Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Experiments in the workshop: Leave in conditioner with volumizing complex

As I've mentioned in the past, The Formulator Sample Shop sent me a bunch of really lovely ingredients with which I could experiment, and I've been playing with them one by one in various products. I thought I'd try using their volumizing complex in my leave in conditioner. (Click here for the data sheet!)

The INCI for this product is Water & Rice Amino Acids & Lactobacillus/Date Fruit Ferment Extract & Polyperfluoroethoxymethoxy Difluorethyl PEG Phosphate. The rice amino acids will work like hydrolyzed proteins as film formers and moisturizers with the smaller form being able to penetrate our hair shaft, the lactobacillus/date fruit ferment extract is something I have to study further, but it's the poly...thingie...phosphate that interests me the most! But I'm having trouble finding more information about this ingredient!

I found this in Cosmetics Business magazine about this ingredient. "It is claimed that the amino acids penetrate the cuticle, adding moisture and improving the strength of hair. The fluorinated material is said to bind to the hair, giving it bounce and volume, and the enzyme material converts saturated fatty acids in and on the hair into unsaturated fatty acids with a lower melting point, and these add shine and smoothness." This sounds really good, but notice the words "it is claimed..." or "is said...", which indicate that they're pretty much reporting a press release, not a study. Amino acids are good for our hair as film formers, and the enzyme material (the lactobacillus part) could be great for converting stuff, but this isn't evidence. The impression I get is that the poly-thingie-phosphate is a bit like Teflon for your hair - the hairs won't stick to each other, giving you more volume. (Don't quote me on that! It's just a thought...)

In a search, when I found products that used this ingredient, they were generally aimed at the curly haired amongst us. It is advertised as being good for curl retention and volume. It should be used in the cool down phase at 1% to 5%.

I decided to use it in my leave in conditioner, and I chose to change nothing but the inclusion of this ingredient so I could tell if there were any changes without confounding factors.

84% distilled water
0.5% polyquat 44

1% Incroquat BTMS-50
1% Incroquat CR
2% cetrimonium chloride

2% panthenol
2% cyclomethicone
2% dimethicone
0.5% liquid Germall Plus
1% fragrance oil
3% volumizing complex

Please use the general conditioner making instructions for this recipe.

I'm loving this ingredient! I actually saw a difference in my hair after the first use. The ends of my hair were curly instead of frizzy, and my hair seemed bouncier. After three weeks of every other day use (eleven uses), I can definitely see a difference in my hair, and other people have commented about it.

"What have you done to your hair?" they have said in a nice way. And "Did you always have curly hair?" I really have to get some pictures taken - I generally hide from the camera! 

As a control, I went back to my non-included leave in conditioner for two washes and noticed my hair wasn't as curly at the bottom. I'm not noticing any build up either, defined as my hair feeling weighed down. I am really impressed with this ingredient.

I don't see a point in using the volumizing complex in a shampoo, but definitely at up to 5% in a rinse off or leave in conditioner. This isn't an inexpensive ingredient - it starts at $15.81 for 2 ounces or $24 for 8 ounces, which works out to about $0.26 per gram before shipping and taxes - but it isn't cheap, either. 3% would work out to $0.78 per 100 ml of product.

I love trying new things, but I always need to be aware of the confounding factors when it comes to my hair. What's the humidity? Did I swim a lot this week? Did I get caught in the rain or mist? Did I wash my hair twice and with which product? I believe I have thought a lot about those things in writing my review.

From Desiree, one of my testers who just had her hair cut! "The conditioner makes my hair all smooth, keeps it from being fluffy and all over the place." That sounds like a great endorsement to me!

Disclaimer: I hope I've made it clear, but I want to say this again - I received these samples from this supplier for free. I made them aware that I would be offering my honest opinion about the ingredients. I have not been compensated in any other way and I am not beholden to anyone. These are my opinions, and if I didn't like the product, I would say that I didn't like it. I am not compensated in any way for using or writing about the ingredients beyond getting free samples to play with in the workshop. 


Anne-Marie said...

That is so cool that you found it was working for you! I might just have to try something similar. =)

LeKenda said...

Love it! I have the volumizing complex but on thought to use it for fine hair (which I haven't formulated yet). Instead I have the curl complex which I have used to make a leave in conditioner and a styling cream. I also have the straightening complex and quite a few other items from them. I am a FSS junkie as you can see!. What other goodies did they send your way? I would love to see what you come up with.

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi LeKenda! I've written about the other ingredients I have in today's Weekend Wonderings. I have a ton of ingredients - I just need the time!

Hi Anne-Marie! I love this leave in conditioner! I should bring some down next time I make an Otion pilgrimage...I mean, trip to Otion! (I'm just waiting for my new passport now.)

Brandi Yates said...

I bought the volumizing complex and its on its way. Your summer time leave in was so wonderful I cannot wait to try this from the formulator sample shop. I will post back soon.

Natural BathandBeauty said...

Hi Susan,

I have made Leave-in conditioner with volumizing complex and I absolutely love it! However, I'm having a problem with it thickening, or shouldn't it thicken? The first time I made it, I couldn't get it to emulsify. Solved that problem, but only once in the next three times, did I get it to thicken to a what you would call a thin lotion. I think it probably has to do with the volume I'm making (16 oz.) because I it is very, very difficult to heat and hold the heated oil phase. It gets very thick and there is such a small amount, it becomes difficult to work with. Any tips for me?

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi NaturalBathandBeauty! No, it's a sprayable product, so it should be thin enough to come out of a mister. It's definitely a thin lotion to milk consistency.