Home Cosmetic Science Talk Formulating Minimum amount of surfactants required in shampoo to clean the hair. Foam and viscosity doesn’t matt

  • Minimum amount of surfactants required in shampoo to clean the hair. Foam and viscosity doesn’t matt

    Posted by Abdullah on February 2, 2022 at 8:45 am

    I want to make a simple and supper inexpensive shampoo that cleans the hair properly.
    of course reducing the amount of surfactants is one of the main Things i should do. 

    Surfactants will be SLS, SLES, CAPB, lauryl Glucoside at ratio 1/5/1/1. 

    The main focus in this shampoo is to be able to clean the hair properly with the smallest amount of surfactants possible. Foaming and viscosity doesn’t matter.

    I have made sample with 8% total surfactant at ratio above and it worked fine in my opinion.

    Foaming and thickening aside, what is the minimum amount of total surfactants in this ratio or anionic surfactant required in shampoo to be able to clean the hair properly? Foam and viscosity doesn’t matter. 

    Syl replied 2 years, 4 months ago 7 Members · 25 Replies
  • 25 Replies
  • CedarS

    Member
    February 2, 2022 at 1:02 pm

    I suspect if you feel like there is adequate cleansing, and you have used it for more than one wash, and continue to feel good about it, then it should work. For a better trial, you would want to find more people to try it and give you feedback. 

  • Abdullah

    Member
    February 2, 2022 at 1:17 pm

    CedarS said:

    I suspect if you feel like there is adequate cleansing, and you have used it for more than one wash, and continue to feel good about it, then it should work. For a better trial, you would want to find more people to try it and give you feedback. 

    Yes that is a good practice to give samples to people and get feedback. I usually should check every sample by myself too. 

    For shampoo i check each version for 4 washes once in every two days. 

    I made 10% active surfactant, worked fine, have used this 8% surfactant twice, no complain yet. 

    As they say shampoo has 10-15% surfactant, i asked this question to make sure if 8% or below total surfactant is a common and acceptable range or i am going too low in surfactant percentage. 

  • Syl

    Member
    February 2, 2022 at 2:19 pm

    My personal finding is that young people with long hair who wash their hair 1-2 times per week usually need more surfactant. I had to formulate a deep cleansing formula for those customers. My basic mild formula works well for the average person.

  • Fekher

    Member
    February 2, 2022 at 2:27 pm

    @Abdullah I make something with 9% active and the result according to me and whom tried the shampoo is good in all sides faoming, viscosity, cleaning, condition …

  • Abdullah

    Member
    February 2, 2022 at 3:42 pm

    Fekher said:

    @Abdullah I make something with 9% active and the result according to me and whom tried the shampoo is good in all sides faoming, viscosity, cleaning, condition …

    Thanks for sharing.

    That is good to know

  • Abdullah

    Member
    February 2, 2022 at 3:44 pm

    Syl said:

    My personal finding is that young people with long hair who wash their hair 1-2 times per week usually need more surfactant. I had to formulate a deep cleansing formula for those customers. My basic mild formula works well for the average person.

    How much surfactant do you use in your mild formula and in deep cleansing?

  • Fekher

    Member
    February 2, 2022 at 4:09 pm

    @Abdullah you are welcome. 

  • Paprik

    Member
    February 2, 2022 at 5:57 pm

    I guess it all depends. For ultra oily hair you would like to have higher surfactant level, for super dry hair, you want something with low surfactant level. In both cases, you need to realize you need a lot of area to clean, each hair individually (if compared with hands or face). Plus good wetting etc. 

    So it all depends and it is better to try it out on couple or more ppl. 
    Plus, foaming does not mean cleaning. 

  • Syl

    Member
    February 2, 2022 at 7:34 pm

    @Abdullah, I agree with Paprik.
    I sell shampoo bars that contain SCI (sodium cocoyl isethionate) ,coco glucoside and SLSA ( sodium lauryl sulfoacetate). The combination is mild and works great for most people.

    Many other shampoo bar company target a younger audience that is why they include coco-sulfate or SLS because young people tend to have more sebum and need stronger cleansing. I also include coco-sulfate in my deep cleansing bars.
    I would recommend that you test your shampoo on teenagers with long hair. 

  • Abdullah

    Member
    February 3, 2022 at 3:18 am

    Paprik said:

    I guess it all depends. For ultra oily hair you would like to have higher surfactant level, for super dry hair, you want something with low surfactant level. In both cases, you need to realize you need a lot of area to clean, each hair individually (if compared with hands or face). Plus good wetting etc. 

    So it all depends and it is better to try it out on couple or more ppl. 
    Plus, foaming does not mean cleaning. 

    Yes In theory the more oily your scalp is, the more surfactant you need. But in my experience, the more oil you remove from oily scalp, the oilier it becomes by accelerating the oil production. Now that person would need to wash the hair everyday. Otherwise it is not tolerable.

    I agree “foaming does not mean cleaning”.

  • Abdullah

    Member
    February 3, 2022 at 3:23 am

    Syl said:

    @Abdullah, I agree with Paprik.
    I sell shampoo bars that contain SCI (sodium cocoyl isethionate) ,coco glucoside and SLSA ( sodium lauryl sulfoacetate). The combination is mild and works great for most people.

    Many other shampoo bar company target a younger audience that is why they include coco-sulfate or SLS because young people tend to have more sebum and need stronger cleansing. I also include coco-sulfate in my deep cleansing bars.
    I would recommend that you test your shampoo on teenagers with long hair. 

    I am 28 with oily scalp. Fortunately i have friends with dry scapl too that test my every product.

    How much coco glucoside do you add? 

  • Abdullah

    Member
    February 3, 2022 at 3:37 am

    @Fekher can i ask what anionic preservative and how much do you use in this 9% active? 

  • Syl

    Member
    February 3, 2022 at 3:40 am

    I agree, as a rule you should not use a drying shampoo. It has just been my experience that a minority of people needed a stronger shampoo. Some of those people might also have a scalp condition and really need a medicated shampoo. I use 10% coco-glucoside, my shampoo bars contain 70% surfactant. 

  • Abdullah

    Member
    February 3, 2022 at 6:51 am

    Syl said:

    I agree, as a rule you should not use a drying shampoo. It has just been my experience that a minority of people needed a stronger shampoo. Some of those people might also have a scalp condition and really need a medicated shampoo. I use 10% coco-glucoside, my shampoo bars contain 70% surfactant. 

    Thanks

  • Fekher

    Member
    February 3, 2022 at 3:54 pm

    @Abdullah you are welcome it is very good preservative according to my experience Euxyl k120 with level between 0.05% and 0.1%  just shampoo as you know it has not only anionic surfactants  because you said ” what anionic preservative” 

  • Paprik

    Member
    February 3, 2022 at 5:56 pm

    The “problem” with hair is, the more you wash it, the more is produces sebum. Same with skin. People with acne like to wash their face often, as they think it will remove all the extra sebum and clear out the acne. However, when you remove the sebum/oil, skin thinks it’s dry and produces more and more. 
    I do wash my hair everyday, but a lot of women do not. Yet, they can still have not-oily hair for days. It’s because it is used to it. 
    I would maybe try to reduce the frequency of washing. (I know, it’s nearly impossible, at least for me. Imagining what transfers onto my pillow, having shower without pouring hot water on my head, etc … )
    It should adapt over time. 

    Also, if you literally strip your hair and scalp of all sebum (let’s call it harsh surfactant), no wonder it fights it back. Try something with more superfatting agent, to “re-hydrate” the hair and scalp. 

  • Abdullah

    Member
    February 4, 2022 at 1:28 am

    Fekher said:

    @Abdullah you are welcome it is very good preservative according to my experience Euxyl k120 with level between 0.05% and 0.1%  just shampoo as you know it has not only anionic surfactants  because you said ” what anionic preservative” 

    My phone outo correct did change the word. 

    I ment how much anionic surfactant you have in this 9%?

  • Abdullah

    Member
    February 4, 2022 at 1:30 am

    Paprik said:

    The “problem” with hair is, the more you wash it, the more is produces sebum. Same with skin. People with acne like to wash their face often, as they think it will remove all the extra sebum and clear out the acne. However, when you remove the sebum/oil, skin thinks it’s dry and produces more and more. 
    I do wash my hair everyday, but a lot of women do not. Yet, they can still have not-oily hair for days. It’s because it is used to it. 
    I would maybe try to reduce the frequency of washing. (I know, it’s nearly impossible, at least for me. Imagining what transfers onto my pillow, having shower without pouring hot water on my head, etc … )
    It should adapt over time. 

    Also, if you literally strip your hair and scalp of all sebum (let’s call it harsh surfactant), no wonder it fights it back. Try something with more superfatting agent, to “re-hydrate” the hair and scalp. 

    Agree with you. 

    Do you think EGDS will rehydrate the hair? 

    It also has Amodimethicone?

  • Fekher

    Member
    February 4, 2022 at 10:00 am

    @Abdullah Anionic active is near from 8

  • Abdullah

    Member
    February 4, 2022 at 10:12 am

    Fekher said:

    @Abdullah Anionic active is near from 8

    Thanks

  • OldPerry

    Member
    February 4, 2022 at 2:16 pm

    @Paprik - “The “problem” with hair is, the more you wash it, the more is produces sebum. Same with skin.” 

    What has convinced you this is true? I did a little searching on Google Scholar but couldn’t find any studies supporting this claim.

  • Syl

    Member
    February 4, 2022 at 5:21 pm

    I agree with Perry. If our skin had a sebum sensor, we would never suffer from dry skin.

  • OldPerry

    Member
    February 4, 2022 at 10:02 pm

    @Syl - To be fair, my question wasn’t meant to say that @Paprik was wrong. I am just genuinely curious why he believes this. But I do agree with you, if this was true that would suggest there is some skin sebum sensor that I’m not familiar with 

  • fareloz

    Member
    February 4, 2022 at 11:17 pm

    Paprik said

    I do wash my hair everyday, but a lot of women do not. Yet, they can still have not-oily hair for days

    isn’t it because they have long hair so the sebum evenly spreads? Whereas you, probably, has short hair, so it gets greasy quicker

  • Syl

    Member
    February 5, 2022 at 1:36 am

    @Perry- Agreed, Paprik’s perception is not necessary wrong, but intuitively I was unsure of his statement because of my education, and personal experience. This article on biophysical properties of the skin between men and  women which says sebum content is higher in men because sebum is highly influenced by sex hormones might explain the perception difference.
     https//www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6116811/

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