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How to make shampoo

Updated on September 24, 2012


  1. Shampoo and its chemical constituents.
  2. Formula for making shampoo.
  3. Steps for making Shampoo.
  4. Labeling requirements of Shampoo.

Shampoo and its chemical constituents

Shampoos are cleaning preparations suitable for washing hair, sold in packs that are convenient to use. There are two basic attributes of shampoos, cleaning effect and conditioning effect. The primary function remains that of cleaning the hair of accumulated sebum, scalp debris and residue of hair growing preparations. Although any efficient detergent can do these jobs, cleansing should be selective and should preserve quality of natural oil that coats hair and scalp.

The view that shampoos should be inefficient detergent arisen from the theory that the after effect of shampooing namely difficulty in combing the hair, roughness to hand and lack of luster and fly, when the dry hair is combed, are due to excessive oil removal from the hair by strong detergent based shampoos.

Conventional detergents of anionic type seems to cause unpleasant after effect to hair, roughly in preparation of their grease removing property. However many other raw materials are available that can remove grease with no apparent deterioration to hair condition.

Detergent based removal of dirt should have following properties.

1. Detergent solution must be able to wet both dirt and substrate, which in case of shampoo is keratinised hair fiber, so it must lower the surface tension.

2. Inter facial tension must be reduced to such as extent that will allow dirt or oil particles to be displaced by detergent solution. Dirt particles must be displaced in order that they may be readily washed away.

The following points are considered in evaluation of detergency of a shampoo.

  • Ease of spreading.
  • Lathering power i.e. speed of generation of lather and its stability.
  • Efficiency (oil removal, removal of grime, excess oil and scalp debris in soft and hard water should be easy. )
  • Ease of rinsing.
  • Lusture of hair.
  • Ease of combing wet hair.
  • Speed of drying.
  • Ease of combing and setting of dry hair.
  • Safety.

Chemical Ingredients used in making of shampoo are synthetic detergents or surfactant foam boosters, foam stabilizers, conditioning agents, preservatives, viscosity builders, sequestering agents, apacifiers, color, perfumes, pearly pigment.

Sodium Laurel Sulphate is choice of cleansing and foaming agent, surfactant.
HydroxyPropylMethylCellulose is choice of viscosity modifier.
Some formulators prefer SLES in place of SLS because of better foaming property, good detergent action, neutral pH ( 6 - 8 ) and there by less damage to hair. Suitable Conditioning agent is added that balances oil – water in the hair and scalp. Examples of conditioning agents are henna, egg white. Saturated Sodium chloride (NaCl) is also used as viscosity modifier. It increases viscosity with common ion effect.

Shampoo Formula

Sodium laurel Sulphate 30% solution
37.5 grams
HPMC 2% gel
3.33 grams
Citric acid
0.33 grams
Methyl paraben
0.12 grams
Sufficient Quantity
Sufficient Quantity
To make150 ml.
Saturated Sodium Chloride(NaCl) solution.
1 ml.
Formula of shampoo

Steps to make Shampoo

  • Step 1: Hydroxy Methyl Propyl Cellulose gel(2%) is first taken in a container of suitable size and grade and dispersed in some amount of water.

  • Step 2: Now take the measured quantity of Citric acid as per formula and dissolve in small quantity of water.
  • Step 3: HPMC gel dispersion as prepared in step 1 should now be added to citric acid solution as prepared in step 2.
  • Step 4: Add water to this solution to make at least 120 ml if it is less than that, now add color and perfume to make shampoo aesthetically appealing.
  • Step 5: A small quantity of shampoo is now taken and to Saturated Sodium Chloride solution is added drop wise till it dissolves, sodium chloride acts as viscosity builder, and this is added to remaining shampoo.
  • Step 6: Make the volume to 150 ml by adding water. The shampoo is ready to be packed in suitable container.

The following information should be present on label:

  1. Name of the product
  2. Contents: Name and percentage of any active ingredient if added to preparation.
  3. Net Volume: As present in the final container.
  4. Manufacturing License Number as obtained from regulatory authority.
  5. Manufacturing Batch Number: As applicable
  6. Manufacturing Date – Month and year of manufacturing.
  7. Expiry Date – Month and year of expected expiry.
  8. Maximum Retail Price- As applicable.
  9. Place Of Manufacturing- Address of the plant where it is manufactured.

Comments and questions are welcome!


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    • Tintin25 profile imageAUTHOR


      4 years ago

      Egg is too expensive to be used in Shampoo!

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      I want to ask that are u using egg in shampoo or not pls tel me

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      hi Tintin - can you provide your mail id , or can u send a text mail to me on

    • Tintin25 profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago

      Yup!if you want to make and sell shampoos then it might help!

    • profile image

      Phoebe Pike 

      7 years ago

      I think I'll stick with store shampoos. It's cheaper to buy than make.


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