Thursday, December 3, 2015

Designing your products as a line: Shampoo - extracts

There are so many amazing extracts out there for our hair. Should we put them into our shampoo or leave them for conditioners?

It's hard to cover all the possible extracts in one post - heck, it's hard to cover them all on one blog! - so I'll go over some general concepts instead of getting all specific. 

Extracts can offer loads of different things, so I tend to choose ones that help my scalp. For instance, chamomile can reduce transepidermal water loss or honeysuckle might help with acne, so those might be good choices. Rosemary and grapeseed can help with oily hair and scalp, and white willow bark might help with dandruff. Some of them are great exfoliators, like papaya, and some are great soothers, like cucumber.

Are these better in your shampoo or conditioner? I think you can use these in either, but don't bother using them in both. It depends on what is touching your scalp. I don't put conditioner on my scalp as I have really oily hair, so I put my extracts into my shampoo. If you plan to condition your scalp, then put the extracts in there.

Extracts have great label value. How many times have you been attracted to something called "chamomile and honey" or "papaya and strawberry" shampoo? They sound lovely, right? They offer a lot of bang for the buck as well: You can get powdered extracts at very reasonable prices and you only need a titch to make a difference.

The down side is that they can change the colour of your product. Check out this cleanser I made with green tea and grapeseed extract. Not very nice, eh? You can get extracts that are almost clear, so if the colour worries you, look into those.

Other posts in this series:
Shampoo - How does it work?
Shampoo - What's in it? Surfactants
Shampoo - What's in it? Other ingredients
Shampoo - Increasing mildness & viscosity
Shampoo - Conditioning agents
Shampoo - Dimethicone
Shampoo - Proteins and amino acids
Shampoo - Thickeners
Shampoo - Panthenol and other humectants


Elisabeth said...

It's not just green tea extract that can be problematic (I've got a couple of green tea M&P soaps that proudly defy the commercial idea that a "green tea and aloe" product should be a light translucent green and smell of freshly cut greenery). I used freeze-dried raspberry extract in an otherwise very good foaming facial scrub, with your SCI cream cleanser as a base, and as an experiment added rice flour as the exfoliating agent. A lovely product apart from the colour, which wasn't very stable. A nice pink colour and a light pleasant berry scent to start with, and though it stayed that way for the first weeks, the colour turned beige after a while and the scent dissipated. In all other aspects it behaved perfectly even after a year, despite my worries that using rice flour as an exfoliant would invite all kinds of trouble. Someone who depended on their product for a living wouldn't want something like that to happen, however nice the product still is. (The moral of this tale is to always make sure that anything you make stays unchanged for at least a year before you start selling it to anyone.)

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Great advice, Elizabeth! Thanks for sharing your story. It helps us all learn!