Saturday, April 16, 2011

Duplicating products: Aveda's Be Curly Shampoo

Ellbie suggested we take a look at Aveda's Be Curly Shampoo. (If you have a suggestion for a product we could duplicate, mention it in this post!)

Here's the list of ingredients: Aqueous (water/aqua/eau) Extract/Extrait Aqueux, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf, Sodium Coco/Babassu Sulfate, Disodium Laureth Sulfosuccinate, Babassuamidopropyl Betaine, Glycol Distearate, Galactoarabinan, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Hydroxypropyltrimonium Hydrolyzed Corn Starch, Palmamidopropyl Trimonium Methosulfate, Guar Hydroxpropyltrimonium Chloride, Dehydroxamthan Gum, Maltodextrin, Glycerin, Polysorbate 20, Cocamidopropyl PG-Dimonium Chloride Phosphate, Fragrance (Parfum), Limonene, Linalool, Citral, Eugenol, Geraniol, Sodium Chloride, Citric Acid, Sodium Gluconate, Potassium Sorbate, Phenoxyethanol, Benzoic Acid.

Let's break them down one by one...

Aqueous (water/aqua/eau) Extract/Extrait Aqueux: Fancy name for water! Seriously?

Aloe Barbadensis Leaf: Aloe vera offers a light film for our hair and scalp and behaves as a humectant. It also helps thicken the shampoo by increasing the electrolytes in the product.

Sodium Coco/Babassu Sulfate: Can be found in noodle form, it's a sulfate related to sodium lauryl sulfate, but it's considered a mild cleanser that offers more lather and conditioning to our skin (for more information, click here). Because it's in noodle or powdered form, it helps thicken our products as well, like SCI. The coco/babassu part of this name indicates that it's derived from coconuts or babassu oil. Interesting - I've never seen a babassu version!

Disodium Laureth Sulfosuccinate: Also known as DLS, this is a mild surfactant with good foaming and detergent properties that is great for oily hair.

Babassuamidopropyl Betaine: A version of cocamidopropyl betaine made from babassu oil instead of coconuts, it's an amphoteric surfactant that will thicken our products and increase mildness.

Glycol Distearate: An ester we can use to thicken our products and give it a pearlized look as well as extra moisturization. Normally used at 2% to 5%, I find 2% is normally enough for the pearlizing and the thickening.

Galactoarabinan: This is a naturally occurring polysaccharide from the larch tree. It has some anti-aging properties - minimizing fine lines and wrinkles, reducing transepidermal water loss, and enhancing AHAs in our products - as well as increasing emulsion particle size to "facilitate the aqueous dispersion of particulate materials such as micronized titanium dioxide". (Read more about it here.) Why is this in here?

Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein: A film former, moisturizer, and humectant that makes our products feel silkier and increases the mildness of our surfactant systems. Used at 0.1% to 5%, but generally at 2% in our products, less in commercial ones.

Hydroxypropyltrimonium Hydrolyzed Corn Starch: It's known at Croda as MiruStyle MFP PE and it's a styling polymer, or a starch that will help you style your hair and keep the frizzies away. It will thicken our products and make them more gel-like. It also helps improve the conditioning powder of other cationic ingredients (like the guar hydroxypropyltrimonium chloride below) and increases film forming. This is why they call this "Be Curly" because this ingredient is known to help retain curl. Usage suggestion is 1% to 5% in shampoos and conditioners and up to 15% in styling products. (Click here for the data sheet.)

Palmamidopropyl Trimonium Methosulfate: The clue to this ingredient is the "trimonium methosulfate", which indicates it's a quaternary compound like BTMS and the "palm" part means it's derived from palm oil. It's a conditioning agent and anti-static product. It seems like Aveda's the only one that uses this exact ingredient, and it's generally found as stearamidopropyl trimonium methosulfate (and no, I can't find it at any of our suppliers).

Guar Hydroxpropyltrimonium Chloride: Cationic guar gum used to thicken the mixture and offer conditioning. Generally used at 0.2% to 1% in a surfactant mixture.

Dehydroxanthan Gum: Known to us as Amaze XT, this thickens surfactants mixes. Usage rate is 0.25% to 2.5% in our creations. (I like to use it at 2% in creations without a lot of surfactants, 1% in those with more than 40%. Click here to see a recipe I made with it for a facial cleanser - you'll have to scroll down a bit.) Click here for the data sheet.

Maltodextrin: A polysaccharide that offers binding, absorbing, emulsification stabilizing, hair and skin conditioning benefits to a product.

Glycerin: A great humectant that also helps with bubbles in our products.

Polysorbate 20: Used to disperse the essential oils and fragrances.

Cocamidopropyl PG-Dimonium Chloride Phosphate: It's listed as a surfactant, hair conditioner, and foam booster and might work as an anti-bacterial ingredient.

Fragrance (Parfum), Limonene, Linalool, Citral, Eugenol, Geraniol: Fragrance and components of essential oils.

Sodium Chloride: Salt. Generally used to thicken our surfactants with the salt curve.

Citric Acid: Generally used as a pH adjuster.

Sodium Gluconate: A chelating ingredient like EDTA.

Potassium Sorbate, Phenoxyethanol, Benzoic Acid: Preservatives!

Where do you think the 1% category starts? I'm sure the guar isn't used at more than 1% because it will mess up a surfactant mix and precipitate to the bottom if you use more, so I know I can use that as my starting point, but I think I'm going with the glycol distearate as being the last ingredient with more than 1% because there are so many ingredients in this product that could be used at low levels.

The key ingredients in this product are the surfactants, humectants, water, preservative, glycol distearate, and cationic polymers like the hydroxypropyltrimonium hydrolyzed corn starch, which makes this shampoo good for curly hair. The problem is that many of these ingredients will be hard to find, so we'll have to substitute some surfactants for coconut derived ones and we might have to leave out the most important ingredient of all - the hydroxypropyltrimonium hydrolyzed corn starch because we can't find it. (I also have to leave out the galactoarabinan because I can't find it. But even if I could, I'm not sure why it's here.)

Remember when I said some products were unduplicatable? (And remember me wondering if that was a real word?) This one might be due to lack of access to ingredients. I think we could make a nice version of it, but it won't have the one feature curly haired girls are seeking, which is the hydroxypropyltrimonium hydrolyzd corn starch. So what do we do?

Well, I've already made versions of this shampoo before, in a way, like this conditioning shampoo for dry hair with SCI (just substitute the surfactants here with the surfactants in the product - so the SCI would be SCS and the SMC taurate would be the DLS mild, and if you can find the Mirustyle, use it!) or this conditioning shampoo without SCI. Substitute the cationic polymer with guar gum (instructions for use here) and you have something pretty darn close.

If you know where we can get the hydroxypropyltrimonium hydrolyzed corn starch we might be able to make something similar (post a note in the comments!) but for now, this one has to go on hold.

While researching this product, I realized Croda had taken away my access to their website because I'm not a chemist for some big company. I'm so annoyed right now. Why are companies trying to keep information away from those of us who use their ingredients? ARGH!

Join me tomorrow for more fun duplicating products!


Sarah said...

What could we use instead of the hydroxypropyltrimonium hydrolyzed corn starch? I've got naturally curly hair and make my own products but would love something to really define those curls!

Sarah said...

Actually, I've just found an interesting article:

I wonder, would Hydroxyethyl cellulose (HEC) along with guar and some hydrolysed proteins be an idea?
Only one way to find out - off to the kitchen!

Cynthia said...

Can you duplicate Aveda Chakra 6 Balancing Body Mist?

Anonymous said...

This might be close to the corn starch ingredient your talking about.

By the way thanks for all your work on this site, it's amazing!

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Cynthia. Please visit this post and give me a link for the product and the ingredients. It's too much work for me to look everything up!

I don't know what you could use instead of the (insert long name here) corn starch. I'm looking into it. Unfortunately, the Herbarie product isn't positively charged, which means it won't adsorb to our hair to give us that conditioning. Good thought, though!

Nedeia said...

I just wonder if I can sub maltodextrin for honeyquat, oats/wheat protein or panthenol. I am looking for a similar effect on the skin, of course. I ma not sure I am searching for an emulsion stabilizer, just the other qualities :)

Anonymous said...

Haha! I love the "water extract." What the hell is that all about? Major eye roll...