Shampoo: Modifying the basic shampoo recipe to be more conditioning, Unknown asks: I have African hair, and I wanted to know if adding emollients (coconut oil, castor oil) would be good in a shampoo. If so, what would be the usage rate in a homemade shampoo for these ingredients. Another question: if I add emollients in my shampoos, do I need to add an emulsifyer as well? How would I go about that process of adding the all the ingredients together? (Surfactants, water, emollients,)
Yes, you can add emollients to a shampoo. You may or may not need a solubilizer depending upon the surfactants you use. For instance, C14-16 olefin sulfonate and decyl glucoside are great emulsifiers for small amounts of oil. You could add oils with a solubilizer like PEG-7 cocoate, PEG-40 hydrogenated castor oil, polysorbate 80, or caprylyl/capryl glucoside, but only use a titch as these things can suppress the foam in the product. (Click on the links to see how much you might need to use with your oil.) Finally, you could use a water soluble oil like PEG-7 olivate or water soluble shea, although these will depress your foam a bit, too.
Check out these posts to learn more about using oils in surfactant based products...
Using water soluble oils in a shampoo
A few notes about oils in shampoo
A body wash with oils
Having said all of this, should you add some oils to your product? Oils can increase mildness of a surfactant mix, which is a good thing, but will they do any good in a rinse off product? I think yes, adding a bit can be a good thing. Which one you use is up to you, but I always like coconut oil for hair products as it's inexpensive and it can penetrate your hair strand.
I'm afraid I'm not an expert on African hair types, so I get my information from you, my wonderful readers. I'm always open to learning more about your experiences, so please feel free to comment! What are your experiences with hair care products?