Wednesday, January 5, 2011

A possible shampoo for dandruff prone hair

My friend Ken asked if I had anything for dandruff prone hair. I said I didn't, but I'd be willing to give it a shot! Again, I'm not making any claims here, but I thought it would be interesting to look at the theory behind why people have dandruff prone hair and try to make a product that addressed those issues.

(From this post) Dandruff is defined as excessive scaling of the scalp that results in flaking of our skin. There are many different things that can cause dandruff but the general consensus is that it is a low-grade underlying inflammatory process resulting in proliferative activity of the scalp, meaning there is some kind of inflammation that is leading to excessive scaling. A person with dandruff might see a scalp skin cell turnover of as short as 7 days, whereas someone without dandruff might take up to a month. People with oilier scalps with an excess of oleic acid and a microbe (Pityrosporum species Malassezia ovalis) are more susceptible to dandruff. (The microbe processes the oils and causes an inflammatory response in our stratum corneum.) It's more active in the colder months than the summer. Dandruff treatments should include anti-microbial agents (like Tinosan or quaternary compounds), keratolytic agents (like salicylic acid or sulfur to increase scalp desquamation) and anti-seborrheic compounds (things that reduce sebum levels, like coal tar).

So with this in mind, I set out to make him a shampoo for his fine, oily, dandruff prone hair!

24.5% water
20% aloe vera liquid
5% sodium lactate
2% polyquat 44
2% Phytokeratin

10% cocamidopropyl betaine
15% C14-16 olefin sulfonate
15% DLS mild

0.5% white willow bark
1% tea tree oil
1% oily hair blend (equal parts lemon, lime, rosemary, sage, and cedarwood)
3% panthenol
0.5% liquid Germall Plus

2% Crothix added after cool down

I chose the aloe vera because it thickens the shampoo, makes it milder, and can help with moisturizing and increasing cell proliferation. It's also anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory, both of which sound necessary for a dandruff product.

I chose polyquat 44 because I find it to be a really good cationic polymer that won't build up on fine hair. I figure he can use this product as a 2 in 1 as he has really fine, short hair and doesn't really need to use a conditioner. (Which means I couldn't use Tinosan as an anti-bacterial as it doesn't play well with cationic ingredients or clear bottles, and I don't have any opaque bottles right now.)

I chose sodium lactate at 5% because my hand slipped as I was making it (it happens!) and because at over 3% it acts as a mild AHA, which can cause sloughing off of our cells. Since it will rinse out of his hair, I don't have to worry about it making him sun sensitive.

And I chose Phytokeratin because it's a blend of various hydrolyzed protein, and I figure his scalp needs some moisturizing without oils because he's oily enough!

I chose my surfactants because this is the blend I always use for oily hair. The cocamidopropyl betaine is great at thickening, increasing mildness, and increasing the foam. It can also behave as a humectant, which is great for fine hair. Disodium laureth sulfosuccinate (DLS mild) is considered a mild surfactant with great degreasing qualities for oily hair. C14-16 olefin sulfonate (I use Bioterge AS-40) has great flash foam and good cleansing, and it's recommended for oily hair.

I always include panthenol as it behaves as a humectant as well as a moisturizer and it can increase the size of the hair shaft, making hair look thicker. I chose tea tree oil as it is supposed to be good as an anti-bacterial ingredient, and I included my oily hair blend of essential oils because this is a product for oily hair! I included white willow bark as it behaves like salicylic acid without all the hassle of trying to dissolve the latter and it offers good anti-inflammatory and exfoliation properties. (I leave a little of the hot water phase out to melt it, then add it at the cool down phase!)

Finally, I added 2% Crothix when the shampoo came to room temperature to thicken it and increase mildness. You can use any thickening product or process you wish - I just find liquid Crothix so easy to use!

So what do I think? It works well as a shampoo, but I don't know how Ken feels about its possible dandruff battling action, so I'll have to wait for his e-mail saying yay or nay!

Remember, treating dandruff is a medical claim, so I'm not sure what those of you who sell might say about it. I'm calling it "A Possible Dandruff Shampoo" because I want to make sure that Ken knows what I've given him and not mix it up with other products I've given him (the white willow bark makes it a browny colour and my body wash looks the same way, although it does smell different). 


DuhBe said...

This post is near and dear to my heart since I really want to clear up hubby's psorisis scalp which is very tricky. Coal tar works but it stinks - bad.

For mild dandruff I have found that switching surfs can make all the difference. Sometimes our dandruff is simply caused by overdrying shampoos, or irritation. SLS is too harsh for me, and many people are allergic to CaPB and don't even know it.

Robert said...

Since people have settled on a fungus as the cause of dandruff (to the same degree that a bacterium is the cause of peptic ulcers), I've been eager for someone to try undecylenic acid or a derivative thereof as an anti-dandruff agent in shampoo. It was the original active in Desenex, the anti-fungal foot powder. Merck gives it as a constituent of human sweat, and says it has a sweat-like odor, so it'd probably need a masking fragrance. Merck also says it's prepared by pyrolysis of ricinoleic acid, the fatty acid peculiar to castor oil.

Whether it would be effective enough in the form of soap, or needs to be present as the acid, I don't know.

Sherry said...

A coal tar and a sulfur/salicylic acid combo shampoo have worked for me, but both leave my hair ultra greasy at the bottom layers after a day (or less) because I have really fine Asian hair. If it's possible, and when I become more well-versed in how to create products, maybe I'll try adding the sulfur/SA combo. I think my dandruff isn't really dandruff at all though, but more of flaking from oily scalp.

Shahid Edroos said...

Hi Susan I am running a small business of room fresheners I have a problem of blooming my fresheners do not give excellent fregrence can I get some good tips of making good quality of roomfreshners

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Shahid. Please put your comments in the appropriate post. This has nothing to do with dandruff shampoo.
I don't know what to suggest. As I mention on the side bar of the blog, to help with a recipe I'll need you to post the complete recipe with process and we'll see what we can figure out!

A Fajardo said...

Hi Susan, I had been having a problem with dandruff or flaky scalp for a long time. I would love to try this recipe except, I don't have fine oily hair just like your friend. I have thick strands, dry hair (as I use commercial hair colours) and I'm not sure about my scalp if it's oily or dry. Maybe say, normal. Is there any ingredient I should change on this recipe and what do I replace them with? Thank you!

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi A. If you have dandruff, you have an oily scalp. I don't think I'd change anything in this recipe. Try it the way it is written, then make modifications if you don't like it.

Kimberley Scanlan said...

Hi, I was wondering if you ever heard back on its performance? My partner has dandruff and I would love to make something for him. Though I will have to alter the surfactents as not all of these are available in Australia. I will have to do some research to find out which are best for oily hair.

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Kimberley! My friend really enjoyed the shampoo! If you check out the surfactants section of the blog, there's a surfactant chart you can consult. I would suggest for oily hair C14-16 olefin sulfonate, disodium laureth sulfosuccinate, LSB (which is disodium laureth sulfosuccinate and SLSa), or SLSa (but it's a powder, so only suitable for a shampoo bar). My husband and i both have oily hair, so I know these surfactants well!

Dina Aruni Saffanah said...

hai susan if i add wheat germ oil and lemongrass oil which is good as antibacteria and antifungal properties to the formula, do you think the shampoo will have to much oil? and i will exclude wolliw bark because i dont hav any