Hair Shampoo manufacture

Hi everyone
I tried making hair shampoos for commercial purposes a few months ago and I used a formulation from a manufacturing guide(a book) I bought. My product wasn't smooth and it was separating. I tried it twice again with half the previous measurements but it still came out same way. This is the formulation I used:

Antisol: 1kg
Soda ash: 1.25kg
EDTA: 0.05kg
Citric acid: 0.2kg
Sulphonic acid: 0.75kg
Sodium Benzoate: 0.1kg
SLS: 1.75kg
Glycerine: 0.1kg

The method I used for production as stated in the book was to soak the Antisol in water for 48hrs. Soak the soda ash and SLS for 24hrs. Add sulphonic acid to the soda ash. Add the mix to the Antisol. Add EDTA and SLS. Then add citric acid, Glycerine, Sodium Benzoate, Fragrance and colour in that order.
Is something wrong with my formulation or the method of production I'm currently using? I have little knowledge in cosmetic and formulation. I need your advice. Thank you.


  • Replace the antisol with HEC and add to water,edta and glycerine; heat to 60-70C.Use pre-neutralized sup[honic acid (sodium salt) and add to HEC solution followed by SLS;mix until clear cool and add sodium benzoate citric acid.If you can replace replace sodium alkyl sulphonate with SLES (3). 
  • @DRBOB@VERDIENT.BIZ thank you. I'll try it out. 
  • This seems like a primitive formulation. "Soda ash"? And why would you use as a major ingredient a type of cellulose that is sold for use in industrial cutting processes as a foam reducer? I suggest you make a more modern product unless you're living in a stone-age location.
    Design of anti-aging creams, gels, and serums; shampoos; and therapeutic cosmetics. In-house label and box design capability.
  • That's a strange formula indeed.

    This is a body wash but it would work as a shampoo too.
  • It looks like a laundry formula, I would't wash my hair with that.

    In that page you can find a couple more formulas for shampoo and other purposes. Its a well known and respected manufacturer and the formulas are tested. 
  • Yes DAS I think you're right - because of the antifoaming nature of the thickener. With all that acid surely the pH is going to be pretty high. No way is this a product for human use.
    Design of anti-aging creams, gels, and serums; shampoos; and therapeutic cosmetics. In-house label and box design capability.
  • That is why I check first the publishing date of the book. Nowadays, people publish their formulas online. Try searching a guide formula for your hair shampoo. Also, try adding an active ingredient (like anti-dandruff, for smooth hair etc)
  • This formula does seem to be an industrial grade formula for a detergent. When I searched Antisol it appeared to be an industrial grade CMC. I am assuming that when you are referring to sulphonic acid you are actually referring to something like Dodecylbenzene sulphonic acid. This is largely used in detergents rather than in personal care.  Also it is best to present your formula in percentages.

    Try checking the UL Prospector website for starting formulas. You should find several hundred formulas just for shampoos.

    You can also buy shampoo base blends from some suppliers that you just need to add water, preservative and fragrance to to make a complete product.

  • @Belassi I found out most shampoo manufacturers here use Antisol, Nitrosol and HEC. That's what's known/available around here and the Citric acid is used to lower the PH.
  • edited September 2017
    @Perry @DAS Thanks for the link. I did a little research online, the chemicals sellers here are not familiar with some of the chemicals I read up. It doesn't help.
  • @Lainee I did search for Zinc Pyrithione to buy. Not familiar around here.
    @ozgirl that's the same sulphonic acid. 
    This is one of the formulations I saw online, but so far I could only get SLS and Citric acid. Still searching.

  • Don't use those preservatives, they are horrible. Bad for you.
    Design of anti-aging creams, gels, and serums; shampoos; and therapeutic cosmetics. In-house label and box design capability.
  • Hello everyone If shampoos are designed to remove oils and dirt from the hair...what real effect of moisturizing or softening does .0001 % of Argan Oil have.
    Apart from a marketing gimmick does it maks a difference? 
  • Marketing nonsense.

    Design of anti-aging creams, gels, and serums; shampoos; and therapeutic cosmetics. In-house label and box design capability.
  • Well, one way to know what's sold in your area is the supermarket. Read the labels of all the shampoos, and take pictures for future references. In my case for example the main ingredients are SLS, CAPB, Cocoamide MEA in some cases and sadly Sodium chloride. Oh, and for Belassi's indignation thiazolinones as preservative. I still can't believe worldwide companies use salt... 

    Anyway, do some research of your findings and read as much as you can to understand all the components. Then you will have better arguments when you talk to your suppliers, and it will be much easier to find new ones.
  • Argan oil in shampoo does two reduces the cleansing ability of the product and reduces the foam.

    Neither of these are good from a performance standpoint.  It is good for marketing though. 
  • Doesn't Zinc Pyrithione have special requirement in industrial use due to its toxicity? I have it at 48% and still risky when I red the safety data sheet.
  • @DAS, whats wrong with NaCl?
  • Wow. Clearly I have a lot to learn.
  • @em88 Head and shoulders uses zinc Pyrithione at 1%
  • There are many companies which may manufacture drugs with higher toxicity APIs, it doesn't mean that anyone can do w/o taking some measurements.
    As I asked in my previews post, I'm not sure if there are requirements to fulfill for manufacturing products which contains ZPT.

  • if you swop out the poly 10 for poly 7 then you can get away with not heating the formula 
  • @em88 what's the cosmetic benefit of salt?. None, it's just a cheap thickener. You use it, I use it and many use it for that reason. So when I see most of the big players do the same it really bothers me, because they have the resources and dozens of alternatives, and in the end the consumer is paying to watch cristiano ronaldo kick a bottle on TV instead of a better shampoo.
  • Yes, you can use Polyquat 7 if you don't want to heat the batch. Although, I always think some heating is a good idea to make things mix together better.
  • Thanks for a so interesting chat guys. What material could replace salt as a thickener? the cheaper the better, and the healthier the better.
  • Nothing is going to be cheaper or healthier than salt.
  • Since we are talking about the thickener, anyone is using Glucamate™ DOE-120 thickener?
    Source:™ DOE-120 thickener
    It's not cheaper, not sure about healthier since the concentration needed is very little (based on some formulation I've seen).
  • No, but I use Glucamate VLT which is a liquid thickener. It's excellent.
    Design of anti-aging creams, gels, and serums; shampoos; and therapeutic cosmetics. In-house label and box design capability.
  • Belassi can it be used in a cold process and what % works best?

  • Yes it works fine in cold process. The percentage depends on your starting viscosity. Since it is an expensive thickener I use a combination to achieve the required viscosity, typically 1% cocamide MEA, 1.5% PEG-150 distearate, and 2% (Q/S) of glucamate VLT. The VLT contains propanediol which enhances the preservatives, we only use 0.4% sodium benzoate and it's proved satisfactory for at least a 6 month shelf life.
    Design of anti-aging creams, gels, and serums; shampoos; and therapeutic cosmetics. In-house label and box design capability.
  • thank you sir
  • In the past i had layer separations issues ussing as viscosifier CMC ór xanthan gum with LABSA in a economy liquid laundry detergent, HEC would be a better option, but in my country hec is like 20 times more expensive than CMC, so we sticked with DEA/Betaine or MEA and salt.

    In my country theres a trend of "no-salt shampoo" like 50% of the shampoo market is "saltfree", almost all manufactures uses cmc as thickener and/or protamate 6000ds (peg 150 diestearate), we are ussing as preservative only 0.5%, 4ph-5ph of Sodium benzoate and we have shampoo lasting for more than 1 year.
  • talking about the big trend in my country, i have seen a some manufacturers in my country that claims "salt free" and uses Magnesium or other salts to fool users.

    And our factory have recived a lot of calls asking and complaining: why our shampoo claims "salt free" and we list in our ingredients "sodium lauryl/laureth sulphate" . 
  • In my country sulphate free is big
  • Same here in Mexico Luis. I made a complaint to the authorities about a company claiming "salt-free", when they are using potassium chloride. Of course, nothing was done.
    Design of anti-aging creams, gels, and serums; shampoos; and therapeutic cosmetics. In-house label and box design capability.
  • I recently saw a shampoo that claims: sulphate free, salt free, edta free, Dea free, bht/paraben free, ecocert... Almost all the layer was filled with that.  If this keeps going on i think that we will have a Shampoo without shampoo.

    By the way those trends and niches are an oportunity in my country for offering shampoo without being a competition for the big brands, basically small manufactures are the only ones that offer saltfree shampoo, and saltfree shampoo is about 50% of the market, thats a big deal.

    Hi @Belassi nice to see you over here, latin-american market is full of scammers, in the case of saltfree shampoo almost all the customers belive that salt is basically sodium. 
  • @luiscuevasii - wouldn't they also complain about Sodium Benzoate?  (it's also a salt)

  • These free from claims are going to be more problematic for these companies in the end than they are positive for Marketing. From some information passed by the FTC, soon they may need to provide testing to prove free from claims. It is not enough to avoid the inclusion, but some raw materials may contribute these free from ingredients as well.

    It also is misinterpreted by laypersons. I once heard someone complain about alcohol-free products because they used Cetyl alcohol. A bit of a disconnect there. Microformulation Cosmetic Consulting provides Custom Formulations for both large Commercial accounts as well as smaller entrepreneurs. We can provide Naturally compliant Formulations under the NSF, NPA, Whole Foods and USDA Organic Certifications.
  • @Perry customers complains more often about sodium lauryl or laureth sulphate because its at the begining of the ingredients list. 
    In my country its bassically a fashion trend, I dont even Know why salt-free shampoo has become so famous arround here. Nobody is concerned about dea or parabens.

    I might be generalizing  but in South América a shampoo only needs to pass microbiology test to be sell, so ussing potasium chloride and claims salt-free its fine. 
  • I was at the supermarket yesterday and the latest marketing hooks were the "detox" shampoos. Meaning, cutting out sterates to make a transparent product and reducing the active matter. So it's basically SLS, CAPB, salt or a polyquat, and fragance. Oh yes, and parabens free. Most of what I saw had a blend of thiazolinones as preservative. And the most expensive ones had an oil/butter like karite, coconut, aloe vera or whatever. Those had "natural" written, and in small print "derivatives of natural... blah blah", so technically they are not lying.

    So basically they are selling a cheaper product with a huge profit thanks to marketing. Those were more expensive than regular shampoos =/ 
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