Home Cosmetic Science Talk Formulating Min-Max Glycerin in leave in hair product

  • Min-Max Glycerin in leave in hair product

    Posted by Symbiosis on August 24, 2023 at 8:36 pm

    I am working on a salt based hair spray and and just wondering what is a good starting point for the glycerin percentage.

    One of the reasons I am adding it is to stop the sea salt from flaking. It will be the only Humectant.

    My main concern is, I do not want to add more than needed and end up too greasy and heavy.

    Thank you

    chemicalmatt replied 5 months, 1 week ago 4 Members · 7 Replies
  • 7 Replies
  • fareloz

    August 25, 2023 at 5:38 am

    Why not just try? I mean salt and glycerin are very cheap, you can prepare several small batches and see what ratio is the best for you.

    Anyway, I found an SDS (safety datasheet) for KMS HAIRPLAY SEA SALT SPRAY product. It’s INCI is:

    Water / Aqua / Eau, Magnesium Sulfate, Alcohol Denat., Propylene Glycol, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil, Mentha Piperita (Peppermint) Leaf Extract, Isoceteth-20, Citric Acid, PVP, Sea Salt / Maris Sal / Sel Marin, Sorbitol, Sodium Benzoate, Diazolidinyl Urea, Fragrance / Parfum.

    In the SDS they say:

    • ethanol content is 2.5 - 10%
    • propylene glycol is 0.1 - 2%

    Maybe this can be your starting point for Glycerin too: 0.1 - 2.0%

  • Symbiosis

    August 27, 2023 at 5:09 am

    I tried 1% and it dried nice in hair but after moving around a little it started to flake and look dusty. I will move on to 2% next.

    • fareloz

      August 28, 2023 at 3:04 pm

      It also depends on how much salt you add. Maybe you add too much and it flakes.

      • Symbiosis

        August 28, 2023 at 10:20 pm

        Yes, but the salt is the main component of the system, too low and it looses volume/effect. Any other ideas how to keep the salt from crystalizing into dust?

        The more glycerin I add the more it becomes greasy/ shiny. I am at 3% now.

        • fareloz

          August 29, 2023 at 1:49 am

          Maybe not glycerin but other humectant, like propylene glycol?

  • Chetna

    September 15, 2023 at 2:24 am

    I am a new formulator myself and trying to learn from this forum.

    Here’s something I put together; please correct me if wrong.

    Distilled water: 85.2%

    Denat Alcohol (Organic solvent): 6%

    Propylene Glycol (VOC content): 6%

    Solids content: 5.8%


    Magnesium Sulphate or Epsom Salt

    Isoceteth-20: Propylene Glycol ether and is a mild emulsifier, emollient and surfactant.

    Citric Acid: to adjust the pH, probably.

    PVP: petroleum derivate; forms a film on hair to hold up the shape.(toxic material)

    Sorbitol: adding elasticity to the hair, increasing its tensile strength and also prevents your hair care products from drying out.)

    Sodium Benzoate: powerful preservative

    Diazolidinyl Urea: conditions hair

    Fragrance / Parfum

    Percentages given above are as per SDS, also pH = 3

    All %s are adding up to be 103%?

    Which % is extra here?

    Solids content, we can adjust by hit and trial, by making small batches and testing out as @fareloz said.

    • This reply was modified 5 months, 2 weeks ago by  Chetna.
  • chemicalmatt

    September 21, 2023 at 10:51 am

    First of all, kids, is why is putting Epsom Salt into your hair anything approaching a good idea? This smells of a weird unfathomable TikTok trend. PVP is doing the heavy lifting there, trust me. It is also doing the flaking. Sorbitol makes this way too sticky, although propylene glycol mediates that, why we ALWAYS add propylene glycol to high glycerin formulations, right? Same true for sorbitol. BTW, ethanol is only there to allow faster drying, the isoceteth-20 is only solubilizing the fragrance oil. And @Chetna : diazolidinyl urea is not a hair conditioner but a very good preservative, one of those scary formaldehyde donors. I use it all the time and why you ask? ‘Cuz I aint scared a’ nuttin’.

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