Sunday, October 10, 2010

Experiments in the workshop: Intense conditioner with all my conditioning agents

I do love a good conditioner, and even more so since the incident with the Dremel left me with a big chunk of hair that has been really really damaged. I wouldn't normally combine cetrimonium bromide and BTMS-50 in a conditioner as they don't play well together and tend to separate, but I need some of each to help with my damaged hair.

To recap a little - cetrimonium bromide is a cationic quaternary compound like BTMS-50 that will condition your hair. It has a shorter carbon chain so it isn't as lubricating as BTMS-50, but it can penetrate the cuticle and condition the cortex. Since I have some serious damage on that hair strand, I think some cetrimonium bromide is in order. But I still want some BTMS-50 as it is very lubricating and will reduce further damage to those ends.

I really want to use coconut oil in this recipe because it is just so awesome for damaged hair, but I don't want to wash my hair every day! So I'll use ethylhexyl palmitate in this version and try the coconut oil another time. (I have been using this intense conditioner - scroll down after the click - and it's working well, but I really hate washing my hair every single day! It's barely dry by dinner time and I'm already getting greasy!)

I'm leaving the humectant out of this recipe because it's still humid season in B.C., but when I make this in November or December, I think I'll add 2% glycerin to the recipe. I'm leaving out the honeyquat for the same reason - it's an awesome cationic polymer, but it behaves as a humectant as well, which is not good for frizzy haired girls like me! For the same reasons I won't include aloe vera in here. If you're a dry haired girl and want to make this ridiculously conditioning intense conditioner, then feel free to use 2% glycerin or another humectant and up to 10% aloe vera.

You can find the original recipe in this post with an explanation with what the various esters offer to this conditioner.

73.5% water
2% hydrolyzed protein
2% cetrimonium chloride

7% Incroquat BTMS
3% Incroquat CR
4% cetrimonium bromide
4% ethylhexyl palmitate

2% panthenol
2% dimethicone
2% cyclomethicone
2% cationic polymer
1% fragrance or essential oil
0.5% to 1% preservative

Use the general conditioner making instructions for this recipe.

Oftentimes, recipes that combine BTMS-50 and cetrimonium bromide will separate. I mixed this with my hand mixer after combining the water and oil phases, and again after adding the cool down phase, and two weeks later there's no sign of separation. If you do experience separation, shake the bottle up before using and remember to try using the hand mixer a little longer next time.

I chose to use polyquat 44 at 0.5% in this recipe - see tomorrow's post for more information - because of its increased substantivity on my hair and reduction of friction. I increased the water by 1.5% to compensate for the difference in amounts for the cationic polymer.

I love this conditioner! It makes my hair feel incredibly silky and soft, and the ends go into little ringlets. On a day with 70% humidity, I managed to repel the frizzies! My mom - who is usually a big fan of suggesting my hair would look nice if I cut at least 6 inches off or had a lovely shoulder length bob - even commented at how shiny and healthy my hair looked.

Which ingredient had this effect? I know the cetrimonium bromide helps my hair go into ringlets at the ends - which makes sense given how damaged they are - and I know the silicones make my hair shiny, but I really think the inclusion of the ethylhexyl palmitate increased my shininess and decreased my frizziness. I think the polyquat 44 really made a difference as well - I've made this recipe before without it, and I never noticed the lack of fly-aways and frizziness so much. I really think I need to include this in my leave-in conditioner!

I know I've already written posts on polyquat 7 and honeyquat, but let's take a look at some other cationic polymers we can include in hair and body care products tomorrow!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Susan,
I tried this conditioner recipe, had to substitute a few ingredients I didn't have. I really love it too, but I'm concerned about the PH reading i got of 4.7 is that too low?
if so can i use baking soda to adjust it? or would that ruin it?