Sunday, June 13, 2010

Conditioner: Adding oils - coconut oil

Oils and butters are a great way to get extra moisturizing for your hair and scalp into a conditioner. There are tons of different oil and butter choices you can make - some of it will depend upon the goals of the conditioner, some of it will depend on what you've got in your workshop.

Oils with double bonds - unsaturated oils - are the least likely to penetrate your hair shaft, but they can add some nice gloss and shine. The lower the molecular weight of the oil and the straighter the fatty acid chain, the more likely it is to penetrate your hair shaft. (The unsaturated oils generally have a kinked fatty acid chain, so they tend to lie on your hair strand.) If you do want to use some oils, stick to those with more oleic acid than linoleic acid (linoleic acid has two double bonds, so it's very kinked!) or, better yet, go with esters or fractionated oils (like shea or coconut) where the fatty acids have been carefully selected.

Oily haired girls should stay away from conditioners with oils or keep it away from your roots. You're going through all this trouble to make a great shampoo for your oily hair, and it kinda defeats the purpose to add a ton of it in your conditioner. Having said this, there are always exceptions to any rule, so if you like oils, use oils. It's probably better to use lower rates of liquid oils and leave out the butters. 

Coconut oil (or virgin coconut oil, if you like a stronger coconut smell) is a great place to start when adding oils to conditioners. Studies have shown it reduces lost proteins for both damaged and undamaged hair when used pre-wash or in a post-wash grooming product. The fatty acid lauric acid has a high affinity for hair proteins, and because of its low molecular weight and linear chain structure it can actually penetrate the hair shaft!

Coconut oil is one of the least expensive oils we can find, and because it is solid at room temperature, it will make your conditioner much thicker than those without.

You can use coconut oil neat on your hair before washing or use it in a rinse-off, intense, or leave in conditioner. Remember that intense conditioners aren't intended for daily use, so use this once a week - more if you have really damaged, processed, or dry hair.

BASIC INTENSE CONDITIONER WITH COCONUT OIL
HEATED WATER PHASE
77% water or combination of water and hydrosols

HEATED OIL PHASE
7% Incroquat BTMS-50 or cetrimonium bromide
3% Incroquat CR
8% coconut oil or virgin coconut oil
3% cetyl alcohol

COOL DOWN PHASE
1% essential or fragrance oil
0.5% to 1% preservative of choice

You can use either the general or alternate instructions for this recipe.

INTENSE CONDITIONER WITH COCONUT OIL
HEATED OIL PHASE
7% Incroquat BTMS
3% Incroquat CR (detangling, softening)
8% coconut oil or virgin coconut oil 
3% cetyl alcohol (synergistic effect with the cationic quats)

HEATED WATER PHASE
55.5% water
10% aloe vera or other hydrosol of choice
2% humectant like glycerin or 2% honeyquat or polyquat 7 in the cool down phase
2% hydrolyzed protein

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

Use the general instructions for making conditioners for this recipe.
At 100 grams, this will make more than a 2 oz jar (60 ml) but less than a 4 oz jar (120 ml).

Join me tomorrow for more fun using oils in your conditioners!

12 comments:

Purple Rain said...

I tried out the 'basic Intense Conditioner' and the consistency seems off. I've tried it twice and it comes out milky like a very very very loose yogurt. I was expecting something very thick that would need a jar. This turned out looser than the 'Basic Rinse Off Conditioner' recipe of yours that I tried.

I used 7% centrimonium bromide, 3% Incroquat CR, 8% extra virgin coconut oil, 3% cetyl alcohol, 77.5% deionized water, 1% fragrance oil, and 0.5% liquid Germall Plus. I followed your general conditioner making instructions.

I'm still a super beginner. These are the only two conditioner recipes I've ever made!

Did I get the right consistency or did I do something wrong?

Purple Rain said...

I should also say that when I mixed the 'Basic Rinse Off Conditioner' is seemed to get thicker almost instantly, but that didn't happen with my 'Basic intense Conditioner with coconut oil'

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

If you're using cetrimonium bromide or chloride, you'll find your products are very thin compared to not using them. For instance, the basic intense conditioner with BTMS-50 is a squeezable product and the one with coconut oil with BTMS-50 is a scoopable from jar product. (Cetrimonium bromide in any recipe always makes a much thinner product, mainly because it doesn't have the fatty alcohols you get with something like BTMS-50.) So you didn't do anything wrong, you just used an ingredient that doesn't thicken as much as something with BTMS-50, for instance.

And note, when you use a butter or solid oil, for instance, it can take a few days to thicken up because the oil or butter needs to go through all the solidification points of all the fatty acids, and there might be quite a few of them! So you might have something that can take up to three days to solidify! (This happens with cetyl esters, for instance!)

Purple Rain said...

okay great! thanks for the info. Your site is awesome.

Robin said...

So the basic intense in the thicker scoupable recipe correct. Also and earlier post I left you stated I could find supplies in the states near the FAQ section, which I cannot see. OMG I must be blind. I have searched high and low for FAQ...THanks again.

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Look to the right hand side of the blog under links to lists for the frequently asked questions section!

izoui said...

Hi Susan,
This is my favorite conditioner so far and my friends feels the same. I would say our hair vary from normal to very dry. Afterward my hair is soft, light and does not get too frizzy, I find I get less static too.
Here is the recipe I made :

Heated water phase
56.5% water
10% lavender hydrosol
2% cetrimonium chloride
2% phytokeratin

Heated oil phase
8% VCO
7% Btms-50
3% Incroquat CR
2% cetearyl alcohol

Cool down phase
2% honeyquat
2% panthenol
2% cyclomethicone
2% dimethicone
1% FO
0.5% liquid germall plus

Thank you
Isabelle

Lisa Reidzans Schmock said...

I made the following recipe yesterday, for my dry, damaged, frizzy hair.

INTENSE CONDITIONER WITH COCONUT OIL
HEATED OIL PHASE
7% Incroquat BTMS
3% Incroquat CR
8% virgin coconut oil
3% cetyl alcohol

HEATED WATER PHASE
55.5% water
12% aloe vera or other hydrosol of choice
2% hydrolyzed protein

COOL DOWN PHASE
2% dimethicone
2% cyclomethicone
2% panthenol
2% cetrimonium chloride
0.5% to 1% preservative

I took out the humectant, because I understood that to be bad for frizzy hair and added the 2% to the aloe vera, and left out the FO/EO as the extra virgin coconut oil provides just enough scent for me as I'm very sensitive to smells. Holy cow! This was amazing for my hair. My hair was soft and silky, easily combable, dried much faster than normal. I didmn't even have to use a smoothing serum after it was drt. Only issue was way too thick for me. I need a thinner product that I can put in a pump bottle. I'll work on that this weekend.

Lisa

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Lisa! Try heating the cetrimonium chloride in the heated oil phase. You'll be surprised at how much it will thin out the product!

Lisa Reidzans Schmock said...

Thanks Susan! I'll be trying that today.

Lisa

Cindy said...

Hi! I make my own castile soap bars. I have been using diluted apple cider vinegar as a rinse, but the ends of my hair are so dried out. I bought some BTMS-225. I will be making this conditioner tomorrow, but I wanted to know about the pH. I would like to continue using something acidic after the alkaline pH of the homemade soap. Should I use the rinse first- or after the conditioner? Please let me know what you think about this....

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Cindy. All the hair care products I make on this blog are on the acidic side of the spectrum because alkaline products are quite destructive for our hair. I'm never really sure why one would use an apple cider vinegar rinse when the conditioner is already acidic, so I'm afraid I can't offer advise on when to use it.