Thursday, April 16, 2009

Intense hair conditioner

What's the difference between an intense conditioner and a regular conditioner? An intense conditioner should have more conditioning agents, more oils, and less water.

Click here for the regular conditioner recipe...

So how will we change our recipe? We're going to add Incroquat CR, which is a great softening and detangler, upping the the oils for more moisturizing; and upping the cetyl alcohol to match the amount of cationic quats. If you have honeyquat, use that as your humectant, and you'll have not one, not two, but three cationic quats, which are our conditioning agents. And if you have cetrimonium chloride, you can add that at 2% for FOUR cationic quats! This is going to very intense...don't use it more than once a week, unless you have seriously dry hair. (I have very oily hair, and I have to wash the very next day if I use this conditioner. But my hair feels lovely...and it's worth it!)

INTENSE CONDITIONER RECIPE - intense conditioning with loads of hair loving oils!
7% Incroquat BTMS
3% Incroquat CR (detangling, softening)
8% hair loving oils - coconut, camellia, sea buckthorn
3% cetyl alcohol (synergistic effect with the cationic quats)
2% panthenol
2% humectant - honeyquat, glycerin, sodium lactate
2% dimethicone
2% cyclomethicone
2% hydrolyzed protein
1% fragrance or essential oil
0.5% to 1% preservative
67.5% water
(optional: 2% cetrimonium chloride - add to the oils phase, remove 2% in the water phase)
If you don't like silicones, then add 4% more water to this recipe or add more light weight oils.

Weigh out the BTMS, CR, oils, and cetyl alcohol in a heat proof container, then put into a double boiler. Weigh out the water and humectant in a heat proof container, and put that into the double boiler. Heat and hold at 70C for 20 minutes. Pour the contents of one container into the other, and mix well with a hand mixer or stick blender. When the temperature reaches below 45C, add the silicones, protein, essential or fragrance oil, and preservative. Spoon into a jar and let cool with the lid off so we don't get condensation.

At 100 grams, this will make more than a 2 oz jar but less than a 4 oz jar (60 ml and 120 ml!)

Rejoice and enjoy!


SwiftCraftyMonkey said...

I would really appreciate it if you don't use this blog to advertise your products...but if you're going to put a challenge out there, then let's take a look at these products.

I did a search on this product and it appears this is 100% jojoba oil. I have no idea how much is in the bottle, but if you're paying $25.00 for a bottle of jojoba oil, you are paying far too much. You can easily get 1 litre of the stuff for that price.

Heck, I'm doing a post on this topic....

pearlyn said...

may i know why are u using 7% of btms when you only have 8% oils? i thought it is use only 25% btms of total amt of oils & butters?

is silicone included in the oils & butters which require emulsifier?

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

I'm using BTMS-50 as the conditioning agent in this recipe, not as an emulsifier, so I'm using it at 7% because I find that's a nice level for what I consider an intense conditioner.

BTMS-50 doesn't have a "use 25% of the oils phase" guideline like Polawax - it can emulsify quite a lot of silicones, for instance, so the level would be different if you were making a silicone heavy lotion compared to an oil heavy lotion.

SheaDionne said...

What do you suggest I use for a heat proof container?

Robin said...

Hi I found the suppliers in the US FAQ section, I read how to naviate your Blog which has really helped. However, I am really having difficulty finding a supplier that has all needed for the recipe. I will have to go back and forth which increases shipping. I'll keep searching. The Herbarie has a lot but I refuse to buy from a supplier that wants you to pay first and then let you know what the shipping is after, never ran across that one. Excited to get all the ingredients. The most difficult to find are the first two ingredients. Thanks so much for all the info.

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Check out what suppliers call their conditioning emulsifier or emulsifying conditioner. Look for the INCI for those two ingredients. (Again, FAQ or the ingredients on the right hand side of the blog.) Lotiincrafter and the Herbarie have the BTMS under different names, as do most suppliers. Such a pet peeve for me, changing the names!
BTW: This is Swift, but I didn't sign in as I'm tired!

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

As a note, I get all of these supplies from Voyageur Soap and Candlr.

Christine Higgins-Reid said...

Hi Susan,

I would love to follow this recipe to a 'T', and like another fellow Brit who posted, cannot find Incoquat CR in the UK! Do we call it something else? Do we have an eqiuvalent? It's so frustrating as I would like to compare how a conditioner would feel with and without it!

Christine Higgins-Reid said...

Hi Susan,

I would love to follow this recipe to a 'T', and like another fellow Brit who posted, cannot find Incoquat CR in the UK! Do we call it something else? Do we have an eqiuvalent? It's so frustrating as I would like to compare how a conditioner would feel with and without it!

Sciarretta Farms said...

This is the recipe that started my obsession with hair conditioner. I modified it (more hydrolyzed proteins and cetac and other goodies) and it has become the best conditioner I have ever used.

Thanks so much for this!

Arielle Mabon said...

Could I use more BTMS instead of acetyl & CR? Also, could I use more coconut oil instead of silicones?

Botlhale said...

Hi Susan,

Thank you for a fabulous blog!

Can I use this as a deep conditioner?

StillTryingForLongHair said...

Hi Susan,

I have low porosity hair that may have been aggravated by relaxing it twice using Ammonium Thioglycolate (and it's STILL too curly/wavy). Recently I clarified thoroughly to get tea tree oil out of my hair (which I already knew was bad, but was desperate to find something without silicones), and noticed my hair wasn't getting wet at all, which is when I did a strand test to determine my hair porosity. It looks to me like my hair doesn't normally get wet, but will appear wet after I put conditioner in it and then thoroughly detangle (or maybe the conditioner gets it wet, I'm not sure). My hair has always been dry, so I'm wondering if this intense conditioner might be ok for me to use as a daily conditioner. I'm just worried that since my hair is low porosity, oil buildup might make it even more difficult for water to get into my hair, and necessitate the use of a clarifying shampoo to get it out. I would appreciate any recommendations you might have. I'm willing to research and experiment, but I need guidance from people who already know about hair chemistry.


Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi StillTryingForLongHair. I don't really get the idea of low porosity hair - it doesn't really show up much in the literature - but it seems to me that using an oil to coat the hair strand will keep the water out quite a lot. It seems like a bad idea to use it at all, on first glance, if your goal is to get water in your hair strand.

But then again, why are you trying to get water in your hair strand? If you look at the chemistry of your hair, it's not a good idea. The goal is to get things like protein in there to keep the water in the hair strand. Putting water into the hair strand results in too much elasticity and stretch, which can cause hair breakage. Why not try to keep in the water you have in your hair strand, and add more by adding things like proteins that can penetrate the hair strand, instead of using oils that will keep the proteins out?

Also, why no silicones?

Just a few thoughts....

Diane said...

HI Susan,
Can't find Incroquat CR in the U.S. Can I substitute for something else?

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Diane. Sure, you can use more BTMS in its place.

Anonymous said...

Hi, I have been making your intense conditioner for some time and I have to say I love it! I have only made some small changes to it.
60% water
2% wheat protein
2% Cetrimonium Chloride
.5% poly 44
2% panthenol
7% BTMS 50
3% CR
3% cetyl
4% coconut oil
2% Argan oil
2% horsetail extract (oil)
2% cyclo
2% dimeth
1% FO
.5% liquid germall +
I want to thank your for your wonderful blog and all that I have learned and am still learning from it.
Karen S.
(For Diane or anyone else I live in the U.S. and I get Incroquat CR from the Herbarie)

Melanie said...

Hi Susan,
I'm in the middle of reading your amazing e-book Formulating Facial Products, got distracted and somehow landed on this post! I'm going to make this deep conditioner, and was wondering if I could substitute Olivem 1000 (Cetearyl Olivate & Sorbitan Olivate) for the Incroquat CR at the same percentage? Would that work?

Thankyouthankyou for all your contribution, I am so excited to learn this craft and your knowledge is helping me so much!


Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Melanie. I'm answering your question in more detail in Saturday, December 6th's Weekend Wonderings. The short answer is that you could include it, but I guess I'm not sure why as it won't offer much to your hair.

Karlie said...

Hi Susan,
I'm hoping you can point me in the right direction. I have been reading your blog voraciously for the past few days, and I understand your position on "natural products." Having said that, I was searching for a conditioner recipe and trying to learn as much as possible about quarternary compounds, cationic, silicones, etc. my problem with most of them is, I have been through the ringer with conditioners, and most commercial products leave me with raw, cystic acne along my jawline (where the runoff goes directly under the ears, along jawline). I used to use high silicone products because I have such thick curly brown hair (literal ringlets, very German bloodline). So I ditched the silicones and panthenol and have been doing ACV rinses, and the acne cleared right up. Thus my search for a natural hair conditioner (because as good as my hair does feel on the ACV rinse, it gets rather frizzy, but I can still comb it when it's wet. I've never been able to comb it when it's dry.)

I took what supplies I had to the kitchen tonight, resolving to come up with something.
I ended up with (and I apologize in advance for the guesstimating, I was going more by "this would be good! Ooh, I'll add some of this..." Trying to "get in the kitchen and make it happen"...

Here was my recipe:
4 oz oils ::
80% coconut oil
5% neem oil
15% peanut oil

4 cups distilled water
1 oz lavandin hydrosol
.5oz vit e
1 oz aloe Vera
2 tbsp honey
2 tbsp vegetable glycerin
1/4 cup citric acid
3 tbsp guar gum

50 drops tea tree oil, 20 drops lemon myrtle, 10 drops Rosemary, 10 drops lavender, 10 drops lemon grass, 20 drops Ho Wood, 10 drops Palma rosa

I let it sit for 5 minutes then stick blender to a gel. It is a nice, emulsified creme consistency. I put some in my hair (after bottling it up and using what was left on the spatula and in the pot) and it coats the hair nicely. I rinsed my hands off and it made my hands silky smooth, very much like a conditioner would be.

My question is, I have this sinking feeling that I've made a "hair mask" and it will absolutely not add any effect to my "frizzies" conundrum, nor will it reduce combing/shearing force of the strands after it's been rinsed. I still don't quite understand all the differences between cationic, positively charged particles, ionic, etc... But was hoping you could tell me what I've come up with (as far as, I know I have an emulsified product, I know I have a hydrous product, can you fill me in on
what other categories this would be?) and where to go from here.

Thank you very much,

Karlie said...

Meep! I forgot to add the can of coconut milk! (Unsweetened, first pressing, so it was pretty solid on top like coconut oil, then had a runnier oil on bottom like fractionated coconut oil) in the recipe above. I just started cleaning up the kitchen and that was the one thing I forgot to write down in the recipe I posted above for you. I also just rinsed my hair out and it is amazingly silky soft. I don't know if it's some of the oils that are coating the strands, but it feels like conditioner in my hair that rinsed out... And smells great! Looking forward to your feedback.

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Karlie. What you have might be a moisturizing product, but it isn't a positively charged conditioning product or an emulsified product. (Check out this post on conditioners.) To be a conditioner, it must be positively charged. None of your ingredients are positively charged, so you don't have a conditioner. To be emulsified, you need an emulsifier. It sounds like you've managed to get it to be emulsified by sheer force of mixing, but it will eventually separate.

You need a preservative in this product. It will have a shelf life of a few days in the fridge and you'll have to throw it out after that.

I'm worried about how much citric acid you've put in this product. When I make a product with a pH of around 7, adding 0.2 grams citric acid can reduce the pH by 1 to 6. I can't imagine what your pH might be here.

Why are you including all these ingredients? What does neem oil bring to your hair? What does peanut oil do? Do these ingredients help frizziness or cause it? Are there other ingredients that might do nice things for your hair that you could include?

I hate to say this, but I don't know if you want to use this product for very long. It isn't positively charged, so it isn't a conditioner. It doesn't have a preservative and contains a lot of botanical ingredients or ingredients that go off easily, so I'm worried about it being contaminated in a very short period of time.

I think it's great that you want to make your own products, but the reality is that you cannot make a "natural" conditioner with things you find in your kitchen. A conditioner must have a positively charged quaternary compound, which is something we buy from our suppliers. It doesn't show up in nature.

Could this feel nice on your hair? Sure. If you really like it, I'd make it again without the citric acid, and make sure you measure everything properly by weight so you can add enough preservative. But you aren't making a conditioner, if that is what you want.

Cynthia Scott said...

Hi Susan,

If you took the recipe, above, from Karlie, and eliminated the guar gum and citric acid and added BTMS would it then be positively charged? That's what I see as the main difference as it would appear otherwise to be oils, water and humectants (course just delete the coconut milk as well - one could add coconut milk to it each time before you hop in the shower - because this is not the first time I've heard coconut milk works great on hair - but otherwise keep it in the fridge). Maybe change up the percentages some. And then of course you could add some goodies like panthanol (which seems she's avoiding because it's a "chemical" idk if harmful at all and the coconut milk might be adding some protein) - I see her purpose here as going all natural - but just adding the BTMS would make it super close to all natural. Using bees wax plus borax (a perfectly safe natural salt) would keep it negative right?

I am also super interested in all-natural mostly because my hair is falling out and I've reduced almost all "chemicals" from my home and food, added a bunch of vitamins to my regimen, massaging my scalp with EOs and switched out my shower head with filtered (and have seen - as well as some positive comments from others - some success - yay!). I make my own home cleansers, laundry detergent, cp soap....and bath and body things like lip balm, antiperspirant (I've found using a french green clay mask on your underarms to be effective at reducing odor oddly - the fuller's earth made it worse!!) and make my own bread (you must make it every 3 days or so!!) and otherwise avoid processed food.

I can see the argument against going all natural as one that is valid too but it is a fact that our blood is chock full of harmful "chemicals" that are not in our parents' blood - youngsters' blood has almost 4 times the amount of harmful "chemicals" in comparison to their parents!' - current day. But could just be from playing with and drinking out of plastics along with being in close contact with heavily treated carpet and parents constantly forcing anti-bacterial agents on their hands (a very questionable act on many levels) and fairly often application of sun screen on them (which some countries have actually banned ones made with certain "chemicals" because it is actually polluting their water due to all the tourism - mostly in the Carribean) and things like processed food such as chicken nuggets and boxed mac n cheese and other things kids do/use that their parents don't as often.

As much as you may disagree with the movement to go all-natural (not at all sure you disagree with this with things besides bath and body items), I think it is popular for good reason.

I started using some not so natural products when confronted with the problem of creating lotions with water in them - I'm not super happy with body butters and stick lotion and don't wish to refrigerate my lotion as well as make it once a week. I make enough in the way of bread (I found a super easy one to do!). And you have just been a fountain of fabulous information for me. I am just so pleased that I found you!! I made the conditioner - success - which works fabulously! Plus some lotion - 1 fail, 1 success!! Yay! I haven't made more simply because I haven't run out. But I'm due for more conditioner and plan on adding green tea extract (is this good for hair?) as well as panthanol and cetyl alcohol - I will look into it more whether this one is good for hair on your site - (I was short a bunch of ingredients first time making conditioner and it still turned out great!).

Sorry such long post - so questions are does BTMS change her recipe to positively charged and is green tea extract good for conditioner?

Thanks in advance, (am loving your books!!!)


Cynthia Scott said...

Ok found out answer - yes green tea good for hair

Still wanting to know about the difference between what makes a conditioner positive vs negative. I am not interested, myself, in using bees wax/borax as that sounds awful to me even though I have those ingredients on hand (perhaps if I needed a cream for a physical ailment then maybe - perhaps a burn? idk - best just go to dr LOL - I do like herbal treatment though - but must refrigerate! Or else use a preservative - which I just wouldn't want to put on a "physical ailment" - for some reason it seems ok to take/use whatever the dr gives you - however in my experience they can make humongous mistakes too!!!!!). I just am interested in the science part. What's the difference? If the answer is too long then could you point me in the direction of where to find the answer? And if that is too complicated to go into here then forget I asked - just a curiosity. I am very curious about all of it. I am finding some stuff just downright obvious and some of the stuff beyond my ken.

Thanks and no worries if you haven't the time for this one - just for personal edification is all.

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

HI Cynthia. I have organized the blog into sections, and in those sections you'll see I've provided all kinds of information you might need for making that product type. For hair care, I've put together all the posts on hair care products, including the science of our hair and those products, in one handy dandy place! I'll send you over there to find out more about conditioners.

The reason I don't believe in the idea of "all natural" is because the label is a farce. It doesn't mean anything. It isn't a certification or some kind of test a product has to pass. Anyone can call their product all natural. I can call everything I make all natural if I wish, and no one can say otherwise. I can put "derived from..." beside every ingredient I use and make it seem natural, because that's what a lot of these companies do. "Derived from coconuts", which applies to just almost all our surfactants. "Derived from sand..." is always one that makes me laugh! I have done many posts on this topic, and I think I make my argument there as to why I don't acknowledge the idea of natural products.

In the end, I think it's better is to know your ingredients, so you know what you're getting. Don't look for the manufacturer to tell you something is natural - look at the label and see what you're buying. And make sure you're getting a good preservative in said product because that is the thing they leave out for some bizarre reason.

As an aside, popular doesn't mean right. Look at all the people drinking alkaline water! No science to back that up at all!

Wendy said...

hi susan,

what does the heated oil phase look like when its done heating? how does the heated water phase look? I can say, i tried this formula and it was an epic fail! I think it has to do with my percentage in water. I got kind of lost as to what it would be in grams! not a math whiz by far but im trying... anywho, after my epic fail, i just had to ask some more questions... also when you say to mix well, how long should i mix and what should i mx it with? also the holding for twenty minutes was tough... i never held both at 70 c for twenty minutes. can you give me some directions on holding? Im sorry, i have questions, questions, questions..... thank you for your time


Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Wendy! I loose your enthusiasm! I think most of your questions are answered in either the newbies section of the blog of the FAQ. Check out those sections for more information.

Heating and holding are not optional. If you want to start your own line, you have to know good manufacturing processes. Again, check out those sections to learn more. As well, take a look at my SnapGuide on conditioners and my YouTube channel to get more visual tutorials.

Wendy said...

Im sorry, i don t know what you mean by, you loose my enthusiasm? I know the heating and holding are crucial for a good conditioner. I just wanted to know if there was a better way of holding? Thanks for your feed back.


Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Silly auto-correct! I love your enthusiasm! I don't know how you heated and held, so I'm afraid I can't make any suggestions. You'll want to use a double boiler method. Like I said, check out those two sections for loads of ideas!

Ebi said...

I had finally found my ultimate conditioner and had been contemplating on posting it here but I kept it in an excel file and then...I couldn't get into my computer anymore. Had to factory reset the entire thing, so I've lost all my (recipe)files, go me XD

Then again, this might be a good time to experiment with other recipes and see if I can make an even better one ;) And it might be a good time to get myself a nice binder for storing all future recipes.

I was able to salvage one of my recipes though (yay for writing down recipes on paper). It's a cream cleanser which has really helped keep me pimple free:) I'll post that one under a more appropriate post soon.


Freda said...

Hi Susan,

I've been reading your blog for a while and love it. I was hoping you could answer a question for me. I made your intense conditioner and my hair absolutely loves it. I have African hair type that is unprocessed and in its natural state. My hair has never been so manageable. My question to you is that the intense conditioner is meant to be washed out and not kept in your hair correct? If so is it possible to formulate a leave in conditioner similar to the intense conditioner? Thanks so much Susan!

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Freda! That is such awesome news, and I'm glad you found something that could help. You can use a rinse off conditioner as a leave in, if you wish, without any modifications except calling it a leave in conditioner. Or did you want ot formulate something slightly different? If so, what did you have in mind?

Dee said...

Hi Susan,

Thank you so much for your blog, I really enjoy reading it and I am learning a lot.

I want to make this intense conditioner but I don't have access to Incroquat CR.

Can I just substitute it with 3% Cetrimonium Chloride or should I just increase the BTMS to 10% and use 2% Cetrimonium Chloride?


Moxie said...

A friend of mine has very tight, dry and kinky curly hair. She's had a bear of a time finding good products. One of the things she's told has worked for her, is using conditioners instead of shampoos. I also know she loves coconut for her hair, especially after a shower and to help comb it out. I was wondering if I made a version of this with orange butter, if it might be a good "cleansing conditioner" option?

Also, I don't have dimethicone.. Could I use the cyclomethicone at 2% and add maybe 2% more coconut oil or jojoba?

Thank you for your time!

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Dee! I have loads of other intense conditioners on the blog you could try that don't contain Incroquat CR, so my suggestion is to do a search for one of those. If you want to adapt this rcipe, you could increase the BTMS-50 or leave it out and add more water. It will be slightly thinner.

Hi Moxie! Try it with the orange butter and see what you think! You can alter the silicones how you want, but honestly dimethicone is not really substituted with anything else as it is such a good ingredient for slip, glide, and shininess.

D D'Angelo said...

Hi Susan,
I read that I should bottle conditioners and lotions when they've cooled in case they separate but it is so easy to bottle them warm while they're runny. My question is this: why do they get thick as they cool if they are not in the bottle, but they don't get very thick if I bottle them warm? Thanks! Dean

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi D! Yes, they should always be bottled cold to avoid condensation in the caps that isn't preserved. I don't know your formulas, so it's hard to answer this question. The viscosity shoudl be the same, so I wonder if what you're seeing is your cooled lotion has lost water over time as it cooled, while the bottled one has retained the water?