Trouble with Guar

I would like ask you for help with Cationic Guar.

We have problem with production. It is a shampoo.

We first dissolve Cationic Guar with water and add citric acid. After Guar is complete dissolved we add another ingredients as SLES, betain, cocamide DEA. pH raise up to pH 7 and after they add citric acid to decrease pH to 5,3-5,5.

During the production everything is ok, but next day guar gum is on the top of product. It is shampoo for hair. They see gel of guar gum on the top of product and other ingredients on the bottom. This guar gel looks as a skin on surface. After somedays the gel becomes thicker and separated to bottom. We verified it is guar powder that is separating out of the formulation. 

Since 6 years we another guar product and never had any problem.


  • Chemist77Chemist77 Member, PCF student
    Did you change supplier for Guar HPTC or any of the raw materials in the formula. Once dispersed and neutralized, it should not happen what you are facing.
  • Hello I have a limited experience but sounds like the guar did not swell properly! Are you sure that you or your staff are following the same procedure?
    I found the use of some 4-5% glycerol helps to suspend the guar before the addition of H2O. 
  • Hi, yes, it is new Guar HPTC supplier. The formulation is same. We made sure that product is dispersed properly and completely hydrated. After many days of holding the solution, the guar settles down as a very thick gel. 

    We are using a pre neutralised guar product. 
  • I am not a chemist, can somebody explain to me how can cationic gum be mixed with anionic SLES? 

    Regarding to what I can comment on, gums are not great in shampoos. Poor sensorial.
  • PerryPerry Administrator, Professional Chemist
    @tarunj - perhaps your guar level is too high. What is the guar doing in your formula for you?

    @ngarayeva001 - cationic surfactants and anionic surfactants when blended form individual, insoluble salts. A molecule of the cationic combines with one molecule of the anionic (+ to -).  On a cationic polymer, there are multiple sites of a cationic charge and the molecule is giant. It can fold over on itself so many of the cationic sites are shielded from the anionic. There normally isn't enough interaction to create an insoluble new molecule.

  • Thank you for the explanation @Perry
  • @ perry-We put 2% into the water and mix, after that add citric acid and guar gum makes a gel. This solution we add into anionic surfactants (SLES 27% and another kind SLES 70% - in formulation with vegetable oils). After this add other ingredients as betaine and cocamide DEA.

    Dose in final formulation of shampoo is 0,5%. 

    We don’t notice any problem during production. guar is dissolved and looks the same as previous formulation and we do not notice any problems. Problems we see one day after production. 

    We also tried change the order of adding the ingredients by adding first the cationic then the amphoteric then non ionic and lastly the anionic but the result is same. 

    We like to new guar better, it has better conditioning but do not understand how to make it work in formula

  • chemicalmattchemicalmatt Member, Professional Chemist
    That is a lot of GHPTC in there, twice what I would have used. You are correct in adding the amphoteric before any else, as that is the hydrotrope here.  I'll bet you need a LOT more of it or use a different one.  Best one to use: disodium cocoapmphodipropionate (40% standard commercial). Works every time.
  • try without adding Citric. try Hot Water.
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