Conditioning agents in shampoo

RimshahRimshah Member
Why conditioning agents (oils, etc) and active ingredients (botanical extracts, etc) are added to the shampoo while they all wash off if cationic surfactant is not present?

I am confused whether to add active ingredients or not in my formulation. I want to add only those ingredients which would help.

Comments

  • PerryPerry Administrator, Professional Chemist
    The active ingredients in a shampoo are primarily the detergents. You can provide some conditioning by using silicones like Dimethicone if formulated in a way such that it deposits on the hair during rinsing. Also, you can include cationic polymers which also deposit during rinsing.

    Ingredients like oils, vitamins and humectants will do little for the hair from a shampoo and are only added in shampoos for label claims.
  • RimshahRimshah Member
    edited July 16
    Thank you for your reply. :)

    It means there is no need to add oils and botanical extracts in the shampoo. Shampoos are made milder on the basis of mild surfactants only. These should be added in the conditioner only. 

    I don't want build-up on the scalp so I am afraid to add cationic polymers and silicones in my shampoo. But I have read that Guar hydroxypropyltrimonium chloride does not build up, is it true? 

  • I am speaking as an advanced user rather than a formulator. The issue with so called build up is severely exaggerated. I wash my hair three times a week and  use shampoo with 0.8% of Polyquaternium 10, 0.7% of Polyquaternium 11, and 1% of Amodimethicone (blend).

    On the top of it I use conditioner with 5% of cetrimonium chloride, silicones and again Polyquaternium 10.

    And I finish this routine with a very simple but extremely efficient detangler: 20% of dimethicone  1000 +80% of cyclomethicone. If after all of this I don't have a "build up" I don't know who would. 

    I use a clarifying shampoo 1-2 times a month to make sure there is no build up but to be honest I don't think  it's even necessary.

    But if you are worried so much, just add cationics and silicones to the conditioner and don't apply it close to roots.

  • RimshahRimshah Member
    Thank you for sharing your experience with me :)

    As I am trying to make natural products, now I will consider to add isoamyl laurate (silicone alternative) in my shampoo. 

  • I haven't used it but from a quick search I can see it's a plant based ester. Think of it as oil for the purpose of this conversation. Oils reduce foam and detergent cleansing abilities. As such I don't advice you to add it to shampoo.
    Regarding natural products.. What detergents are you planning to use? The only so called natural that comes to my mind are glucosides. And they make terrible shampoo. 
  • Also the term natural isn't defined. You might want to do something like COSMOS or Ecocert certified. But there is no such thing as "natural".
  • PerryPerry Administrator, Professional Chemist
    @ngarayeva001 - I'd say the only natural detergents are Saponins which can be isolated from a plant source. Glucosides have to be chemically reacted to produce them.

  • Is it something like soap nuts? I guess there is single INCI for them, search of the word "Saponin" on ulprospector only gives some plant extracts.
  • RimshahRimshah Member
    Sorry, I meant non-toxic product, using most of the ecocert and cosmos approved ingredients. 

    Soapnuts are very difficult to deal with as they are eyes' irritant, otherwise I guess it was the good natural cleansing option. I am planning to make shampoo using surfactants.


  • GuntherGunther Member
    IMO the best things for conditioning shampoos are
    1 Quaternized silicones i.e. amodimethicone
    2 Non-quaternized silicones like dimethicone or dimethiconol
    3 Cationics like Polyquaterniums or quaternized guar
    4 Cationics like Cetrimonium or Behentrimonium in a non-anionic (i.e. no SLES) surfactant formulas
    5 Very mild or very low level of surfactants so they strip less oils from hair (but they won't clean and foam as well)
    6 Co-wash (washing your hair with conditioner)

    Everything truly natural is just doomed to fail as it will go down the drain in rinse off products.
    Albeit they may do something in leave-on products i.e. coconut oil applied on hair.
  • RimshahRimshah Member
    Thanks for your help Gunther. 


  • PerryPerry Administrator, Professional Chemist
    @ngarayeva001 - yes, soapnuts. And yes, they are terrible for formulating but they are the only real naturally occurring detergent (from my perspective).

  • RimshahRimshah Member
    Perry, what do you think about saponins in oats? 
    I have read it provides good mild cleaning. I have used oats powder for washing my face and I feel it works well. 
  • @Rimshah, if you want a mild formula consider following surfactants: SCI, Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate, Sodium Lauroyl Methyl Isethionate, Sodium Cocoyl Gluconate plus CAPB or CAHS. 
  • PerryPerry Administrator, Professional Chemist
    @Rimshah - Saponins are a rather harsh detergent which don't foam particularly well and are difficult to formulate with. I'm not a fan.  But if you like them, I encourage you to try them out.

  • RimshahRimshah Member
    @ngarayeva001 and @Perry thank you for your answers. Your help is greatly appreciated!
  • GuntherGunther Member
    I am speaking as an advanced user rather than a formulator. The issue with so called build up is severely exaggerated. I wash my hair three times a week and  use shampoo with 0.8% of Polyquaternium 10, 0.7% of Polyquaternium 11, and 1% of Amodimethicone (blend).
    Interesting formula
    May I ask what the surfactants were like? SLES?


    And I finish this routine with a very simple but extremely efficient detangler: 20% of dimethicone  1000 +80% of cyclomethicone. If after all of this I don't have a "build up" I don't know who would. 
    May I ask how did you add fragrance to this silicones only formula?
  • @Gunther, no, it’s a sulfate free shampoo. Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate, CAPB and cocamide DEA. I use it 3 times a week and I don’t really feel any build up. I can see it to be more relevant for fine hair but I think the problem is exaggerated by fear mongering beauty bloggers.

     I actually added 0.3% of lavender EO to that silicone blend. It made it slightly cloudy (really insignificant) but it’s for my use, so doesn’t matter. It doesn’t separate. I have been using it for several months already.
  • GuntherGunther Member
    @Gunther, no, it’s a sulfate free shampoo. Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate, CAPB and cocamide DEA. I use it 3 times a week and I don’t really feel any build up. I can see it to be more relevant for fine hair but I think the problem is exaggerated by fear mongering beauty bloggers.

     I actually added 0.3% of lavender EO to that silicone blend. It made it slightly cloudy (really insignificant) but it’s for my use, so doesn’t matter. It doesn’t separate. I have been using it for several months already.
    Does it has less silicone deposition compared to SLES shampoos?

    What did you use to thicken it? Crothix?
  • I wouldn't say it has less, or more. I didn't notice much difference.
    Yes I used crothix for thickening it. CDEA and Polyquat 10 are important for this formula because they add viscosity.
  • AmiraAmira Member
    @ngarayeva001 if i have a surfactant system of sodium cocoglucoside citrate, sarcosinate, cocamidopropyl betaine, lauryl glucoside. And i don't have corthix to thicken it. But the available is esaflor ec4 (cationic cosmedia), pq10 and peg-6 caprylic capric triglyceride, would it give good viscosity for that surfactant blend?  
  • I haven't worked with esaflor ec4. I am not sure whether cationic guar is compatible with anionic surfactants. PQ10 will add some viscosity but it won't be sufficient. You need to look up for options how to thicken it.
  • AmiraAmira Member
    @ngarayeva001 thanks for ur reply 
    Esaflor ec4 is guar hydroxypropyl trimonium chloride vc 3500-4000.
    I don't have any viscosity builder available except for what I told u. 
    And for peg6 Caprylic Capric triglyceride,, is it better or cetiol HE7? 
  • PEG-6 Caprylic/capric glycerides is a solubilizer that’s usually used for micellar waters and some oil cleansers in combination with other surfactants. It doesn’t have effect on viscosity as far as I am aware based on my experience with this material. I know it’s used in thickeners but I don’t think that it serves as the main thickening material. This is my understanding and I hope that professionals correct this statement if I missed anything.
  • AmiraAmira Member
    @ngarayeva001 thanks for ur informations
    I am trying it and I hope to reach something good. 
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