Shampoo Formulating - Customising For Hair Types

Shampoo Formulating - Customising For Your Hair Type

We’ve covered most aspects of basic  Hair Science in the last three blog installments, and now it's time to put everything we have learned into a formulation.

Let’s break the formula down:

All hair types need some kind of oil, conditioning botanicals, humectants and at least one form of protein. 

For the cleaners/surfactants, we’re using the glucosides as well as cocamidopropyl betaine. These are non-ionic and amphoteric surfactants, respectively. Our surfactant blend should have an ASM of 10-15%. For ASM calculations please  see here.

Oils - what oils you use in your shampoo will depend on your hair type. You will use lighter oils for types 1 and 2, and heavier, more nourishing oils for types 3 and 4.

Botanicals - I love using botanicals in all kinds of products. The herbal shampoo recipe  in here is my go-to (plus I like to add in extra botanicals as well), but this time we are customising for the hair types so we will be even more thoughtful about which ingredients we use as some are better for particular purposes than others. You can refer  here for botanicals for hair.

Actives - things like proteins, keratin, collagen, salicylic acid, Vitamins, etc are all great.

Basic Shampoo Formula

Phase A

Water / botanical infusion to 100%

0.75%  xanthan gum

5%  glycerine

Phase B

12%  lauryl glucoside 

10% coco glucoside

4%  Hydra hair/oils

Phase C

5%  cocamidopropyl betaine 

1%  panthenol

2%  hydrolyzed protein

1%  Geogard 221 / Saliguard BDHA



Stick/soup blender

While you can actually use a one-pot method with this formula, I do find it better to divide it into phases.

First, choose your correct hair type customisation from the options below, then add everything up and subtract that amount from 100 to find your water amount.

For Phase A, mix the glycerine and xanthan gum into a slurry then add the water amount, blending until smooth.

Add the Phase B ingredients and blend.

Add the pHase C ingredients, blend and check the pH.

Final pH needs to be around 4.5. So check pH and adjust with citric acid as required.

Customisations for Type 1 hair

Botanicals to add to infusion:  Irish mosshibiscus

Oils: +1%  broccoli oil

Proteins: +1%  keratin

Customisations for Type 2 hair

Botanicals:   Irish mossaloehibiscus

Oil: + 1-2%  argan oil, 1%  broccoli oil

Proteins: +1%  keratin

Customisations for Type 3 hair

Botanicals to add to infusion:  marshmallow,   Irish moss

Oil: + 2-4%  avocado oil, 1%  broccoli oil

Proteins:+ 1%  keratin, + 1%  collagen

Customisations for Type 4 hair

Botanicals to add to infusion:  marshmallow,   Irish mosshibiscushorsetail

Oils: +2%  castor oil, 2%  broccoli oil, 2%  shea butter

Proteins: + 2%  keratin, +2%  collagen

Other botanicals to customise:

If you have oily scalp or hair, use

Witch hazelyarrowwhite willow barklemongrasslemonbalmhopssalicylic acid

If you need to strengthen hair that is prone to breakage, use


If you want to encourage hair growth, use any of these

Saw palmetto berriessagerosemarynettleneem, milk thistle,  liquorice,   lemongrasshibiscusgreen teaginsengfennel,  fenugreek, dandelionbirchangelicaamalaki

If you want to moisturise and condition, use

Irish mosshibiscusmarshmallowaloe vera