Viscosity problem for a runny gel product

Hello everyone, very happy to be a part of this forum and this is my first discussion:smile:

I'm facing a problem to find the right thickener/stabilizer for my formulation. I am trying to achieve a runny fluid, thick oil alike, transparent texture for my hair conditioner product. This conditioner will be used with heat as well (blow dryer/iron flat).

The goal is combining silicones and other watery mixtures (important to mention that those mixtures are stable and don't affect the texture, we can consider them as water).

My formula:

Water - 80-85%
Silicones & hair conditioning agents- 15-20%

I tried:

Carbopol 940 + TEA
Problem: it is becoming a gel but not elastic enough, even with low dosage. When standing in the bottle it sticks to it and 

Carbopol 940 + Cetrimonium Chloride
Problem: same like with TEA

Xanthan gum
Problem: not elastic enough, tried several dosages and couldn't get it. The other problem is when using heat on the hair, this ingredient is causing a white powder on the hair and it's not convenient for use.

Gel base thickeners:
Problem: it is becoming s stable gel like previous options but still it's not elastic enough.

The best way to explain what texture i want to achieve is imagine yourself a product that looks like a Polyquaternium 7 - runny fluid, Gel alike. Elastic. Like honey.
I'm almost sure that there's a simple ingredient i can use which will help to thicken and stable the formulation. 

Your help will be greatly appreciated! 



  • Hardly surprising you can't get it to work, those products are gel formers and stabilisers, not thickeners. Use a thickener instead, eg. Glucamate LT or VLT.
    Cosmetic Brand Creation. Concept to name to IMPI search to logo and brand registration. In-house graphic design inc. Pantone specs. Cosmetic label and box design & graphics.
  • LisaniLisani Member
    Thank you @Belassi, I appreciate that. 
    I was reading about Polyquaternium-37, BASF has this product and it called Cosmedia Ultragel 300, are you familiar with this product? From what I was reading, it seems to be appropriate.

    i will definitely try to use Glucamate LT/VLT, thanks again.
  • LisaniLisani Member
    Thank you @DAS
  • No, sorry, have no experience with PQ-37. It looks as if it could be what you need.
    Cosmetic Brand Creation. Concept to name to IMPI search to logo and brand registration. In-house graphic design inc. Pantone specs. Cosmetic label and box design & graphics.
  • LisaniLisani Member
    Thanks for your helpful information @Belassi .
    O will update some photos of the samples for those who see this discussion necessary.
  • Bill_TogeBill_Toge Member, Professional Chemist
    the problem you're facing is that carbomers and xanthan gum are anionic, and the ingredients typically used in conditoners are cationic, so they are fundamentally incompatible

    try using a non-ionic rheology modifier, like locust bean gum or tara gum
    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
  • How about using BTMS?
    It both emulsifies silicones and makes it thicker.

    It the product will be used with (heated) iron flats
    you may wish to ask yourself if you want water on it, as it gives off lots of steam when heated.
    Some iron-flat formulations use silicone only, to avoid steam.
  • LisaniLisani Member
    Thank you @Bill_Toge for the helpful information, will definitely take it to my knowledge.

    @Gunther thank you for the information. The problem with including most silicones and small amount of water (or not at all) is the cost of the product, it becomes really expensive, but I will definitely try to build something that is a cost effective product.

    for all who wondered, I tried several products and I would like to share the results with you.

    Glucamate - An effective thickener, but doesn’t react very good with heat, it sticks to the iron flat (even a low amount) and I don’t really recommend. But I do recommend on this product for gels.

    I tried Aristoflex AVC and it was excellent, I recommend to use this product for all levels of gels, from runny to a thick one.

    in case someone has a question about this subject, feel free to contact me and I’ll be happy to share my experiences.

    Thanks to all :)
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