My Hair Clay is Flaking? Pics included

LaurenM88LaurenM88 Member

I was wondering if anyone could help me out with this? I have been trying to make a hair clay and after a few attempts to get the initial consistency right I am happy.. except when I begin to work the product it starts to go into flakes.. Please see photos. 

Below is my ingredients and formula.. I am hoping to keep my product as natural as I can but if anyone can offer a solution or an ingredient that might be causing the problem I would be so grateful as I am at a loss on how to rectify after many attempts! 

  • distilled water (38.49%)
  • kaolin clay (19.46%)
  • bee's wax (21.63%)
  • coconut oil (0.87%)
  • castor oil (0.87%)
  • carnauba wax (0.87%)
  • vegetable cetyl alcohol (2.6%)
  • tapioca starch (2.16%)
  • glycerin (0.87%)
  • polysorbate 60 (0.43%)
  • gluconolactone sodium benzoate (0.43%)
  • essential oil (jojoba) (0.43%


Combine tapioca starch + Glycerin, put aside 

Using double boiler melt down and blend bee's wax, olus oil, coconut oil, castor oil, carnauba wax, vegetable cetyl alcoho

(by this stage I can work the formula using the bold ingredients and it is forming the flakey stage already) 

Heat distilled water to 70 degrees and then add and blend. 

When mixture drops to 40 degrees add the clay, essential oil, polysorbate 60 and glycosodium benzoate. 

at 35 degrees add tapioca starch and glycerin. 

Hair clay at first: 

Hair clay after working it in 

Any advice or tips on this would be great - thanks in advance! 


  • FekherFekher Member, Professional Chemist
    @LaurenM88 i guess your emulsion need correction , you need to know required hlb then you you use adequat level of emulsifier.
  • I agree with @Fekher on the emulsion issue. 
    Polysorbate 60 should be used in greater quantity to form a stable emulsion.

    I would also like to mention that your preservative system may encounter some problems while trying to prevent bacterial growth. 

    I would do some bacterial growth tests on the product and adjust as needed.
  • Bill_TogeBill_Toge Member, Professional Chemist
    you need more liquid in your oil phase - the flaking occurs because your oil phase is solid and can't spread easily
    agree with @natzam44, polysorbate 60 and 80 are terrible for knackering preservatives; I'd suggest using a different emulsifier
    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
  • Hi guys, 

    Thanks for all of your help! I was looking to get hold of some xyliance for the emulsifier however I can't seem to find it available in the UK, i'm wondering if this would be any good? 

    Emulsifying Wax (BTMS)

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