Home Cosmetic Science Talk Formulating Hard water and conditioner

  • Hard water and conditioner

    Posted by Chemist77 on January 25, 2014 at 6:52 am

    Hello experts and mentors,

    I am in a bit of a fix re my hair conditioner. It is a very simple and poor formula with a non-ionic base of fatty alcohols and few oils. The active as usual is Cetrimonium chloride (using 30% aqueous solution) and I have around 1.5% active in my formula. The issue is that the efficacy is greatly tapering off in hard water and given the set of conditions I have right now I can tweak this formula only to make it work. I was thinking to add a chelate so that I have a little defense against the hardness and my conditioner can have better efficacy.
    Appreciate comments and opinions. 
    Chemist77 replied 10 years, 4 months ago 4 Members · 8 Replies
  • 8 Replies
  • OldPerry

    Member
    January 27, 2014 at 12:47 pm

    Yes, you could try a chelating agent like Tetrasodium EDTA.

  • Microformulation

    Member
    January 27, 2014 at 1:25 pm

    Chelator is the first thing I would try. Also, what is the final pH?

  • Chemist77

    Member
    January 27, 2014 at 9:21 pm

    @Microformulation The final pH is between 5-6 and guess I didn’t put myself clearly, the water used for rinsing off the hair after applying the conditioner is very hard. Am I right in slightly increasing the quantity of the active and adding a chelate?

  • OldPerry

    Member
    January 28, 2014 at 8:12 am

    You should lower the pH of the formula.  Typically, conditioners have a pH range closer to the isoelectric point of hair ~pH = 4

  • Bobzchemist

    Member
    January 28, 2014 at 9:05 am

    I’ve found that when all other things are held equal, the lower the pH of the conditioner, the smoother the hair feels. I’d suggest a pH of 4 as the upper limit of your specification.

  • Chemist77

    Member
    January 28, 2014 at 9:49 am

    Thanks Perry and Bobz, is it ok if I use a buffer to achieve this pH??

  • Microformulation

    Member
    January 28, 2014 at 2:58 pm

    They beat me to it, but your pH is pretty high. That needs to be addressed and could be a quick fix.

  • Chemist77

    Member
    January 28, 2014 at 9:23 pm

    @Microformulation sure thing, I would bring the pH down and see how it performs when washed with hard water.

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