Monday, December 5, 2011

Tea tree oil: A shampoo!

Last Christmas, I made my friend Ken a shampoo that might have been good for dandruff. Unfortunately, I didn't hear back from him about the product, so I don't know if he liked it or not. I had a little problem with some flakes during the summer, so I tried it and quite liked it. But I wanted something a little more oil stripping - for some reason, it felt like I couldn't get my hair clean, like it was oily before it even dried, and I noticed I was getting some annoying little flakes. So I developed this new shampoo to help with that problem!

Remember! I'm not making claims here, so there's no guarantee this will do anything other than cleanse your hair and leave a medicinal smell behind!

Every single thing in this product was intended to help remove oil from my hair, so let's take a look at the ingredient list!

For the water phase, I thought I'd go with a couple of hydrosols - neroli hydrosol, because it's good for removing oil, and peppermint, because I thought a little tingle might be nice. I used some water - 8% - then threw in some MSM - again, good for oil production control - and hydrolyzed oat protein - because I like that for my hair!

For the surfactants, I chose a combination that I thought would be good for oily hair. DLS mild is a gentle cleanser cleanses oily hair gently. I also chose ACI. I like SCI, but I didn't want to thicken the product too much, so I used liquid ACI for the gentle and creamy feeling lather it offers. C14-16 olefin sulfonate is always my first choice for an oily hair shampoo because of its gentle cleansing, plus I like the flash foam it offers. And I went for Steol CA-230 (ammonium laureth sulphate or ALeS) because I wanted good foaming and stability in hard water, better skin tolerance, and good thickening with salts (because I'm not getting that with the DLS mild!)

For the cool down phase, I wanted to include ingredients that were good for my hair and good for possible dandruff. I add panthenol because I needed a humectant that doesn't frizz out my hair and might help with moisturizing my scalp. I added white willow bark at 0.5% because it has all that lovely salicylic acid that will help with exfoliation, and I added 0.5% rosemary extract because it's an extract that works well for oily hair. (You could use rosemary hydrosol, but I chose the extract instead!) I used 2% of my favourite oily hair essential oil blend - lemon or lime, rosemary, cedarwood, and sage - and 1% tea tree oil. Finally,  I added 1% Germaben II as my preservative. (I figured with all these hydrosols and extracts, I might need something for harder to preserve formulations.)

Note: You could use salicylic acid at up to 2% in this product instead of white willow bark, but it's much harder to dissolve in the shampoo! 

I threw in 3% Vital Hair & Scalp Complex I bought from Voyageur (INCI: Water, Saccharum officinarum (Sugar Cane) Extract, Citrus medica limonum (Lemon) Fruit Extract, Betaine & Hexylene Glycol & Pyrus malus (Apple) Fruit Extract & Camellia sinensis Leaf Extract & Hexapeptide-11). The claim is that it "Helps clear the follicles of excessive build up of dead cells, allowing for thicker hair growth." (From this datasheet.) "(It) addresses many of the aspects of ageing hair and scalp with its combination of alpha hydroxy acids, trimethylglycine, a peptide and antioxidants." Despite the hype - I don't believe it can help my hair be thicker or will make my hair look younger - I wanted more exfoliating abilities in this product, so it seemed like a good choice. You don't need to include this in your product. I had some and I thought I might use it. You could use papaya extract or strawberry extract or pineapple extract or apple extract or another exfoliating extract in its place. Or replace that 3% liquid with water.

10% neroli hydrosol
11% peppermint hydrosol
5% water
3% MSM
2% hydrolyzed oat protein

13% DLS mild
15% CA-230
15% C14-16 olefin sulfonate
15% ACI

2% panthenol
0.5% white willow bark
0.5% rosemary extract
1% essential oil blend for oily hair (equal parts lemon, sage, rosemary, and cedarwood)
1% tea tree oil
1% Germaben II

Weigh the water phase and the surfactants and put into a heatproof container. Heat for 20 minutes at 70˚C in your double boiler. Weigh your container before and after heating as there will be some evaporation and you will need to add some water to make up for the loss. Remove, mix, allow to cool to 45˚C, then add your cool down ingredients. You might need to heat a little water to dissolve your extracts, but not much - maybe 2 to 5 grams!

I used a ton of surfactants because I didn't want to add Crothix. Why? Because Crothix adds mildness and this product wasn't about mildness. Anyone familiar with my surfactant recipes will notice I didn't include cocamidopropyl betaine. Again, this is because I didn't want to increase the mildness!

And you can use whatever surfactants you want. I chose the ones I did for my greasy hair, but you can choose what's in your workshop for your specific hair type. (Check out these posts on surfactants if you want to learn more!)

What do I think of this product? I really liked it. It really removed a lot of the oil in my hair, and I found that my hair felt very very not greasy (if you're an oily haired person, this last sentence will make sense!). It does smell very medicinal with the 1% tea tree coupled with the other essential oils, so feel free to use a fragrance oil or something to cover it up. It wasn't that noticeable when I used my conditioner (Clementine Cupcake scented) but there was still a faint whiff of tea tree every once in a while.

I don't think it's an every day product - I wouldn't use this more than every other day or every third day, using a mild shampoo the other time I washed.

Join me tomorrow when we take a look at a cleanser we could make with tea tree oil!

1 comment:

Clive said...

I just tried making a tea tree oil shampoo and liked it a lot. I don't have those surfactants so I used a blend of ALS and CAPB as a test. It emulsified OK and made a milky shampoo so I guess this would work best as a pearlised recipe.