Sunday, May 6, 2012

Formulating for hair types?

Every day I get questions about hair care products and I notice that the top pages viewed are mostly relating to that allow me to pose this question - do you want more posts on hair care?

Do you feel there's enough in the hair care section about formulating for your hair type? Or do you want me to write more? I can start the series from scratch, writing a series on formulating hair care products, creating basic recipes, responding to your questions. Or can you suggest something different?

Side note: I have to point out that any suggestions I make for African hair types will be theoretical. I haven't had a chance to make products for this hair type as I only know one young man with this hair type and honestly, I think he'd like anything free. (If you're someone in the Fraser Valley with African type hair, perhaps you'd like to try some products? Let me know!)

If you'd like to see a series like this, give me some idea of what you'd like to see in the comments!


Anonymous said...

More for curly including a gel. I currently use flaxseed but interested in other recipes.

Aljonor said...

I have learn so much from your hair ebook and have made a staple hair product. I will like to see your thoughts on making a thicker leave-in for Afro Americans with naturally tight course curls. I will also like to see your thoughts on a daily hair moisturizer for the above hair type.

Thank You

Jen said...

I am interested in formulation for naturally curly hair. Leave-in conditioner/styling gel/curl enhancers.

Anonymous said...

Oooh, yes please!

Anything and everything for naturally curly, super-fine and, especially, over-processed hair (i.e. bleached twice to provide a base for Special Effects dyes), would be greatly appreciated.

I know bleaching twice is a daft thing to do but it gives me the best results when I apply my Atomic Pink dye - I like to be what I call "toxic pink."


Anonymous said...

Why do my comments never go through, or if they do, they are quickly deleted?
I wrote a comment here earlier, it went through, but now it's gone.
It contained no profanity, abuse or anything that could be considered at all offensive.

Have I done something to anger you?


Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Grace. For some reason, your comments ended up in spam. It wasn't something I did (I couldn't, I was asleep!) - it's a service that Blogger offers, and for some reason, you ended up in there. I have no idea why you ended up in the spam filter. I reviewed the spam filter and there's nothing else in there from you, so I don't know where your previous comments might have gone if they didn't show up on the blog. I didn't delete them (see below).

It doesn't scan for abuse or profanity - it scans for what it considers spam. It happens from time to time, and a quick email letting me know that you wrote something and it didn't end up on the blog is enough for me to check the box and restore it. (It used to warn me when I had spam in the box, but it doesn't now, and it's something I don't remember to do in the mornings.) It has nothing to do with you and everything to do with Blogger.

I don't delete comments as I'm a fan of free speech. I have asked people to modify their posts because I don't think we need to use profanity here, but there are examples all over this blog of people making comments that I didn't really appreciate but didn't delete. If you see things in the comments that say "post deleted by author", that means that the person who wrote the post deleted it, generally because they wrong the same thing twice or didn't like their grammar/spelling. If you see something that says, "deleted by administrator", that was deleted by me because it was spam.

The only comments I have deleted were spam. I need to make that really clear because this is one of my core values - this blog is a free speech zone. If it wasn't, I'd moderate the comments like so many other blogs.

kinks said...

Yes pretty please :0)

Unfortunatelt in UK we can only get BTMS-25 so id luv some recipes using that if possible? And also gel using Konjac Glucomannan perhaps.

Thank you Susan

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi kinks. As for using BTMS-25, I wrote in this post:

You'll want to modify your liquid conditioner this way...
add cetyl alcohol to the BTMS at 25% the amount of BTMS (normally you'd add 50% to match the amount of cationic quat);
up the amount of BTMS in a recipe. If you want 6%, you'll want to increase that amount by 50% to ensure you have enough cationic quat to 9%; and
add a humectant like glycerin or something else to compensate for the lack of butylene glycol. (If you are adding honeyquat, you've got another humectant in there.)

For a solid conditioner, you're fine with just using the BTMS-25 as per the recipe.

As for the Konjac Glucomannan, I see it's a thickener and emulsifier. I don't know where to get it locally to experiment, so the best I might be able to offer is a bit of research. But you could do that research on your own - if you do a search on Konjac Glucomannan + cosmetic on google, you get very little information - so I'm not sure what I can offer on the topic. Thanks for the idea, though.

Leman said...

I am interested in formulation for lots of volume and bounce to fine hair (oily roots) whether that's a shampoo, conditioner, leave-in spray.

I would be very interested if you start the series from scratch but I appreciate that others might not be!

Leman said...

Susan, re BTMS-25, this is very useful, thanks for that. Though I wish I could do the maths!!! :-( My brain does not work when it comes to numbers!!!

Sciarretta Farms said...

I would love this too. Not necessarily shampoo and conditioner (though that would be nice too) but treatments and styling products.

My hair is super dry, curly and I live in an arid climate. I find that putting coconut oil on the ends of my hair works wonders, and so does cetac. I use shampoo, conditioner and leave-in conditioner, all with cetac and I still have to add coconut oil to my hair to get the snarls out.

Ashley said...

Please do a series on African American curly hair. I've tried making a lot of your dry haired recipes for my hair but I'm not getting enough slip-although I've used 6% cet chloride. Also none of the shampoo recipes for dry hair are moisturizing enough and I'm at a loss how to increase slip in a shampoo. Lastly could you also do a series on making cult hair gels for ethnic hair types. Using HEC or Amaze XT. I was never able to get Amaze XT and cet chloride to mix and I was sure that would be a winner. Bare bones ingredients. Not too many oils or proteins. Love love love your blog by the way.

soapboss said...

I have only tried Shampoo Bars from one place... Lush and it was a HORRIBLE experience. I have a dry flaky scalp and tried their tar bar and it made my scalp worse. I went and returned it and told them and they got me to try another one which was still not good and on my third try they recommended the coconut shampoo bar.... And omg it went from bad to worse! My scalp was itchy and even bleeding :( I had to wait a MONTH to even dare to go to the hairdressers... there was no way I could do my high-lights with my scalp in such bad condition.
I have my own handmade soap business and truly love the soaps I make (which is why I even tried a shampoo bar to begin with) yet I am terrified to try making anything after my only experience with them was so bad....
Any ideas on why this went so wrong for me? So curious to figure it out.... just do not want to go through anymore agony!

Anonymous said...


Thank you very much for letting me know what was going on, I was starting to feel really left out :)

I'll take this opportunity to say congratulations on your maths exam result (I tried to in the actual thread but... *shrug*).

Best wishes,

P.S. Thank you for teaching me chemistry, I wish I’d had you at school.

Jo said...

Soapboss OMG I hope you're okay. I to have tried a shampoo bar to bad results but nowhere as bad as your experience. My thing is the high pH of the soap combined with the water.. Susan has done some cool posts on pH and our skin and hair.

Ashley kudos to you for trying some of Susan's recipes. I have tried a couple with some tweeks. I looked at the ingredients and increased the moisturising ingredients where I could, added more and took away from water phase. But look at your local water supply as that could a big factor how your products work or not. I live in a really hard and processed water area and I have to think about chelators for the rinse off products.
To get more slip try looking at your extracts, horsetail and marshmallow roots, blue malva to name a few. Also the other much maligned ingredient is Silicone. As it is an occlusive ingredient we have to really think about which stage of haircare or styling we could use it. Maybe in the curl enhancing stage?
Dry climate? Think spirtz, I use a daily mister of rose water, manuka honey water, glycerin, bamboo extract, panthenol with preservative. It provides the moisture I require without any grease and allows me to refresh my curly styles. I might use my all purpose oil (40% blk castor oil, 60% melonseed oil <1% EO) to seal. Just my musings hope they help.
Susan you are a mentor and you don't even know me. I heat and hold and gathering a nice array of preservatives due to your due diligence. If I lived in the same country as you I would pay the postage so I could test for u! As it is I am willing to test recipes this side of the pond. Lol.
Jo x

kinks said...

Thanks Susan/Oracle
Im going to purchase some of the Konjac and experiment.

p.s id luv an idea on how to get more slip in a conditioner, ive increased the oils but still not doing it. I wonder if adding more glycerine and cetac would help?

Ashley said...


Thanks for the advice. The water here is soft and the climate is humid so I know that isn't an issue. I've also experimented with all of the mentioned extracts-by making infusions of them- and I've found they help a little but not much. For example: If too much slippery elm infusion is used then my product turns gummy too little and there is a minimal effect if any at all. So I've moved away from infusions and extracts because I really don't see a huge effect. I will try again though. I might be infusing my teas for too long. It seems that all the recipes I've made-whether conditioner or shampoo- are missing that cushioned feel that most commercial products have. That depth without being heavy, the slip without being greasy etc. With regards to the gel using amaze xt. At 1% it is too thin and still flakes horribly when applied to the hair. Despite adding water soluble oils and what not it is still hard and crunchy feeling. At 3% it ten times as bad. I don't like the feel of carbines based gels in my hair as they leave a tacky feeling. I love kinky curly curling custard ad leave in but despite using the exact same ingredients and playing around with the percentages I can't duplicate the slip of the conditioner nor the curl elongation and feel of the gel.

Purple Rain said...

Thank you again for keeping this blog. I'm hear primarily for your knowledge on hair products. I've gotten a lot of help from you already.

I'm not sure how beneficial a post on "African hair" would be since ppl of African descent have so many different types of hair. I think topics like "dry hair" "dull hair" "tangly hair" "combability" "oily hair" might be best. Then you can even say what to do to take a recipe further, like "increasing the % of ______ will give more slip to your conditioner rinse" and we can personalize as we go.

Those are just my thoughts.

Oh, and don't stop your other topics. I was happy to see your recent body scrub post. That's actually the next thing I want to make for my pedicure/spa Sundays!
Keep up the great work.

Jo said...

Hey Ashley, why don't you request a duplicate of the kinky curly curling custard from Susan on her duplicates request post. She asks for certain things like ingredients list and picture and link of said product and what might be helpful is a description of the product. You know what I would be really interested it the recreation. Although I really didn't like the curling custard as I found it more crunching custard! and having to leave your hair to drip dry in England would give me flu.... I am looking forward to a styling series....

Meeka Jones said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Meeka Jones said...

Thank you sooooo much for this amazing blog!! You're the best Susan :) I agree with a lot of the comments about making products for "afro textured hair" in other words products that need more slip and are more moisturizing since afro textured hair tends to get drier faster. I'm fairly new to making products and new to your blog so I haven't gotten a chance to read through everything, but I've tried searching for a sulfate, silicone, paraben free recipe (2 in 1 shampoo and leave in) that is super moisturizing and as "natural" as possible...I've got down your conditioner recipe for dry hair so I'm wondering if tweaked a bit could be used in conjunction with other natural ingredients to create a 2 in 1 shampoo and a super softening/moisturizing leave in.

Thank you SOOOOOOO much again for all of your help and hard work! You are truly amazing!!