Cationic guar causing shampoo to separate

Hi
I have been trawling through the forum but can't really seem to find a solution to my problem.
I have a natural sulfate free shampoo with quite alot of oils/butters that has never had any stability problems.
I have since added cationic guar and whilst all of my surfactants are non-ionic my shampoo keeps separating into two layers, white opaque on the top half and transparent yellow on the bottom half.
What is the reason this could be happening? 
Thanks in advance

Comments

  • You need to post you formulation with some of the use levels for any of us to give proper advice. 
    BUT right off the bat, this may be your problem:

    "I have a natural sulfate free shampoo with quite alot of oils/butters" 
  • PerryPerry Administrator, Professional Chemist
    Yeah, we'd at least need an ingredient list.  But Guar is not a likely culprit
  • BobzchemistBobzchemist Member, PCF student
    I have a hypothesis - Your formula is right at the edge of the limit of oils/butters that can be solubilized and/or micro-emulsified by the surfactant package in your shampoo. Something that you added, maybe the Guar, but probably not, has tipped your formula over the edge into a macro-emulsion.

    We can help more with a formulation.

    But - something to think about: What are all those expensive oils/butters doing for you in your formulation? Have you checked to see if they are depositing on the hair shaft, or if they're all just uselessly washing down the drain?
    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."
  • Is there a way to emulsify oils into my formulation ? I heard that polysorbate 20 and 80 would do the trick. 
    And how do I make sure that the oils/butters added are in fact depositing on the hair shaft ?
  • BobzchemistBobzchemist Member, PCF student
    There are many surfactants that might work to solubilize/micro-emulsify oils/butters into a surfactant solution and produce a clear product. There are even more that would simply macro-emulsify them and produce an opaque product. We'd need to know your definition for "natural" to recommend one, though, and it would be much better if you'd disclose more of your formula.

    One of the things to recognize is that you're using the term "emulsify" somewhat incorrectly. To emulsify is to take two immiscible phases and mix them together to form a uniform product with droplets of one phase dispersed throughout the other phase. You're already getting that, but your emulsion isn't stable, which is an entirely different problem from not emulsifying at all.

    To determine if you are getting benefit from the oils/butters, make three batches without the Guar. One with no oils/butters, one with 1/2 your usual amount, and one with the full amount. Try them on your own hair, and give them out to other people to evaluate blind. If no one can tell the difference between the three, your not getting any benefit, but if there is a clear improvement as you go up in concentration, then you are. But if If no one can tell the difference between the half concentration and the full concentration, then you are getting some benefit from the oils/butters, but you're using at least twice as much as you need to be.

    You could also send the shampoos out to an analytical lab for analysis, but that's probably overkill.
    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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