Home Cosmetic Science Talk Formulating “Ribboning” effect in hair product?

  • “Ribboning” effect in hair product?

    Posted by tnbs2018 on June 16, 2020 at 10:40 pm

    Hello, I hope someone can help. 
    I am developing a hair styling product. I am trying to replicate what I call a ribboning texture. Not sure if thats the correct term but I feel it describes what I mean. I’ve attached a few images below of the texture I’m trying to describe along with their ingredients list.

    Product A: Ingredients - Petrolatum, Microcrystalline Wax, Phenyl Trimethicone, Hemp Seed Oil, Fragrance, Colour

    Product B: Ingredients - Petrolatum, Microcrystalline Wax, Fragrance

    Product C: Ingredients - Microcrystalline Wax, Petrolatum, Mineral Oil, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Parrafin, Fragrance, Beeswax, Coumarin, Eugenol, Linalool

    My Product: Ingredients - Petrolatum 60%, Microcrystalline Wax 27.5%, Beeswax 5%, Cherry kernal oil 5%, fragrance 2.5%

    When I scoop my product out it doesn’t have the same ribboning or elasticity as the products above. It scoops out more as a unified product if that makes any sense? It doesn’t stretch out the container like the others do, it just releases and separates from itself as you can see in the above image. I realise its not going to be exactly the same as I’m not using the exact same ingredients as the products above but I’d expect similar results to Product A as it is the closest to the ingredients list. 

    I’ve tried a range of formulations with varying ingredients and quantities. Starting with just Petrolatum and Microcrystalline Wax at a wide range of varying quantities. But I just can’t seem to get the same textures. 

    Could this be my ‘cooking’ process? 

    Any help will be very much appreciated. 

    Thanks for your time

    tnbs2018 replied 4 years ago 5 Members · 8 Replies
  • 8 Replies
  • belassi

    June 16, 2020 at 11:36 pm

    This is not my area of experience. But have you noticed that the A picture shows the product as translucent? The B picture too, though not quite so much. That yours looks very different? Changes in the visual appearance and light transmission of waxy products depend mainly on the nature of the mixture. Petrolatum is petrolatum, so that’s standard. Also (A) has a polymer which no doubt helps. I would expect the key to making this is (1) correct processing to ensure that the nondesired crystalline structure  isn’t formed on cooldown, and (2) correct proportions between petrolatum and microcrystalline wax, and quite possibly (3) differences between your mc wax and the one they use.

  • tnbs2018

    June 17, 2020 at 1:36 pm

    @Belassi Thank you for your comment. That is something I noticed and was suspecting it could be my processing. 
    Do you have any suggestions on processing techniques to help achieve this or know somewhere that I could find this info? Thanks again. 

  • belassi

    June 17, 2020 at 2:15 pm

    As I said, I don’t make this kind of product, sorry I can’t be of further help.

  • EVchem

    June 17, 2020 at 3:50 pm

    My first guess would be add more petrolatum, but Belassi makes good points about the cool down and the variability of microcrystalline wax

  • chemicalmatt

    June 17, 2020 at 9:50 pm

    Here’s an “old school trick” to alleviate wax re-crystallization on cooling: add a little lecithin to this. Especially works with shea, coconut butters, but also bees, micro waxes. There: thousands of dollars of free consulting and all I get is the Thanks of a Grateful Nation.

  • tnbs2018

    June 18, 2020 at 4:11 pm

    @Belassi Ah yes, thats not a problem, thank you!

    @EVchem I’ve tried varying quantities of petro right up to 95% and it just wasn’t the same. It was way too greasy at those amounts and didn’t the elasticity. I think I’ll try different cool down methods and see what happens. Although I am starting to think it is possible that the microcrystalline wax I am using could be contributing to the problem. I think I may need to use a softer grade.

    @chemicalmatt I’ll give that a go, thank you very much! 

  • OldPerry

    June 19, 2020 at 12:40 am

    @chemicalmatt - I love the old school tricks. Maybe we could do a Q&A webinar. I’ll collect some questions from here and then take a few live online.  You up for it? 

  • tnbs2018

    June 19, 2020 at 6:34 pm

    @Perry I’d certainly watch!

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