I am currently trying to formulate a solid conditioner tablet, and I am struggling to have the conditioner "give off" sufficient matter. My concept is to create a tablet that gives off matter when rubbed under warm water, without depositing or removing anything, and that I could tune with a cationic or any conditioning ingredient.
I try to limit the amount of surfactants (the ones that create foam, not the surfactants in the broadest sense) to avoid having a product which removes matter, the aim of a conditioner being to deposit rather than to remove. The problem is that most common constituents of solid conditioners seem to be hydrophobic, so the tablet without surfactants almost doesn't react with water, and hardly gives off any matter. Lowering the melting point could maybe be a strategy, but I would love
to have sufficient temperature stability, like in the 10-40 degrees C).
The first strategy I started with is to use a emulsifier able to easily emulsify in contact with water, like the ones used for "gel/oil to milk" concepts. I tried Polyglyceryl-4 oleate (PG4O) (the one with a HLB of 4-6) and Sucrose stearate (SS) (with HLB 15), that I could easily source, and my other considered constituents are fatty alcohols, butters, solid esters and solid emulsifiers, but I couldn't get any clear success. The PG4O gives water-in-oil emulsions which are rather hydrophobic, and SS doesn't emulsify easily enough to create a easy-to-use solid conditioner. Of course, I'd like to create a product that I don't have to rub for half an hour before using it.
Is there an emulsifier that I could use for this purpose ? Are there other usable ingredients for this concept that would be suitable, and that would not strip out the cationic ingredient that I deposit ?
I precise that I have seen many formulations online but they all seem to have this problem, for example Skinchakra formulations are loaded of plant waxes (that I don't want on my hair), and many of them contain large amounts of plant oils/butters that I suspect would make the tablet quite hydrophobic as well.
I have a preference for "natural" ingredients, not from a ideological point of view, but because I would like to use an ingredient that I can easily source from European small brands repackers, most of them being "natural"-oriented. I precise that I have no definition of natural (I admit it makes no sense). Also, most people interested in solid cosmetics seem to be natural-bio lovers, so for marketing I think it makes sense.
Thank you for reading me so far ! If I omitted an information, feel free to mention it. If solid conditioner for any reason make no sense/ are a microbiological danger, feel free to share your feeling, I would love to have feedbacks on tat as well. Below, you can find a KISS formulation that I consider as a starting point :
PG4O : 45%
Cetearyl alcohol 50-50 : 45%
Sucrose stearate : 10%
This formulation reacts slightly with water, is quite hydrophobic but is fine in terms of skin feel, general aspect and hardness.
Signed, your favorite formulator wannabe
Ps : Even if that product never reaches market, I would sleep easier if I could get over this