How is Shampoo made?


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Shampoo raw materials

When developing your preferred shampoo formula, the initial step is to determine the desired qualities. This involves assessing factors such as color, thickness, and fragrance. Additionally, you should evaluate the cleaning effectiveness, foam properties, and potential irritants. Ultimately, consumer feedback plays a vital role in establishing these characteristics.

Essential Components of Shampoo Formulation Explained

Detergents – Detergents are the primary cleaning ingredient in shampoo and make up about 10-15% of the formula. Detergents are extracted from natural fatty acids or petroleum derivatives. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate, and Sodium Laureth Sulfate are some of the most common detergents in modern shampoo products. Most companies use ingredients such as Lauryl Glucoside or Decyl Glucoside for natural shampoos.

In the realm of shampoo production, water reigns supreme as the most essential component, comprising over 75% of the formula. Its main function is to dilute the detergents, making them more spreadable and less irritating. Moreover, water also helps to maintain a lower price point which is beneficial for both consumers and manufacturers.

Foam boosters are commonly used in shampoos to enhance their foaming properties. While a creamy foam doesn’t necessarily impact the performance of the shampoo, customers tend to prefer it when buying these products. Two commonly used foam-boosting agents are alkanolamides and betaines. These compounds are derived from fatty acids and can be either oil or water-soluble. They work by increasing the amount and size of bubbles in the shampoo. Typically, foam boosters comprise about 10% of the shampoo formula.

Conditioning agents are ingredients that are added to hair products to compensate for the harsh effects of cleansing agents. Some of the common types of conditioning agents used in hair products include silicones, polymers, and quaternary agents. These agents are applied to the hair and left on its surface to provide softness and manageability and reduce static charge. Shampoos that contain conditioners are often labeled as two-in-one products because they can cleanse and condition in one step. Examples of popular conditioning agents used in hair products include Polyquaternium-10 and Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride (polymers), Dimethicone and Cyclomethicone (silicones), and Quaternium-80 (quaternary agent).

Thickeners are often used in shampoo formulations to make the consistency thicker. In addition to using secondary detergents, adding salt can also achieve this desired effect. The formula’s viscosity can be increased by incorporating a cellulosic polymer such as Methylcellulose or a synthetic polymer like Carbomer, which are commonly used ingredients.

Preservatives – in formulas that contain water, there is a risk of contamination by bacteria or other microorganisms. To prevent this, cosmetic preservatives like DMDM Hydantoin and Methylparaben are added to inhibit bacterial growth. While manufacturing natural shampoo products, ingredients like Sodium Benzoate, Phenoxyethanol, and Benzyl Alcohol are used as preservatives to prevent unwanted microbial growth.

Shampoos contain a plethora of additional ingredients, such as fragrances, dyes, chelating agents, pH adjusters, opacifying agents, and other substances. They often include vitamins, herbal extracts, and proteins to serve as talking points for marketers who promote the product. Anti-dandruff shampoos may contain zinc pyrithione. Additionally, the type of pump used for dispensing shampoos, such as a “viscous liquid pump,” may be worth exploring.

Understanding How Shampoo Is Made

To produce shampoo on a large scale, a process called compounding is employed. In this process, a substantial amount of shampoo is manufactured and then dispensed into packages using a liquid dispensing machine. The raw materials are combined by compounders, who mix the ingredients in stainless steel tanks that are at least 3000 gallons in size. This is the method by which shampoo is manufactured in bulk.