Dynamic oscillatory rheological measurements are used to examine two mechanisms for thickening simple shampoo formulations. The salt curve, in which viscosity of a surfactant solution is maximized at intermediate levels of salt, is shown to be due to the variation in relaxation time; this is found to correlate with variation in the degree of entanglement per micelle. This is contrasted with the effect of PEG‐150 distearate, which alters viscosity through a change in modulus.

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