Help Needed From Experts in Hair Science

gabbygabby Member
I am interested in making a hair product for dry, coarse, curly hair. Are there any books or sites anyone here could recommend for me as a starting point? I'm not a formulation chemist but do have a chemistry background. What are some things to take into consideration when formulating for african american hair?
Also is there a book anyone can recommend which contains the effects of various chemicals on hair structure?


  • chemicalmattchemicalmatt Member, Professional Chemist
    No such book exists that I know of, gabby, and I've been formulating multi-cultural hair-care products for a LOT of years. Look into some specialty chemical sites, such as Croda, Inolex, Evonik, even BASF(!), RITA, just to name a few. Many of these manufacturers have developed formularies for "ethnic" hair-care (archaic term) over the years. Also Michelle Breyers website [] has cues.  Good luck.  
  • GuntherGunther Member
    edited October 2018
    I'm no expert by any means
    but African American hair often needs a lot of conditioning

    For rinse off shampoos, silicones and polyquaterniums come to mind, along milder or lower levels of surfactants, to reduce drying.
    For leave on products you can add cationics, fatty alcohols
    and emulsify a bit of coconut oil so it "replenishes" oils when left on hair.

    You can check out the websites @chemicalmatt suggested
    and compare "ethnic" to plain formulations side by side to see how they differ.
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