It's not easy to being green, Sandra asks: I made a shampoo recently that became an epic fail. It is extremely thin, makes my hair feel like straw when I wash it (it's really nice afterwards when it dries but I need loads of conditioner to get the straw feeling away) and it has separated in the bottle.
This is what I used:
Coco glucoside 17,5%
Lauryl Glucoside 17,5%
Guar gum 5 %
Hydrolized oat protein 2%
Salt 0,3 %
Citric acid 0,2%
It seems as if the guar gum is all settled on the bottle of the jar and I have to shake it alot before I use it. I don't wanna use silicones or any quaterniums over 7, nothing really that would leave a film on my hair - but I'm desperate to make the shampoo feel soft and glidy when I use it. Do you know any other alternatives? And should I use an emulsifyer? I see alot of people using salt as thickening agents in their shampoos too, but it didn't have any effect what so ever on the density, even after I upped the salt and guar gum percentage to 2% and 10%..
Secondly, as I note in the surfactant comparison chart, glucosides don't thicken using salt. (This concept is called the salt curve, and you don't want to use salt at over 3% as makes the product thinner after that.) Guar gum is used in the pH range of 5 to 7, so if you don't have that pH down enough, it won't work.
So, to sum it up...for the product to feel good and for the guar gum to thicken it, the measured pH should be acidic from 5 to 6. To do this, you need a pH meter to measure where the product starts and how it changes with the addition of 0.2% citric acid.
May I ask a follow up question? Why not using any quats over 7? Honeyquat is polyquat 50 and it is derived from honey, so you know it has to be good. The number at the end of the polyquaternium nmae only indicates what it is derived from, and they are in no particular order. And why no film forming? Loads of things form films - panthenol, aloe vera, allantoin, any oils or butters, and so on - and it's good to trap moisture into your hair so you don't get too dry!