Saturday, May 14, 2011

Duplicating products: Giovanni Direct Leave In Conditioner

Sweeteababy suggested that we take a look at the Giovanni Direct Leave In Conditioner. (If you'd like to make a suggestion for a product we could duplicate, please click on this link and leave me an accurate ingredient list and a link to the product somewhere on the 'net.)

Let's take a look at each ingredient.

Aqua (Purified Water): Our solvent.

Rosemary (Rosmarinus Officinalis) Oil*, Nettle (Urtica Dioica) Oil, Thyme (Thymus Vulgaris) Oil*, Birch Leaf (Butela Alba) Oil, Chamomile (Anthemis Nobilis Flower) Oil*, Clary (Salvia Sclarea)*, Lavender (Lavandula Angustifolia)*, Coltsfoot Leaf (Tussilago Fargara)*, Yarrow (Achillea Millefolium) Oil*, Horsetail (Equisetum Arvense) Oil*: Please click here for the post on the 50:50 conditioner for more information on these extracts.

Birch Leaf (Butela Alba) Oil: I can't find much about the benefits of this oil for our hair. I found that it is an astringent and helps with blood circulation, but I'm not really sure how the latter works for a conditioner.

Mallow (Malya Sylvestris)*: Mallow contains a lot of mucilage, which can form a moisturizing film on our hair and skin.

Soybean Protein (Glycine Soja)*: A hydrolyzed protein that will offer film forming and moisturization to our skin and hair.

Cetyl Alcohol (Plant Derived): An emollient fatty alcohol that boosts the substantivity of cationic quaternary compounds found in hair conditioners.

Tocopherol (Vitamin E): Our anti-oxidant.

Panthenol: A vitamin that can behave as a humectant and film former. Very good for our hair.

Trace Minerals: No idea what this could mean.

Citric Acid (Corn): pH adjuster.

Sodium Hydroxymethlyglucinate: Preservative - Suttocide A.

Grapefruit Seed (Citrus Derived): Not a preservative, but could be an anti-oxidant.

As a quick note, I went to this website and found the ingredient list also included aloe vera after the water, panthenol after the tocopherol, and phenoxyethanol as a different preservative. This one has almost the same list sweeteababy posted, but it includes the panthenol. I've included panthenol in the ingredient list because it seems like this is the version she has.

What do we have here? I can't tell you what we don't have - we don't have a leave in conditioner. A conditioner must contain a positively charged ingredient like behentrimonium methosulfate (Incroquat BTMS-50), behentrimonium chloride, cetrimonium bromide, cetrimonium chloride, and so on. We don't have that in this product. (Click here for more information on conditioners.) Without a cationic ingredient, we just have a lotion you put into your hair.

But we don't even have that! There is nothing in this ingredient list that would be considered an emulsifier for those oils and the cetyl alcohol, so I'm feeling like there's something missing in the list. We have a ton of essential oils - well, 8 - and if we used those at even 0.5% each, we'd still have 4% oils in this product. Even if there's only 1% cetyl alcohol, we have 5% oils we're adding to this water based product and they'll just float on top of the product being un-emulsified if we don't add something to it that will create an emulsifed product.

So I'm not sure where to go with this product. I can't duplicate it because it doesn't contain an emulsifier or a cationic quaternary compound, and I know if I make it up with this ingredient list, I'm going to end up with a separated mess of oils and water that won't offer anything to my hair because it doesn't contain a conditioner. I've done my searches on line and I can't find a version of an ingredient list that contains an emulsifier and/or cationic ingredient.

What I will do is leave you with this suggestion: Find a leave in conditioner recipe you like - I hope I'm not being arrogant by suggesting this one - and add the extracts at whatever rate you want (I'd suggest 0.25% for each of the essential oils to start, and whatever you want for the water soluble ingredients.) Use BTMS-50 or another cationic ingredient that emulsifies at 2%, cetyl alcohol at 1%, hydrolyzed protein at 1%, panthenol at 1%, vitamin E at 0.5%, and your preservative at 0.5% to whatever the suggested rate might be. Add water to make up to 100%, and you've got yourself a leave in conditioner.

Join me tomorrow for more fun duplicating products!


patrizia said...

I have this 'leave in conditioner',and honestly it does not one bit of good!!! I just smear coconut oil on my hands and scrunch the tips of my hair while it's wet as my 'leave in conditioner'.

Ged said...

Hi Susan

This product and your answer bring up an interesting point ... I have been trying to make an organic (not certified organic)conditioner for a client and I had to give up!

Bentley Organics put it quite honestly:
"It is very difficult to make a conditioner to Soil Association organic standards. The ingredients that are needed to give the usual silky conditioner feel that we are all used to are not permitted under Soil Association standards due to biodegradability. Bentley Organic has made a huge step forward in having a Soil Assocation certified conditioner. However, you need to be prepared for a different user experience than you're used to. The texture is much lighter than a conventional conditioner and you don't get the very silky feel. It conditions well, the team here at So Organic really like the product, but if you have very dry or frizzy hair you might feel that it's not conditioning enough for you."

And none of the "organic conditioners" I've been looking at contain any of the ingredients we'd call conditioning - they're mostly water, cetearyl alcohol, oils and a bunch of extracts ... wonder if this new brassicamidopropyl dimethylamine (phew!) is going to be the future "natural" conditioner of choice?

patrizia said...

I've spent a lot of money looking for the perfect leave in conditioner-and have never found one on any shelf that is good for my hair. I have fine porous hair. So, the tips of my hair are always dry, frizzy and fly-away. In the past, I often put in products that would drag my hair down and leave it looking greasy, as well as have no movement.. or in the case of Giovanni, it just stays frizzy and looking awful. Every salon in Toronto seems to carry the Moroccan oil product, and swears by it. Honestly, it's the closest product I've ever found to work but it's really expensive and honestly not better than working fractionated coconut oil on the tips of my hair. This is a great topic btw! Hair is your best make up after all!!!