Home Cosmetic Science Talk Formulating Clear Shampoo using Oils

  • Clear Shampoo using Oils

    Posted by samf on July 17, 2014 at 6:16 am

    I’m trying to create a clear shampoo and experimenting with using carrier oils instead of using quats. I’ve managed to work out the approx HLB value (11.5) so know which emulsifiers I should be looking to use.  However is the use of the correct emulsifier simply ensure the shampoo and oil will not separate and if so, will increasing the ratio of emulsifier to oils to give me a clear product?

    OldPerry replied 9 years, 12 months ago 6 Members · 8 Replies
  • 8 Replies
  • DavidW

    July 18, 2014 at 3:22 pm

    You never know what will end up clear till you try.  Experiment with the emulsifiers and you will learn a great deal.

    However if you try to put too much oil into a shampoo, it may start off thick and a few weeks later you could have the consistency of water. 

  • MakingSkincare

    July 19, 2014 at 6:17 am

    You might find this helpful - http://swiftcraftymonkey.blogspot.co.uk/2010/04/which-surfactants-should-you-buy.html And she also has tutorials for shampoo.

  • heraklit

    July 20, 2014 at 3:33 pm

    How much percent oils do you want to use?

  • nasrins

    July 21, 2014 at 1:09 am

    using oil above 2% will seperate ur shampoo

  • OldPerry

    July 21, 2014 at 10:16 am

    HLB is not really an effective tool to use with charged (anionic) surfactants.  It’s really only for nonionic surfactants.

  • samf

    July 21, 2014 at 12:27 pm

    Wow thanks guys for all your comments.  I was planning to use 1.5-2% oils and it doesn’t separate when using Polysorbate 20.  I guess i’ll have to experiment but doesn’t seem likely i’ll be able to achieve a clear shampoo with the level of oils. Thanks Perry for your comment re. hlb.  Didn’t know that the hlb system didn’t apply to anionics (my formula contains 3% sodium cocoyl glutamate).

  • nasrins

    July 22, 2014 at 1:34 am

    @perry why hlb isnt effective for anionic surfactants?

  • OldPerry

    July 24, 2014 at 3:37 pm

    Because HLB does not take into account the effect of charge on the formation of micelles.  When a surfactant has a positively charged head group that is going to affect the size, shape, and distribution of the micelles.  There have been some attempts to adapt HLB to charged surfactants but it has proven too complicated.  When using HLB stick with nonionics.

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