Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Newbie Tuesday: A few tweaks to consider...

Welcome back to part two of this week's Newbie Tuesday. Did you figure out your hair type? Have you taken a look at some ingredients that you might like to use? All right, let's get to it, then!

Let's say you have normal thickness, dry, slightly curly hair that you dry with a hair dryer. We want to increase moisturization, increase film forming, and increase heat protection. Dry hair likes oils and butters, and my first suggestion is always coconut oil as it has an affinity for hair. And dry hair likes moisturization, so we'll want to include some humectants - panthenol is a good choice for all hair types, glycerin is inexpensive and doesn't wash out - and we'll want to include some film formers. I'd go with silk protein as it seems to be good for dry hair, and I'll include dimethicone to help seal the moisture in the hair strand.

Let's say you have fine, dry, slightly curly hair that you dry with a hair dryer. They key here is to get some moisturization without weighing down your hair. The first thing to do is reduce the amount of BTMS-50. I'd go to 2% to 3% at the most (replace the missing amount with more water). If you want to add some oils, consider some very light esters or light oils, like fractionated coconut oil. You might want to consider using dimethicone as a film former and heat protector, but you'll want to use a thinner version, say 350 cs instead of 1000 cs.

Let's say you have normal thickness, oily, slightly curly to frizzy hair that you allow to air dry. They key here is to condition your hair and moisturize without the use of iols. Leave out the oils, butters, and fatty alcohols as they'll only speed up the oiliness of your hair. (And drying your hair with a dryer will make it go oilier faster. I know, not something you expect, eh?) You'll want to leave out the humectants as frizzy hair doesn't like them at all. If you really want an oil, consider using an ester like ethylhexyl palmitate, although it will still increase the speed at which your hair gets oily.

Let's say you have hair that's hard to brush. You'll want to add a detangling ingredient like cetrimonium chloride at up to 2%. Or hair that is very staticky. You might consider using 2% Incroquat CR to increase the softness of your hair.

To sum this all up - Figure out your hair type, then take a look at which ingredients might work for it. Then figure out what conflicts with another feature of your hair. If you have fine and dry hair, consider adding moisturization with very light oils instead of heavy ones. If you have oily hair but want moisturization, consider using film formers like hydrolyzed proteins instead of oils. Consider the goal of your product - I want a conditioner to moisturize, condition, and protect against heat damage - and this will bring you to which ingredients to use.

I'll be posting some recipes next week, but I really encourage you to do some thinking based upon your experiences making your conditioner. Post them here and I'm happy to help out in the mean time. 

7% BTMS-50 will create a fairly thick product. You can reduce the amount of BTMS-50 to as low as 3% and increase the water amount by 4% to compensate. If you choose to use cetrimonium chloride at 2% as a detangler, you'll be amazed at how thin the product gets just by adding that tiny amount!

Here's an aside for you...the odds are pretty good you don't need as much conditioner as you think you do. When I used commercial products, I laughed at the idea of using a dime sized amount of conditioner for my coarse, waist length hair. Now, I use about a quarter sized amount of conditioner (5p piece for those of you in the UK).

Related posts:
The great conditioner experiment
The great conditioner experiment - results
The great conditioner experiment - modifying the recipes
How much conditioner to use and how long to leave it on our hair?

Check out this post - How to use BTMS-25 in place of BTMS-50. 

I think that's more than enough for today! I'm suffering from information overload! Join me tomorrow as we take a look at some of the specific questions posed from last week's Newbie Tuesday!


Sânziene şi Mătrăgună said...

Look! There's Swift and her gorgeous hair in the picture! :-)

What I do not quite understand: what is dry hair, actually? hair that needs humectants (honeyquat, panthenol, glycerin)? hair that needs oils (like coconut, jojoba, avocado etc.)?

I guess that all hair types need some sort of film forming ingredients (dimethicone, hydrolized oats proteins) in order to protect the cuticles and add shine and manageability. But I am lost and confused about what is dry hair and what it actually needs.

If this is not too much of a trouble, could you also specify again how to identify what your hair actually needs? oils or humectants? Or a combination that needs to be discovered by each of us?

I have a friend with curly dyed hair that simply enjoys argan oil - the hair does not become oily, she'ca caucasian. if I try to put an hair treatment (simple virgin coconut oil), I find it becoming heavy, greasy and I need to shampoo it 3-4 times to get rid of that goo. But I also have fine and dyed hair... I have noticed that a bit of silicones help with combing, but I am not sure whether I should be continuing to use 3-5% monoi de tahiti in my conditioner or just leave it out and add proteins (hydrolyzed keratin, hydrolized oats, hydrolized silk) and humectants (glycerin, panthenod, honeyquat) and some more cetrimonium chloride ... as an aside, I can use either BTMS-25 or Stearamidopropyl dimethylamine.

also, could you please explain a bit about the pH of the conditoiners? If virgin hair has a pH of 3.5, should we aim to get our conditioner close to this pH?

choices, choices...

Anonymous said...

You'll have to forgive me if this question doesn't make any sense, as I have not gotten much sleep in the past 50 hours. :D

I have talked with one actual cosmetic chemist about this (and also asked the Beauty Brains, but I don't know them personally) and it was my understanding that formulas such as hair conditioners and in-shower lotions required a special emulsifier/emulsification system to successfully deposit the insoluble material (in the case of hair conditioners, this would be dimethicone.)

Like, they need an emulsification system that will keep the fatty material/s dissolved in the base formula, but when you add more water to them (from your shower) they no longer keep it emulsified and it stays behind on your hair or skin. With a regular stable emulsion, wouldn't everything that is not specifically a cation just end up down the drain? I can understand proteins and certain fatty acids having the ability to penetrate (and therefor "stick") but I was always told otherwise where dimethicone is concerned.

Am I just misinformed about this?