Hair styling - washing out

RickSRickS Member
edited August 2019 in Hair
Hi all,

I am trying to make my own hair wax/clay at home for personal use. Not a strong chemistry background, but really interested to learn. Enjoy reading the posts on this forum!

Currently i am using the following and playing with percentages:
(1) Grapeseed oil
(2) Beeswax
(3) Clay 

My questions is: the product seems to work okay, but since i want to have a strong hold (higher beeswax %), i find it hard to wash out of my hair after use. Is there an ingredient that helps me wash out of the hair? (prefer a more natural ingredient if possible- if that even exists!).

I know that PEG40 HCO for example is a surfactant, a solubilizer, an emulsifier, an emollient, a cleansing agent. But given this is an anhydrous mixture, adding PEG40 just makes my simple product very sticky and hard to spread. I assume this is because since PEG40 is an emulsifier too, i have to add water?

Thanks for the help in advance all!


  • PVP K30 and K-90 provide strong hold and can be easily washed away as they're water soluble.
    But I don't know if they're oil soluble. They're alcohol soluble, though.
  • Thank you for the response Gunther. I will certainly look into that. Yes oil solubility is a key component too. So will definite research.

    If i wanted to keep wax as the main hold component, is there 1 ingredient i can add to make wax wash out easily?
  • If anyone has any other ideas that are more natural/non-synthetic. That would be great!

    Thanks all!
  • PerryPerry Administrator, Professional Chemist
    edited August 2019
    @RickS - You'll have to clarify what you mean by "natural".  It's possible you've reached the maximum hold potential by using naturally occurring materials.

    The reason companies use synthetic ingredients is because they work better than ones that are not synthetically modified in the lab. 

  • Maybe you can find some kind of naturally occurring gum that can provide some hold as the solvent evaporates?
    i.e. Acacia (gum arabic) comes to mind.

    While oils and waxes can provide some mild hold, they will always be difficult to wash out as they are not water soluble.
  • Thank you for the responses @Perry and @Gunther!
    Certainly appreciate the help.

    @Perry - thats right, i meant "natural" as in non-synthetic. On the company comment: yes, that definitely makes sense. Then to that point, what are the most common synthetic ingredients for (i) ease of wash out and (ii) strength of hold? Would be great to make a water based or anhydrous clay/wax at home!

    @Gunther - thank you again for the response here sir. I will look into that and other gums as well as the PVP ingredients. Thanks again.
  • PerryPerry Administrator, Professional Chemist
    As @Gunther said, for hold PVP or PVP/VA are the ones that are most effective and washable.
  • Thank you all. Appreciate the insight! 

    @Perry / @Gunther - will definitely try that. What % is typical to used? Also, i guess i since this provides a hold factor, i should reduce my beeswax % to balance it out? (so it doesn't turn my hair into cement!)

    Also: I understand that peg 8 beeswax is easier to wash out than normal beeswax? Could i in theory just replace beeswax with this?

  • Also wondering if there is a non-petroleum based ingredient to use? as i understand that PVP or PVP/VA are derived from petroleum.
  • Natural waxes and gums are plant derived.
    The challenge with the first ones will be emulsifying them (or making an anhydrous, oil based formulation)

    The challenge with gums will be getting enough hold, but not too much so it can still be washed away.
    Gums are hard to preserve too.
  • @Gunther

    Thank you sir! Will continue to do my research!
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