Friday, September 7, 2012

Question: What's the difference on my hair between BTMS-25 and BTMS-50?

In this post for making conditioners for newbie Tuesday, canfieldfive writes: I have a long rambling question: I have the Conditioning Emulsifier from MMS (Behentrimonium Methosulfate and Cetearyl Alcohol) and the BTMS-50 (Behentrimonium Methosulfate and Cetyl Alcohol and Butylene Glycol) from Brambleberry. What will these do differently for my hair? (I plan to use Cetyl Alcohol in my conditioner as well, but no silicones.)

Wow, if this is a long and rambling question, what do I write? (Insert appropriate smiley face here.) The conditioning emulsifier could be Rita BTMS-225 or Incroquat BTMS-25 and the BTMS-50 is probably Incroquat BTMS-50.

I think it's great canfieldfive has the INCI name for the product she is using because so many companies like to change the name of BTMS-25 and BTMS-50 to something like conditioning emulsifier or emulsifying conditioner or something similar. Always always always check the INCI on your conditioning ingredients so you know exactly what you're getting! 

BTMS-25 will have 25% behentrimonium methosulfate while the BTMS-50 has 50% behentrimonium methosulfate, which means any product made with BTMS-25 will have less active conditioning ingredient and more fatty alcohol to make up the difference. BTMS-25 has cetearyl alcohol, which feels slightly waxier than cetyl alcohol, and doesn't contain a humectant.

If you make a conditioner with 6% BTMS-25, you'll have 1.5% behentrimonium methosulfate and 4.5% cetearyl alcohol. The same conditioner with BTMS-50 will have 3% behentrimonium methosulfate and less than 3% cetyl alcohol. A conditioner made with BTMS-50 at the same amount will mean more conditioning agent and less fatty alcohol. So if you want to have the same amount of conditioning in a BTMS-25 conditioner, you'll have to double the amount of BTMS-25 you use.

In my normal conditioner, I tend to use BTMS-50 at 7%, so I have 3.5% behentrimonium methosulfate and about 3.5% cetyl alcohol. When I use BTMS-25, I now have 1.75% behentrimonium methosulfate and 4.25% cetearyl alcohol. It will be less conditioning but more moisturizing thanks to the increased fatty alcohol.

I've found that conditioners made with BTMS-25 are thicker and slightly less glidy than those made with BTMS-50 using the same amount. I wouldn't add any extra fatty alcohol to a product with BTMS-25 because it's already quite thick and has quite a lot of fatty alcohol in it. If you're the type who needs more moisturizing - dry hair types, for instance - you could add more fatty alcohol to the mix, but you might not need to with all that cetearyl alcohol in there.

What's the difference in your hair? In theory, the BTMS-25 offers less conditioning and more moisturizing through the fatty alcohol. It will make a thicker product that might be harder to get through your hair. I've also found that it doesn't emulsify oils or butters as well as BTMS-50. They will both offer a more powdery feeling when you make lotions.

In reality, I'm finding that although it feels heavy on my hair in the shower, it rinses off beautifully and leaves my really split ends in light ringlets. (My best friend and Mychelle offer their opinions in this post on Rita BTMS-225!) I honestly think BTMS-225 will be replacing BTMS-50 in a lot of my products, although I'm not sure about the conditioner bars, which I hope to try this weekend. As always, I suggest that you experiment with both and see what you like more.


Sânziene şi Mătrăgună said...

great post :)

Just rambling here too... what would be the best sub for the butylene glycol in BTMS-50? Glycerin, sodium lactate, panthenol, honeyquat, honey?

What would you suggest? I only have BTMS-25 and I feeel there is a need for something to make up for the lack of butylene glycol, and I am, of course, affraid to over do it.

can we guess the % of butylene glycol in BTMS-50? ;)

thanks, Susan, for yet another wonderful post!!!

Anonymous said...

What are your thoughts on using both BTMS-50 and BTMS 225 in a conditioner? For example, 4% BTMS-50 and 3% BTMS 225.

canfieldfive said...

Wow, thanks so much for breaking this down! I am planning to make duplicate conditioners with both- so far the BTMS-50 at 7% with the CA at 3.5% has been the winner but I would like to test them side-by-side. Haven't done that yet. I'll let you know how it goes! :-)

Thanks again!

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Sanziene! You can substitute any humectant you like. Sodium lactate will rinse out of your hair, so that's pointless. Honeyquat will offer extra conditioning and panthenol is awesome for other reasons. Glycerin isn't a bad choice, although some people don't like the stickiness. I wouldn't go with honey - it's just too sticky for most people. Add whatever you want at 1% to 3%!

Hi Anonymous! I wouldn't bother with using both as they both contain behentrimonium methosulfate. If you wanted to make something with more conditioning, just add more of the BTMS-50 or BTMS-225 or add something like cetrimonium bromide or Incroquat CR.

Hi canfieldfive! Let us know how your experimenting turns out!

Anonymous said...

I've not found a problem so far, Susan, with BTMS-25 emulsifing butters and oils when experimenting with some of your hair conditioner forumlas.

The only thing I sometimes find (and haven't worked out why yet) is why they're sometimes thinner, and other times, as thick as I'd expect a conditioner to be, but I'll figure it out one day. Perhaps my scales are a bit out of whack.

Love your blog! Thanks for making so much available to the public!

Anonymous said...

I use BTMS-25 (INCI: Behentrimonium Methosulfate (and) Cetearyl Alcohol). Is it necessary to add additional Cetearyl Alcohol since the BTMS already has it?

yatin said...

hi,... i want to make lotion & cream on my own with all natural ingredients( no synthetic chemical) , i have a following doubts-)
for lotion, cream which BTMS is required (btms 50 or btms 225 or 25)?
is btms emulsifier?
do we need to act other coemulsifier with btms?
what is approximate percentage of btms in our final product
is btms is fully natural?
if you know pls suggest any natural emulsifier?
please i request you to answer my query

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Yatin. I have answered your questions many times before on the blog. May I suggest you visit the FAQ on the blog to see what I've written before about BTMS. Or click on the link on the right hand side of the blog for BTMS.

No, no emulsifier is natural because they all have to go through some process to go from being a plant to being an emulsifier. You will not find a natural emulsifier, except for mustard or eggs, and those are not appropriate for lotion making. If you are making a lotion, you will need to use ingredients that are not natural, like emulsifiers and preservatives, for the product to work. If you don't want to use those things, then check out things like lotion bars, whipped butters, and balms that don't contain water. If a product contains water, you must use a preservative.

I encourage you to look at the newbie section of the blog to learn more about the basics of lotion making!