Wednesday, March 14, 2012
Questions I've seen this week on cetyl alcohol
Kari posed this question in this post on cetyl alcohol: Hi! I recently bought your e-books from Lotion Crafter and had a question about adding Cetyl Alcohol to the conditioner when there isn't a lot of oil. Is it possible to use it when you have only a very small amount of oil? I've tried adding it, and it ends up gritty in the formula.
I'm not sure why it would end up gritty because you can add quite a bit of cetyl alcohol to a conditioner without problem because the BTMS-25 or BTMS-50 acts as an emulsifier for any fatty ingredients - like cetyl alcohol - in the product. With 4% BTMS-25 or BTMS-50, you can add up to about 10% in the heated oil phase without any problems. Having said this, I'm really not sure about the grittiness you're feeling.
Has anyone else had problems with grittiness and cetyl alcohol?
Anonymous asked in the same post: I have some ingredients around, and I want to make a leave in conditioner, with a lotion consistency. I was wondering if it is possible to do this using ONLY cetyl alcohol as the primary emulsifier? Would it even work, and would it have enough slip? I do have BTMS, but was just wanting to experiment without it.
No, for two reasons. Cetyl alcohol is not an emulsifier, so you'd end up with your oil phase floating on top of your water phase. And two, it isn't positively charged, so you wouldn't have a conditioner at all. Cetyl alcohol on its own doesn't do much for your hair - it might moisturize it as it is a nice emollient on its own - and you really need the cationic quaternary compound like BTMS-50, BTMS-25, Incroquat CR, cetrimonium bromide, and so on to behave as the conditioning agent and the emulsifier!