DIY Hair Shampoo but make scalp itchy

Hi all,

I am Ronald from Indonesia. I am making DIY shampoo as I want to have a sulphate free shampoo. Almost all shampoo in Indonesia has sulphate and probably the reason to my hair loss problem.

This is my formula that I tried:
10% Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate
10% CAPB
15% Lauryl Glucoside
7% Dimethiconol
2% Glycerine
1% Tea Tree Oil
1% Panthenol
2% Aculyn22 or Acrylates/Steareth-20 Methacrylate Copolymer (HASE Polymer)
0.1% Kathon CG / CMIT
balance water.

When i used it, my scalp got itchy. So i tried to make without Tea Tree Oil. but still itchy. Also the bubble days to disappear from shampoo. There will be 2 layers liquid if more than 2 weeks (separated automatically).

My questions are:
1. Is it possible that I was not too clean or aseptic enough when making the shampoo?
2. Is it because of the CMIT causing irritation on scalp?
3. Is it because there is something wrong with the formula overall?
4. Should I use polysorbate 20 to make sure the shampoo keep homogeneous form? Or too much water on the formula?

I am still new so hopefully can have some suggestions from new friends on this web :)



  • @Ronal Sodium cocoyl isethionate dont go well in liquid formulation even at a very low concentration, leave alone 10%. This will sediment overtime.

    Tea tree oil 1% is too high. 

    I am also not sure about 7% dimethiconol. Its too high. May be you can add a polyquat and reduce dimethinocol. 

    Lauryl glucoside at15% will not do much (at least for me). You can use it in a combination with anionic or amino acid based surfactants.. it will give you better foam and cleaning. 

    I personally dont get the use of glycerin in shampoo. It'll just wash off. If you are looking for moisturizers, I have found 'Lamesoft PO 65' to work really well.

    *Still new to the field. Correct me if I'm wrong*

  • PerryPerry Administrator, Professional Chemist
    Glycerin will also kill your foam. There is no reason to use it.
    Panthenol isn't doing much in your formula either. 1% is way too high. It's a claims ingredient.

    You didn't give the % Activity of the surfactants so it's difficult to know if it is too high.  But 35% surfactant is too high and could cause the itching.

    7% Dimethiconol is much higher than companies would use. It is also going to kill your foam. You don't need more than 1%.

    I'll finish by saying that it's unlikely that Sulfate shampoos were causing your hair to fall out. There is no evidence that they  do that.
  • BelassiBelassi Member, PCF student
    edited September 2020
    0.1% Kathon CG / CMIT
    THIS is the reason. Horrible poisonous preservative is giving you A.D. (Atopic Dermatitis). Yet another example of why this preservative should be banned. And it is why your hair is falling out. Nothing to do with sulphates.
    Cosmetic Brand Creation. Concept to name to IMPI search to logo and brand registration. In-house graphic design inc. Pantone specs. Cosmetic label and box design & graphics.
  • thanks a lot for your comments and suggestions :smile:
    @Belassi , I am thinking to change it to phenoxyethanol or parabens. from literature, parabens is not so dangerous as long the dosage is correct. What do you think?
    @Padmavathi @Perry noted, i will remove gly. for conditioner, what kind of PQ should I use? 2% PQ 7 or 1% PQ 10? or I heard BTMS is good but cationic?

    any recommendation for anionic surfactant to replace Isethionate?
  • @Perry, SCI is 80% active, CAPB is 30%, Glucoside is 50%. Total active surfactant content on the formula is around 20% (from tot 35%). :blush:
  • @Ronal I have used 1-1.5% PQ 7 and 0.5% PQ 10 together. 
  • BelassiBelassi Member, PCF student
    Parabens are non-sensitising, broad spectrum, and effective in low concentrations. A good choice. Do you have sodium benzoate available? I just keep the pH to 4.7-4.9 and use 0.4% sodium benzoate. 
    Cosmetic Brand Creation. Concept to name to IMPI search to logo and brand registration. In-house graphic design inc. Pantone specs. Cosmetic label and box design & graphics.
  • @Padmavathi thanks for your input. I have tried PQ7 but not satisfied, I will try combine it with PQ10 😁
    @Belassi sodium benzoat is easy to find in here. Thanks for your input ☺️
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