Since my first experiments with cetyl alcohol and stearic acid were a bust, I thought I'd turn to another fatty alcohol - cetearyl alcohol! (And you've seen how well the other two ingredients worked out!)
I need to add something here: Cetearyl alcohol is used in some emulsifying waxes, but it isn't something you can create at home using the HLB system. It is something that has an HLB value, like oils and butters, not an emulsifier under that system. I have no idea why it works in something like e-wax - and to be honest, I've had nothing but problems with generic e-wax, so maybe it doesn't! - and I don't think it's an emulsifier at all! Don't buy this thinking you're going to use the HLB system to make your own emulsifier. You won't. Buy it thinking you're going to add it as a waxier feeling thickener for lotions!
It can be added to your conditioners at 50% of the cationic compound to boost substantivity! (In fact, we find it in Incroquat CR for that very reason). It's oil soluble and should be included in your heated oil phase of your creation. Its melting point is 49˚C to 58˚C.
The cetearyl alcohol I have comes in a little round pill like format and they melt quite easily in a Pyrex jug in my double boiler, and you can find them in flake format as well. It's oil soluble, so you want to add them to the heated oil phase of your product.
So why use it instead of cetyl alcohol? I'm not completely sure, to be honest. It is supposed to be more emollient than cetyl alcohol, so that's a bonus, and it definitely feels more occlusive to me than cetyl alcohol alone.
Join me tomorrow for my attempt at the whipped shea without butters project using cetearyl alcohol.