Home Cosmetic Science Talk Formulating Hair Hair Pomade Help.

  • Hair Pomade Help.

    Posted by brettdrouin on October 12, 2021 at 6:26 pm

    Hey there, I’m recently new to formulating, and have just started taking the practical cosmetic formulating course offered here.

    I am trying to make a “Mostly natural” matte pomade with a medium to strong textured hold, this is my first pomade that I’m making. Ive been through a few trial and error in trying to figure out the right ratio of ingredients to use and its almost there.

    This is my formula.

    54.5% Distilled Water
    1% Glycerine
    12% Beeswax
    4% Emulsifying Wax (I used Candelilla)
    6% Meadowfoam Oil
    6% Apricot Kernel Oil
    6% Shea Butter
    6.25% Kaolin Clay
    3% Benonite Clay
    0.5% Tocopherol
    0.5% Euxyl k903
    0.25% Fragrance Oil

    Im not 100% sure Candelilla Wax is a good substitute for emulsifying wax NF, but I wanted something more natural. If you guys have any suggestions, or if I should add a second emulsifier, or even use a different wax than beeswax, or any other ingredients for that matter let me know.

    It is very creamy in the pot, pours well, and is very ‘scoopable’ with my finger once it cools in a container. The main issue is that when you rub it in your hands, its like the waxes separate and stick to your hands. With some more vigorous rubbing between the hands, it does dissipate and is then able to use in your hair. Im 80% happy with the outcome of the product so far, but I would like it to dissipate immediately once you rub between the hands to then be put in the hair for styling. I can’t expect customers to have to vigorously rub the product in order to use it. 

    What are your thoughts/comments/concerns?? Id love to hear from you guys!

    (This is the wax that separates once being rubbed in your hands.. Another 10 seconds of rubbing vigorously it does disperse and melt)

    Syl replied 2 years, 8 months ago 4 Members · 5 Replies
  • 5 Replies
  • gordof

    October 14, 2021 at 8:18 am

    Dear Brett 

    Due to the fact that I am not the greatest expert for hair pomade, I can just give you my ideas. 

    First, I am not sure about the high amount of bentonite / Kaolin clay isn’t that very Mattifying and very Powdery in the end. (can explain the Structure that is building up on the hand it binds properly a lot of the wax/oils and gets loos after heating it with Rubbing. I would either reduce it if you want the mattifying effect for the pomade.  

    I think I would add some Cetearyl alcohol to the Water Phase maybe 3 -5 % it will Stabelise the Texture of the formulation and helps with “emulsifying” 

    Although I think the amount of bee wax with 12 % is very high. not sure if you used so much to get the stability due to the Building wax crystal system I guess you can reduce it to around 5- 7 % if you add the Cetearyl Alcohol instead which has a better touch on the hands and the hair as well. 

    Emulsifying waxes that are a little more natural Maybe something like Sorbitan Olivate has better emulsification but of course, will properly not give the same stiffness to the Product.

    As I said not a real expert for that kind of Product just my thinkings from looking at the formulation.  :) Maybe there is someone that has a little more experience in that field that can give other tips for that problem


  • brettdrouin

    October 15, 2021 at 1:02 am


    Thank you so much for such a detailed response! I will definitely try the cetearyl alcohol you mentioned with reducing the amount of beeswax. 

  • natzam44

    October 15, 2021 at 2:28 pm

    You have no emulsifier. Emulsifying Wax NF isn’t really a wax but rather a combination of cetearyl alcohol and polysorbate 60. Candelilla wax is not an adequate substitute which is causing the oils/waxes to separate from the water leaving a waxy residue. 

  • brettdrouin

    October 15, 2021 at 11:07 pm

    Hey Natzam44,

    I used Candelilla Wax only to try to avoid the trace amounts of 1,4 dioxane that may be found in polysorbate 60, as some other forums/blogs have said it is a substitute. Would you perhaps have any recommendations on a polyorbate60 substitute? Ive read that red turkey castor oil could be an option but I’m not 100% sure. I’d also assume that the possible trace amounts of 1,4 dioxane would be so minimal to cause any sort of issues, but would prefer to avoid it if at all possible. Thank you so much for the info tho! If i cant find any suitable substitute I will probably go ahead and use the Emulsifying Wax NF.

  • Syl

    October 15, 2021 at 11:37 pm

    If you want to use a non-ethoxylated emulsifier you may want to shop at this location if you are located in the US.  https://lotioncrafter.com/collections/emulsifiers

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