Shampoo formula seperating - PLEASE HELP!!

Hi everyone,

I have been trying to formula a cream shampoo for many months now and I am having a lot of trouble with seperation. I have finally found a combination of surfactants that foam really nicely but don't dry my hair out so ideally, I would like someone to tell me what is wrong with my formula so I am able to tweak it, rather than start from scratch. Here is is:

Phase A:
Distilled water - 37%
Cocoamidopropyl Betaine - 37%
Decyl Glucoside - 4%
Glycerine - 3%
Pro vitamin B5 - 1%

Phase B:
Btms 25 - 5%
Argan oil - 4%
Cetyl alcohol - 2.5%
Guar gum - 1.5%

Phase C:
Wheat protein - 1%
Benzyl alcohol & dehydroacetic acid - 1%
Vitamin E oil - 1%
Essential Oils (Lavender, Geranium, may chang, red mandarin, rosemary, lemon and Cypress) - 2%

I am heating phase A and B, adding phase A to B and then stick blending. Once cooled, I add phase C and stick blend once more. After 24 hours I start to get water sitting on the bottom of the formula.

Any help would be so very very much appreciated. 

Comments

  • Bill_TogeBill_Toge Member, Professional Chemist
    at pHs above around 4, CAPB carries a negative charge as well as a positive one; it's most likely your BTMS is forming a compound with the CAPB, causing separation
    also, benzyl alcohol is poorly water-soluble, even in surfactant systems
    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
  • KatieWKatieW Member
    OK if I substitute the Benzly Alcohol for Sodium Benzoate/Potassium Sorbate that should work better?

    Ideally I don't want to substitute the Btms 25 due to it's conditioning effect it has on my hair. Is there anything else I can do to stabilise the formula?

    Thanks so much for your help! 
  • KatieW said:
    OK if I substitute the Benzly Alcohol for Sodium Benzoate/Potassium Sorbate that should work better?

    Ideally I don't want to substitute the Btms 25 due to it's conditioning effect it has on my hair. Is there anything else I can do to stabilise the formula?

    Thanks so much for your help! 
    BTMS's conditioning effects come from its cationic (positive) charge. Because of the positive charge, it is incompatible with anything anionic, or negatively charged. 

    Cocamidopropyl betaine is amphoteric, which means its charge may be positive, negative, or both depending on the pH. As Bill mentioned, this is likely why your shampoo is separating. 

    If you want to keep the conditioning agents, the only way to make it stable is to remove CAPB and replace the preservatives like you mentioned. 

    You may wish to replace the CAPB with a compatible surfactant, such as lauryl glucoside. 
  • PerryPerry Administrator, Professional Chemist
    And for a shampoo, you should really reduce the Argan oil. 4% is way too much!  It's simply a claims ingredient that gets washed down the drain. It will have no benefit for hair in a shampoo. Rather, it reduces foam, reduces viscosity, could add to the cause of separation and interferes with cleaning ability. It's generally not a good idea to add oils to a shampoo formula.
  • ozgirlozgirl Member, PCF student
    edited July 2021
    This looks for like a conditioner formulation with a bit of surfactant thrown in so it is no wonder you are having issues.
    Are you trying to create a cleansing conditioner or an opaque/creamy/pearlescent looking shampoo?
    Here are some starting formulations that might be of interest.


  • KatieWKatieW Member
    Thank you all so much for your wise words!! This is so helpful.

    I was trying to create a conditioning shampoo as ordinary shampoos leave my hair so dry.

    OK understood re. the argan oil and I shall remove this then if it's totally pointless.

    It's really annoying about the CAPB as the ASM % is quite low for this formula yet the foaming is brilliant! Do you think Lauryl Glucoside will be just as good in terms of foam and will I need to heat this in a seperate phase to the BTMS/cetyl alcohol and the water phases as I understand this is more like a paste?

    Thanks again so much for your time, I really appreciate it. 
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