shampoo formula

TaherTaher Member
i am trying to reach a formula that works best for me and my work and i have some questions if you could kindly answer

dry hair shampoo

1- 68.5% water
2- 11% sodium laureth sulfate (70%))
3- 9% cocamidopropyl betaine (30%)
4- 3% glycol distearate (( could i use Euperlan PK771 instead of distearate because distearate is not always available and will it give the same effect on pearlizing the shampoo and suspending the dimethicone ))   
5- 2% glycerin (( i read a lot on the site and i understand from your comments that it will be washed away but i need something to help the hair feel less dry or make feel good on the hair while applying it and i don't want to use oils like castor ))
6- 2% polyquaternium 7 (( is 2% a high percentage or is it in right range of use and if i added 0.5% polyquaternium 10, should i remove the polyqua 7 or it would be better to have both ))
6- 1.5% cocamide dea
7- 1% dimethicone (( will this percentage cause heavy build up ))
8- 1.2% sodium chloride
9- 0.5% perfume
10- 0.1% propylene glycol
11- 0.2% preservative

If I wanted to make an oily hair shampoo can I use the same recipe but with raising the SLES percentage to 17% and reducing the dimethicone and polyqua 7

and at last should an everyday shampoo formula resemble dry hair shampoo
I know I ask a lot but i want to learn the right way
and thank you in advance for any question answered


  • DavidDavid Member
    edited January 2018
    If you want an oily shampoo, raise the oils and lower the oilremovers, i.e. the surfactants.
    If you want a shampoo for oily hair do the opposite.
  • BelassiBelassi Member, PCF student
    SLES is a crap surfactant. That's my opinion. It's the one everyone uses because it is dirt cheap, but it is pretty crummy.
    Cosmetic Brand Creation. Concept to name to IMPI search to logo and brand registration. In-house graphic design inc. Pantone specs. Cosmetic label and box design & graphics.
  • unfortunately it is the only one available in my country right now, so i have to work with it

  • PerryPerry Administrator, Professional Chemist
    @Belassi - What do you find particularly objectionable about SLES?  What is your preferred cleansing surfactant?

    I've found SLS is better for foaming for sure but SLES is good for reducing the potential irritation of SLS formulas. 
  • em88em88 Member
    edited January 2018
    Same question as Perry.
    I thing Belassi uses ALS or ALES.
    SLES is 70% is a pain to disperse in water, but with some patience I could avoid foaming almost 100%. 
  • Belassi also uses LGC Sorb. :-)
  • @Perry @sven @em88, can you help me in any of questions above
  • PerryPerry Administrator, Professional Chemist
    1.  To make an oily hair version - Yes you can do as you suggested.

    2.  Yes, an everyday shampoo could be more like a dry shampoo. Maybe just increase the surfactant levels slightly for differentiation.
  • thanx @Perry
  • DASDAS Member
    17% SLES is too much, in my opinion it will be too agressive for the scalp.

  • thanx @DAS
  • We already have a shampoo with almost 17% SLES (70%) and we did not have any complain so far.
  • PerryPerry Administrator, Professional Chemist
    @em88 - I agree.  ~12% active surfactant is not an unreasonable amount. Shampoos range 9 - 15% active surfactant

  • DASDAS Member
    12 + 3 CAPB + 1.2 DEA.

    For a daily use I consider it too strong. That formula would make my scalp itch on the 3rd day of use. 
  • before becoming a belassi follower i used 10 + 2 CAPB + CDE without any issue for years. now just use LGC sorb + sodium cocoamphoacetate + CAPB 
  • @ 2cde sorry

  • @Perry @DAS , i read that i shouldn't add DEA when calculating the surfactant % and i see you are adding it
    so does cocamide dea act as a surfactant and i should add it
  • PerryPerry Administrator, Professional Chemist
    Yes, Cocamide DEA is a surfactant. It's old technology that most people avoid however.
  • I tend to avoid cocamide DEA, it seems it has a bad reputation to the patients due to  its potential to cause cancer. 
  • @Taher, what did you decide to do with the poly quats?
  • @sven it is still to be decided ut from what i read so far i am going to try 0.5% polyqaut-10 with 1% polyquat-7 for dry hair
  • @perry thank you, i will start adding it to my active % calculations
    @em88 what do you suggest for a replacement
  • @taher , polyquat 10 needs heating to disolve completely whereas you could get away using polyquat 7 as a cold process
  • @sven, thank you for the notice :)
  • @Taher  I use SLES with CAPB and with disodium laureth sulfosucinate
  • @em88, unfortunately we have a very limited surfactant choices. SLES and CAPB are the only one available all the time, and cocamide DEA      
  • PerryPerry Administrator, Professional Chemist
    The industry in the US pretty much phased out of DEAs and went to Cocamidopropyl Betaine. It was a reaction to a cancer scare story about residual nitrosamines. Here's what the SCCS says about it.

    Of course, in a review of ingredient safety, the ingredients are safe to use in cosmetics with limits but contrary to popular belief, the cosmetic industry takes these scare stories serious. If it is easy enough to swap out an ingredient, in general the industry will.  At least the big guys do.
  • Chemist77Chemist77 Member, PCF student
    @sven you don’t need heating to dissolve Polyquaternium 10. Just disperse in water and neutralize with an alkali, it will immediately become clear and viscous. Later you can adjust the final pH of the formulation. Not sure which grade you are using, I use Polymer JR 400.
  • thank you all
  • BelassiBelassi Member, PCF student
    Sorry I could not respond earlier, I've been in hospital.
    I use a commercial blend of ALS/ALES/LDEAL for some of my shampoos/body shampoos. Its performance by far exceeds any of the SLES formulae I experimented with for years. I also use LGC Sorb / cocoamphoacetate / CAPB which gives excellent results. I gave up on SLES, I could not achieve the characteristics I wanted.
    Cosmetic Brand Creation. Concept to name to IMPI search to logo and brand registration. In-house graphic design inc. Pantone specs. Cosmetic label and box design & graphics.
  • @Belassi, I hope that you have recovered. I had wondered where you were as i did not see any comments from you for a while. 
  • BelassiBelassi Member, PCF student
    I am in recovery thanks, Sven. As Perry knows, I have just had an angioplasty. Everything went well.
    Cosmetic Brand Creation. Concept to name to IMPI search to logo and brand registration. In-house graphic design inc. Pantone specs. Cosmetic label and box design & graphics.
  • @Belassi
    Take your time to heal!  My mother had that don't back in the 80's when it was something new.  
  • Chemist77Chemist77 Member, PCF student
    Get well soon @Belassi, my dad had it almost 17 years ago and he is still fit as a fiddle. 
  • BelassiBelassi Member, PCF student
    Thank you all for the kind comments. Most appreciated. They caught me in time. I had two near-miss incidents and I was getting worse by the day. I begin rehabilitation in two weeks - right now I am avoiding the lab. Fortunately I had made enough batches before, so as to remain in stock.
    Cosmetic Brand Creation. Concept to name to IMPI search to logo and brand registration. In-house graphic design inc. Pantone specs. Cosmetic label and box design & graphics.
  • @Belassi ; I hope you are well and i wish you a quick recovery
  • @Belassi, get well soon!
  • @Taher can I know the viscosity of the shampoo?
  • Can I use propylene glycol, cetreal alcohol and Formaline as preservative in a shampoo formula? Anyone can help me please?
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