Tuesday, October 2, 2012
Newbie Tuesday: Conditioner - questions and comments
If you're just joining us, we made conditioner on Newbie Tuesday two weeks ago, and last week we bragged about it. This week is all about the questions, and next week we tweak it!
Rosi writes: I am reading the blog from Brazil, we are visiting our family and i can't wait to go back to USA to get my hands on making hair conditioner. Can we use petrolatun or lanolin in a conditioner?
Yes, you can use any oils you wish in a conditioner, although there are some that are more hair friendly than other ones. For instance, coconut oil has been shown to have an affinity with the proteins in our hair and avocado oil can be absorbed by our hair strands. Using any oil will reduce friction and increase moisturizing, two things that help prevent damage and make our hair look nice!
Related posts: Conditioners with coconut oil
Don't mix it on a high speed. When we use something like a hand mixer - my preferred mixing machine - we add a lot of air into the product. Don't blend on the higher levels - 1 or 2 should work - and don't use a whisk. Try to keep the beaters under the surface of the product. This is why some people prefer the stick blender. It mixes well but doesn't add a ton of air to the product. And never ever ever use a machine to mix your surfactant based products like shampoo, body wash, or bubble bath. You will never get rid of those bubbles!
No. Adsorption means the molecules accumulate on the surface of your hair. Absorption is "a condition in which something takes in another substance", or something goes into something else. You can think of it like a sponge, which takes in liquid and becomes damp. Our hair strands might absorb oil and it might create a coating on our hair, but that coating isn't adsorption.
a) pH balance: the pH testing was 3 according to the test strips ( refer to picture). Is there a way to adjust the pH to 4.5 - 5.5 without using citric acid or sodium lactate. Is it possible to adjust the pH using the ingredients only?
b) I know you have explained the heat and hold method a couple of times but could you do a video of how it is done. Pretty please ;;)
c) I have kinky hair and would love more slip to the conditioner. I guess this can be achieved with further experimentation with oils and butters. But how can I use ground slippery elm bark in future?
d) I have gone through a lot of your articles and would love to try adding micas in conditioner for shine. Is this possible?
a) That's a really low pH. I'm not sure it should be that low! If you want to alter your pH upwards, you would use a base. (Citric acid and sodium lactate are acids, and they'll make the product more acidic, so that's a bad choice!) If you want to increase the alkalinity of your product (raise the pH), you can use a 10% lye to 90% water solution and add it at 0.1%, test, then another 0.1% if needed, and so on. You can also use triethanolamine (TEA) (pH of 10 to 11) at 0.1% at a time to increase the alkalinity of our products.
b) I can show you the steps that lead up to heat and hold, but 20 minutes of watching me kill time as my products sit in the double boiler might be boring! (I have been making videos of some things, but I can't find the time to edit them!)
c) I have no idea what slippery elm bark would bring to your product or how you can use it, but I can help you increase the slip and glide in other ways. See the hair care section for more information or check out the posts below. This is something we'll be looking at when we're tweaking the conditioner next week!
d) If you want to make the product itself shiny, you could use micas. If you want to make your hair shiny, I wouldn't use micas. Consider adding silicones - dimethicone is the key for shine - or esters that mimic silicones - like ethylhexyl palmitate - to your product to make your hair more shiny. Or consider using a leave in conditioner or anti-frizz spray with silicones or silicone substitutes to increase your hair shininess. (You might not have the kind of hair that will shine well. It's all about the way light bounces off your hair, and if you have curl, kink, or frizz, your hair reflects back less light than someone with bone straight hair!)
Adding slip and glide to conditioners with fatty alcohols
Adding slip and glide to conditioners with oils or butters
Adding slip and glide to conditioners with esters
Using silicones in rinse off conditioners
Chemistry of our skin: ph and the acid mantle
Adjusting the pH of our products
Thanks for your great questions and input this Newbie Tuesday! Join me next week as we take a look at some tweaks you can make to your product! Keep your questions and comments coming as I still haven't randomly chosen who will get a copy of my Hair Care e-book! Plus, the more we share, the more we learn!