Deposition from Conditioning Shampoo: Optimizing Coacervate Formation

October 23, 2008 | Contact Author | By: Robert Y. Lochhead, Lisa R. Huisinga and Tara Waller, The Institute for Formulation Science, The University of Southern Mississippi
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Keywords: deposition | coacervate | polymers | hair conditioning | shampoos

Abstract: New techniques are being offered to produce formulations faster and more cost effectively than ever before. Researchers at the Institute for Formulation Science have addressed this challenge by developing robotic combinatorial techniques for the preparation and investigation of complex mixtures.

Most conditioning shampoos depend on deposition of a polymer- surfactant coacervate to confer good wet-combing and manageability. Complex coacervate formation is crucially dependent on the molecular characteristics of the polymer and surfactant species, and it is significantly affected by the presence of other ingredients such as cosurfactants and dissolved salts. The optimization of these systems presents a challenge to the formulator because of the astronomical number of possible compositions with different performance outcomes. Conventional formulation practice requires literally years of laboratory experimentation to characterize and optimize products that depend on complex coacervate formation. Robotic combinatorial techniques that accelerate the characterization and optimization of complex coacervate formulations have been explored at the Institute for Formulation Science.