Formulating Conditioning Shampoos

December 31, 2009 | Contact Author | By: Robert Lochhead, The University of Southern Mississippi
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Keywords: conditioning shampoos | cationic surfactants | cationic polymers | silicones

Abstract: Conditioning shampoos came into being when in order to replace hair body that had been lost by frequent shampooing and conditioning, formulators sought to introduce ingredients that would be deposited on the hair during the shampooing process. This article addresses the basics and the most recent developments in formulating conditioning shampoos.

Early attempts at conditioning shampoos sought to include liquid oleoresin from wood in products that were dubbed balsam shampoos. A two-phase shampoo was introduced that consisted of a mineral oil layer floating on top of an aqueous detergent layer, with an alkyl alcohol as an emulsion destabilizer. This product was designed to deposity the oily material during the shampooing process.

However, wood rosin was difficult to formulate in a stable homogenous shampoo. It tended to flocculate, coagulate and separate from the composition. Wood rosin deposited on hair because it was imcompatible with dilute shampoo and it was sticky. Unfortunately, these "attricutes" also caused the rosin to build up on the hair with successive shampoo cycles and this was unpopular with consumers.