Today we’re creating a fun new hair product—a lightweight Rosé Conditioning Hair Foam! This delicate foam contains some fabulous-for-hair goodies for smoothing and volumizing. It also smells fabulous and comes together in a flash. And did I mention that it’s a hair foam? Cool, eh? Who doesn’t love bubbles?!
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This project was inspired by some products I’ve seen while perusing the haircare section of Ulta stores while in the USA. I was intrigued by some natural “mousse” type hair products that were packaged in foamer top bottles. A look at the ingredients showed that these products were mostly water with some good-for-hair things like hydrolyzed proteins, esters, quats, and extracts—but with some added surfactants so the product would dispense as a foam. Cool, eh?! I couldn’t wait to riff on the idea.
I knew I’d have to keep the product very thin and watery so it would dispense nicely out of the foamer bottle, and it would have to have a fairly low surfactant content so the end product didn’t make hair sticky (sticky hair = dirt magnet). I know from my Formula Botanica coursework that it doesn’t take much surfactant to make something that comes out in fluffy cloud format when packaged in a foamer bottle, so a low ASM seemed very doable. I opted to focus on conditioning and volumizing with a side of hydration and smelling pretty 😄
The bulk of this conditioning hair foam is water and rose hydrosol. Our foaming comes mostly from 1% Caprylyl/Capryl Glucoside, though some Polysorbate 20 will help. Both are also solubilizers, ensuring our essential oils stay thoroughly mixed into the hair foam.
For volumizing we’ve got some hydrolyzed rice protein, which is very cool. It contains both positively and negatively charged proteins that repel one another, helping volumize the hair! Polyquaternium 7 brings some lovely, decadent conditioning goodness, while panthenol and sodium lactate help moisturize and hydrate.
Rose hydrosol forms the base of our scent blend, which is further accented with dry green cognac essential oil and juicy lemon slices fragrance oil. If you don’t have the fragrance oil feel free to use a different citrus note—lemon essential oil would be a great choice, and the usage level is low enough that photosensitization is not a concern.
The finished foam is lightweight and silky, leaving hair smoother and hydrated + smelling great. I’m also a big fan of the whole foam thing—it’s pretty novel and rather indulgent 😄 I hope you like this hair foam as much as I do—happy making!
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Rosé Conditioning Hair Foam
1.2g | 2% polysorbate 20 (USA / Canada)
0.21g | 0.35% cognac essential oil
0.09g | 0.15% lemon slices fragrance oil
0.6g | 1% Caprylyl/Capryl Glucoside (USA / Canada)
1.2g | 2% Polyquaternium 7 (USA / Canada)
2.4g | 4% hydrolyzed rice protein (USA / Canada)
2.4g | 4% sodium lactate (USA / Canada)
0.6g | 1% panthenol powder (vitamin B5) (USA / Canada)
0.3g | 0.5% Liquid Germall Plus™ (USA / Canada)
33g | 55% distilled water
18g | 30% rose hydrosol
Weigh the polysorbate 20, essential oil, and fragrance oil into a small beaker or measuring cup and stir to combine.
Add the next six ingredients, and stir to combine, ensuring you’ve broken up any clumps of panthenol.
Add the distilled water and rose hydrosol, stirring gently to combine (once you add water to the mix it’ll foam up a lot more, so we want to be gentle at this point).
That’s it! To package, transfer to a 50mL (1.69fl oz) bottle with a foamer top. To use, dispense some foam into your palm, spread it around, and work it through your hair (treat it like a leave-in conditioner, basically). Enjoy!
Shelf Life & Storage
Because this hair foam contains water, you must include a broad-spectrum preservative to ward off microbial growth. This is non-optional. Even with a preservative this project may eventually spoil as our kitchens are not sterile laboratories, so in the event you notice any change in colour, scent, or texture, chuck it out and make a fresh batch.
As always, be aware that making substitutions will change the final product. While these swaps won’t break the recipe, you will get a different final product than I did.
- As I’ve provided this recipe in percentages as well as grams you can easily calculate it to any size using a simple spreadsheet as I’ve explained in this post. As written in grams this recipe will make 60g, which is enough to fill a 50mL (1.69fl oz) foamer bottle with a bit left over.
- To learn more about the ingredients used in this recipe, including why they’re included and what you can substitute them with, please visit the Humblebee & Me Encyclopedia. It doesn’t have everything in it yet, but there’s lots of good information there! If I have not given a specific substitution suggestion in this list please look up the ingredient in the encyclopedia before asking.
- You could try Polysorbate 80 instead of Polysorbate 20.
- You can use a different essential oil blend.
- You can use lemon essential oil instead of the fragrance oil.
- If you’d like to learn more about the surfactant used and compare them to ones you might already have so you can make substitutions, check out this page. You could use coco glucoside instead of Caprylyl/Capryl Glucoside.
- You can try honeyquat instead of polyquaternium 7, but I find honeyquat smells awful.
- Vegetable glycerin or propanediol will work instead of sodium lactate.
- If you’re like to use a different preservative, please review this page.
- You can use a different hydrosol in place of rose, or replace it with water. This will impact the end scent.
The rose hydrosol and cognac green essential oil were gifted by Plant’s Power.
Is there a way to turn this into a foaming shampoo?
I probably wouldn’t start here—you’d be wiser to start with a shampoo formulation and then just not thicken it so it’ll work in a foamer bottle than try to turn something that happens to foam into a shampoo 🙂
i scaled this up to 8 oz so i could use my foamer bottle but it came out really sticky. I’m assuming due to the increased polysorbate did it. I really hate that stuff. It always seems to ruin my recipes! My hand also slipped while pouring the rice protein so I ended up using 27 instead of 9 grams! 3 times as much so maybe that’s contributing to the stickiness too. I don’t know but I have a hard time throwing stuff out so I will use it up and suffer the stickiness. You know what would be great? A series on how to try and salvage failed recipes! I’m sure your followers would love that!
I’d suspect the additional amount of both the polysorbate and the protein—3x as much is a lot more, and those proteins definitely can get sticky in high concentrations 🙂 Perhaps give this post a read re: failures and chucking things out? Happy making!
I made this for me but I broke my foamer bottle , the first pump came out but then it got stuck like something was blocking the nozzle . I got a new one and same, I did clean it out and they work on the foaming soap so any idea which ingredient is the problem or how I can fix it 🙂
Hmm, how odd! Did you make any substitutions? Does the mixture seem really viscous?
Hi! is there an equivalent germal plus preservative that one can use?
You can review this page for some other options 🙂
Why mine doesn’t clear at all? It’s just yellow cream color :/
Did you make any substitutions?
Not at all, I even use 0.00 scale to weight every ingredients. Mine seems cream yellow color, then after few days the water is clear, however I can see some oil under the bottle, when I shake it, the water turn a bit creamy again. I wonder why
It sounds like the essential oils/fragrance oils aren’t fully solubilizing, and if you used different fragrances/essential oils than the exact ones I did, that can happen—different ones need different amounts of solubilizer to work. So, yeah—try incorporating some more solubilizer 🙂 Happy making!
Hi there, Marie!
Super recipe (as are all of them!) and I cannot wait to make this. I do not have the hydrolized rice protein but do have the silk…..I imagine that the silk will not add the volume that the rice would?
Thank you 🙂
I’d go ahead and make the swap—for all the lovely things suppliers say about rice bran oil + volumizing I can’t say it’s been a massive volumizer for me in comparisons with other hydrolyzed proteins 🙂 Happy making!
Thank you so much for your insight, I will update you on how it turns out!
How about adding some oil or maybe water soluble silicone substitutes to this? What do you think?
I’d stick with water-soluble oils or silicones—but I think that could be lovely! Start with a low concentration & be aware it will likely reduce foaming a bit 🙂
Is there any ingredient that can be added for styling? I will like to give my curls a bit more of bounce.
I want to start a smalll business on hair foam but I have hard time finding the ingredients in my country……can you plss help