World's Worst Chemist Needs YOUR Help! - Pomade Formulation

Hey all. Clark here. Love this forum + the info you all share. Thought I would ask you all for some much needed help. I am an amature who failed out of high school AND university chemistry - ironically now trying to formulate a product. Life seems to work that way.... My product is a men's original pomade. It is made with all natural ingredients. I am cooking in my mother's kitchen without fancy lab equipment. Here is where I'm at:

OILS(Grapeseed, Almond, Sunflower, Safflower, Coconut, Olive, lanolin, Castor, jojoba, Caprylic/Capric/Myristic/Stearic Triglyceride (Fractioned coconut oil). 
WAXESSoy wax, Beeswax (white pellets and whole yellow)
MISCstearic acid / emulsifying wax (plant based Cetostearyl alcohol, and Ethoxylated Sorbitan Ester) / PEG-40 / borax. 

2oz. batch: ONE (this is the closest i've gotten to what I want)

Hydrogenated Castor Oil (PEG 40) _____65___%
Soy Wax                                           _____15___%
Beeswax                                           _____14___%
Jojoba Oil                                         _____5__%

  • doesn't seem thick enough
  • too malleable / "PEG-40" like. 
  • my pomade feels like room temp butter. I want it to handle closer like refrigerated butter.
  • oil residue / run off after 10 seconds on hands. Would like the whole pomade to stay together more.
  1. Anything stand out to you off the top of your head? Am I missing a key ingredient?
  2. Would you use PEG-40 as the main ingredient?
  3. Is there a thickener I can use to give my pomade a better universal consistency?
  4. If you could formulate your own natural men's pomade(with any ingredients I've listed) how would you do it?
Any feedback would be much appreciated. Thanks for reading!

-Clark (


  • ozgirlozgirl Member, PCF student
    I am no expert in this area but I could not work out why you are using PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil. PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil is a solubilizer.

    Here is a hair pomade formulation which I found that might give you some ideas

    Hope this helps :)

  • ClarkClark Member
    Hey @Ozgirl - thanks for the responses.

    To clarify, PEG-40 and "Hydrogenated Castor Oil" are the same ingredient, yes? Two pomades which I am modeling my product after list 'Hydrogenated Castor Oil' is the main (first) ingredient. I know that listing an ingredient first generally means it has 30%-50% of the product. The PEG:Wax ratio of 68% : 28% has gotten me the closest to what I am looking for.

    Thanks for that link. I had previously downloaded it / swapped out petroleum. This was a more natural recipe I did that I also liked:

    2oz. (59g total) batch: "THE NATURE-RAL"

    Olive Oil                                           _____28___%
    BeesWax                                           _____17___%
    Shea Butter                                       _____17___%
    Almond Oil                                       _____13__%
    Soy Wax                                             _____13__%
    Lanolin Oil                                          _____5__%
    Jojoba Oil                                            _____5__%
    Essential Oils                                    N/A  (30 drops)

    Does this look more workable? More along the lines of what you were thinking? Any suggestions from looking at it? Thanks! -Clark

  • Bill_TogeBill_Toge Member, Professional Chemist
    @Clark, hydrogenated castor oil, PEG-40, and PEG-40 hydrogenated castor oil are three different things

    hydrogenated castor oil is a very hard wax with a high melting point which creates a gel-like structure in oils, and stabilises viscosity at high temperatures 

    PEG-40 is a water-miscible liquid used as a solvent

    and as @ozgirl said, PEG-40 hydrogenated castor oil is a water-miscible surfactant used for solubilising oils into water

    the "nature-ral" recipe in your second post would make a more conventional pomade
    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
  • ClarkClark Member
    @Bill_Toge Dude thanks! You have no idea how helpful that comment was. I have been trying to figure out the difference for WEEKS. Do you know where I can order the stuff? Should I look for "Hydrogenated Castor Oil Wax" Thanks again for you help Bill, really saves me a ton of headache.
  • BobzchemistBobzchemist Member, PCF student
    The only place I could find for small quantities is here:

    "Hydrogenated Castor Oil" is the correct INCI name.
    Robert Zonis, Sr. Formulation Chemist, Beaumont Products "All opinions and comments expressed are my own, have no relation to Beaumont Products, are fully copyrighted, and may not be used without written permission."
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