Home Cosmetic Science Talk Formulating Shampoo makes hair soft but frizzy

  • Shampoo makes hair soft but frizzy

    Posted by CzarXavier on December 1, 2023 at 9:19 pm

    Hello, I have been running into a problem with a shampoo formula recently. So the formula as far as aesthetics are concerned are great. The viscosity is excellent, it foams well and feels luxurious through washing. It also provides great shine, wet and dry comb through. However, I notice that my hair gets frizzy as I go about my day and then feels rough too. But when I comb through it again it gets soft and silky for a few minutes before reverting back to being frizzy. Can someone explain why this is happening? My formula is below:

    Phase A

    • Distilled Water = qs
    • PQ-10 = 0.5%
    • PQ - 7 = 3.5%
    • Glycerin = 2.0%
    • DL-Panthenol = 0.1%
    • Tetrasodium EDTA = 0.2%

    Phase B

    • Alpha Olefin Sulfonate = 8.0%
    • Decyl Glucoside = 2.0%
    • CAPB = 1.0%
    • CAO = 1.0%
    • PEG-150 Distearate = 2.0%
    • PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil = 0.5%

    Phase C

    • Yucca Root Oil = 0.1%
    • Fragrance = 1.5%
    • OliveM300 = 2.0%
    • Phenoxyathanol SA = 1.0%

    For my procedures I mix Phase A and let sit while I mix Phase B and heat to melt PEG-150. I then add Phase B to Phase A and stir for 1 min. I then mix Phase C and then add into Phase A again and mix for 1 minute. I’m aware I probably do not follow the most precise method of “cooking” so any pointers here would also be appreciated.

    Also, I do not adjust PH with citric acid as the formula guide I built this from did not say to adjust PH. I am not sure if this could be it either? It sits around 8.4 as is.

    NOTE - The frizziness occurs only on the ends of my hair (I have waist length hair and have not cut it in nearly 5 years so this is also important to mention, I also wash my hair daily)

    • This discussion was modified 2 months, 3 weeks ago by  CzarXavier.
    ketchito replied 2 months, 2 weeks ago 3 Members · 7 Replies
  • 7 Replies
  • Perry44

    December 4, 2023 at 8:49 am

    The ends of your hair are more damaged than up the fiber closer to the root. The frizz happens there because the fiber absorbs water unequally on its surface. Frizz is caused over time because it just takes time for your hair to absorb or lose moisture from/to the air.

    Two suggestions.

    1. Use a conditioner. Shampoos are not very good at conditioning hair (even two and one formulas). PQ10 and PQ7 are ok, but they are nothing compared to a proper conditioner with cationic surfactants.

    2. Add a silicone. If you don’t want to use a conditioner, silicones are needed to coat the ends of the hair, prevent moisture absorption, and thus inhibit frizz.

    No, the pH of your formula isn’t really relevant, although it should be more like pH 5.0. Use Citric acid to adjust it down.

    • CzarXavier

      December 4, 2023 at 9:23 am

      Hi Perry, thank you for your reply it is much appreciated. I do use a conditioner as well, I didn’t mention it because from my experience it hasn’t helped much. My conditioner formula is below:

      Phase A

      • Distilled Water - qs
      • Cationic Guar - 0.5%
      • Glycerin - 2.0%
      • DL-Panthenol - 0.1%
      • Tetrasodium EDTA - 0.2%

      Phase B

      • Yucca Root Oil - 0.1%
      • Coconut Oil - 0.5%
      • BTMS - 1.5% Active
      • BTAC - 1.6% Active
      • Cetearyl Alcohol - 4.5% (via BTMS)
      • Cetyl Alcohol - 1.5%

      Phase C

      • Dimethicone - 2.0%
      • Fragrance - 1.5%
      • Phenoxyethanol SA - 1.0%

      On paper I feel my conditioner should be fine, so I’m not sure what I’m doing wrong. Any feedback would be appreciated!

      • Perry44

        December 4, 2023 at 9:28 am

        Yeah, on paper your formula looks fine. You don’t mention the conditioner pH, but it should be lower to work better (around pH 4).
        Is there some product on the market that works well for your frizz?
        I ask because when hair is damaged, even the best rinse-out conditioners can’t do much. You might have to go to a leave-in conditioner.

        • CzarXavier

          December 4, 2023 at 9:40 am

          The PH is around 5.7, I will lower both the shampoo and conditioner to see if that helps. I haven’t used it in a while, but Herbal Essence BioRenew Repairing Hair Mist helped with frizziness. I stopped using it when I began formulating my own products. Ideally I would like to create a shampoo and conditioner that works well enough where I don’t need a hair oil or leave in conditioner, but maybe it’s time to start formulating one of those as well. Thanks for your feedback!

  • ketchito

    December 4, 2023 at 1:54 pm

    As @Perry mentioned, the product that gives more conditioning of those two, is the conditioner. I’d increase the amount of dimethicone (try with 3%). I’d also remove Cationic guar from the conditioner (you have a lot of cationic charge between both fórmulas, so consider that frizz can come from both anionic as well as for cationic charge buildup, plus, it absorbs water). Also, removing Glycerin is also a good practice in rinse-off products.

    • CzarXavier

      December 4, 2023 at 2:29 pm

      Okay I was actually thinking of dropping the guar myself so nice to hear another vote on that option. I will also increase the dimethicone as well. Do you know which grade/weight of dimethicone is best to use? Right now I’m using DM6 Dimethicone from Lotion Crafter, it doesn’t say what grade it is, just that it is low. Thanks for your feedback

  • ketchito

    December 5, 2023 at 5:29 am

    No worries. Maybe that’s also the issue. Your DM6 dimethicone seems to be of very low molecular wieght. I use for hair, mostly a 1000 cSt dimethicone, so maybe switch to something similar.

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