Home Cosmetic Science Talk Formulating Clay Pomade Help

  • Clay Pomade Help

    Posted by natzam44 on November 17, 2017 at 2:28 am

    Hello everyone,
    My name is Nathaniel, I am a teenager and I have been developing hair products for just over a year now. Over the past year, I have made many hair products successfully. The only product that I have not been able to make is a hair clay (clay pomade). I have been having a hard time getting the right consistency while not compromising on the hold or finish of the product.

    The formula I am currently working with is based on the ingredients list for Arcadian Clay Pomade. 

    The ingredients of Arcadian Clay Pomade are as follows:
    Water (Aqua), Kaolin Clay, Microcrystalline Wax, PEG-7 Glyceryl Cocoate, Vegetable Glycerin, Sea Clay, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Cetyl Alcohol, Stearyl Alcohol, Cocoa Seed Butter (Theobroma Cacao), Stearic Acid, Fragrance, HoWood (Cinnamomum Camphora), Vitamin E (Tocopherol), Cypress Oil (Cupressus Sempervirens), Phenoxyethanol, Potassium Sorbate

    Arcadian’s Clay Pomade offers a Firm hold with a matte finish while being a creamy product which is easy to scoop out of the jar and spreads well in the hands.

    Arcadian’s Clay Pomade

    I have tried to replicate this formula using the ingredients I have at my disposal which are:
    Soy Wax
    Grapeseed Oil
    Sunflower Oil
    Coconut Oil
    Vitamin E Oil
    Vegetable Glycerin
    Shea Butter
    Bentonite Clay
    Euxyl PE 9010
    Emulsifying Wax NF

    Using these ingredients I have come up with the following formula:

    Water 54%
    Bentonite 12%
    Beeswax 9%
    Emulsifying Wax NF 9%
    Soy Wax 7%
    Grapeseed Oil 4%
    Shea Butter 2%
    Vegetable Glycerin 1%
    Euxyl PE 9010 1%
    Fragrance 0.5%
    Vitamin E Oil 0.5%

    This formula produces a product which has a firm hold and a matte finish, however, the consistency is grainy and the product turns out quite thick despite the amount of water present in the formula.

    My clay product.

    Ideally, I would like my product to turn out like Arcadian’s Clay Pomade (creamy, light and easy to scoop). My question is whether or not this is possible to do with the ingredients I have at my disposal? If I did achieve this consistency, would the hold and/or finish have to be sacrificed?  

    I have considered trying to add more oil to the formula to try to smooth it out, however, I don’t want the product to be too oily and I would like the product to wash out of the hair nicely if that is possible.

    Any suggestions or tips would be greatly appreciated.


    Chopsbarbershop replied 6 months ago 11 Members · 16 Replies
  • 16 Replies
  • ozgirl

    November 17, 2017 at 3:17 am

    I would recommend trying to get some Kaolin clay as this is main ingredient (other than water) in the formula you are trying to replicate.

    I haven’t tried making this type of product but I seem to recall that in
    clay mask formulas that the bentonite type clays are only used at
    around 5% or less and the Kaolin is used in much higher amounts
    (10-30%). Bentonite swells more/absorbs more water when compared with Kaolin so it will produce a thicker product. 

    You could also try reducing the amount of bentonite clay used if you can’t get Kaolin.

    Others may have more suggestions.

    Hope this helps :)

  • natzam44

    November 17, 2017 at 3:49 am

    Thanks for the response @ozgirl 

    That could be possible but in most clays (this one is an exception) bentonite is the primary clay used. I might look into getting Kaolin or use a substitute like corn starch or arrowroot powder to get the finish I want.

  • belassi

    November 17, 2017 at 5:10 am

    Bentonite is absolutely the wrong clay to use. It is not only coarse grained but also very alkaline and will ruin the hair. Kaolin is the one to use.

  • Lainee

    November 17, 2017 at 7:48 am

    Our Pomades here in my country used Kaolin. Kaolin clays are much better. 

  • justa_pinch

    August 30, 2018 at 6:18 pm

    @natzam44 are you still working on your recipe?

  • KingRoland78

    November 15, 2018 at 5:29 pm

    @natzam44 Arcadian Clay uses CreamMaker which in my opinion makes the biggest difference in this product.  INCI is Behentrimonium methosulfate, cetearyl alcohol.  Some companies have it branded as BTMS-25.  It gives the product that creamy consistency.  Without it you’d be making an entirely different product.  It’s also the way they stir their mixture.  They don’t use a little cheap hand blender, they use an industrial high shear mixer, which really gives that creamy consistency.  You can use a drill and attached a mud mixer to get the same results.  

  • KingRoland78

    November 23, 2018 at 10:01 pm

    @natzam44  @justa_pinch upadte: I’m replicating this formula today.  I will let you all know how it turns out.  Side note: they do not use any beeswax, carnauba wax or any other “hard” wax.  Since the clay is at the top, that ingredient in itself provides hold.  The microcrystalline wax is petro based and probably adds to the creamy texture and hold.  Think about this formula.  Water based with clay, petro-based wax, CreamMaker, thickeners stearic acid, cetyl alcohol.  Should be Very creamy!!

  • justa_pinch

    November 26, 2018 at 8:19 pm

    @KingRoland78 I’m confused, in the ingredients list for Arcadian above it doesn’t list the CreamMaker does it?

  • David

    November 26, 2018 at 9:37 pm

    When replicating a formula always start with the same ingredients. You can’t make chicken soup using porc. You can however create something new which may be more interesting!

  • justa_pinch

    November 28, 2018 at 2:36 am

    @David that’s a good way to look at it, lol! Are you familiar with the CreamMaker noted above?

  • KingRoland78

    November 30, 2018 at 7:52 pm

    @justa_pinch Arcadian Clay re-formulated their Clay Pomade.  They don’t list “Cream-Maker” because it is a brand name, they list the INCI name which is Behentrimonium Methosulfate (and) Cetearyl Alcohol.  Many companies call it different names (marketing purposes).  It’s also called BTMS-25, but the company called “Making Cosmetics” brands it as  CreamMaker® CAT
    .  Below is the updated ingredient list for Arcadian’s Clay Pomade.  The first two ingredients is just water with aloe and eucalyptus extracts.  I actually just finished making a copy of this formula.  Came out VERY similar.  The only issue I have is the mixing.  I don’t have the equipment Arcadian has so I can only use a stick blender and my drill.  During the mixing I incorporated too much air.  At the first scoop, you feel that frothy consistency, but then once I emusify it in my hands it feels amazing.  Gonna try again this weekend.  

    Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Eucalyptus Globulus Flower Water, Microcrystalline Wax, Kaolin, PEG-7 Glyceryl Cocoate, Sea Clay, Glycerin, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Behentrimonium Methosulfate (and) Cetearyl Alcohol, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Cetyl Alcohol, Stearic Acid, Silica, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter, Tocopherol, Phenoxyethanol, Citrus Aurantifolia (Lime) Oil, Pinus Nigra (Black Pine) Oil, Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Fruit Oil, Pogostemon Cablin (Patchouli) Oil, Juniperus Communis (Juniper Berry) Fruit Oil, Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Leaf Oil, Picea Mariana (Black Spruce) Oil, Canarium Luzonicum (Elemi) Oil, Cedrus Deodora (Cedarwood) Bark Oil, Melaleuca Leucadendron Viridiflora (Niaouli) Oil, Potassium Sorbate

  • justa_pinch

    December 3, 2018 at 1:34 pm

    @KingRoland78 I see, I had actually ran across that CreamMaker on the Making Cosmetics website awhile back. At the time I wasn’t interested because I felt like it was a basic pomade base foundation and that you just added your own little tweaks and scent to it. I should have read into what it was exactly. So you got some and like it so far?

    Also, I have been battling that frothiness on the top level. But this past weekend I made sure to blend my water phase really well and have it at 170F when I added it to my oil phase. With doing that I actually didn’t have the frothiness when I poured. Unfortunately though it was on the dry side and doesn’t spread well when rubbing in hands.

  • Fekher

    January 3, 2019 at 9:59 pm

    @Aldyppratama take a look

  • vjay

    January 4, 2019 at 12:21 pm

    I made the same formulation as you but with a different ingredient and my formulation came fine.

    After completion of the batch, you need to use citric acid and reduce pH up to 6.0.

  • BeardlyGentlemen

    January 8, 2019 at 10:46 am

    @vjay What other ingredient did you use in your formula, and why add citric acid?

  • Chopsbarbershop

    December 18, 2023 at 9:22 am

    I just want to hop in here real quick and say bentonite is NOT the clay you want to use. Kaolin or cornstarch work best in a hair clay.

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