Clear Shampoo using Oils

samfsamf Member
edited July 2014 in Formulating
I'm trying to create a clear shampoo and experimenting with using carrier oils instead of using quats. I've managed to work out the approx HLB value (11.5) so know which emulsifiers I should be looking to use.  However is the use of the correct emulsifier simply ensure the shampoo and oil will not separate and if so, will increasing the ratio of emulsifier to oils to give me a clear product?


  • DavidWDavidW Member, PCF student
    You never know what will end up clear till you try.  Experiment with the emulsifiers and you will learn a great deal.

    However if you try to put too much oil into a shampoo, it may start off thick and a few weeks later you could have the consistency of water. 
  • MakingSkincareMakingSkincare Member, Professional formulator
    You might find this helpful - And she also has tutorials for shampoo.
    Jane Barber (free online course)
    Formulation discussion forum (18,000 members):
  • heraklitheraklit Member, PCF student
    How much percent oils do you want to use?
  • using oil above 2% will seperate ur shampoo
  • PerryPerry Administrator, Professional Chemist
    HLB is not really an effective tool to use with charged (anionic) surfactants.  It's really only for nonionic surfactants.
  • samfsamf Member
    Wow thanks guys for all your comments.  I was planning to use 1.5-2% oils and it doesn't separate when using Polysorbate 20.  I guess i'll have to experiment but doesn't seem likely i'll be able to achieve a clear shampoo with the level of oils. Thanks Perry for your comment re. hlb.  Didn't know that the hlb system didn't apply to anionics (my formula contains 3% sodium cocoyl glutamate).
  • nasrinsnasrins Member
    edited July 2014
    @perry why hlb isnt effective for anionic surfactants?
  • PerryPerry Administrator, Professional Chemist
    Because HLB does not take into account the effect of charge on the formation of micelles.  When a surfactant has a positively charged head group that is going to affect the size, shape, and distribution of the micelles.  There have been some attempts to adapt HLB to charged surfactants but it has proven too complicated.  When using HLB stick with nonionics.
Sign In or Register to comment.