Formulate a Gel Wax hair product based on disco'd product

simflyer905simflyer905 Member
edited May 28 in Hair
Hi!  I have no chemistry experience, but I'm intent on replicating a hair gel/wax product that is no longer available on the market.  The company owner in Israel has literally responded to me in writing (twice) to tell me he's shut down his business forever.  I asked for the product formulation, but he won't respond.  I've been using the product religiously for over 2 years because it's the only thing that works and isn't loaded with fragrance (I'm very scent sensitive).  

The product is a GEL/Wax combination in a 4 OZ container.  It has the perfect consistency and qualities of Gel and wax combined.  It rinses out very easy, and leaves no waxy residue.  Other products on the market don't compare, as they have way too much fragrance, or not enough of the waxiness.  

Here is the ingredients list off Google, for this product:

Aqua, Glycerine, PEG-7, Glyceryl, Coloate, Ceteareth 30, Parafinum, Liquidium (Mineral oil), Magnesium, Chloride, Magnesium Nitrate, Methylchloroisazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone,CI. 17200.


Here is the ingredients list, along with my comments and struggles:
  1. Distilled water (readily available)
  2. Glycerin (vegetable cosmetic grade is available on amazon)
  3. PEG-7 (available on amazon)
  4. Glyceryl Cocate (seems to be the same as PEG-7 ?)
  5. Ceteareth-30 (The hardest one to find - can I substitute?)
  6. Parafinum Liquidium (Is regular mineral oil ok?)
  7. Magnesium Chloride (assuming I can get this)
  8. Magnesium Nitrate (assuming I can get this)
  9. Methylchloroisazolinone (assuming I can get this)
  10. Methylisothiazolinone (is this not the same thing as above) ?


I would like to take a crack at formulating this at home with some chemist help. If I can leave some stuff out or substitute, that will make it easier.   I can get some stainless steel containers, a thermometer,  and setup a double boiler.  Not sure what else I will need.. 

I have a tiny bit of the original product left.   I noticed when I was buying it regularly, I would occasionally receive the odd container where the contents (gel wax) was dried out and the product was unusable.   Perhaps they had issues with that in production and international shipping.





Pic of original product, to show colour. The product is normally translucent like an orange jam, but had a gel/wax consistency.

Comments

  • PerryPerry Administrator, Professional Chemist
    9 & 10 - this is a blend of preservatives called Kathon CG

    You can figure out how much water is in the formula by weighing a sample, then putting that in an oven (>250 degrees) for a couple hours and weighing it again when the water evaporates off. 
  • It's an ingredient called PEG-7 Glyceryl Cocoate not two separate ingredients.
    Ceteareth 30 can probably be replaced by Ceteareth 25 in a hair product.
  • Thanks for the responses so far.   I will try substituting Ceteareth-25 for Cet-30, as it's easier to get.   Can anyone tell me what I can use for Paraffinum Liquidium?   Apparently it's just mineral oil, but what kind?   I can buy mineral oil on Amazon.

    I was able to find a hair wax formulation from what appears to be a chemical company, but not sure how closely it will align to the product I am trying to replicate..... any thoughts?  Some ingredients are the same.   Here is a link to the PDF file of the formulation sheet, along with cook instructions:

    https://www.cossma.com/fileadmin/all/cossma/Archiv/Formulations2015/COS1512_DSMWax.pdf

    thanks for any help.  I have no chemist experience or background.  I work in I.T !  


  • Perry said:
    9 & 10 - this is a blend of preservatives called Kathon CG

    This seems incredibly hard to obtain and expensive.  Are you aware of an alternative ?    Given that I'm making this for personal use, can I get away with leaving out a preservative?  Or perhaps introducing some other inert chemical that has similar qualities? 

    thanks!
  • PerryPerry Administrator, Professional Chemist
    edited June 4
    @simflyer905 - that formula is as good a place to start as any. I wouldn't recommend skipping the preservative unless you don't mind throwing your product out every so often.  There are alternative preservatives.  (e.g. https://www.makingcosmetics.com/Broad-Spectrum-Preservatives_c_136.html)
  • Bill_TogeBill_Toge Member, Professional Chemist
    edited June 4
    7 and 8 are also part of Kathon CG (or one of its numerous knock-offs), as they are the stabilisers for the preservative; incidentally, that preservative is wholly unsuitable for this product as it's temperature-sensitive and the product needs to be filled hot, which means the preservative will slowly be destroyed during the filling process
    for mineral oil, a pharmaceutical grade is the cleanest and least smelly
    also, if you have no practical experience, I must warn you that water-based hot-fill styling products like this are one of the most complicated product types to formulate - I'd suggest you start with something simple like a skin cream and get a feel for the concrete before tackling something like this

    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
  • simflyer905simflyer905 Member
    edited June 4
    Bill_Toge said:
    7 and 8 are also part of Kathon CG (or one of its numerous knock-offs), as they are the stabilisers for the preservative; incidentally, that preservative is wholly unsuitable for this product as it's temperature-sensitive and the product needs to be filled hot, which means the preservative will slowly be destroyed during the filling process


    Thanks Bill, I appreciate your input.  Would it be possible to substitute a broad spectrum preservative like Germall plus (or something that can tolerate higher temps) and effectively eliminate ingredients 7-10 ?  That would simplify my efforts to obtain all these ingredients.  I'm guessing the preservative isn't going to mess too much with the overall consistency of the product given that only a drop or two will go into my test cooks.   I noticed the original manufacturer occasionally shipped out dried-out product, which was useless.  I wonder what was causing that.   Could be why they shut down.

    Thanks for the advice on the mineral oil.   I will see what I can find that is pharma grade.  I don't want any scent.

    You mentioned this will be most challenging - what aspects?   Finding the right consistency, temps, stirring, cook time, etc?  

    Lastly, what am I attempting to make here?  Oil in Water emulsion or Water in oil emulsion?   You mentioned this is water based.

    many thx



    A.
  • Bill_TogeBill_Toge Member, Professional Chemist
    edited June 4
    Thanks Bill, I appreciate your input.  Would it be possible to substitute a broad spectrum preservative like Germall plus (or something that can tolerate higher temps) and effectively eliminate ingredients 7-10 ? 
    absolutely: any heat-stable preservative will do the job just as well, if not better
    You mentioned this will be most challenging - what aspects?   Finding the right consistency, temps, stirring, cook time, etc? 
    the aspects of successfully deriving a formula which can successfully reproduce the product, finding out the mechanics of the formula, how the formula fits together, the best temperature to fill the product at, etc. - this all takes time and practise to master, and this is quite an unusual/esoteric product type compared to most cosmetics and toiletries
    Lastly, what am I attempting to make here?  Oil in Water emulsion or Water in oil emulsion?   You mentioned this is water based.
    to be honest, it's neither; the best description I can come up with is that it's a highly concentrated dispersion of a high molecular weight hydrophilic surfactant (ceteareth-30/25/etc.) in water; the wax-like consistency is due to the surfactant's concentration being so high that the molecules form strong bonds with each other as well as with the water, and when cooled below a certain temperature, the mixture of water and surfactant coagulates and takes the form of a soft solid
    as I said: it's complicated!
    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
  • simflyer905simflyer905 Member
    edited June 7
    I am having a hard time finding a preservative that can tolerate hot temperatures.  Germaben and Germaplus II need to be added in at 50 degrees or cooler.   The formulas for gel wax I've seen call for heating as high as 80 degrees.  Any recommendations?
  • SpongeSponge Member
    @Bill_Toge Thanks for explaining that, I was wondering how the texture came together to be a gel-wax.
  • simflyer905simflyer905 Member
    edited June 29
    I bet you'd all like to know how I made out in my quest to replicate this product with no chemistry experience!    It came out very close to the original!  

    Here's the very short list of ingredients which match the original.  I had to sub in Cet-25 for Cet-30, and found a heat stable preservative:

    1. Distilled water and Glycerin heated to 80 degrees while being mixed.
    2. Peg-7 and Ceteareth-25 added to mix, while stirring.
    3. Once mix became clear and less viscous, added in Mineral oil.
    4. Few drops of PhenoxyEthanol (preservative) added
    *all ingredients are cosmetic grade

    Let cool to 70 degrees Celsius and then poured into a container to cool.  The magical gel/wax like emulsion was set in about 45 mins.   Surprisingly, it has an identical texture and feel to the original product.   I was blown away, because I really had winged this. 

    Observations:

    - Adding in the CET-25 too quickly forms big blobs which I had to manually stir and break up before I could allow the magnetic stirrer to resume.   Will try introducing more slowly next time, or using some of the distilled water in a separate container to pre-dissolve the CET-25 then introduce that mixture instead.

    - I had the beaker directly on the hot plate, which I know should be replaced by a double boiler with water surrounding the beaker.   May try that next time, as the temp got out of control and got up to 88.  

    - To match the original product, I need the gel/wax emulsion to be more stiff and requiring more force to rub between the fingers.  Can I simply reduce the water content to achieve this?   

    - The Magnetic stirrer/hot plate is so helpful.   I'm so glad I spent the money to get one.   It has a bar that holds the temp probe just perfectly in the beaker.   I have this website to thank for that.  The section on how to setup a cosmetics lab was very helpful.

    - the final product has no scent (virtually). 


    Some questions for the more experienced chemists/members:


    Could I add a drop of essential oil at these temperatures and how would it affect the product?  I am afraid that this method of natural fragrance might contaminate the product or accelerate spoilage in some way.  

    If someone can help me understand how increasing/decreasing each chemical will alter the final product I would be very interested to hear. 

    If I wanted to make this product stable when exposed to UV light (in a clear container), what could I add, and would it be safe?  


    Thx.

  • Also need some advice on reducing air bubbles, as I had a few in the final (dried) product...   more or less of an ingredient, or less vigorous stirring?   
  • AmiraAmira Member
    @Bill_Toge how to solve the high foaming issue? 
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