Hair clay advice? - Cosmetic Science Talk

Hair clay advice?

Hello,

I have been formulating hair clays at home; I am hoping to sell them to local hair salons as a small business. I have a formula which I am pretty happy with as far as texture and pliability. It is as follows

Kaolin ~25%
Beeswax ~15%
Petrolatum ~30% HLB

I was hoping I could ask advice on two points I have been having issues with:

I have tried adding Soya Lecithin as an emulsifier which I selected as I initially wanted to be natural, and I worked out it should have a good HLB value for Petrolatum and Beeswax. However my clays seem to hold stability without this emulsifier completely (over 3 months and counting). Soya Lecithin added ~ 1 w/w % seem to makes no difference in wash out ease or product stability. I will likely experiment with higher weight percentages.

This makes me question:

1)  The emulsifiers in commercial products are primarily there to aid washing out? (My product currently does not wash out very well). Is the best way to select a good emulsifier for washing out  to go for an emulsifier in the HLB range of 8 -16 to produce an oil in water emulsion? Cetearyl Alcohol for example at HLB 15.5?

2) I cannot get the clay mix to smell nice, even with 5 drops of blueberry fragrant oil in 40g of product. Is there a reason for this? I was expecting to be able to add only ~1% w/w essential oil (obviously these oils are expensive). Now planning on going for a citrus/floral scent with cheaper components potentially D-Limonene and Linalool. But can only find the D-Limonene as a solvent and cannot seem to buy linalool anywhere.

Example of a commercial formula I admire trevor sorbie hair clay.
Ingredients: Kaolin,  Petrolatum, Cera alba (Beeswax), Elaeis guineensis ( Palm) oil, Theobroma cacao ( Cocoa ) butter, C12-13-pareth-3 (Surfactant - Emulsifying Agent), Cetyl dimethicone (emollient), Parfum, Isopropyl myristate(emollient, thickening agent), Propylparaben (preservative), BHT (preservative), Hexyl cinnamal (aroma substance), Butylphenyl methylpropional (aroma substance), Linalool (aroma substance), Limonene (aroma substance).

Appreciate any and all help and will try recontribute to the community from my personal experiences.

Tom

 

 

Comments

  • edited May 19
    In regard to the fragrance aspect. Be careful in interpreting the listed fragrance materials in the LOI of the Trevor Sorbie product. The only reason that hexyl cinnamal, butylphenyl methylpropional, linalool and limonene have separate listings is because they are listed in EU regulations as potential allergens requiring identification for the benefit of susceptible persons.

    I strongly suggest the you do not seek them out as ingredients with special properties.

    Citrus scents are all evanescent to some extent and it is a characteristic property of kaolin to act as an adour absorber so both of these properties are acting against you.

    Note that cetearyl alcohol does not have an HLB of 15.5. That figure is more the required HLB of a suitable emulsifier for that material.

    Note also that products containing absorbent clays such as kaolin must be very carefully preserved against microbial attack. The absorbency of the clay readily removes preservatives (and many other things) from having any activity.

    Lecithin is particularly vulnerable to microbial attack, whether sourced from eggs, soy or sunflowers.

  • iin my experience, a mixture of PEG-40 hydrogenated castor oil and glyceryl monostearate (the non-self-emulsifying grade) helps anhydrous products wash out with relative ease
    UK based formulation chemist. Strongest subjects: hair styling, hair bleaches, hair dyes (oxidative and non-oxidative) I know some stuff about: EU regulations, emulsions (O/W and W/O), toothpaste, mouthwash, shampoos, other toiletries
  • I would be glad if someone can explain the purpose of "hair clay".
    Special interests: anti-aging creams, gels, and serums; sulphate-free shampoos; and therapeutic cosmetics.
  • edited May 20

    John thankyou for that informative post. I will move away from the Soy Lecithin. The preservative I currently have and planning to use is Potassium Sorbate. I definitely had a misunderstanding with cetearyl alcohol and was thinking it was an emulsifier thankyou for spotting that. If I wanted to achieve a citrus scent would I not still go for those ingredients (Linalool and Limonene though?). That does make sense that the kaolin is absorbing the scent, however it must be achievable somehow as with on the shelf products? I guess the only solution is greater percentages of essential oils?
    EDIT been reading the 'levels of fragrance' post and understand now how complex the 'parfum' ingredient can be, I suppose I am not trying to fully replicate these intricate scents at this stage just rather have a scent that is better than nothing. D-Limonene is quite cheap at New Directions where I purchase ingredients but it is advertised as a solvent? Does this mean not suitable?

    Bill thankyou for that suggestion, I see you have some experience in this area. Looking at PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil it looks very suitable with a HLB of 15 so it will emulsify into oil in water and achieve the desired wash out effects. Can't seem to find glyceryl monostearate HLB information on google, is it necessary to have both i.e. do they co-emulsify?.

    Belassi, no problem hair clay I believe is the, or close to the most popular hair styling product for men at the moment. It differs from tradional pomades which give a shiny finish by giving a matte finish, so that you cannot see it is there. In the ingredients the main difference is the large kaolin (or sometimes Bentonite) clay percentage.

    Sorry for so many questions, but really enjoying the process of formulating. I am a chemical engineer so it is somewhat outside of my area.

    Thanks Tom

  • you don't need a preservative: unless I'm reading it wrong, your product has no water in it, and it won't sustain microbial growth (also, potassium sorbate won't dissolve in oils and waxes)

    PEG-40 HCO makes the product miscible with water, but doesn't solubilise it very well - glyceryl stearate is more hydrophobic, and mixes with both PEG-40 HCO and the rest of the materials, so it helps the product wash out

    also, your product has no water, and is not an emulsion, so HLB is irrelevant
    UK based formulation chemist. Strongest subjects: hair styling, hair bleaches, hair dyes (oxidative and non-oxidative) I know some stuff about: EU regulations, emulsions (O/W and W/O), toothpaste, mouthwash, shampoos, other toiletries
  • Linalool will not give a citrus odour. It is a major component of lavender and of coriander (hence the alternative name coriandrol). Limonene does give the characteristic odour of lemons and is the basis of many citrus oils however, is very readily oxidises and acquires a paint-brush cleaner odour (which is one of its major industrial uses as a solvent). Limonene is very volatile and its longevity in use in a fragrance product is short lived. It is also a skin irritant in more than minute doses and the oxidation products are contact allergens. I would not recommend any perfume containing any more than minute amounts of limonene to be used for skin contact.

    There are very many perfume ingredients that are unavailable to the small formulator so you cannot hope or expect to be able to imitate the fragrances of commercial products - which are most definitely NOT produced merely from or by essential oils or extracts/fractions thereof.

    There are a number to suppliers to the home or small formulator who sell perfume compounds (concentrates) in small quantities. These may contain ingredients that are otherwise unavailable to small formualtors as these companies buy bulk from commercial perfume houses and repackage into small containers. Our friend Google can help search these people out.

    Regarding the absorption of fragrance by kaolin. This can be reduced depending on what stage of the proccessing that the fragrance is added.  Mixing the fragrance oil with the kaolin at or near the start of the mixing will, as you may appreciate, result in maximum absorption. Adding as a final ingredient (this is the norm with all perfume addition) will give maximum odour impact.
  • edited May 20
    @toom:

    The "Parfum" in your reference Trevor Sorbie benchmark product is p-Anisic Acid ... you can purchase from Singera ... tradename:  Naticide.  It functions as a preservative and has a very pleasant anise fragrance to it.

    To aid in the washout, try using Sucragel AOF ... an emulsifier that "milks" and turns water-thin when in contact with water.

    If you want a conditioning effect and a creamy texture, try BTMS ... heat it up with your oils/waxes and mix at high speed.  As it cools down it will form a creamy texture, but it does require vigorous mixing ... then add the Kaolin.  

    As noted, add your fragrance elements last.  A Sweet Orange essential oil would mesh well with the anise fragrance from the Parfum.  Sandalwood would be another nice complimentary fragrance oil.  Or, both.
    Chemist/Microbiologist formulating in the Organic & Naturals arena under ECOCert/Natural Products Assn/Whole Foods/National Organic Program guidelines focused skincare & haircare products. 

    Provides Formulation Development and Lab-Scale Contract Manufacturing Services.  See website for details www.desertinbloomcosmeticslab.com

  • Honestly cannot thank you all enough for that information. REALLY useful tips to go forwards with!
  • Note: there are at least two different formulations in the Trevor Sorbie "Clay" range. One as quoted above and another declared as:

    Petrolatum, Kaolin, Cera Alba (Beeswax), Parfum (Fragrance), Tapioca Starch, Isopropyl Myristate, Phenoxyethanol, Aqua (Water), Linalool, Tocopheryl Acetate, Limonene, Propylene Glycol, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Alpha-isomethyl Ionone, Kigelia Africana Fruit Extract, Citral, Cinnamomum Zeylanicum Bark Extract, Ginkgo Biloba Leaf Extract, Salvia Sclarea (Clary) Extract.

    It is this last one to which MarkBroussard refers, I believe.
  • edited May 22
    Mark Broussand how did you find out what the parfum was? Just incase I wanted to do the same for other products?

    I have ordered Peg-40 and glyceryl monostearate  as they come in at reasonable prices. I also ordered a citrus blended scent (Hexyl Cinnamal, Linalool, d-Limonene, Hydroxyisohexyl 3-Cyclohexene Carboxaldehyde, Butyl Phenyl Methyl Propional) which sounds promising.

    For preservatives since my potassium sorbate is not suitable (although I haven't tried to see if it dissolves yet in the oil phase- (I will test today). I believe John stated I need to be very careful of mould and bacteria with clays, but Bill stated having no water in the product it is ok? Little bit confused with that, my test formulations are 3-4 months old now and have no visible issues however I would be tempted to use something as a precaution. I will update how it goes with the new emulsifiers and blended fragrance if anybody is interested. Edit didn't manage to get glyceryl monostearate as it only comes in blends with potassium sorbate, water, PEG 100 etc at New Directions.
  • Do not forget there are two distinctly different Trevor Sorbie formulations with ostensibly the same name.

    Be aware that PEG-40 is not at all the same as PEG-40 HCO as referred by Bill Toge. PEG-40 HCO is PEG -40 hydrogenated castor oil - a high HLB ether type surfactant. PEG-40 is polyethylene glycol.

    Regarding water and preservatives, one of the formulae contains added water, the other doesn't. Even so, there can be minor amounts of water absorbed into the kaolin (unless it has been specifically dried) but (probably more important and likely) is that water could find its way into the container after opening and during use. Your precautionary attitude is laudable. Also appreciate that kaolin has been sitting in the Earth for gazillions of years - who knows what it has picked up in that time. Therefore buy sterilised kaolin (or sterilise it yourself) before use.

  • edited May 22
    If you are formulating your own perfumes or even just using perfume materials in your creations and you are marketing the products (in however small quantities) you should be aware of, and comply with, the IFRA Code of Practice and standards.
    http://www.ifraorg.org/en-us/standards

  • Thanks John, I need to do a lot more researching before ordering I think, lots of places to make mistakes.
  • @toom:

    "Parfum" is the INCI for p-Anisic Acid or Sodium Anisate.  It is primarily a preservative, but a pretty good smelling one.
    Chemist/Microbiologist formulating in the Organic & Naturals arena under ECOCert/Natural Products Assn/Whole Foods/National Organic Program guidelines focused skincare & haircare products. 

    Provides Formulation Development and Lab-Scale Contract Manufacturing Services.  See website for details www.desertinbloomcosmeticslab.com

  • I feel it should be clarified that although Naticide may have the INCI designation "Parfum", it does not follow that "Parfum" is Naticide (or p-anisic acid or sodium p-anisate).

    It is also noteworthy that Naticide is a mixture of several materials, not just p-anisic acid.

  • Indeed, there are preservative products available from Dr. Straetman's that also have the INCI:  Parfum.  Naticide was given as an option should @toom decide to use Parfum in his formulation.  

    No one actually knows the exact composition of Naticide as it is a trade secret of Sinerga's, but they did confirm to me what I have written.

    @Toom:  The reason you can tell that Parfum, as listed in the Trevor Sorbie formulation in your very first post on this thread is either Naticide or one of the Dr. Straetman's antimicrobials is that there is no other preservative listed in that LOI, so this must be the preservative as opposed to a fragrancing ingredient.  Parfum can function as a solo preservative.
    Chemist/Microbiologist formulating in the Organic & Naturals arena under ECOCert/Natural Products Assn/Whole Foods/National Organic Program guidelines focused skincare & haircare products. 

    Provides Formulation Development and Lab-Scale Contract Manufacturing Services.  See website for details www.desertinbloomcosmeticslab.com

  • Sorry, Mark, but I must intercept again.

    In the first INCI list given, propylparaben is stated as a preservative. In the second, phenoxyethanol.
  • No problem, John.  My bad ... I read right through Paraben.


    Chemist/Microbiologist formulating in the Organic & Naturals arena under ECOCert/Natural Products Assn/Whole Foods/National Organic Program guidelines focused skincare & haircare products. 

    Provides Formulation Development and Lab-Scale Contract Manufacturing Services.  See website for details www.desertinbloomcosmeticslab.com

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