Monday, January 25, 2016

Making a clarifying shampoo for oily hair

A very long time ago - okay, it was December 6, 2015, but that's practically a lifetime on the 'net - I ended a series on designing your shampoo as part of a line of hair care products. To continue that series for this post, I wanted to share with you my new clarifying shampoo recipe.

I normally use a conditioning shampoo bar for oily hair, but noticed that my hair and scalp were feeling oilier than normal. I thought a clarifying shampoo would work to banish this feeling of greasiness, and set out to make one based on the recipe I made for that previous series.

I partially blame the use of SCI noodles with extra fatty acids for the oiliness issue. I bought some SCI granules from Windy Point Soap that don't contain these extra fatty acids, so I will be making more bars soon. I can use the old bars as body washes! 

Please note, this isn't to say that SCI in noodle or flake form that could contain - but not always, so check with your supplier - extra fatty acids isn't a good thing. it's just that my extremely oily hair can't take it at the moment. Check out this post to learn more about the various versions of SCI

What makes a clarifying shampoo different from a conditioning shampoo? Conditioning shampoos contain conditioning agents like dimethicone or cationic polymers that leave your hair feeling conditioned afterwards. A clarifying shampoo doesn't contain these ingredients. That really is the big difference!

52% distilled water
15% C14-16 olefin sulfonate
15% DLS mild
10% cocamidopropyl betaine
3% glycerin
2% cationic polymer of choice
0.5% extract - grapeseed or rosemary
0.5% liquid Germall Plus (or other preservative at suggested usage rate)
up to 2% Crothix

This was my starting point for the recipe. I am leaving out the cationic polymer because I don't want conditioning in the product.

To make a product for my oily feeling hair, I wanted to use mild cleansers that work well with my hair type, which include the sulfosuccinates or C14-16 olefin sulfonate. I like to add cocamidopropyl betaine as it is awesome for all hair types and increases mildness and thickening. You can use any blend of surfactants you find works for your hair.

I have an ingredient from the Formulator Sample Shop* called bamboo extract that they claim wil remove build up from your scalp and hair, and figured this was a good thing to include. I left out the glycerin from the original recipe because the bamboo extract is in glycerin, and figured I'd have enough there. The suggested usage rate is 1% to 10%, so I chose 5% as a happy medium.

I added 3% Vital Hair & Scalp Complex (INCI: Water, Saccharum officinarum (Sugar Cane)Extract, Citrus medica limonum (Lemon) Fruit Extract, Betaine & Hexylene Glycol & Pyrus malus (Apple) Fruit Extract & Camellia sinensis Leaf Extract & Hexapeptide-11) The claim is that it "Helps clear the follicles of excessive build up of dead cells, allowing for thicker hair growth." (From this datasheet.) "(It) addresses many of the aspects of ageing hair and scalp with its combination of alpha hydroxy acids, trimethylglycine, a peptide and antioxidants." Despite the hype - I don't believe it can help my hair be thicker or will make my hair look younger - I wanted some exfoliating abilities in this product, so it seemed like a good choice.

If you don't have this ingredient, you could use another exfoliating ingredient like papaya extract or white willow bark at their suggested usage rates. Or leave it out and increase your water amount by 3%.

I used pisum sativum peptide, which is a protein from a type of pea, at 2%. It works like other proteins in that it is a film former and moisturizer, It is supposed to hydrate hair as well as wheat hydrolysate (hydrolyzed protein), it behaves as an anti-oxidant, and it increases your hair's diameter.

You can use the hydrolyzed protein of your choice if you don't have the pisum sativum. Choose silk hydrolyzed proteinoat hydrolyzed proteinPhytokeratin, amongst others.

I always like panthenol in my products, so I added it at 2% in the cool down phase, along with 2% essential oil blend for oily hair (equal parts lemon, rosemary, cedarwood atlas, and sage), and preservative.

44.5% distilled water
15% C14-16 olefin sulfonate
15% disodium laureth sulfosuccinate
10% cocamidopropyl betaine
5% bamboo extract
3% Vital hair & scalp complex
2% hydrolyzed protein of choice
2% panthenol
2% essential oil blend
0.5% liquid Germall Plus

Use the general shampoo making instructions in this post. If you feel it isn't thick enough after adding all the ingredients, including fragrace oil, add 1% liquid Crothix, stir and see if the viscosity works for you. Add 1% liquid Crothix at a time until you reach 5% or you like the viscosity. For this recipe, I found 2% was perfect.

I really liked this shampoo, and felt that it worked well to make my hair feel less oily but not straw like or stripped. I only made a 200 gram batch and used it quite quickly. It also worked well as a body wash that one morning I was too rushed to get my usual wash from the workshop! I'm annoyed that I didn't take a picture of it out of the bottle as I coloured it a lovely aqua blue with my LabColours.

What do you do if you want to make this for dry hair? There are quite a few modifications we could make, such as changing the surfactants and adding some moisturizers. Can I refer you to this post where I make a clarifying shampoo for dry hair? This is a great version for dry hair, but please note it isn't a super crazy lathering and foaming cleanser. It foams and lathers, but not as much as you might expect due to the moisturizing ingredients and specific surfactants.

*Please note that I am sent free ingredients by companies like the Formulator Sample Shop. I will use the ingredients and share my honest opinions with you, my lovely readers. I am not being compensated for my opinion or usage of the ingredients in any way, except for the free ingredients. I mention the places I buy my ingredients when relevant because you've asked for that information. 


terriblybadgrrl said...

Dearest Susan,

Thank you for this post! I know you're not a great fan of baking soda, but I do find adding a spoon or so to the shampoo dollop clarifies any build up whatsoever pronto. A conditioning shampoo is too heavy for my curly hair. I'm curious about the pisum sativum peptide as diameter increaser and film former. Other than that, a generous daily oral supplementation of MSM does wonders for super fast hair growth and strength! I can't recommend it enough. Same goes for nails, which I wish it hadn't in my case, as I like to clip mine short as can be.
It wonderful for skin as well!
I've been searching high and low to attempt crating a leave in conditioner/ styling gel, which would primarily add maximum shine without stickiness and stiffness, while leaving it soft and touchable yet adding some body and manageability. Your blog of course, was my first go to, but I still haven't been able to find the formula.
It'd be terrific if you could address that!
Thank you!

KMY said...

Hi Susan - Why do you use liquid Crothix in this clarifying shampoo when you DONT want emollience and DO want to remove build-up? As I understand, Crothix liquid contains PEG-6 caprylic/capric triglycerides, whereas the pastille form does not. Wouldn't that be preferable, esp. for our oily hair?
Love your blog,
Kim Young

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi terriblybadgrrl. I've made one hair gel on the blog, but it really doesn't interest me as a product. I don't use gel, so I haven't done much experimenting. I do know that the moment you add anything to help with styling, it'll be sticky because the PVP or fixative is a sticky ingredient. Consider adding some cationic polymers to it for conditioning. I'm not sure what you'll do for shine as anything that'll add shine will be oil soluble, like dimethicone, but I'm sure you can find something!

Hi KMY! I use liquid Crothix because the pastilles are really hard to work with as it's hard to predict the viscosity of your product when you're heating the water phase. Even with recipes I've made dozens of times, the viscosity isn't the same every time. If you consider how little we're using - 1 to 2 grams in 100 grams of product - it's not enough to really make a difference in the oiliness of one's hair. If you want to use the pastilles, maybe try 2% for this product. Or consider using Ritathix DOE?

I'm not worried about build up with Crothix. Have you read something that says it will create build up? It's one of my favourite ingredients and I'm always up for learning more about it!

DeeDee said...

Brewed nettle tea is supposed to be really good to control scalp sebum. It is said to make hair very soft but reduce the extra sebum that causes greasy hair. It is readily available as an organic tea.

On the other hand, I have read that oat is really good for dry hair. So maybe hydrolyzed oat protein?? Also, I'm a big fan of glycerites and extracts and have comfrey in both forms. This is very soothing for dry, irritated scalp so this may also be handy :)