Help in the correct formula for this African hair type LYE relaxer

evelynqueeevelynquee Member
edited August 15 in Hair
Good day loved ones. I am Oluwaseun Evelyn. I have this lye hair relaxer creme formula that I got based on research and personal editing. I will like that the great minds on this forum to help correct me where necessary. 

Formula Ingredients and Percentage Composition
Petrolatum .        10.20%
Propylene glycol .   2.5%
Mineral oil.          12.0%
Emulsifying wax .  6.0%
Lanolin.              2.0%
Cetyl alcohol .      2.0%
Water.               60.0%
Sodium hydroxide.  4.0%
Vitamin E.           0.3%
Fragrance.           0.5%
Preservative (propyl or methyl paraben) 0.5%

Procedure
Heat and stir the oil phase separately from the water phase except (sodium hydroxide, vitamin E, fragrance, preservative) in a vessel to 70°C. 
After the two phases has reached 70°C, add the water phase to the oil phase slowly and stirring.
Mix the sodium hydroxide in water, then add slowly to the solution when it cools down to 45°C. Continue stirring for some minutes then add vitamin E, fragrance and preservative.
Intended pH of 12.5-13.5

Questions
1. For commercial purposes is the propyl or methyl paraben preservative OK?
2. When produced under hygienic condition, will the product reach a shelf life of 24 months?
3. How can I make the product stable?
4. As a commercial product for ethnic hair what ingredients should be added or removed?
5. Any other advice?

Thanks so much for your time. 

Comments

  • You just don't add 4% pH just like that
    you need a target pH, otherwise it may end up dissolving people hair, and possibly damaging their scalp too.

    Try to see if you can make a buffer solution
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buffer_solution
    that keeps pH from fluctuating too much.
  • Gunther said:
    You just don't add 4% pH just like that
    you need a target pH, otherwise it may end up dissolving people hair, and possibly damaging their scalp too.

    Try to see if you can make a buffer solution
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buffer_solution
    that keeps pH from fluctuating too much.
    Thanks so much. I will work on it. 
  • Gunther said:
    You just don't add 4% pH just like that
    you need a target pH, otherwise it may end up dissolving people hair, and possibly damaging their scalp too.

    Try to see if you can make a buffer solution
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buffer_solution
    that keeps pH from fluctuating too much.
    I read the article but didn't understand the practical way forward.
    Can I just carry out some experiments? After production before the addition of sodium hydroxide, can I just use a pH meter to be testing the product till I reach the actual range I am looking for?
    Is the pH level I indicated for the relaxer okay?
    Thanks so much.

  • I indicated that my targeted pH level is 12.5-13.5
  • svensven Member
    @evelynquee see the attached formula from Croda and see how they have used the Na OH in their formula. Jut remember this type of formulas are some of the most dangerous stuff to work with as a cosmetic scientist. You will find that your liability insurance doubles in costs when you sell these type of products

  • ngarayeva001ngarayeva001 Member
    edited August 15
    Apologies, I don't have any experience with such products, is that what is referred as "keratin" straightening? It's basically just an extremely alkaline emulsion.
  • sven said:
    @evelynquee see the attached formula from Croda and see how they have used the Na OH in their formula. Jut remember this type of formulas are some of the most dangerous stuff to work with as a cosmetic scientist. You will find that your liability insurance doubles in costs when you sell these type of products

    Even for the strong formula in the Croda pdf
    they list 9.50% but of a 25% NaOH solution, which equals 2.375% active NaOH
    So OP 4% would be too harsh and damaging.

    I agree that lye based relaxers are not meant for beginners.
    If OP still wishes to pursue this, at least consider some less strong hydroxides, like Lithium or Calcium hydroxides used in some formulations because they are a bit more "forgiving" to concentration mismatches.


    To direcly address OP questions
    1. Parabens will work fine as preservatives but you'd better add them as their Sodium salts.
    2. and 3. Pay an existing lab to conduct stability tests for you.
    4. A separate, acidic neutralizer is crucial. You may consider adding some top-notch gloves in the package.
    5. You'll need to conduct lots of tests about application time, not too much that hair is damaged, not too little that hair ain't properly relaxed.
    Also, ask yourself how the saloon is going to mechanically straighten hair while the relaxer is applied. Relaxers don't work by magic, they need some fixture to hold the hair straight while it is on the hair.


    @ngarayeva001 lye based relaxers temporarily disrupt the hair sulfide bonds allowing it to be reshaped.
    They aren't keratin, albeit they work in a grossly similar way.
    In fact, keratin is a misnomer to hide the fact that the nasty formaldehyde is the main ingredient.
    As you probably know, formaldehyde causes cancer and it's banned, so "keratin" treatments are only allowed in third world countries with weak governments.
  • PharmaPharma Member, Pharmacist
    I would say that parabens at a pH of 13 will definitely hydrolyse (= degrade).
    Also, vitamin E as tocopheryl acetate will hydrolyse forming tocopherol; that one becomes highly sensitive to oxygen at a pH of 13 and will work too good for too short. IMHO just drop it.
    In addition to that, lanolin will also hydrolyse but somewhat slower. Like making cold processed soap. This will change your formula over time (days to weeks). Does it get better or worse? I don't know. It might increase in stability or it might decrease in feel due to formation of alkali soap or increase in conditioning due to formation of fatty alcohols (similar to cetyl alcohol). Because of too much uncertainty and not much of an obvious contribution, I wouldn't add it.
    Emulsifying wax: Do you have the INCI names for your product? Emulsifying wax can be a lot of things. Given your high pH, even normal beeswax will turn into emulsifying wax ;) .
    Propylene glycol: Why 2.5%? What good does that do? Reminds me a bit of homoeopathy.
  • @Gunther, this is very interesting! I had what was called ‘keratin treatment’ when was traveling (to a second world country actually where I suspect there’s no regulation at all). It was cheap, so I didn’t think twice to be honest. Although I am somewhat experienced in consumer cosmetics (moisturizers, conditioners, shampoo, some color etc) I have no idea how professional hair products (hair dye, relaxers) are made. I am very curious what was it. They applied that solution on my hair and then dried it and straightened with a flat iron. My eyes were burning and that solution really stinks! I had the treatment in March and it still works..
  • Actually I just checked, there are many salons in London who are offering ‘keratin treatment’. I guess it’s just a buzzword (as we see very often in cosmetics world). Maybe they just use an alkaline relaxer as the one above?
  • PharmaPharma Member, Pharmacist
    @ngarayeva001 If it stinks real bad, then it was likely thioglycolate.
  • Thanks so much for the contribution @Gunther , @sven , @ngarayeva001 and @Pharma . I guess I still have to return to the drawing board. I appreciate you all. I learned a lot from the contribution. 
  • Bill_TogeBill_Toge Member, Professional Chemist
    edited August 20
    @ngarayeva001 what did it smell of?
    if it smelt of rotten eggs, it was most likely thioglycolate; if it had a very harsh, sterile smell, it was more likely to be formaldehyde-based
    the London salons are likely to be using products containing functionalised keratin derivatives - Croda sell many raw materials for this purpose
    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
  • Definitely not rotten eggs. A repulsive harsh ‘chemical’ smell. It was so bad that they opened the door when were drying my hair. It’s a pity because the result was very impressive. But I would prefer not to risk again.
  • Definitely not rotten eggs. A repulsive harsh ‘chemical’ smell. It was so bad that they opened the door when were drying my hair. It’s a pity because the result was very impressive. But I would prefer not to risk again.
    Did it smell like perm?
    If so, then it was thioglycolate based.
  • Bill_TogeBill_Toge Member, Professional Chemist
    @ngarayeva001 sounds like it was formaldehyde-based - a year or two ago, Trading Standards impounded a load of hair straightening products imported from Brazil because they released large amounts of formaldehyde in use
    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
  • Thank you @Bill_Toge. It's important for me to know this. I am usually curious about all personal care products even if I don't make them (for example I don't make deodorants but at least have an idea what's in it) but I never explored professional hair care because it's too "serious" for a non chemist. I guess I won't get cancer from one treatment, but I will learn my lesson and think before getting hair straightening done in shady places :)
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