How to thicken and add slip to Anti dandruff shampoo

I need help. I have a problem thickening and getting slip from anti dandruff shampoo. These are the ingredients used: SLES-15%. Alkyl sofane-10%. Cocamedopropyl Betaine-5%. Cocamide DEA-2%. Salicylic Acid-2%. Guar-0.5%. Menthol-0.5%. Fragrance. Proplyne Glycol-0.5%. I have used salt but I didn't get the viscosity increased as expected. I also used Sodium Hydroxide to balance the pH. Please can anyone help me on how to improve the viscosity and get it slippery. Thank you.


  • what viscosity are you looking for? Alkyl sofane-10%--do you mean sulfonate or sulfate?
  • I can't see this working. By adding NaOH you will have converted the SA to sodium salicylate which is not an anti dandruff active and also pushed the electrolytes so far past the salt curve that adding more salt will just make matters worse. Not to mention that 2% of CDEA pushes the salt curve way to the left. And frankly, SLS is such an irritant that I would never use it in such a shampoo.
    Design of anti-aging creams, gels, and serums; shampoos; and therapeutic cosmetics. In-house label and box design capability.
  • What pH are you looking for? Cocamide DEA should already increase the pH and you should not need NaOH.  You don't have to get a pH 7. 
    Most likely by adding NaOH you decrease the viscosity a lot and adding NaCl would not resolve the issue even over 3%.
    My suggestion is to remove NaOH.
    I did the same shampoo and the result was pH 3.8-4 and viscosity 2000-5000 cP. 
  • Thank you. Without adding NaOH, the pH was 3. I see the problem. I was trying to achieve a pH of 5.5
  • Am looking for a pH between 5.5 to 6. Without the NaOH the pH was 2. So how do I increase the pH to 5.5?
  • Not possible in my opinion unless you want a non-anti-dandruff anti-dandruff shampoo.
    Design of anti-aging creams, gels, and serums; shampoos; and therapeutic cosmetics. In-house label and box design capability.
  • Use sodium acetate.
  • You will loose the anti dandruff effect if you neutralize that much the salicylic acid.
    What is the base shampoo pH and viscosity? When you add salicylic acid, it should increase the viscosity of your base shampoo and of course, will lower the pH. 
    My suggestions are to add HEC up to 0.5% and change cocamide DEA with TEA since TEA has a higher pH. 
    I would not recommend increasing the pH that much, but you can keep adding TEA and pay a lot of attention to the viscosity since it will drop rapidly. 
    After that add NaCl (try to do the salt curve). 
  • in my last job, anything with salicylic acid as an active ingredient (antibacterial handwash, and an anti-dandruff shampoo) had a pH spec of 3.5 - 4.0; this was low enough to allow the salicylic acid to work effectively, but not low enough for the product to be irritating
    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
  • To maintain efficacy of SA, keep Ph at 3--4:if you need more viscosity add a cellulose derivative such as HEC  HPMC. Either and particularly HPMC will give you good slip.
  • Thank you very much. I will keep the pH low 3-4 and I think this will do and I can achieve the desired viscosity. Thank you guys. 
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