Mystery of water based pomades - AMA (ask me anything)

So, back when I started formulating my first waterbased wax (with ceteareth) I remember the shear amount of misguidance and wrong steps I took into formulating something that actually worked. The ideal waterbased pomade should in my opinion:
-provide medium to strong hold, 
-no staining or white residue on hair after at least 8 to 12h after application,
-formula easy enough to reproduce in small, but more importantly in large batches, and
-low enough melting point so you can actually pour that thing into containers

As the chemistry of using polyoxyethylene emulgators in such products tends to be quite complex, I wanted to provide some help to beginners who area in the process of learning the mystery of making good hair pomade.
I have been able to reproduce with some adequate success a few waterbased formulas, so to any of you guys (and girl) wanting help, ASK ME ANYTHING. :) 

Comments

  • chemicalmattchemicalmatt Member, Professional Chemist
    Have you tried cutting the Ceteareth-25 with Beheneth-25 yet? A better mousetrap can be made there.
  • @chemicalmatt Suprisingly I actually use Ceteareth-20 as it's not only less expensive compared to - 25 but in my opinion easier to work out, easier to formulate and it gives you a little bit more time for the product to be put into jars with less residue on hair (tested). 
    Beheneth on other hand, well. As it has higher melting point I am concerned about the solidification point and more importantly the residue that kind of product would leave on hair. Is there any meaningful advantage of behenyl alcohol compared to cetyl (or stearyl) alcohol? Also, these kind of products are usually less expensive (ranging from 5 to 10 dollars retail price) so I guess having such an expensive ingredient (here at least for beheneth) switched with something less expensive (ceteareth) would have a huge impact in price, so who could know...

    Also, in almost 2 years of formulating never have I stumbled upon any formulation with beheneth? Why is that so? 
  • On the other hand, Acrylates/Beheneth-25 polymer sound suprisingly interesting to use... ;) 
  • So, back when I started formulating my first waterbased wax (with ceteareth) I remember the shear amount of misguidance and wrong steps I took into formulating something that actually worked. The ideal waterbased pomade should in my opinion:
    -provide medium to strong hold, 
    -no staining or white residue on hair after at least 8 to 12h after application,
    -formula easy enough to reproduce in small, but more importantly in large batches, and
    -low enough melting point so you can actually pour that thing into containers

    As the chemistry of using polyoxyethylene emulgators in such products tends to be quite complex, I wanted to provide some help to beginners who area in the process of learning the mystery of making good hair pomade.
    I have been able to reproduce with some adequate success a few waterbased formulas, so to any of you guys (and girl) wanting help, ASK ME ANYTHING. :) 

  • Hi, 
    This is Kenny from Kendo LLc, Buford, GA. USA
    How can I contact you?
    We are developing a new product with CS-20 so ...
    My email kenny@kendollc.com
  • Hi.
    You can contact me via armen.darky@gmail.com if you want. 
  • @Svemirska_baklava Hi, i am wondering you can help me with my water based pomade. I am using Ceteareth-25 and find that when i combine my water and oil phase then fragrance and preservative, all the stirring produces bubbles. Even when its hot,  I cant remove the bubbles. I am only testing at this moment so I am only preparing 100g at a time. Besides using a vacuum, how can I remove the bubbles before pouring into containers?
  • Use simethicone, low speed mixing and avoid aeration
  • Which fixatives have you worked with? Would like a reference for a polymer that will not completely harden the hair like a typical gel, yet will give a flexible hold. Also humidity resistant is what I’m currently after.

     Our clients have been asking for a product that will hold damp hair as soon as product is applied. Most fixatives I’ve used perform best with dry to slightly dry hair.

     If hair is too damp the product thins out leaving flyaways until water evaporates enough to allow holding of the fixative.

     What would you suggest for damp hair?

    I currently use a small amount of Ceteareth 30 in our formula mixed with Ceteareth 20 as the base to give it the firm piling effect when scraped with the back of a finger nail. Much like Suavecito if you have played with that brand. 

    Simethicone- any leads on ordering small amounts to test?
  • At the moment I have tested Fixate Freestyle but only on dry hair. The hold is not too good because I have used it at a lower percentage. if the percentage increases, the hold should get better. 

    I see a lot of pomades in the market using Ceteareth-25 so thats what I am using. Maybe I need to try Ceteareth 30 or 20. 

    I do not have Simethicone, would other types of silicon have the same effect?

  • @Dirtnap1 Well, in my latest attempts I would say two ingredients can do be of use in application you wanted. First of them would probably be VP/VA copolymer, as it is quite resistant to humidity. The other one would be PVP, preferably in 3 to 5% range but I need to say that the humidity resistent part tends to be a common problem with using PVP only. What I used in regard of providing the feel you asked is the up mentioned supstance with Saboflaw sat (inci: acrylate taurate copolymers) in ratio of 1:10 or 1:8. It did the job quite nice. Also, PVP-K90 can provide that feel also, so it's up to you to experiment really. Depending on the product you can pretty much use more than 100 fixative agents currently on the market.
    Also, adding a little bit of peg-8 beeswax can improve the product quite nicely, as well as setting that humectant ratio just right. 
  • @annyeap Well, to that problem:
    -add the oil phase into water phase slowly
    -do not mix at speeds more than 150-300rpm (depends of batch size)
    -vacuum pump would help immensely
    -add silicon oil such as dimetikon, simetikon, cyclomethicone and such. They reduce the forming of bubbles
    -after mixing the phases and emulsifying the product, remove excess bubbles from the top of the batch
    -after pouring and waiting for the pomade to set spray with ethanol all of your products (this is pretty much life changing). The ethanol reduces the surface tension of formed bubbles and as such helps them dissipate. 
  • @Svemirska_baklava thanks for your reply. I will try your suggestions and see what works. I only have one question regarding the silicon oil, currrently i am adding PEG-12 Dimethicone, I am wondering if it'll work to reduce the bubbles. The reason i am using this is because it is more water soluble because my pomade is transparent. I wonder if it'll turn blue if i add dimethicone/cyclomethicome etc

  • Bill_TogeBill_Toge Member, Professional Chemist
    @Svemirska_baklava nice to see another hot-fill styling product veteran on here!
    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
  • PEG-7 Glyceryl Cocoate use up to 5-20% in clear pomade formulation, but what's the main function of it?
    If It can thicken the pomade, what is the thicken mechanism?
  • VladVlad Member
    @Svemirska_baklava Hello, I am making water-based pomade, can I write to your mail to clarify some questions about the manufacture?
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