Home Cosmetic Science Talk Formulating Hair pomades w/ Ceteareth-20 (water based)

  • Hair pomades w/ Ceteareth-20 (water based)

    Posted by Lab on November 14, 2022 at 8:15 pm
    Hi!  :)
    I was recently asked to handle some hair pomades containing Ceteareth-20 and I have had some difficulties dealing with this ingredient. I would like to know if anyone can give me some guidance. Below is the basic formula I am following.
    1. Water


    77.0%
    1. Ceteareth-20


    17.5%
    2. PEG-40


    4.0%
    2. Fragrance


    0.5%
    2. Preservative


    1.0%
    1. Add ingredients and heat until completely melted.***
    2. Weigh the ingredients, previously solubilize them and add them to the system after cooling below 45ºC.
    ***The problems are at this stage.
    When I heat both ingredients together, Ceteareth-20 starts to melt and forms a gel-like agglomerate that hardly dissolves before 100ºC (and even after reaching this temperature, it takes time for the system to become homogeneous).
    I tried heating them separately. Ceteareth-20 melts very quickly when weighed alone, but once I add it to the water (or vice versa), the agglomerate forms again and high temperatures are required. The system even bubbles during this process.
    Anyway. I even manage, with great effort, to obtain a homogeneous system and add phase 2, then pouring it into a mold. But solidification takes a looong time, sometimes days. You see, I’m initially dealing with 30g batches, but that doesn’t seem to make it any less work.
    Does anyone have any tips for handling with this ingredient that might work? Thank you in advance (:
    Lab replied 2 months, 4 weeks ago 7 Members · 17 Replies
  • 17 Replies
  • ketchito

    Member
    November 15, 2022 at 11:00 am

    @Lab I’m not an expert on pomades, but you have in your formula a lot of each emulsifier, but no oil phase. Since Cetearet-20 has nothing to emulsify, you’d only see a physical transformation (liquid when melted, gelish when in contact with hot water alone). Also, if you want instant viscosity you should add structuring agents (like fatty alcohols).

  • chemicalmatt

    Member
    November 15, 2022 at 3:50 pm

    @Lab (really? How about LabMonster or LabWarrior instead? A little creativity here please) First you’ll need to use ceteareth-25 or 30 since CT-20 doesn’t quite have enough hydrophilicity to stay dispersed. Second, if we assume you meant to write PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil not “PEG-40”, you need to increase that upwards. Finally, you need to include a polyol such as glycerin, butylene glycol or propylene glycol (>5.0%) or this will never be anything but useless gloop. The polyol and the PEGylated surfactant both act to stabilize gellation and lower the set point of the final product. Adding a fixative such as PVP/VA is optional but advised if edge control is the game.

  • Lab

    Member
    November 16, 2022 at 11:34 am

    ketchito said:

    @Lab I’m not an expert on pomades, but you have in your formula a lot of each emulsifier, but no oil phase. Since Cetearet-20 has nothing to emulsify, you’d only see a physical transformation (liquid when melted, gelish when in contact with hot water alone). Also, if you want instant viscosity you should add structuring agents (like fatty alcohols).

    @ketchito Thanks for the reply! If I add the agents you mentioned, would the system still be transparent? Apparently my manager wants to keep it clear. According to him, in the reference benchmarkings, the ointments did not present an oily load, so I believe that is why he did not add any…

    @Lab (really? How about LabMonster or LabWarrior instead? A little creativity here please) First you’ll need to use ceteareth-25 or 30 since CT-20 doesn’t quite have enough hydrophilicity to stay dispersed. Second, if we assume you meant to write PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil not “PEG-40”, you need to increase that upwards. Finally, you need to include a polyol such as glycerin, butylene glycol or propylene glycol (>5.0%) or this will never be anything but useless gloop. The polyol and the PEGylated surfactant both act to stabilize gellation and lower the set point of the final product. Adding a fixative such as PVP/VA is optional but advised if edge control is the game.

    @chemicalmatt LOL! Maybe I should have chosen LabDestroyer but I think it’s better not to reveal all my potential at once :D …  Yes, I meant PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil! I apologize, I didn’t pay attention to that… Thanks for your directions Matt, I’ll stick with what you suggested! (:

    I hope to bring updates soon, thank you both!
  • MariaSibon

    Member
    November 29, 2022 at 7:13 am

    Hello,

    Did you have any success? if you are not using any fixative, you need to have your ceteareth 25/30 at least at 25% to succeed a good hold. Best wishes!

  • Lab

    Member
    November 29, 2022 at 11:08 am
    Hi!
    Sorry for not updating the topic so far. We’ve managed to establish the base of the pomade and now we’re adding other ingredients to see how it performs. We’ve had success with Ceteareth-20 at 30% in an anhydrous formulation and 17.5%-18% in aqueous formulations (for glossy, spider web-like, and matte formulations). 
    Soon we will try some versions with PVP and VP/VA Copolymer.
    What I basically did was change the pharmacotechnics to vigorous agitation at 500-800RPM for several minutes on end (~20) while heating the formulation itself. Without it, the pomade didn’t create consistency, so it was a breakthrough. 
    I passed on everything you said here to my manager, but unfortunately he chose not to continue with the Ceteareth-25 or Ceteareth-30 because he thought the Ceteareth-20 was fulfilling the role well  :/ . We tested it on some locks of hair that we have in our laboratory and, according to him, the product is very close to the benchmarks that we are using as a reference.

    I will continue to follow the adaptations that are passed on to me and, if there is anything new, I will pass it on to you  :)

  • Lab

    Member
    January 24, 2023 at 5:17 pm
    Hi everyone, it’s been a while since this thread. I entered a period of recess and finally we resumed the testing. I bring some updates:
    - We developed several types of water-based and anhydrous pomades based on the formulas that worked during these months.
    - We continued with the Ceteareth-20, which was what we had available.
    - We are in the final stages of approving a clear shine pomade, testing with different concentrations of Glycerin as @chemicalmatt suggested. Unfortunately, the manager does not seem to feel any difference between the formulation that has glycerin and the one that does not. Can anyone explain if this difference is more functional (greater spreadability, better fixation) than sensory?
    That’s it for now, thank you to everyone who was willing to contribute!

    I hope to be able to finish the project soon and be able to celebrate with you! (:

  • evchem2

    Member
    January 24, 2023 at 7:53 pm

    I think you already have an answer from chemicalmatt “The polyol and the PEGylated surfactant both act to stabilize gellation and lower the set point of the final product”. So from a processing/stability standpoint the glycol addition is helpful, whether or not it plays a role in sensory attributes

  • Lab

    Member
    January 25, 2023 at 10:35 am

    evchem2 said:

    I think you already have an answer from chemicalmatt “The polyol and the PEGylated surfactant both act to stabilize gellation and lower the set point of the final product”. So from a processing/stability standpoint the glycol addition is helpful, whether or not it plays a role in sensory attributes

    You’re right, I’m sorry

    I guess I just wanted to confirm if there are any sensory or performance changes in the hair that can also be noticed in addition to what Matt said, but I expressed myself badly

  • MariaSibon

    Member
    January 26, 2023 at 8:48 am

    @Lab
    Perhaps if you are using already a significant amount of PEG-40 Hyd. Castor oil, you did not observe any benefit of glycerin during processing with your waxes? Bare in mind that this might not be so easy to see in lab scale but it might create problems when scaling-up.

    I am already using 30% Cet-25 for an aqua based pomade and I am trying to make a new product with similar ingredients but even harder. I played with the “plasticisers” ratios but I ended up that it only becomes harder if I increase cet-25, for example up to 33% makes a significant difference. 
    However, that increases the set point, it solidifies very quickly, around 70C and makes processing hard.

    I am wondering if I increase more the “plasticisers” like Propylene Glycol, Peg-40 Hyd. Castor oil, polysorbate 20, Peg-7 Glyceryl Cocoate and keep 33% cet-25, will lower the set point, but still leave a hard texture on the final gel wax?

    Any thoughts?

  • Lab

    Member
    January 26, 2023 at 10:53 am
    Thanks for your notes @MariaSibon:)
    In my case, when I added the glycerin my tests did not solidify at any point, even after 2-3 days of rest. The “glycerin-free” (lol) versions completely solidify in 5-60 minutes or so, depending on the formula…
    It’s hard to understand what exactly happens, I’m using 17.5% of Ceteareth-20 and the formula is very close to the one I posted earlier in the topic, we added only 1% of total actives at the end and a dye. As it was solidifying normally before using the glycerin (we tried 7.5%; 10%; 15%) they chose not to touch the % Ceteareth-20…
    As I’m trying to find out more about how all of this impacts formulation solidification, I’m afraid I don’t have an answer or ideas for your questions yet :(
  • Lab

    Member
    February 8, 2023 at 6:40 am

    New update guys.

    We were successful with the pomades/waxes/etc. we had to develop.

    We made a total of 09 different types of pomades to include in our classes, with the following directions:

    • Shine
    • High fixation
    • Web
    • Photoprotection
    • Modeling curls
    • Matte
    • Detox
    • Vegan
    • Minimalist

    Many thanks to everyone who helped me with this issue. For many reasons, this was one of the hardest projects I’ve ever worked on (in terms of development). Everything seemed to go wrong all the time. I am very grateful to the community and hope to be able to give back one day. It’s a relief!

    Have a great day! (:

    • This reply was modified 1 year ago by  Lab.
    • MariaSibon

      Member
      February 14, 2023 at 1:48 am

      Well done!

      We are also working on a matte aqua based wax where the key ingredient is again ceterareth-25, combining with hard fat waxes (beeswax, hydrogenated vegetable waxes, cetearyl alcohol etc), kaolin to make a thick milky matte emulsion. I have obtained several good bases but need to increase structure/thickness and I wondering with with ingredients I should experiment more. Is it again cetereth-25 the game-changer or do I need to invest on hard fat waxes? For example I saw an improvement when replacing beeswax with hydrogenated castor oil.

      Any insights?

      • Lab

        Member
        February 15, 2023 at 5:00 am

        I think you can play with the consistency agent concentrations, maybe include some alcohol (cetyl, stearyl)? If there are too many problems you might suggest switching from a water to an anhydrous base, maybe there will be less problems and you can then drop the ceteareth.

  • varcc

    Member
    November 13, 2023 at 9:15 pm

    hi i just wondering if you could tell about the stability of water based pomade? currently i had a problem with its melting point. My customer delivered the pomade via logistic shipping but unfortunately the pomade melted and turned into water completely. Could you suggest how to make it hard to melt especially when it was being delivered?

    Thank you

    • Lab

      Member
      November 16, 2023 at 11:23 am

      Hii! Unfortunately we don’t work with this kind of data, as we don’t manufacture the products, we only formulate them to put in our classes as a guide for our students (assuming the’ll conduct all the necessary tests)

      However, if I end up discovering something about it, I’ll let you know!

      • Dirtnap1

        Member
        November 23, 2023 at 6:17 pm

        Lab,

        What did you use for web effect? I’m assuming PEG-90M? May I ask what you also used to mattify the hydrous formulations?

        • Lab

          Member
          November 24, 2023 at 5:22 am

          Hey!

          We use PEG-180M for the web effect because it is stronger than PEG-90M. There are versions of PEG-180M in both a kind of viscous dispersion and dry powder, but we are located in Brazil and personally it was very difficult to find a supplier that sold in small quantities and sent us samples to test…

          About the “matte” one… we decided to go the simpler way: Beeswax (cera alba) [4-7%] + Kaolin (Clay) [2-4%]! It works well with this %

          I hope it helps! Let me know if you have difficulties! 🙆‍♀️

Log in to reply.