In this lesson, you will explore some of the chemical elements of shampoo BY MAKING YOUR OWN SHAMPOO!

This lesson is intended to be fun and interesting, but it requires that you take care to follow all directions in the shampoo formulas.  Some shampoos use lye, which is toxic and will burn your skin.  BE VERY CAREFUL!

Your instructor should have downloaded the database that you will be using.  Ask your intructor for its exact directory, either on the network or hard drive of a local computer.  If not, download and/or open the database.

The directions:

  • You will need various ingredients for the shampoo; and
  • pH testing strips (or other pH testing method suggested by your instructor)

1.  Open the database.  Click on the appropriate button to add your personally information -- your student ID number, name, year in school, and TCD session time.

2.  Close this when completed (you need not save your student information; the database does that for you!), close the student information window and open the shampoo database.

3.  Browse and choose a shampoo.  Do not edit any of the information on these pages!  When you have found a shampoo that is interesting to you, print it.

4.  Make the formulation.

5.  Test the pH of the shampoo.  Note it; you will enter it into the database later.

6.  Try the shampoo on a “client.” Your “client” and you should make an evaluation as to the quality of the shampoo.

7.  Go back to the database, and open the test results page.  Find your student number in the pickbox, and choose the shampoo name that you made.  Now, enter the pH you found for the shampoo and answer the questions by writing a brief statement.

Your instructor may wish you to to write an essay that answers one or more of  the following:

1.  What shampoo that is currently on the market could you compare your shampoo with?  For instance, if the shampoo you made is for dry hair, what shampoo on the market advertises this use?  How does your shampoo compare to this factory - formulation?  Test the pH of this industry shampoo.  How does yours compare with it?  How do the ingredients compare?  What is the difference between the two in texture, feel, and aroma?  Which shampoo do you feel works better?

2.  Interview your “client.”  Did they like how their hair felt after using your shampoo?  Would they use your shampoo again?  Recommend it to someone else?  What specifically did they like  / dislike about the shampoo?

3.  What problems does your shampoo have?  Is the odor pleasant?  Does the shampoo separate (does it need to be shaken up before use?)  Is it overly thick or runny?  How would you suggest adjusting the recipe to correct for these problems?  How do you think shampoo manufacturers cope with these problems?

4.  When you made the formulation, what did you notice about the recipe that was interesting?  Did the solution ever become warm?  Did some of the ingredients seem like odd choices, but behaved differently once in the shampoo?  What kind of chemistry is involved in making shampoo?  Be specific in your observations.

Now, turn in a shampoo sample (include the recipe you used!) and your essays, as well as a printout of your test results database page, to your instructor.