Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Conditioner: Adding butters to intense conditioners

Adding butters to a conditioner may only work for the most dry haired girls out there - normal and oily haired girls might find them too intense, and fine haired girls will probably hate these. All butters contain stearic acid, which is a great moisturizer, so they'll work for a dry, itchy scalp, and some contain lauric acid, which we know can moisturize our hair well. Two butters showing great promise for hair care products are sal butter and murumuru butter.

Sal butter contains 18-MEA, a fatty acid that makes up about 40% of our hair's lipid layer. Adding some sal butter to your conditioner might help here, although the jury's still out on its complete efficacy.

Murumuru butter contains lauric acid, which you might remember from the coconut oil post as having a high affinity for hair proteins. Because of its low molecular weight and linear chain structure, it can penetrate the hair shaft!

Mango butter contains stearic acid, which is a great moisturizer, and oleic acid, which is also a great moisturizer. It's best suited for normal to dry hair because it is astringent.

Shea butter contains stearic and oleic acid, which are great moisturizers. It contains allantoin, so it can help soothe an annoyed scalp. Because it is an oily butter, it's best suited for very dry hair or scalps.

Cocoa butter contains those soothing fatty acids, and it is an approved barrier ingredient, so it could help a very dry scalp.

So how do we incorporate butters into our conditioners? I'd suggest using them only in intense conditioners you use once a week or so. If you're someone with African or Asian hair types, putting the butters on your hair neat or using intense conditioners as a regular conditioner might be a good thing as your hair can handle it (whether your scalp can is a different story - keep it away from your scalp if you're an oily haired girl with these hair types).

And something like cocoa or sal butter can cause your conditioner to be much thicker than those with the other butters, so consider starting with 5% of those butters instead of 10% to see how you like it!

INTENSE CONDITIONER WITH BUTTERS
HEATED WATER PHASE
53.5% water
10% aloe vera or hydrosol of choice
2% humectant
2% hydrolyzed protein

HEATED OIL PHASE
7% Incroquat BTMS
3% Incroquat CR (detangling, softening)
10% butter of choice
3% cetyl alcohol (synergistic effect with the cationic quats)

COOL DOWN PHASE
2% dimethicone
2% cyclomethicone
2% panthenol
2% cetrimonium chloride
1% fragrance or essential oil
0.5% to 1% preservative

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

Here's a variation of this recipe with cetrimonium bromide, which we know can help with really damaged hair. Again, this is a once a week kind of recipe. If you want to use it as a regular conditioner, reduce the cetrimonium bromide to about 5%, reduce the butter to about 5%, and increase your water amount by 10%.

INTENSE CONDITIONER WITH CETRIMONIUM BROMIDE & BUTTERS
HEATED WATER PHASE
56.5% water
10% aloe vera or hydrosol of choice
2% humectant
2% hydrolyzed protein

HEATED OIL PHASE
7% cetrimonium bromide
10% butter of choice 
3% cetyl alcohol (synergistic effect with the cationic quats)

COOL DOWN PHASE
2% dimethicone
2% cyclomethicone
2% panthenol
2% cetrimonium chloride
1% fragrance or essential oil
0.5% to 1% preservative

If you are trying to avoid silicones, then take them out and increase the water by 4%. Feel free to add any extracts at 0.5% in the cool down phase or hydrosols in place of the water in the heated phase.

Use the general instructions for making these conditioners. 

Join me tomorrow for creating conditioners with cetrimonium bromide. 

8 comments:

Bajan Lily said...

If you don't have cetrimonium bromide OR Incroquat CR - can we still make these conditioners? What could we use as substitutes or would we just add more water and leave them out :( (Not sure it would be a proper conditioner without the CR though...)

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Bajan Lily! You can make these using only BTMS-50 if you want: I added the CR to make it more softening, but a conditioner with just BTMS-50 would be lovely. (I've made it with CR and without CR and my mom loved both of them!)

Bajan Lily said...

Thanks. I'm going to try it. (finally got me some BTMS-50!!)

Anonymous said...

Can these two conditioners still be successful without the cones? -TJ

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Yes. You can make any product without the silicones by leaving them out and upping some other emollient or increasing the amount of water.

Anonymous said...

If I wanted to add marshmallow root powder or amla powder to this conditioner - in which phase would I add it? Thanks

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Anonymous. How do you prepare the marshmallow root or amla powder? Can they stand the heat? Are they powders or liquids? How do you prepare them to be included in the product. Ask yourself those questions, then click on this post - How do I know when to include an ingredient? - and you can figure it out easily for yourself!

Anonymous said...

Hi,
I've seen lecithin used in some products (i.e., Curl Junkie Rehab)and after reading about it I've learned that it is an emulsifier/thickener/mild preservative but during my research I haven't seen in which phase the product should be used. My question is at what phase is the lecithin added when making a conditioner? I don't want to use it until I know the proper way to use it. I purchased my lecithin from mountain rose herbs -it's thick with a brownish color. Can you help me please?