Saturday, June 12, 2010

Conditioners: Using silicones in rinse-off conditioners

Silicones - like cyclomethicone and dimethicone - offer film forming, occlusive, and emollient properties to your conditioners to decrease friction, increase gloss and shine, improve wet combing, and decrease moisture retention or frizzing (which are all part of the conditioner's goals!)

Every hair type can benefit from silicones. Dry hair can benefit from the emollient properties as it lubricates your hair, increases in shine and gloss, and offers occlusive properties that can trap moisture in the hair shaft. Oily hair types benefit by an increase in emolliency without oils. Frizzy hair types benefit by the occlusive properties that can reduce the amount of water that penetrates the hair shaft. And all hair types can benefit from the decrease in combing forces and friction. Fine hair can use silicones, but you're better off using about 1% of each or lower.

Silicones can be used in any type of conditioner at 2% dimethicone and 2% cyclomethicone. You can increase the amount of silicone to 5% dimethicone and 5% cyclomethicone, but this might be too much for most hair types. Add silicones to the cool down phase of your conditioner creation. They are oil soluble, and BTMS-50 is the ideal emulsifier for silicones - even in lotion recipes.

BASIC HAIR CONDITIONER WITH SILICONES
HEATED PHASE
7% BTMS-50 or cetrimonium bromide
87% water

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

Use the general or alternative instructions for making a conditioner.

If you have dry hair, include up to 3.5% cetyl alcohol in the heated phase and reduce your water by 3.5%. If you want to make this as a daily use conditioner, reduce the BTMS-50 or cetrimonium bromide to 4% and increase the water to 3%.

If you want to make a recipe using the ingredients we've been looking at over the last few days, let's modify one of them to include our silicones!

ORANGE & GRAPESEED OILY HAIR CONDITIONER WITH HYDROLYZED PROTEINS AND SILICONES 
or call it something lovely like Orange & Oats Smoothing Conditioner
HEATED PHASE
7% BTMS
2% hydrolyzed protein
20% orange hydrosol
63% water

COOL DOWN PHASE
0.5% preservative (liquid Germall Plus)
1% oily hair essential oil blend
0.5% powdered grapeseed extract
2% cyclomethicone
2% dimethicone
2% panthenol

Oily hair essential oil blend: Equal parts rosemary, clary sage, cedarwood, and lime or lemon essential oils.

ALOE & CHAMOMILE CONDITIONER FOR DRY HAIR
or call it something like Aloe & Chamomile Hydrating Conditioner
HEATED PHASE
7% BTMS
3.5% cetyl alcohol
2% hydrolyzed protein
20% aloe vera
59.5% water

COOL DOWN PHASE
1% fragrance or essential oil blend
0.5% to 1% preservative
0.5% powdered chamomile extract
2% cyclomethicone
2% dimethicone
2% panthenol

And remember, a great way to remove silicones from your hair - if you're using a lot of them - is with cetrimonium chloride! If you're using dimethicone at 2% in your shampoo and 2% in your conditioner, you really don't need to be that worried about build-up, but cetac is a great inclusion any conditioner at 2%, not only for the silicone removal but for the detangling benefits! 

I know some people don't like using silicones - here are some silicone replacement ideas, or you can tune in tomorrow when we have some fun with using oils in our conditioners!

8 comments:

Storm Crow said...

Hi Susan

This might be a silly question, but I'm still a bit new to all of this.

I made your basic conditioner using BTMS-50 (love it) and now want to try it with a 'cone'.

Am on a very tight budget and have all the ingredients listed for the Basic Hair Conditioner with Silicones, except dimethicone.

Do I increase the cyclo to 4%, or just leave it at 2% ?

Cheers!

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Storm Crow. Did you see my post for today? There are no silly questions! If you want to use cyclomethicone, use it at 2%. Don't increase it. There's no point!

monniej said...

hi susan. what do i need to change about this recipe if i want to create a leave in conditioner or moisturizer containing silicones? thanks!

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Please look at the hair care section of the blog for more recipes.

Clive said...

I'm curious about solubilised silicones. I bought some Silsense DW25 which is a water-dispersible silicone wax. I tried adding 1% to an existing sulphate-free shampoo, and also 2% of cetrimonium chloride for detangling. The result was a clear shampoo. I like it, but Silsense is such an expensive item that I'd like to know the optimum amount. I guess the alternative would be to have to develop a cream shampoo with emulsifiers to deal with the dimethicone?

Clive said...

Sorry, I forgot to ask:
Are things like Silsense DW25 designed really for leave-in conditioners?

RainFaerie said...

Hi Susan. As far as silicones go, is cyclomethicone ever used alone in a conditioner or is it always combined with another silicone? Could you simply add it to a leave-in recipe to promote easier wet combing/detangling without adding dimethicone? Thank you.

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi RainFaerie! Dimethicone is the better conditioner and detangler between the two. Yes, you can use cyclomethicone alone, but it's better when combined with dimethicone. You could use dimethicone alone, but you'll want to pick one with a viscosity less like glue and more like water. I like the 350 cs version.