It’s been a long time since I made a DIY post !
If you’ve been following me on instagram, you might have noticed some of the latest pics where I say that I make my own hygiene products and cosmetics now, and I’ve also mentioned this in my New hair, new routine post. Well, today I’m sharing this new obsession with you, starting with a very basic shampoo formula ! This is how it’s mostly formulated by organic brands, but simplified. It’s a shampoo is suitable for all hair types, sensitive scalps included.
D I S C L A I M E R :
I am not a licensed Dermatologist, Chemist, or Esthetician, I am self taught and follow the advice of professionals. This post is for entertainment and informational purpose only, any action you take upon the information shared here is at your own risk. Always follow the recommended sanitary measures as formulation has the potential to be dangerous.
EQUIPMENT NEEDED :
- a bowl (or beaker)
- a whisk (the smallest the better)
- a spoon (to add the ingredients)
- a spatula
- a precision scale
- a funnel or syringe (if needed)
- 90° alcohol (or any other alcohol to disinfect)
- an empty container
Now, before you read the ingredient list, you have to know that a cosmetic formula is almost always written in percentages, and the 100% corresponds to a 100g of final product. That way, if you want to make 250 or 500 grams of shampoo, you just need to adjust the percentages to your liking, it’s very convenient (I use online percentage calculators, I’ll explain it in detail in another post if you guys need it). Also, I know that the US and UK love to use their volume measurements, but with cosmetic and hygiene formulation you need to be very accurate, you have to use grams and a scale that is precise enough to measure 0.01 grams.
INGREDIENTS (for 250g) :
- 2% Glycerin, 5g : a humectant, choose the vegetable version
- 1% Xanthan Gum, 2,5g : the thickening agent and stabilizer, to get a gel consistency
- 43,40% Water, 108g : some use distilled water, but since we shower with tap water anyways that’s what I use honestly
- 20% Hydrosol, 50g : use any for the smell, (like the commonly known “rose water” for example) or you can also not use them and add the 20% to the water amount
- 1% Lactic Acid, 2,5g : essential to balance the pH of our shampoo, so that it matches the natural pH of our scalp (pH ~4 – 5)
- 2% Oil, 5g: the best for shampoo is Broccoli oil, a natural hair conditioner. But you can also use castor oil that is also awesome for hair in general, jojoba or chestnut oil for oily scalps, or sweet almond oil for dryer ones
- 0,6% Geogard 221/Cosgard Preservative, 1,5g : (INCI : Benzyl alcohol, Dehydroacetic acid) : you can’t formulate water based products without a preservative, ever (unless you use all of it the same day). This is an Ecocert approved broad spectrum preservative, which is the most demanding label for organic and natural cosmetics
- 30% Decyl Glucoside, 75g : decyl glucoside is a mild non-ionic surfactant, it’s the cleaning agent of our shampoo. It’s plant-derived, biodegradable, and gentle for all hair types, including babies
Before anything else, wash your hands. Then, disinfect everything that is going to be in contact with your product with alcohol : the bowl, spoon, spatula, whisk, container, cups you might use… everything. Let it all dry, and then you can start
- Start mixing the Glycerin with the Xanthan Gum, to reduce the creation of clumps when you’ll add the water. Mix until it’s homogeneous. I recommend measuring the Xanthan gum separately first, to be able to take some out in case you add to much.
- Add the water and whisk well, a bit like when you’re beating eggs, until you get a gel consistency.
- Next add every other ingredient except the Decyl Glucoside, whisk between each ingredient to incorporate them well.
- Finally add the Decyl Glucoside, and whisk very slowly. If you start seeing lots of bubbles, you might be whisking too strongly (you need to avoid bubbles since they make pouring the shampoo into the container difficult). Whisk for at least a minute so that the surfactant is well incorporated.
- Now test the pH of your product by dipping some pH paper into it (If you do not have pH paper, you should be fine if you follow the steps rigorously, but I still recommend that you get some). The pH should be between 4 – 5. If it’s too acidic (below 4), add a pinch of baking soda, mix well, test again, and repeat if needed. If it’s too alkaline (over 5), add one to two drops of lactic acid, mix well, test again, and repeat if needed.
- Pour your shampoo into your container with a funnel or syringe if needed, use the spatula to scrape all the product. And you’re done !
The final product should have a gel consistency, and it will foam as you use it.
This is a very basic formula, but you can customize it as much as you want using fragrances, cosmetic actives, herbal infusions…
I’ll add different kind of recipes in the future, so please let me know if you have any suggestions ! I hope you enjoyed this post, don’t hesitate to ask anything in the comments if you need help 😊
I didn’t know you couldn’t formulate water-based products without a preservative, that’s so interesting, I’ve never made shampoo from scratch but it doesn’t sound too complicated
It’s one of the easiest products to make really, you just have to mix things in the right order ! But yeah water carries lots of bacteria, and even if you use bottled water humidity is just the perfect environment for life to grow even if you can’t always see it 🧐
This is a really good idea ! especially when nowadays a lot of shampoo brands are using dangerous ingredients in their products. I like it ☺️
Exactly, that’s what I thought too ! 😊