containing different BTS?
Thank you and kind greetings!
I was simply trying to cut costs with the one including BTMS-25 as it is less expensive. I have since chosen to do that differently as it seems silly to make people have both 😛
Hi Marie! I made this recipe and I found that it was not “melty” enough for my frizzy curly hair, I had to give it too many swipes to actually get some product in my hair. I tried to add some oils in the recipe but then my bar was crumbly and it would break off and leave little pieces in my hair and bathtub. How do you think I could tweak the recipe, perhaps adding another non cationic conditioner such as olivem 1000?
I’ve got an FAQ on making things firmer; you’d basically want to do the opposite to make something softer 🙂 That said, you may end up preferring a cream/liquid conditioner instead.
Hi I love your recipes and love making ,y own creams for me and my children as I know exactly what I am putting on there skin. The problem I am having living in the UK is finding BTMS-50 I can get the 25 is this a good substitute.
I hate how Gracefruit doesn’t let you see what they have when it is out of stock! Thankfully, I had a link to BTMS-50 in my cart I can share with you. Gracefruit is located in Scotland so delivery within the UK will be grand! Don’t forget to check out the section on Where to Buy Ingredients and other Resources!
This is a great recipe! Question..I’m protein sensitive, can I leave out (or swap) the protein from this conditioning bar?
Yup! In this case I’d probably use more tucuma butter in its place 🙂
Thanks for your work, Marie. Have you noticed any differences in the Vanilla Spice Conditioner bar in comparison to the Orange Blast solid conditioner? Would the Orange bar would last longer than the Vanilla Spice, as there is more BTMS in it? Have you noticed any other differences between the 2 bars? Thank you!
I’d say the performance is indistinguishable—the biggest difference is that this bar is much less expensive to produce!
Love the look of this conditioning bar, need to give it ago.
Hi! is there any form of making solid conditioner bar without de btms? like just with cetrimonium chloride? I have heard that btms it isn’t very ecofriendly and biodegradable. Thx very much <3
I’m working on a version using a different “natural” solid cationic emulsifier/surfactant, but you can’t make a solid bar like this with a liquid ingredient instead of the solid ingredient 🙂
I can’t wait to try this recipe! But I didn’t anticipate having so much trouble finding a source of BTMS 50. Many of the soap supply companies I normally use don’t seem to stock it anymore. So I looked on Amazon. There, they have several “emulsifiers”, but none are labeled BTMS 50. So I checked the ingredients, and even checked the INCI name. Nothing tells me if the product is cationic. Do you know if there is any other way to tell, by looking at the label, if an “emulsifier NF” is cationic or anionic? Some products also said “Polysorbate 60, Pure polawax”. I also wanted to ask about a CP shampoo bar I made. With the addition of a tiny amount of citric acid, I was able to lower the PH to about 8. I didn’t realize it might need a preservative. What are your thoughts on that? PH 8 or 9…..is preservative needed? Thanks so much! I love buzzing around in your beehive of recipes! LOL (oh gosh, that sounded strange) sorry…it came out wrong. Lisa
Hey Lisa! The INCI for BTMS 50 will be Behentrimonium Methosulfate (and) Cetyl Alcohol (and) Butylene Glycol. The easier-to-find cationic emulsifying waxes have “Behentrimonium” in them (methosulfate or chloride), though there are a few more natural ones as well that I haven’t fallen in love with. When you’re researching ingredients your supplier should provide good information about the charge. If yours doesn’t, try Lotion Crafter—they share a lot of information about everything they sell! I also have lots of information about this sort of thing in my encyclopedia 🙂 The polysorbates are non-ionic, as is polawax. Fairly few emulsifying waxes are anionic (Ritamulse is).
I suspect the soap will be fine, even with the lower pH. It is still a brick of anionic soap with very low water content, both of which make for a fairly inhospitable environment for microbes. That said, keep an eye on it, especially once it starts getting wet 🙂
Happy making, and buzz away! I love that mental image—a beehive of recipes! 😀
If I had to choose just one recipe out of your blog I would pick this one. I totally love this conditioning bar! It has a great detangling power and I always had a problem in this sense with commercial conditioners.
I totally understand the need of a preservative in a bath product, but since LGP has to be added in the cool down phase, I don’t understand how it is working in this recipe since after melting everything down in the water bath we add the LGP when the mixture is still pretty hot and I have understood that LGP won’t work if it is added above 50ºC. I keep adding it, of course, but I always ask myself if it is effective. Can you clarify it for me, please?
I tried making this exact recipe without the Cetrimonium Chloride and I was hopeful it would work, since it’s hard to get this ingredient where I live. But no, it made a huge difference and my hair wasn’t so soft after all and it took me longer to comb and detangle it. I thought BTMS-50 would make it since I see so many conditioning bars recipes on the internet only with it, but it’s not the case. Do you feel that too?
Can honeyquat be used instead of CC? In what %, the same or a bit more? I’m guessing that it won’t have the same detangling power, right? The whole secret here is the Cetrimonium, isn’t it?
Thank you very much 🙂
Hey Gabriela! Regarding the preservative; I’ve started using Optiphen Plus for projects like this for exactly that reason. That said, I still have a conditioner bar I made about 2.5 years ago in my shower with LGP as the preservative and it hasn’t shown any signs of instability or spoilage. Now, that could be because the product is dry 99% of the time, so the preservative has never been really needed, or it could be because it is still effective—it’s impossible to say which at this point.
I recently made a conditioner bar that’s all BTMS-25 as far as conditioning goes and I find it works brilliantly, so that’s still just behentrimonium methosulfate as the cationic ingredient. My hair is likely different from yours, though, so that doesn’t seem strange to me 🙂 You could use honeyquat instead of cetrimonium chloride, but be warned it smells AWFUL. Like fish. Ick :/
I made this yesterday. I had the hardest time getting everything to melt completely and blend together. Something in it stayed a little ‘chunky’ and you can see it in the finished product. Any idea what it could be or what I did wrong? TIA
Hmm; did you melt over direct heat, or in a water bath? I’ve always found BTMS doesn’t like to melt in water baths for me, so I always have to subject mixtures using it to a bit of direct heat, either by putting my Pyrex into a 300°F oven for a minute or two, or by putting it in a pot right on the burner. The silk won’t melt, but it should be a fine powder so that shouldn’t look chunky.
Just a few questions. I tried this bar and love it! although i sometimes find it hard to get a good amount onto my hair. Is there something within the recipe that I could add more of to help to fix that? What do you suggest, thanks!!
I’m so glad you’re loving this conditioner bar! You could try making it just a wee bit softer by swapping a gram or two of the tucuma butter for a liquid oil, but be wary of making the bar too soft 🙂 Happy making!
Thank you so much for all those wonderful recipes!!!! A question about this one: what do you think about adding honey in it? If positive, how much?
Eh. I wouldn’t, but if you really want to I’d probably do ~1% in place of some of the cetrimonium chloride 🙂
Hi, can I use Cyclomethicone instead of cetrimonium chloride? thank you Marie, what you are doing is amazing.
You posted your comment a few months ago, did you end up making the swap? If so, how did it go?
Hi Marie, I really never did it, because when I made Cranberry Orange Conditioner Bar I fell in love immediately!
Thank you so much.
Hi. I have a doubt. in the description you mention using stearic acid, however it is not in the ingredient list. Is it necessary? in what quantity? Thanks!
Whoops, I fixed it! It wasn’t supposed to be in the preamble 🙂 Good catch & happy making!
Hi, thanks for the recipe! I’ve been looking for one like this. How many washes does this 50 grams bar last?
I’m still struggling to find panthenol and hidrolized silk, or collagen… if I don’t get one, maybe replacing it with more BTMS-50 or cetyl alcohol is the solution?
I can’t find chloride, I read I can substitute is with oil, or panthenol. Can I use 2gr of olive oil, or you recommend add those 2gr with panthenol, for a total of 3gr?
I’m trying to make a 100gr bar, by the way 🙂 but I’m not sure how long would it last.
I mean I’m trying to get panthenol and collagen, but in case I can’t find either, what would be a better substitute?
I made this for my fiance. He has been useing something similar as shaving bar (so it works for beard too). I can’t wait to see how it works as conditioner too, he has long curly hair. He asked cocoa butter and mint so I used them, and panthenol + betaine. I made myself another one based on your cranberry orange bar but that’s another strory. I love how pretty they look and how amazing they smell. I’m beyond happy to be able to use cationic stuff for my hair! Fingers crossed that the new bar works for as conditioner too!
Hooray! I’m glad your fiance has been enjoying cationic goodies as well 😀
I’ve made this recipe many times with Mango butter with great success! Just wanted to let folks know in case they don’t have tacuma on hand.
Thanks for sharing, Allison!
I absolutely love your recipes. I have tried multiple. I’ve been running into a problem and I’m wondering if you can help. What could be be a reason the conditioner bar is wrinkling on the top as it sets? Its not the first times this has happened to me and its a consistently inconsistent problem.
I’ve been googling the flashpoints of the cool phase ingredients as well as using a thermometer but it hasn’t seem to matter. Any thoughts on what im doing?
Hi Cassandra! I am not sure why this happens, but it does happen to everyone who uses a similarly structured conditioner bar formulaion. I know it doesn’t happen with my more recent conditioner bar formulations that contain a small amount of water, though! This one and this one 🙂
Hi Cassandra, same problem here. Very frustrating. Also looking for solutions.
Hi Irmina; did you read my reply to Cassandra? It supplies a clear solution 🙂
Hi Marie, yes. Tried my recipie with adding water and it did nothing. Then adding water and using oven/frezer. Still wrinkles. Could it be the cetearyl alcohol?