Welcome to the Soap A GoGo journey, where innovation meets passion! Since 2019, we've been crafting exquisite shampoo bars, and our evolution is a tale of dedication and discovery.


Papaya Shampoo BarIn the beginning, I embraced a formula from Ariane Arsenault, which helped me to become comfortable with common ingredients for making shampoo.  In March 2020, amidst event cancellations and lockdown challenges, I seized the opportunity to delve further into cosmetic formulation, focusing on the artistry of hair care, with the intent of creating something truly unique.

After a year and a half of relentless learning, testing, and reformulating, the Seven Seas shampoo bar emerged—a manifestation of my vision. This success inspired additional creations in the form of Coco Cabana and Sumatran Citrus, all sharing the same foundational process. 

square shampoo bar - Coco Cabana

While these bars yielded great results, a common challenge arose—the laborious process of making the bars.  Grinding ingredients into a powder, heating them over a double boiler, then letting them cool before they could be pressed was tedious and time-consuming.  

During the summer of 2022, I stumbled upon a formula which eliminated the need for cumbersome steps. It created a shampoo “dough” that could be shaped or pressed right away, which resulted in a much more streamlined process and still created an exceptional shampoo bar – in this case, April Showers

April Showers shampoo bar

As this journey has continued, the speedier development process allows me to experiment and improve our products – from adjusting the formula to reduce drying time, to testing new scents, colors and natural additives.






After a few months adjusting the new dough formulation process, I decided to start a testing program for the new shampoo bars. I invited a few select customers to receive free sample bars of new formulas and provided detailed feedback of their experience. I was looking for their reaction to different textures, colors, scents, and overall performance. The results proved very interesting!

pH tester and solutionThe first bar (CC1042-240105-B) was essentially the existing base formula with added scent and color. The primary surfactant (cleaning agent) was Sodium Coco Sulfate (not to be confused with Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, a common irritant). It's derived from coconuts and is not only an excellent cleanser but is COSMOS and ECOCERT approved.
Test results for each bar are rated 1-5 with 5 being most favorable.

Tester Results:
Overall performance: 4
Scent Profile and Rating: Sweet, 4 (scent is pleasant but too strong)
Color: 4 (a bit too bright and not natural in tone. This was colored with soluble dye)

shampoo bar - second testerThe second (240123-A) was a sulfate-free formulation and only used essential oils for scent. The main ingredient in this one was Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate (pronounced sodium COCO-ill eye-seth-EYE-onate), which comes in two forms – needle (which is most readily available) and powdered – in this case, needle was used.  The scent was a blend of Orange and Lemongrass essential oils based in Benzoin resin. 
While the needle form of the main surfactant is easy to work with, I found that the finished bar didn't have the same structural integrity when compared to powdered versions. There is also the question of aesthetics – in my personal opinion, the needles look like packaging material. For these reasons, going forward, I will either use the powdered version or grind the needles to a powder myself.

Tester Results:
Overall performance: 4 (the bar crumbled faster than others)
Scent Profile and Rating: Citrus, 5 (scent was pleasant and citrusy. Since citrus essential oils tend to evaporate quickly, Benzoin was used as a fixative)
Color: 4.5 (users like the light, yellow color. This was colored with mica)

shampoo bar - tester three

The third bar in the tester series (CC1042-240212) included some very special ingredients like Calabrian Blue Clay, Hydrolyzed Rice Protein, and Dead Sea Clay, to name a few. The primary surfactants were Sodium Coco Sulfate and Sodium Lauryl Sulfoacetate. The scent was a blend of Juniper and Lavender essential oils. During the making of these bars, a strange reaction occurred. When the liquids blended with the solids, I noticed a sudden scent of sulfur. The sulfur subsided over the next 24 hours but the juniper scent wasn't the same anymore. I'm looking into explanations of what might have happened and will make adjustments for any possible future batches.

Tester Results:
Overall performance: 3.5 (the surfactants were a bit too strong, hair felt a bit striped)
Scent Profile and Rating: Herbaceous, 2.5 (scent wasn't a favorite and needs adjusting)
Color: 4.5 (users like the more natural look, maybe a bit bluer in tone)

The feedback from these shampoo bar testers has proved to be invaluable.  The user's perspective on what they loved, liked, and didn't like will help us create a new line of haircare and transform our current shampoo bars to the new process. 
Written by Scott scott@soapagogo.com

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