Tag Archives: natural shampoo

Surfactants in Natural Shampoo Part 2

How to Formulate and Make Natural Shampoo Part 2: Surfactants in Natural Shampoo

Part 1 Types of Shampoo

Part 2 Surfactants for Natural Shampoo

Part 3 Formulating and Making Natural Shampoo

How to Formulate and Make Natural Shampoo Part 1 (read here) covered Types of Shampoo. Part 2 covers Surfactants for Natural Shampoo.

Surfactants are necessary to remove dirt and grease. Surfactants are surface-active agents. Surfactants alter and reduce the surface tension allowing for better penetration. Surfactants are hydrophilic (water-loving) and lipophilic (oil-loving); they have a water-loving head that is attracted to water and an oil-loving head that is attracted to oil. Learn more about surfactants here. 

Water has an inherent property of surface, a high surface tension. By adding a surfactant, it makes the surface of water more soluble by flattening it out and the surfactant can be used as foaming agent, detergent, emulsification agent and conditioning agent and for solubilizing, depending on the surfactant.

Sulfate Cleansers can be irritating to the skin. They have high foaming and cleansing actions. Sulfated surfactants are SLS-sodium lauryl sulfate, and ALS-aluminum lauryl sulfate.

Sulfate-free cleansers are generally non-irritating and milder than sulfate cleansers.

There are four types of surfactants.
1. Anionic Surfactants carry a negative charge.
2. Nonionic Surfactants have no charge.
3. Cationic Surfactants carry a positive charge 
4. AmphotericSurfactants carry a negative or positive or no charge.

Anionic Surfactants
Anionic surfactants have a negative charge to the water-loving head, called hydrophilic. Anionic surfactants perform the highest foaming and cleansing actions. They can also build viscosity. Anionic surfactants may be harsh on the skin and hair. Cold process handmade soap is anionic from the reaction of the fats with sodium hydroxide but  cold process soap is not harsh on the skin if there is extra oil in the soap. A lot depends on the formulation and the ingredients in the formulation.

Nonionic Surfactants
Nonionic surfactants have no charge to the water-loving head. Nonionic surfactants are one of the gentlest surfactants but they produce very little foam. They are usually combined with other surfactants to boost foam. Nonionic can act as solubilizers and assist with dispersing essential oils.

Cationic Surfactants
Cationic surfactants have a positive charge to their water-loving head. The positive charge creates adherence to the net negative charge of hair. Cationic surfactants are used in hair conditioners to adhere to the hair and not rinse away allowing the conditioner to provide conditioning and leave the hair smooth, soft, silky and with less static electricity. Cationic surfactants are good in formulations for co-wash and 2-in-1 conditioning shampoo. Cationic surfactants do not combine well with anionic surfactants.

Amphoteric Surfactants
Amphoteric surfactants can have a negative or positive charge or no charge depending on the acid or alkaline environment. Amphoteric surfactants are generally used as the primary surfactant in mild shampoo formulations.

Natural surfactants should be sulfate-free and from renewable plant sources, biodegradable and use processes that are not harmful to humans, animals and the earth. In a shampoo formulation there is usually a combination of surfactants to provide sufficient foam, manageability for the hair and a good feel when shampooing the hair.

Availability of Surfactants to the Small Manufacturer
Surfactants available to the small manufacturer of natural hair care products have been limited. This is changing and smaller raw material suppliers are offering more surfactants. Here are a few natural surfactants currently available to the small manufacturer. I use these surfactants and others. From my experience, shampoo is one of the most challenging products to formulate. Shampoo performs different depending on the hair type and they are affected by the water used to wash the hair, especially hard water.

Apple Surfactant INCI Sodium Cocoyl Apple Amino Acids
Sodium Cocoyl Apple Amino Acids is derived from apple juice amino acids. It is non- irritating, gentle and mild and can be used in baby shampoo and sensitive skin shampoo. Anionic

Coco-Glucoside INCI Coco-Glucoside
Coco-Gllucoside is derived from coconut and sugar. It is a mild surfactant and non-irritating. It has good foaming strength. Nonionic

Decyl Glucoside INCI Decyl Glucoside
Decyl Glucoside is derived from sugar and plant oil. It is very mild and non-irritating. It is good for sensitive skin. It does produce a fair amount of foam for being a nonionic surfactant but little flash foam. Nonionic

Potassium Cocoate INCI Potassium Cocoate
Potassium cocoate is also known as liquid soap. I find it harsh on the hair unless combined with more moisturizing surfactants. It is available from a cosmetic raw material supplier or one can make it. It is made with potassium hydroxide (KOH), a similar process like cold process soap. Anionic

Sodium Lauroyl Lactylate INCI Sodium Lauroyl Lactylate
Sodium Lauroyl Lactylate is derived from coconut oil and coconut milk and has been used in the food industry for a long time. It is used as a secondary surfactant. I like combining it with decyl glucoside. It provides a soothing feel to the scalp and hair. Nonionic

Look at the hair care aisle and read the ingredients on natural shampoos. See if you can figure out which ingredients are surfactants and the combination of surfactants used in the shampoo. Look up information on surfactants online; find a supplier and note if the surfactant is anionic, nonionic, cationic or amphoteric.

To learn to formulate and make many types of natural shampoo join the Professional Natural Hair Care Product Making Online Course.

How to Formulate and Make Natural Shampoo: Part 1

How To Formulate and Make Natural Shampoo: Part 1
This series is on how to formulate and make natural shampoo. This is part 1 of 3. To formulate and make a natural shampoo requires knowledge of the types of shampoos on the market, understanding the chemistry of surfactants and their purpose and other ingredients to develop a natural shampoo that cleanses the hair but also does not strip the hair.

Part 1 Types of Shampoo

Part 2 Surfactants for Natural Shampoo

Part 3 Formulate and Make Natural Shampoo

Purpose of Shampoo

The purpose of shampoo is to clean the hair and improve the appearance of hair.


Shampoo is one of the most bought and used cosmetic, personal care product . The use of shampoo has continually grown due to more grooming and the trend of washing the hair more often, hair and scalp issues, more shampoos are available for different hair types and more consumers are willing to pay money for shampoo. Babies, children, teenagers and adults use shampoo and some on a daily basis.

Natural Shampoo

The natural shampoo market has grown in popularity and now consumers want more natural shampoo containing sustainable earth friendly and plant-based ingredients that provide gentle cleansing of the hair.


There are many types of shampoo on the market; clarifying, for oily hair, normal hair or dry hair, 2 in 1 shampoo, shampoo for color treated hair, volumizing shampoo, co-wash, baby/children’s shampoo and dandruff shampoo. There are categories for curly hair, textured hair, fine hair, grey hair and more. There can be many types of shampoos in these categories.

Natural Shampoo
Any of the types of shampoo can be made natural containing mostly natural ingredients. Ingredients that are sustainable, biodegradable, mostly derived from nature, no threat to human health, sulfate-free surfactants, essential oils or plant-derived scents for scenting the shampoo. No animal testing.

Clarifying Shampoo

Clarifying shampoo removes build-up of products, chemicals, pollution and hard water. Clarifying shampoo is usually on the alkaline side and can be drying to the hair if used daily.

Oily Hair Shampoo

Shampoo for oily hair is more clarifying and cleansing to remove oil but does not strip the hair of all the natural oil. The pH can be more alkaline.

Normal Hair Shampoo

Shampoo for normal hair is pH balanced and can be made with ingredients that cleanse and promote shine, luster and soft hair. Normal shampoo can also be moisture shampoo.

Dry Hair Shampoo

Shampoo for dry hair is pH balanced with moisturizing and conditioning ingredients to coat and protect the hair.

2 in 1 Shampoo

This is a shampoo and conditioner in one product. 2 in 1 shampoo is popular for men’s shampoo, baby and children’s shampoo and elderly shampoo. The shampoo needs to cleanse and coat the hair at the same time, performing as a shampoo and conditioner. This type of shampoo is challenging to formulate since cationics do not combine well with anionics. Anionics are needed to cleanse the hair and cationics are needed to condition the hair. The selection of surfactants and other ingredients need to synergize together to produce an effective 2 in 1shampoo.

Color Treated Hair Shampoo

This shampoo does not strip the color from the hair. Generally, these shampoos are formulated at a lower pH and gentle surfactants. Higher pH will strip the color from the hair.

Volumizing Shampoo

This shampoo adds volume to hair and contain volumizing ingredients.

Co-Wash/Cleansing Cream

This shampoo is a conditioner containing a smaller percentage of surfactants and conditioning agents.

Moisture Shampoo

This shampoo contains humectants and hydrating ingredients.

Baby and Children’s Shampoo

Shampoo for babies and children should be very mild with low amounts of mild surfactants and little to no lather and foam.

Dandruff Shampoo

Dandruff shampoo is an over the counter (OTC) product and is regulated by the FDA. Dandruff shampoos contain active ingredients and must be approved by the FDA.


Look at the hair care aisle and take note of the types of shampoo. Note the names, the ingredients, hair types the shampoo is for, directions for using the shampoo, the container, the ounces/grams and the retail price of the shampoo. Also note how many shampoos in each type of shampoo.

To learn to formulate and make many types of natural shampoo join the Professional Natural Hair Care Product Making Online Course.

Make Professional Natural Hair Care Products

Professional Natural Hair Care Product Making Course FAQs

Professional Natural Hair Care Product Making Course FAQs

Enrollment for our Professional Natural Hair Care Product Making Course is now open! This course is rarely mentored and guided by Joan Morais and this is the time!

Not sure if the Professional Natural Hair Care Product Making Course is for you? Here are some frequently asked questions on the course which will hopefully help you better understand if this is the course for you.

How is this course provided?

The course is an in-depth online video-based training program that is completely self- guided. It is entirely online-based and can be taken at your own pace. There is no expiration date and you have lifetime course access.

What information is included in it?

The course includes information on making your own professional hair care product line including shampoo, conditioner and hair styling products, whether it is for personal use, a salon, or to sell. The course covers the diversity of hair types and products for different hair types. You will learn about natural preservation, good manufacturing practices, product customization, product containers and labeling, pricing, etc. Click here for a full list and description of course materials.

What does it mean that Joan is mentoring the course?

This is a self-guided online course that is always available, however Joan rarely mentors it, generally once a year. That means Joan will assist you and answer all your questions throughout this mentored course. There will be weekly module overviews with 5 live group consultation calls. Course participants can ask any questions on formulating, hair care products, starting your own business or your current business, etc. These consultation calls are not included in the regular non-mentored course. There is no extra fee for this mentorship, as it is an added bonus to sign up for the spring time course.

Do I need to already be making my own products to take this course? What skill level is required?

You do not need to be making your own products to take this course, however this is designed for those serious in making natural hair care products for either personal use or for a business. This course is designed for all levels, from beginning to advance. Joan is very detailed with her tutorials, videos, and training manuals. You will have a lifetime access to all these course materials that you can watch/read/review as many times as you need in order to better understand it.

How long is the course?

During the mentored course, there will be 8 weekly module overviews to help you keep a good pace to complete the course, however the length of time it takes is completely up to you. The course is self-guided and can be accessed at any time. There is no expiration date on when you need to complete it by. You will have lifetime course access. You will receive a certificate of completion when you have completed the course.

How long do I have access to this course?

You will have lifetime course access. You can access the course at any time on any day. You can watch the videos over and over to assist you to make the formulation. For access to the course, sign into my account located on the top right hand corner at www.joanmorais.com and click on the link to the classrooms. Life gets busy and sometimes it takes us away from our studying. But this course will be here when you are ready to return to it. Lifetime course access means you will have complete access to the course for as long as the course exists at Joan Morais Naturals.

Will I receive some kind of certification when I complete the course?

Yes, you will receive a certificate of completion that you can proudly display when you have completed the course.

Will I be able to make my own hair care product line after taking this course?

Yes! This course provides in-depth information on making naturally preserved hair care products, good manufacturing practices, lab testing, product development, how to create a natural hair care line, raw material suppliers, product containers and labeling, ingredients, formulations, and much, much more! We have many students from all around the world that go on to create their own professional hair care line after taking this course!

When do I need to sign up in order to receive the mentorship by Joan?

The mentorship course begins on September 27th, 2018 and will go for 8 weeks until November 22, 2018.

I don’t live in the United States, can I still take the course?

Yes! We have students from all over the world take our courses. The course is entirely online and self-guided and can be taken anywhere with sufficient access to the internet. All course instruction is in English and provides a variety of mediums including video, print, and a private Facebook community support group.

Do you offer any other Professional Natural Product Making Courses?

Yes! We have a Professional Natural Skin Care Product Making Course. Joan will be guiding and mentoring this course as well in the Fall 2018 and many of the same features above apply to this course in regards to skin care products. Check out the detailed course information on our Professional Natural Skin Care Product Making Course here.

I’m still not sure if this is the right course for me, what else can I do to make sure?

We highly recommend that you carefully review our information page on the Professional Natural Hair Care Product Making course. The review goes in- depth on the different areas of product making that will be taught. It also includes the table of contents for all training manuals that are provided. After reviewing all this information and you are still unsure, please feel free to email us with any specific questions you may have.

Happy Product-Making and hope to see you in our next course!

New Releases! Natural Shampoo and Conditioner

New Releases! Natural Shampoo and Conditioner

I’ve been reformulating and formulating several products. I have formulated the products with under 10 ingredients and the ingredients are readily sourced in small amounts and in different countries. This is really challenging to do.

As a formulator, I have access to large suppliers and their ingredients but few people are at the level of big batch making and ordering supplies in large amounts. I need to source the ingredients through a middle company with smaller purchase amounts. I have done this with the natural body wash and hand soap, dish soap and the shampoo. I have spent a lot of time re-developing and developing these formulations. I think you will like them. The ingredients in all of these formulations can be used in making all of these products so you can save money and time on ingredients and produce body wash, hand soap, dish soap and shampoo!

I have also added formulations for shampoo and conditioner for textured hair, curly hair, thick hair and dry hair along with formulas for most hair types.

I love these formulations and the product making videos. I am simplifying the classes and formulations. The videos are simple to help you learn the easiest and most successful way to make these products with a stable shelf life.
My main intention is to help you be successful at making natural body, hair and skin care products. The more that I can refine it and make it very easy for you the more you will be successful making it. I think that is what I have done.

It has taken me a lot of hard work sorting through the chaos and the thousands of ingredients and formulas I have put together over the past 12 years to arrive at simplicity. I full heartedly understand what Steve Jobs meant by this, “Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.” I feel I have finally arrived at the clean thinking stage and I am now able to take the complex out of formulating and make it simple.

Let me know your thoughts. If there is anyway I can make the learning process easier or products you would like to learn to make, please let me know by replying to this email.

I am reformulating and have formulated many products and in the process to make them simple for you to learn. The next product soon to be released is Natural Deodorant.

As always, I am grateful to be on this journey of natural product making and making the world a better place with natural products and businesses that make our hearts sing.


Just Released!

Shampoo Online Class Available in the Pro Natural Hair Care Course Here>>


Just Released!

Conditioner Online Class Available in the Pro Natural Hair Care Course Here>>

Shampoo Ginger :: Awapuhi

One of my favorite hair care personal formulations I have created in shampoo, conditioner, hair mist and hair mask is with wild ginger, known in Hawai’i as shampoo ginger. Awapuhi was introduced to Hawai’i by the Polynesians. There are several varieties of the ginger plant naturalized throughout Hawai’i. Shampoo ginger is from the plant Zingiber zerumbet. The Hawaiians spread the slippery juice from the bracts of awapuhi onto the hair as a shampoo and hair conditioner.

I adore the ginger plant and its many uses. The aromatic ginger flower is beautiful. The leaves from awapuhi kuahiwi were used by Hawaiians to heal skin sores and wounds and headaches and for flavor in cooking. The rhizome was used to scent cloth and for medicinal purposes relating to issues with the stomach, cuts, skin infections and toothaches.

Natural Hair Care Products can be customized with plants used in ancient times and still known today to promote shiny beautiful hair.

If you are interested in making your own natural hair care products, take a look at the live and online Natural Hair Care Product Making Course.
Live Course

Online Course

La’au Hawai’i Traditional Hawaiian Uses of Plants by Isabella Aiona Abbott

Plants of the Canoe People by W. Arthur Whistler

Joan Morais