Home Cosmetic Science Talk Formulating Biodegradable Rinse-Off Conditioner

  • Biodegradable Rinse-Off Conditioner

    Posted by Kedree on January 15, 2024 at 9:03 pm

    I recently began my formulating journey by reading “Conditioning Agents for Hair and Skin.” Making a conditioner to suit my personal needs would be the perfect start as hair is assumedly less complex than skin and conditioning seems easier than shampooing (probably not true looking back). My product goal is to make a simple and biodegradable rinse-off conditioner that mildly repairs the hair. Product goals include lots of slip, decent anti-static, great shine, and good wet performance (I do not dry brush). I do not care much for heat treatment, dry performance, and viscosity concerns. I am not a customer that needs to be sold to, if I know it works I am satisfied. I am a guy with medium/short length hair (I can pull the front to my nose is that medium?) that is bleached (once again I am not seeking to particularly target this feature). UV protection is always a plus.

    I have a few questions about my chosen set of desired ingredients so far:
    Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride (Conditioning) 0.5-1.5%
    1,3-Butylene Glycol (Humectant/Fragrance solubilizer) 1-10%??
    Hydrolyzed Oat Protein (Shine/Volumizer) 1-2%
    LexFeel NX? (Slip/Silicone Replacement) 0.5-2%
    Citrus or Mint Oil (Fragrance)

    1. For my primary conditioning agent, I plan to use Cationic Guar Gum as it stands out the most in literature and meets my desires (I plan on clarifying once a month so deposition build-up is not a concern I hope). I have heard on this forum that it can be difficult to use, how so?
    2. I can’t help but feel like I am completely missing an important part of a rinse-off conditioner, have I covered all the bases? Am I supposed to have more cationic polymers/surfactants? Fatty Alcohols? What should I add?
    3. I really like soft, bouncy hair that glides right through the hand, it’s fun, I have considered bamboo extract as a silicone replacement as well. What is the most effective in this situation ignoring cost? Is jojoba oil a consideration as well?
    4. Are there any resources for the actual synthesis of GHTC-based conditioners? I have no idea where to start making the product once I finish the formulation.
    5. Should I give any credence to any of the extra additives like B5 or histidine, it’s all going to get washed out in this case right?
    6. I know it’s my first formulation but dropping the constraint of entirely biodegradable feels like losing, surely a million others of others have made a formulation with the desired results simply without the constraint.
    7. (Less important) What could I add to this system to add UV protection (235 - 400nm right?) or is that a fool’s errand for rinse-offs/biodegradability?

    Thank you so much for reading! It was a long post, I am not great at keeping things short and I have lots to learn! I am a physics major, this is just a fun hobby for me right now, I welcome any level of rigor concerning chemistry/physics. As a side note, this all started with me using INCI decoder while shopping at Walmart for a new conditioner, I settled on Pantene Nutrient Blends PRO-V hair volume multiplier with bamboo conditioner (that’s a mouthful) as it was the least bad it seemed. I really enjoy it! My only problem is my hair is a little unruly now and likes to flop around (maybe too much slip?! there could be a million reasons) but if feels awesome, it’s super soft!

    PhilGeis replied 1 month, 2 weeks ago 3 Members · 3 Replies
  • 3 Replies
  • Kedree

    Member
    January 15, 2024 at 9:08 pm

    Oh no I forgot to add the part about LexFeel! Should I use N100 or N350 in this case? What would the pros and cons be for either? It seems like 100 would provide more slip and 350 would be less hair care focused and more color care? Lost me on that one.

  • camel

    Member
    January 16, 2024 at 4:11 am

    …and conditioning seems easier than shampooing

    I think making a shampoo is easier and less complex than making a conditioner.

    …1,3-Butylene Glycol (Humectant/Fragrance solubilizer) 1-10%??

    I would start at 1%; 10% seems rather high. You don’t necessarily need a fragrance solubilizer in an emulsified product.

    For my primary conditioning agent, I plan to use Cationic Guar Gum…

    Cationic Guar Gum is more of a secondary conditioning agent (although I suppose it could be considered the primary in a conditioning shampoo). The usage rate is typically between 0.1-0.3%.

    I can’t help but feel like I am completely missing an important part of a rinse-off conditioner…

    Yes, you are missing the cationic surfactants and fatty alcohols. In the Pantene conditioner you mentioned, they are using a combination of Stearamidopropyl Dimethylamine (technically a fatty amine) and Dicetyldimonium Chloride (a cationic surfactant/quaternary ammonium compound) as the primary conditioning agents. They are also using a combination of stearyl alcohol and cetyl alcohol as their fatty alcohols.

    I have considered bamboo extract as a silicone replacement as well. What is the most effective in this situation ignoring cost? Is jojoba oil a consideration as well?

    I don’t believe either of those ingredients will give you the results of silicones (very few, if any, will). If you want to add jojoba oil or other plant/seed oils, i would recommend keeping it between 0-2% total. For a closer silicone alternative, I think you will want to try LexFeel N350. I have never used it before but I’ve seen it talked about on here. I have used Plantasens Olive LD in my conditioners at 1-2% and had good results with that.

    Should I give any credence to any of the extra additives like B5 or histidine, it’s all going to get washed out in this case right?

    From what I’ve gathered, these are all mostly being rinsed down the drain. It may be possible to formulate in a way that allows greater deposition of B5 on the hair in a rinse-off product, but the difference is probably not noticable anyway.

    …this is just a fun hobby for me right now, I welcome any level of rigor concerning chemistry/physics.

    It is for me as well, so keep in mind that I am not a professional and most of my formulating knowledge has come from reading the posts of the actual experts on here (I recommend reading as many old threads on here as possible). Wishing you success and conditioned hair!

  • PhilGeis

    Member
    January 17, 2024 at 6:02 am

    On what data are you claiming biodegradability?

Log in to reply.