Monday, December 27, 2010
Substitutions: Figuring out what's important in a conditioner
Identify the cationic quaternary compound (usually Incroquat BTMS-50, but sometimes Incroquat BTMS-25, cetrimonium bromide, or cetrimonium chloride) and make sure you don't substitute that for something else. A conditioner is not a conditioner if it lacks the cationic quaternary compound.
For instance, I made my first conditioner with 7% BTMS-50, 0.5% preservative, and water. That's it! And that qualifies as a conditioner!
You cannot substitute Incroquat BTMS-50 for Polawax or e-wax in a conditioner recipe. The emulsifying waxes are non-ionic or neutrally charged; the cationic quaternary compounds are cationic or positively charged, which is what makes them conditioners. If you use an e-wax in a conditioning recipe, you've made a lovely lotion but it's not a conditioner.
You cannot leave the cationic quaternary compound or conditioning agent out of the recipe. I know it's hard to find cetrimonium chloride, but if you have a recipe in which it is the only conditioning agent, then leaving it out means you don't have a conditioner. Find another conditioning agent - a cationic polymer would work for things like light leave in conditioner or use another cationic quaternary compound - but don't leave it out entirely.
For instance in this recipe (click here for full post), if you leave out the cetrimonium chloride you have water with some preservative and fragrance. Instead, find another cationic ingredient like BTMS-50 (for a thicker leave in conditioner) or use a cationic polymer in its place.
BASIC RECIPE FOR A DETANGLER SPRAY WITH CETRIMONIUM CHLORIDE
3% cetrimonium chloride
COOL DOWN PHASE
0.5% to 1% preservative
1% fragrance oil
You can substitute the silicones for other ingredients - click here for that post - and the hydrosols with water and one protein for another (or leave it out entirely), but the positively charged conditioning agents are vital!
Join me tomorrow for more fun with cosmetic chemistry!