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Home Cosmetic Science Talk Formulating Conditioner too thick problem

  • Conditioner too thick problem

    Posted by vhogiono on January 14, 2021 at 8:06 am

    Hi, I need your advice on making my conditioner less thicker. My formula is:

    A   To 100 Water
    A   0.5 Hydroxyethyl cellulose
    A   q.s Potassium Hydroxide (to bring pH above 7 and thicken the HEC)

    B   2.0 Behentrimonium Chloride
    B   5.0 Cetearyl Alcohol
    B   2.0 Shea Butter

    C   5.0 Polyquaternium-7
    C   1.0 Dipropylene Glycol
    C   0.6 Fragrance oil
    C   0.5 DMDM Hydantoin
    C   0.5 Potassium Sorbate

    D  q.s pH adjuster (to 4.0-4.5)

    The result is very thick. It is really difficult to pour into the bottle. Even when I flipped the bottle and wait for a day, it won’t go down. I tried the pump bottle as well, and the pump won’t work, because the consistency is too thick, it won’t fill the gap/hole where the parts has been taken out by the pump. I even added Dipropylene glycol hoping for the thinning effect, but it won’t work either. I’m looking for more like butter consistency which can be pumped from bottle.

    1. Should I remove Hydroxyethyl cellulose? I’m afraid it will affect stability as this is the only rheology modifier in my formula. (Actually i tried remove this already, but its still too thick).

    2. How do you guys bottle a conditioner? I looked at some youtube videos, they pour it while it is molten. But with this method I cannot adjust the pH and give the heat-sensitive ingredients. (because adjusting pH must wait till 25C room temperature).

    3. Do any of you ever use PPG20 methyl glucose ether? Is this good for conditioner?

    Thank you guys, I really have no luck in making conditioner. I really feel there’s something wrong that I did not notice until now. Sorry for the long and many questions I have.

    Warm regards,

    OldPerry replied 2 years, 4 months ago 5 Members · 11 Replies
  • 11 Replies
  • Benz3ne

    January 14, 2021 at 8:29 am

    What viscosity hydroxyethyl cellulose have you got? There are a variety of viscosities available for it, same goes for hydroxypropyl methylcellulose. Find that bit out as it’s easy to change it out or reduce as necessary. 

  • crillz

    January 14, 2021 at 9:28 am

    Just take a percent or 2 of the cetearyl alcohol out?

  • vhogiono

    January 14, 2021 at 5:37 pm

    @Benz3ne thank you. Mine is Natrosol HBR 250. I have tried to remove this completely but still it is too thick.
    @crillz according theory, behentrimonium chloride is cationic which mean it can irritate quite easily. and cetearyl alcohol suppose to counter that irritancy. anyway i will try to make it 1-2% then.

    Thanks guys

  • Abdullah

    January 15, 2021 at 6:55 am

    %3 Cetearyl Alcohol
    Remove shea butter 

    You are applying it to hair not scalp and then it is rinsed. So don’t wory about irritation.

  • vhogiono

    January 16, 2021 at 9:39 am

    @Abdullah Thank you!, yes I tried to make the cetearyl alcohol into 2% only and remove shea butter. It feels less thick. 

    Now I’m doing the freeze-thaw cycle for stability testing. Usually on cycle 2-3 the water always separates. Hope this time it works, so I can have a simple and stable conditioner formula.

    Will update you guys if the formula works and stable

  • crillz

    January 17, 2021 at 2:57 am

    I norm work on 3 percent cetearyl

  • vhogiono

    January 19, 2021 at 9:10 am

    @crillz I tried 2% cetearyl and it seems much better for the thickness. Do you have any idea which is better between cetearyl and cetyl alcohol for conditioner? 

  • crillz

    January 22, 2021 at 5:34 am

    vhogiono said:

    @crillz I tried 2% cetearyl and it seems much better for the thickness. Do you have any idea which is better between cetearyl and cetyl alcohol for conditioner? 

    Not sure but we use 3% cetyl and it’s fine.

  • OldPerry

    Professional Chemist / Formulator
    January 22, 2021 at 4:36 pm

    5% Polyquat 7!!?  Woah!  Probably don’t need more than 1%

    But this would be a great opportunity to do a knockout experiment

  • vhogiono

    January 23, 2021 at 1:20 pm

    @Perry Actually I’m following a free recipe from where I studied at in IPCS which i believe it have been tested. (Thats why it is published for all).

    I do not change the formula too much, because I’m afraid it won’t function as it supposed to.

    But I’m suspecting there is a misunderstanding here (Maybe I got it wrong). Usually at IPCS they always write the formula using trademark. For this recipe, they just write it 5% polyquarternium-7. 

    After I do little research, it seems the most commonly available polyquarternium-7 is in liquid form (which the active content is only around 9%). (My polyquat-7 in my lab is also liquid).
    In this case, if we add 5% of this polyquat-7, it means we only add an active content of 0.45% which is in your range (not more than 1%).

    What do you think? I never play with other polyquat (not even polyquat-10) because of the availability in my region.

    Thanks so much Perry  

  • OldPerry

    Professional Chemist / Formulator
    January 23, 2021 at 8:29 pm

    @vhogiono - Yes, that would make more sense. 0.45% “active” Polyquaternium 7 is much more reasonable than 5% “active” PQ7