Non-surfactant foaming agent?

ajw000ajw000 Member
edited December 2020 in Formulating
I'm looking for a natural foaming/lathering agent that is not a surfactant. This will be used for a 100% natural hair conditioner. 



  • PharmaPharma Member, Pharmacist
    The very definition of a foaming agent is based on reduced surface tension and by definition, anything which reduces surface tension is a surfactant. Even if you use foaming proteins or plant extracts from organic farming or whatever, the active principles therein are automatically surfactants.
  • ajw000ajw000 Member
    edited December 2020

    Okay, I think I get that now. Maybe it is better to state my end goal and get feedback on what would be suggested. 

    Currently I have a conditioner that performs more like a "cream rinse". When you put it in your hair it almost disappears and you can't tell if it is still in your hair while you are massaging it into your scalp/hair. 

    How can I increase the "presence" of the product during application without using surfactants that strip away all of the conditioning ingredients of the conditioner?  *while maintaining 100% natural claim*
  • PharmaPharma Member, Pharmacist
    Did you try adding/increasing fatty alcohols?
  • Yes

    Stearyl Alcohol 9.44%

    Behenyl Alcohol 7.55%
  • @pharma, any suggestions?
  • BelassiBelassi Member, PCF student
    Without listing the formula we cannot help.
    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.
  • 64.28 % Water
    9.44 % Stearyl Alcohol
    7.55% Behenyl Alcohol
    9.43% Oils
    .75% Guar gum
    .94% Marshmallow root powder
    Rest: Preservative, fragrance, proteins
  • chemicalmattchemicalmatt Member, Professional Chemist
    @ajw000 If you want a foaming conditioner you will need to add a cationic surfactant as a trade-off. CETAC or StearAC at 2.00% w/w will foam enough to show up as  foam on the hair.  You'll have an actual emulsion too, since I can't see how the one you have stays together for long.

  • @chemicalmatt I'm still learning in this area, I was trying to stay away from surfactants as they are what strip the oils in the conditioner away from the hair. Am I correct in that understanding? 

    I will have to look into emulsifiers and stability testing as well. 
  • @Chemicalmatt What about Glyceryl Stearate to emulsify? Can that be labeled as natural? Most of what I am finding says yes. 
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