Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Conditioners: Very light leave in conditioners with cationic polymers

We've already seen what cationic polymers like honeyquat or polyquat 7 can do for a shampoo, so let's take a look at using these as leave in conditioners suitable for fine hair or children's hair.

The cationic polymers are less conditioning than the cationic quaternary compounds like BTMS-50 or cetrimonium bromide, but they can offer light conditioning to a leave-in conditioner. We can add our water soluble goodies to it to offer some film forming and moisturizing, if you want, and we can add cetrimonium chloride or Incroquat CR to increase the detangling and softening.

93.5% to 96.5% water
2% to 5% cationic polymer
0.5% to 1% preservative
1% fragrance oil

This will make a clear, very watery leave in conditioner that sprays well from a mister. This leave in conditioner could be made cold - cationic polymers should be added at below 50˚C. Just make sure you are using distilled water, and consider heating the water slightly if it's not at room temperature to increase solubility of the cationic polymer.

Why the "2% to 5%" in the recipe? Because you may need to tweak it to make it more or less conditioning for your hair type. 

We can add a high molecular weight protein like oat protein as a film former and moisturizer, and add panthenol because it's always awesome in hair care products. We can also add cetrimonium chloride or Incroquat CR for extra detangling. (If you use cetrimonium chloride, you can make this recipe cold. You need to heat it to get the Incroquat CR to melt.)

87.5% to 90.5% water
2% cetrimonium chloride (or Incroquat CR)
2% hydrolyzed protein

2% to 5% cationic polymer
2% panthenol
1% fragrance oil
0.5% to 1% preservative

If you're making this for a child, may I suggest some kid friendly fragrances? Pink Sugar is a huge hit with my craft group kids, as is the new blend "Fruit Loops" (designed by Melissa, an up-and-coming scentsmith in our youth crafting groups), which is equal parts Lemon Curd and Cream Cheese Frosting. I've been playing with Cream Cheese Frosting and other fruity scents, and I've found strawberry at 1 part strawberry, 3 parts cream cheese frosting smells like a sugary breakfast cereal as well!

I hope you've enjoyed this series on leave in conditioning and detangling products! Join me tomorrow for fun with solid conditioner bars!


Kelly Tanner said...

Ok I'm new forgive me. I hope this isn't a dumb question. But in this conditioner could we add in slippery elm powder extract and msm powder? Slippery elm and marshmallow root are good to add slip to hair, saw some diy recipes on naturally curly of course they don't include the honeyquat, preservatives, etc. this question would also help possibly with making face cream with btms-50 and honeyquat. As a newbie I'm not totally clear on how to know what can go with cationics, or anionics. I am trying to figure it out. But when scrolling thru blog I thought this might be a good place to ask! Kelly

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Kelly. I've answered your question in Monday, January 26th's Weekday Wonderings. The short answer is that you can add what you like. The long answer is in the post!