There are a number of fatty alcohols you can choose from, but these are the ones most available to home crafters.
- cetyl alcohol - 16 carbon atoms
- stearyl alcohol - 18 carbon atoms
- cetearyl alcohol (also known as cetereath-20) - a combination of cetyl alcohol and stearyl alcohol - an ethoxylated alcohol
Adding a fatty alcohol to a conditioner is beneficial to your hair. A study found adding cetyl alcohol to cetrimonium bromide nearly doubled the reduction of wet combing forces, and another study found adding cetyl alcohol to a behentrimonium chloride (like BTMS) reduced the surface friction in hair.
You'll want to add the fatty alcohol or ethoxylated alcohol to your conditioner at 1/2 the amount of the cationic quat. Most of the cationic quats you buy are going to have a fatty alcohol included, but you can add more as it does thicken the mixture and will make your hair more moisturized.
If you have frizzy prone hair, you might want to hold off on the fatty alcohols; it can make your hair a little frizzier due to the moisturizing action!
Here are a few conditioner recipes that include fatty alcohols! (Scroll down to see the various recipes I've created or click on "hair products" in the labels section to see more).
- Shaving lotion/slippery hair conditioner (this blog)
- Intense hair conditioner (this blog)
- Solid hair conditioner (this blog)
- Solid shaving bar (hair conditioner bar with more oils and slip) (this blog)
- A variety of conditioner recipes using BTMS and CR (Voyageur Soap & Candle)
Have fun formulating!