Help on matte clay recipe

tedted Member
I am trying to make a simple high hold, matte hair clay with as few ingredients as possible. I tried a combo of beeswax, coconut oil and kaolin clay. 
First try, equal amounts of the three, came out hard (not impossibly hard, but difficult to scoop out), greasy and with medium hold. Doubling the clay didn't seem to make a difference.
Second try, two parts beeswax, one part coconut oil, two parts kaolin was impossibly hard.
Tried substituting the coconut oil with glycerin, came out hard and the glycerin sort of bleeds out when I press on the product.
All measurements are by volume, unfortunately, as I don't have a scale *yet*. Soon will.
I read that there are oils which are less... oily... If I get such oil (recommendations highly appreciated) what proportions would you recommend? I saw recipes that had lanolin, essential oils, tapioca starch, etc., but I want as simple a recipe as possible. Beeswax smells nice on its own anyway. How do I soften the product up enough to be fairly easy to scoop out?
Any recipes that provide a high hold and a matte finish would be nice, even if the product turns out a bit on the harder side. 
Also, what is the difference between a carrier oil and the coconut oil in recipes, what different purposes do they serve?    I will post results after each new attempt.
Thanks and Happy holidays!


  • FekherFekher Member, Professional Chemist
    edited December 2018
    @ted take a look for discussion made for hair pomade 
  • @Fekher I did, but I don't get what most of the ingredients do on their own; often are mentioned hydrogenated castor oil and regular castor oil, jojoba oil, etc. I want to try a less greasy oil instead of the coconut oil because the mix is too hard and very greasy on the hair. Any ideas on what to substitute it with?
  • You won't be able to get a product with just those three ingredients. Look into adding soy lecithin, peg-40 hydrogenated castor oil, water, arrowroot powder, and an emulsifier. Good luck!
  • FekherFekher Member, Professional Chemist
    edited February 2019
    @ted  IPM and C12-15 alkyl benzoate can do a good job for reducing greasy effect.
  • Okay, so water and an emulsifier. @thatjoevan you mentioned soy lecithin  and peg-40 hydrogenated castor oil, aren't they both an emulsifier? Can I use just beeswax, kaolin, water and lecithin? 
    @Fekher you mentioned IPM and that....other thing... for greasiness. If I use only beeswax, water, kaolin and an emulsifier, won't the mix be not at all greasy? So far it's been like that because of the large amounts of carrier oil to reduce stiffness. Or perhaps just a little bit of oil, but again, not as much as now? 
    Thanks for the answers. 

  • FekherFekher Member, Professional Chemist
    edited February 2019
    @ted using suitable level of kaolin will reduce the greasy effect.
  • Are you making a hydrous or anhydrous product? 
  • tedted Member
    I'm making a basic, as-simple-as-possible clay. I suppose I started the topic here all wrong,  instead of asking for help with my own recipe, I should have just asked for a basic ingredients list and start mixing. Would just kaolin, water, coconut oil, beeswax and an emulsifier work well for a high hold, strong matte clay without any fancy oils, scent, etc.? 
  • FekherFekher Member, Professional Chemist
    @Ted actually with kaolin , beewax , butter or fatty acid  and  liquid oils you can make what you want even in web you can find some formulation about that.
  • tedted Member
    edited March 2019
    Alright, I'll be sure to look into it, thanks.
    Still, if anyone passing by this thread has a suggestion about any ratios and recipes, drop a comment, it will be much appreciated :D 
  • @ted If you're looking into making an oil-based clay pomade, you need to use a high amount of clay.  That's if you want a matte finish.  Mailroom Barber Co. makes a perfect oil-based matte clay pomade.  They use over 50% clay.  I know that sounds like a lot, but trust me.  I made it and it came out amazing!  The only issue is you'll be using lots of ingredients (especially clay).  So the price point will be high.  You're better off making a water-based clay, but it is lots of work to get it just right.  
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