Friday, May 21, 2010
Shampoo: Instructions for making shampoo!
It is possible to make surfactant based products without heating and holding your ingredients!
Yep, most of the ingredients we'll be using in our shampoos already contain preservatives - the surfactants, the surfactant mixes, aloe vera, hydrolyzed proteins, and so on - so we can make our shampoos cold. (If you are using unpreserved ingredients like teas or distillates you've made yourself, unpreserved hydrosols, or anything you suspect isn't preserved, you cannot make your shampoo cold!) And yes, you can do this with cleansers, body washes, and bubble baths - anything surfactant based.
If you wish to do this, you'll need to take a few precautions!
1. Always use distilled water. Always. Not tap water. Not bottled water. Distilled water. This way you are ensured there is no contamination. (Distilled water is available from your local pharmacy or big box store with a pharmacy for about $2 for 4 litres. Good value for the price!) If you aren't prepared to use distilled water, then you need to heat and hold your heated phase for 20 minutes at 70˚C.
2. Boil your distilled water before adding it to the surfactant mixes. (This is for the temperature, not contamination.) I like to mix my surfactants together and mix them well, then I add the hot water. If you don't do this, you will end up with what my craft group kids kindly refer to as "snot" and it's harder to mix!
3. Do not let the mixes get bubbly. Bubbles have to die down before you judge the thickness of the mixture as well as the volume. And with some ingredients - cocamide DEA, for example - the bubbles may never go down! You won't be able to tell the true colour of the mix if it's all lathery and foamy. Stir very slowly with a fork to incorporate it all.
4. Use the maximum preservative amount allowed. I use liquid Germall Plus - the suggested usage is 0.1% to 0.5%. I always use it at 0.5% in any creation I make, especially those with botanical ingredients like extracts or aloe vera.
You cannot make shampoos with ingredients like glycol distearate or SCI cold as they need melting, and you really should be using warmish water with all surfactant mixes because it will be hard to mix otherwise, but most of our concoctions can be done without a heated and cool down phase! (I'll be offering instructions on how to melt things when necessary in this series on hair care.) If you aren't using preservatives...well, you know how I feel about preservatives...I wouldn't suggest making hair care products at all.
You're probably pretty shocked right now...I'll give you a moment!