Friday, June 10, 2011

The great conditioner experiment

As you might know by now, my husband and I have long hair (and if you didn't know, you can tell by the picture to your left), which was one of the reasons I started making my own products. We both have very oily hair, and I couldn't find anything but oily roots, dry ends type products that left us feeling slightly greasy even when we washed that morning.

I love my shampoo bar for oily hair, and I love the conditioner bar, but this time of year I find a need a little more conditioning in the form of my intense liquid conditioner with all the swimming, sun exposure, and running around I'm doing. But when I add more conditioner to my hair, it gets greasier quicker. (Click here for more information on how much conditioner to use and how long to leave it in!) So I thought I'd try a little experiment to see how much conditioner my hair really needs!


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

I'm diluting my conditioner and making notes of how my hair feels!

Experiment one: I added 50 grams of distilled water with 0.25 grams of liquid Germall Plus to 100 grams of product (distilled water!!!) and I've used that for three washings so far with about 3 washings left. Which means I'm using about 25 grams of conditioner per wash. I'm happy with this so far. My hair is soft, shiny, defrizzed, and detangled. It's very watery, so I've taken to just squishing the bottle over my head and running it through my hair with my fingers, with an extra amount on the ends. I've managed to get three days between washings, so that's a fine thing indeed!

If I wanted to keep this version the way it is and wanted to figure out the percentages, I would divide every ingredient by 150 and get the percentage that way. So this version has 4.67% BTMS, 2% Incroquat CR, and 2.67% cetrimonium bromide and ethylhexyl palmitate respectively.

Next experiment, adding 75 grams of distilled water and 0.37 grams of preservative to the product and seeing how that works!


Lise M Andersen said...

This is exciting! I look forward to your experiences with this. (great pic by the way)

Steph said...

I was wanting to try and make some of this and can't seem to find hydrolyzed you have a website I could find most of these products?

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Steph. Are you looking to buy this or just learn more about it? If you look to the right, under the frequently asked questions section, you'll see "where can I buy supplies in..." where the great readers of this blog have put their favourite suppliers. Click on your area. If you want to learn more about hydrolyzed proteins, look to the right under the ingredients list. You can find a few different ones there.

Marie said...

I have made conditioners in the past that I didn't like. I would like to know if I could do this type of experiment at home? Is this a process that can only be used on handmade products, or can store-bought be used as well? I thought once a product was made you were stuck with that formulation. I hope this question hasn't been asked before.

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Marie. You could do this at home, but I wouldn't do it with store bought conditioners as we don't know how much preservative they've included. Add some water to your product and shake it up really well, then use. Only make enough for one or two washings (I made too much last time!) You might remember this from the post: I added 50 grams of distilled water with 0.25 grams of liquid Germall Plus to 100 grams of product (distilled water!!!) Just make sure you are adding distilled water with preservative in it to your product!

As a note, I wouldn't do this with any other emulsified product - body butter, lotion, cream, and so on - only with a conditioner and only with one I'd made myself and added distilled water and preservative to that very morning.

Josie Williams said...

Hello! I am based in the UK and just loving your site - I have never made my own conditioner before but am now inspired to. I am interested in this recipe (is it also on your 12 favourite recipes pdf?) as I have coarse, dry, colour treated hair that has a tendency to become frizzy. Despite having scoured your site to try and find the info I need, I still have a few questions:

1. I am unable to source Incroquat CR or ethylhexyl palmitate - is there a substitute I can use or a way to amend the recipe so I don't have to use these items?

2. Which cationic polymer would you recommend for my type of hair?

3. Which BTMS product would you recommend from these:

Thanks so much in advance :-)