Saturday, June 26, 2010

Conditioners: Detanglers using cetrimonium chloride

We've looked at cream rinses - which are effectively detanglers in rinse-off form - and we've looked at leave in conditioners, so let's take a look at leave-in detanglers suitable for fine hair or children's hair.

The concept is pretty much the same for detanglers as for cream rinses - we want something that contains mostly water and the detangling ingredients with some light conditioners. We can include water soluble ingredients like humectants, proteins, panthenol, and hydrosols, but the emphasis is on the detangling.

We know Incroquat CR and cetrimonium chloride are good detangling and softener ingredients, so these will be the basis for our detangling products. We know we need water and preservative, and fragrance is always a bonus! Today we'll take a look at cetrimonium chloride based detanglers; tomorrow join me for Incroquat CR based detanglers.

Although cetrimonium chloride is listed as an emulsifier, it isn't a great one. I wouldn't add more than 1% or 2% oil soluble ingredients if cetrimonium chloride was my only emulsifier. If you really must add some oils to this recipe, then I'd suggest only 1% or using water soluble oils that don't need emulsifying. You won't be able to add silicones to this recipe either, unless you have some lovely water soluble silicones!

3% cetrimonium chloride
95% water

0.5% to 1% preservative
1% fragrance oil

Okay, so we have our detangling spray, but where's the good stuff for our hair? You already know what you can add - aloe, hydrosols, extracts, and so on - so you can modify this as you want. If you have fine hair, this might be enough for you because you don't want to weigh your hair down with tons of oils and silicones. If you have thicker hair, you can make yourself a leave in conditioner to include the oils and silicones, or use Incroquat CR as the basis for your product.

Here's how I'd modify this for my best friend's fine hair. She has chemically processed hair - in the form of permanent dyes - and she straightens her hair on occasion. So I want to include some film forming proteins, panthenol, and cationic polymers. Ideally I'd add some silicones in there, but I don't have anything that will emulsify a ton of silicones and I know she uses a heat treatment spray, so she's getting the protection she needs there.

89.5% water
3% cetrimonium chloride
2% hydrolyzed oat protein

2% polyquat 7
2% panthenol
0.5% preservative
1% fragrance oil (I generally use Oatmeal, Milk & Honey for her)

You can use the general or alternate instructions for these recipes.

This is a neat product as it's quite thin and clear - it looks like water (the foam in the picture above is because I was shaking it! It was fun!). Your choice of fragrance oil might colour it slightly, but does look really cool in a clear spray bottle! This will act as a very light conditioner and detangler for fine hair.

Join me tomorrow for more fun making detanglers with Incroquat CR.


Hobbiz said...

Hi Susan! In this recipe, you dont need an emulsifier to solubilize FO into water?

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Hobbiz! Cetrimonium chloride has emulsifying properties.

Hobbiz said...

Thanks Susan. Nice information.

Marie-Eve Vignola said...

Hi Susan,
I was looking to make a leave on detangler for my daughter with cetrimonium chloride. My usual supplier doesn't sell that so I searched online and found cetrimonium chloride 30%. They mention that it's safe to use at a maximum of 0.25% in leave on products. But because it's considered 30% active, I should be able to go up to 7.5% of the recipe. Am I correct? Any supplier to suggest?

Rachele Kelly said...

Hi Susan!
Are there any "more natural" alternatives to the cetrimonium chloride?

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Rachele. No. There are no natural ingredients we can buy that will be positively charged and offer detangling and/or conditioning. What did you want to use cetrimonium chloride for, what will you be including it in, and what other ingredients are you using?

Joanne Lynn Stevenson said...

Thank you for these recipes and this blog. I was making a leave in conditioner with btms 50 but it's just too heavy on our hair here. I'll make this one tonight :)

Jaslyn Begni said...

Thank you for all the information you've shared, you saved my hair. I have thin, fine, brittle hair that tangled madly and I was scared to comb it in case too much of it fell out. I made a shampoo, conditioner and detangler spray; by the second week I couldn't stop running my fingers through my hair. I also have less hair loss now, my poor hair must've been screaming for all those lovely goodies you recommended. I'm curious to know why you included Polyquat 7 in the detangler spray for fine hair as you said the polyquats weren't our "friend". I left it out, but now of course I'm wondering if I should've included it.