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Ingredient Solutions for Hair Cleansers

Keep it Clean – Future Evolution of Mild Shampoos

Shampoo is one of the most widely used beauty products worldwide. It is the largest segment in the haircare category, comprising 42% of category sales, with 84% of consumers reporting usage of regular shampoo or dry shampoo (Source Mintel report Hair care 2020)

The Science behind the Experience

Washing hair is no longer just about cleansing the hair. It has also become another stage of treatment, offering diverse functions and benefits. Consumers are seeking shampoos to meet their specific needs and desires. Today we see products that are both pearlescent and transparent and offer a variety of claims including: salt-free, sulfate-free, moisturising, colour protection, and more.

The choice of surfactants, conditioning agents, and texturisers is ultimately what gives products their inherent sensorial and performance benefits.




AKYPO® FOAM LM 25 by KAO Chemicals Europe was designed to achieve a luxurious foam, with a very small bubble size and high foam consistency. It is mild for skin and eyes. When used as a secondary surfactant, it reduces irritation and improves the foam quality of the formulation.


OLIVEM® 400 series by Hallstar Beauty, (Olivem® 400 and preservative-free Olivem® 460) is a group of extremely mild, olive-based surfactants designed with varying active concentrations (36%, 60%).

They create a rich and creamy foam and have a highly emollient feel after rinse-off. The Olivem® 400 series helps protect skin’s hydrolipidic film and reduces the final irritation index of the formulation. The Olivem® 400 series protects the skin against soap-induced TEWL.




Poly Suga®Nat 160P NC by Colonial Chemical is a sulfonated surfactant polymer based on high molecular weight alkyl polyglucoside polymers. Naturally derived, it is a high-performance surfactant that provides numerous advantages for a variety of formulations. Extremely mild to both eyes and skin compared to traditional anionic primary surfactants.




Cola®Mate LA-100 MB by Colonial Chemical is a spray dried, high foaming, mild sulfosuccinate surfactant with good detergency. It may be used in powdered products where mildness is important. Cola®Mate LA-100 MB may be used to increase the concentration of aqueous systems for improved performance and mildness. 


Betaine-free amphoteric surfactants



BETADET® S-20 by Kao Chemicals Europe is recommended as secondary surfactant for very mild and high foaming products, achieving higher foam volumes than alkyl betaines or alkyl amidopropyl betaines even in presence of sebum.



Cola®Teric BBS by Colonial Chemical is a mild surfactant from Babassu Oil, a sustainably grown and harvested oil from Brazil. It offers enhanced foaming and viscosity building properties compared to traditional Coconut or Palm Kernel products. Cola®Teric BBS has a high active content and is supplied preservative-free.


High performing hair conditioning agents


UCARE™ Extreme Polymer by Dow is a polymeric, quaternary ammonium salt of hydroxyethylcellulose. The cellulosic polymer is derived from non-GMO and PEFC (Programme for Endorsement of Forest Certification) certified wood pulp. UCARE™ Extreme Polymer is bio-derived and biodegradable* cationic cellulosic polymer that can be used as principal conditioning agent or in  combination with other conditioning ingredients in conditioners, leave-on products and shampoos.


Treatment: 0.4 g / g hair on bleached Caucasian hair, shampoo containing 0.3% cationic polymer

Measured using Instron tensile tester

Control: Conditioner without silicone or cationic polymer

Statistics: Different letters show a statistical difference at 95% confidence

*Inherent primary biodegradability with pre-adaptation according to OECD test(s) guidelines (reaches > 20% biodegradation in OECD test(s)


HydroxySHIELD™ Polymer by Dow is a novel hydroxy functional amino polymer that can create next generation formulations to meet consumers’ cleansing and conditioning needs, providing a SHIELD of multi-functional benefits for hair from heat and color protection to hair breakage reduction, delivering healthy hair that is improved with each step of your hair care routine.

DOWSIL™ CE-1874 Microemulsion by Dow is a transparent, water-dispersible emulsion. It can be used to formulate standard, sulfate-free and clear shampoo to provide multiple benefits to hair like enhanced volume, increased shine and combing force reduction, while keeping the transparency.



KAO SOFCARE® GP-1 by Kao Chemicals Europe shares similar characteristics with amodimethicones and dimethicones, giving some interesting extra benefits like easier incorporation and the possibility to formulate transparent products. It can be used to formulate standard, sulfate-free and clear shampoo. It helps maintain volume, improves shine, manageability and styling, and decreases combing force.

 Thickener for mild surfactant systems


Actigum™ CS 11 QD by Cargill Beauty is a COSMOS approved sclerotium gum produced by aerobic fermentation of sugar with the fungus sclerotium rolfsii. It is composed of non-ionic sugar monomers in solution, the sclerotium forms a triple helix. Cold soluble, it is an ideal naturally derived and readily biodegradable thickener and stabilizer with smooth and soft texture. Actigum™ range provides consistent viscosity and suspension efficiency in a broad pH range (2-12) and temperature (RT to 45°C). It is compatible with anionic and amphoteric surfactants.

A synergy was observed between cationic surfactants and Actigum™ CS 11QD: it leads to an increase of the stability and final viscosity of the formula:

  • Can be useful to achieve desired viscosity without the need to increase thickener concentration: cost effective solution
  • Can help to stabilize a formula and suspend oil
  • Further tests need to be done in this direction to assess the synergy



KAOPAN® TW-IS399S by Kao Chemicals Europe is a hydrophilic thickener, especially designed for very mild cleansing systems that may lead to viscosity problems.


ACULYN™U Rheology Modifier by Dow is a sulfate-free hydrophobically modified alkali soluble polymer emulsion (HASE). It is a cold processable thickener and effective as a polymeric emulsifier. It has a shear thinning, an ability to form bouncy and memory shape texture but with higher solids %, higher thickening efficiency and higher salt tolerance compared to standard benchmark.


Sebum absorption and binder for dry and solid shampoo


StarDesign™ Ultra is Aluminium free version of StarDesign™ 05340. Both are polysaccharide extracted from corn with an ISO 16128 up to 90%. Its modification with n-octenylsuccinyl (n-OSA) group through an esterification transforms it into sensory enhancers as they become more hydrophobic and oil-absorbing.

In dry shampoos, n-OSA starches absorb sebum on the hair and are easy to remove with a brush.

In solid shampoo formulations, n-OSA starches are used as binder to enhance pressability and final texture.


Anti-dandruff activity coming from nature


Tea Tree Oil from Down Under's farms in Australia. When formulating for results, purity is essential. Be secure in your choice of Down Under with EcoVadis Platinum and COSMOS Natural certifications.  

A prospective randomized, single-blinded parallel-group study by Satchell et al. (2004) found that a 5% Tea Tree Oil shampoo exhibited good overall effectiveness in inhibiting the growth of M.furfur. The study consisted of one hundred and twenty-six male and female patients (n=126), aged 14 and older, randomized to receive either a 5% Tea Tree Oil shampoo or placebo, used daily for four weeks. It was found the 5% Tea Tree Oil shampoo group showed a 41% improvement compared with 11% in the placebo group, a statistically significant (p<0.001) improvement.


Shampoo & Hair Cleansing formulations to inspire

We know the hair cleansing market is competitive, so we’ve selected a few of our own formulations to help inspire your next innovative product:



Whether you want to save the planet, save time, or both, we have the solution. This super absorbant, purifying powder gets rid of excess sebum and impurities. Your hair is clean, more voluminous and breathes again! Brush and style as you wish, there’s no need to pop into DryBar just yet, you’ve got a few more days of RUNWAY worthy hair.


A new decade = a new hair cleansing routine. Do Your Dose Daily Shampoo is not just a formulation innovation, but a smart and economic way to shampoo, using less product and thus less water. It provides a pleasant, creamy application with a quick rinse, ultimately reducing water consumption versus classical shampoo.


Rub it on wet hands, a soft foam will instantly form to clean and condition your hair. This water-conscious formula is enriched with coconut and almond oils like in the traditions, but also with sandalwood essential oil to take your senses to the other side of the globe. Its eco-friendly profile is its strength! It's good for your hair and the planet.

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