Wednesday, January 9, 2013

A quick note on adding things to shampoos...

As was mentioned in this post, "There is no shampoo that has shown evidence of hair growth effects simply because shampoo is not absorbed enough into the scalp to offer the ability to have any significant effect on the hair follicles. For the same reason it is very unlikely that a shampoo could have an adverse effect on the hair follicles." (Belgravia Centre). Consider this when you find something that might be awesome like your hair: Would it be better in a conditioner or a pre-treatment?

For instance, if you like the idea of using coconut oil for your hair, consider adding it to your conditioner or using it as a pre-treatment rather than adding it to the shampoo. I'm not saying it won't do any good in a shampoo, but it's a pain to get an oil or butter to solubilize nicely into a surfactant mix, like a shampoo or body wash. And you're washing it off, so consider if the ingredient is something that would be beneficial if left in your hair!

If you really must incorporate an oil soluble ingredient into your shampoo or body wash or facial cleanser, consider using solubilizers like polysorbate 80, capryl/caprylyl glucoside, Caprol Micro Express, or Cromollient SCE. Please click on the links to learn more about how to use these ingredients. 

Don't get me wrong, I'm a big fan of adding oils to surfactant blends, but it can be a tricky business. If you really want to add an oil to your shampoo or surfactant mix, consider using a water soluble oil - I love water soluble shea in my body wash - or using the solublizer as the moisturizer. Caprol Micro Express is a nice moisturizer, and it doesn't feel sticky like polysorbate 80 or capryl/capylyl glucoside. Or consider using glycol distearate, which works very well in surfactant blends and will give it a nice pearlized appearance.

If you're new to making products, may I suggest that you continue to work on creating the most awesome shampoo recipe and then add the oils and solubilizers? It's not easy to find a product your hair loves, but once you have, it's so much easier to tweak it at that point! If you wants ton of moisturizing, leave that for your conditioner or pre-treatment.

My coconut oil pre-treatment? Melt virgin coconut oil. Dip hair into the Pyrex jug. Squish through hair. Repeat until I smell very coconut-y. Leave in until I remember to wash hair. Rejoice! 


Sciarretta Farms said...

I have a question that is (sorry) not related to this post. I live in the desert where the sun is extremely strong. Should I completely avoid Sodium Lactate in my lotions/moisturizers, even at 2% or lower, since it might make me sun sensitive?

Wendy said...

Hi Susan,
I love using coconut oil as a pre-treatment, but I am currently using silicone products in my hair. My question is, if silicone leaves a waterproof coating on the hair, how affective would a coconut oil pre-treatment be on hair that is already coated with a silicone based product (such as your Anti-frizz spray or serum)? - Thanks, Wendy

Organa said...

Hello Susan I have a doubt, everyone says that shampoo is very simple to do, but in my opinion this is not so, adding surfactants in small amount will not make foam, add up to a lot will leave your hair dry, if added additives such as silicone between 2 and 3% will take place and the foam glycol distearate 2% with silicones will further reduce the foam without saying that distearate is a product that would need a good viscosity for it not precipitate . which is why many use pearlizing ready?
What is the solution to solve these problems?

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi everyone! I've written a Weekend Wondering with these questions for Sunday, March 9th. Look for it then! Thanks for your great input!