Home Cosmetic Science Talk Formulating Conditionning shampoo

  • Conditionning shampoo

    Posted by Ayla on January 8, 2014 at 9:42 am

    Hi !

    As you know (or not) I work for a company of hair care products (we will sell body care and face care in a few month, but that’s not relevant). So, I’m used to do shampoos, conditionners, and a lot a other things. And I have done a lot of conditionning shampoos.

    But, we have a new client, from Marocco, who want a very conditionning shampoo (sulfate free). Nothing I tried was enough conditionner… And I don’t know what I could try next… I already used :
    - cetrimonium chloride
    - polyquaternium-10
    - polyquaternium-7
    - Panthenol (for me it’s more moisturing, but some says it’s conditionning too, so I tried)
    - Amodimethicone
    - dimethicone (up to 2%)
    - polyquaternium-47 (I love that one !)
    - guar gum
    And a lot of mixes of those.

    Does enyone have another idea I could try ? Some raw material you love for that ?
    Thanks a lot for helping me on that !

    Ayla replied 9 years, 9 months ago 5 Members · 22 Replies
  • 22 Replies
  • krupabrahmbhatt

    January 8, 2014 at 2:07 pm

    I would look at playing with the pH of your formula. Have you tried this? A lower pH of about 4.5 - 5.5 should give you more conditioning than a higher pH one. 

    Another thing to consider is lowering the concentration of surfactants or using milder surfactants.. 
    Hope this helps!
  • Bobzchemist

    January 8, 2014 at 3:44 pm
    I think what you’re seeing is the failure to deposit/adhere the conditioning agents to the hair strand. You will need to couple the dimethicone/amodimethicone with a deposition enhancer.

    Have you tried the cationic gums/guar, etc.?

    Also, Ashland’s N-Hance SP-100 is said to do exactly what you need http://investor.ashland.com/releasedetail.cfm?ReleaseID=689082 
  • oldperry

    January 8, 2014 at 5:37 pm

    You could also try using different surfactants that aren’t as good at cleaning.  What is the surfactant that you are using?

  • Ayla

    January 9, 2014 at 2:46 am

    Thanks everyone to help me !

    pH : I tried different pH, from 4 to 6.5. It’s better between 4 and 5,5 (as usual)
    Gum : I tried cationic guar….
    Surfactant : I use coco-glucoside and cocamidopropylbetaine. I tried Sodium lauroyl sarcosinate too.

  • Ayla

    January 9, 2014 at 2:54 am

    And I’ll ask Ashland for a sample. Thanks !

  • Gustavo

    January 15, 2014 at 5:50 am

    Hi Ayla, i’m used to conditioning shampoos. Consumers will only believe your shampoo is actual conditioning if it is white or nacré and if its viscosity is above usual (we’ve found out that Brazilian consumers preffer viscosities starting from 4500 cP.

    Complementing what @Bobzchemist mentioned, in order to deposit the conditioners to hair you need a stable micelle of surfactants and that is quite hard to obtain without SLES. I would use cationic guar and/or polyquaternium-10 (or polyquaternium-47) AND dimethicone AND amodimethicone. All of them in low concentration.
    To assure a little foam you could try using Sodium Lauroyl Sacosinate or Sodium cocoyl alalinate or Sodium C14-16 Olefin Sulfonate.
    I usually start with high concentrations of all “results-driven ingredients” (that’s how I call the ingredients used to provide the main result expected by consumers in a given formula) and once I have a positive evaluation I start to adjust their concentration (you may understand that as reducing concentration. 


    January 15, 2014 at 9:57 am

    Hi Gustavo and thanks for helping me !

    My shampoo is white and thick.
    I tryed a mix of PQ-10 + dimethicone + amidimethicone but it wasn’t enough…

    I’m currently trying the N-hance SP-100 proposed by Bobzchemist (with the silicones and polyquats I told about). I’m waiting for my client comments.

  • Gustavo

    January 16, 2014 at 6:50 am

    N-Hance is awesome. There’s also Ecosmooth 100 and Ecosmooth Satin which help the use of conditioning agents.

    But if you want more conditioning that that, try increasing Amodimethicone above 1% active matter (that would mean at leat 3% of its macroemulsion).
  • Gustavo

    January 16, 2014 at 6:51 am

    Oh! And once you’re not using SLES, try adding Behentrimonium Chloride to your formula. It suits well with sulfate free formulations. There’s a professional hair care brand that uses it.

  • Ayla

    January 16, 2014 at 10:48 am

    Thanks Gustavo ! I’ll try and let you know !

  • Anonymous

    January 17, 2014 at 3:13 pm

    Ayla, you can also try stearamidopropyl dimethylamine, it offers conditioning does not depress the foam of soaps and can detangle and the hair feels soft and clean. It is very tricky and you to need to add citric acid to formulate it. You can also try it with BTMS as an emulsifier by not a lot at least up to 1%.

    Hope that helps too.

  • Gustavo

    January 21, 2014 at 7:15 am

    Stearamidopropyl Dimethylamine is indeed a great option! And in this way there’s also behenamidopropyl dimethylamine. But I know some people have issues with recristalization after processing and during stability. 

  • Ayla

    January 22, 2014 at 2:36 am

    I don’t have any of them but I’ll ask my suppliers.

    Thanks ! (I LOVE this forum !)

  • Ayla

    January 23, 2014 at 2:48 am

    Hi everyone ! So, my client just give me feedbacks : N-hance SP-100 did the job and it’s great ! I used amodimethicone, dimethicone and polyquat-7 too.

    Thanks !!


  • Gustavo

    January 23, 2014 at 4:40 am

    That’s great! What’s the next challenge? LOL I always ask that to my coworkers when we achieve a goal.

  • Ayla

    January 23, 2014 at 5:13 am

    ;) don’t worry, my boss give me a looooot of other challenges ! (that’s what is great in this job !)

  • oldperry

    January 23, 2014 at 11:51 am

    Great!  Glad it worked for you.

  • Ayla

    February 20, 2014 at 8:38 am

    Argh !

    So, the shampo works well, but, after about 1 month at 40°C, it isn’t stable… (the shampoo is off-white and now there is a yellow transparent phase at the bottom…). My boss wants me to fix that within 2 days !!! If anybody know a magic solution…

    It’s a sulfate free thickened with PEG-120 Methyl Glucose Dioleate (with PQ7, dimethicone, amodimethicone, PQ-47 and N-Hance SP100).


  • oldperry

    February 20, 2014 at 9:26 am

    Fix a stability problem that shows up 1 month later in 2 days?  Now that’s a real challenge.

    It’s difficult to give you any suggestions without knowing what is separating.  From what you describe it could be the fragrance separating for which I’d suggest you use some kind of pre-solubilizer like Polysorbate 20 or 80 or something.  
    But without knowing more information the best advice I can give is to increase the amount of surfactant you have in the system.  It’s not great advice but it’s the best I can give based on the information I have.
  • Ayla

    February 20, 2014 at 9:40 am

    Thanks. It’s not the perfume, the phase is too big… but I’ll try PS-20 anyway.
    I’ll try some carbopol and try another one with more surfactant…

    Argh, and now, I can’t really do anything as I have no more pipette… (I asked for it 3 months ago…)…

  • Bobzchemist

    February 20, 2014 at 10:52 am

    Dimethicone and amodimethicone can be a challenge to keep stable in a shampoo. I agree with Perry’s suggested fixes.

    Also, the size of separated phase probably does not have anything to do with the percentage of the ingredient that’s causing the instability.
    To fix this in two days (or at least do the lab work for fixing it) you’re going to need to use the shotgun approach.
    I’d actually do this in two parts - first, prepare a limited set of knock-out batches (don’t bother eliminating the major surfactants, water, etc.) to try to see if you can identify the de-stabilizing culprit. 
    Next, prepare a range of possible solutions, ranging from trying carbopol, to trying Aqua SF-1 and/or other surfactant-tolerant thickeners, to solubilizing the fragrance with polysorbates and/or one of the PEG-Hydrogenated Castor Oils, etc. Try for at least 5 possible solutions, 10 would be better.
    It’s not the most efficient way of formulating, but if you’re in a hurry, you don’t have time to try one or two different fixes, wait a month to see if they work, and then possibly have to try a different fix and wait another month to see if that worked.
    Good luck.
  • Ayla

    February 20, 2014 at 11:02 am

    Thank you !

    I think the problem is silicones or (and?) polyquaternium-47 (I already had problems with that one…).

    I’ll do all that you’re suggesting tomorrow (hard day…). I already have 6 solutions in mind. Maybe I’ll think f something else before tomorow !

    Thanks a lot ! (I really love this forum, a lot of support there !)

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