Monday, August 7, 2017

It's too hot to craft: Cold process hair conditioners - part one with ICE Hair Restore

Is it possible to make hair conditioners without heating or holding? Why are you even asking this question? What madness is this, Swift?

I bought this cold process hair conditioning ingredient - called Ice Restore at Making Cosmetics* - INCI: Cetearyl alcohol (and) behentrimonium chloride (and) polyquaternium 37 - that appears to be a product called Jeesperse ICE-T CPCS. (I found it at Gracefruit in the UK.*)

Let's take a look at each ingredient to see what it brings to the mix. According to the MSDS from Making Cosmetics, this consists of 32% to 38% cetearyl alcohol, 32% to 38% behentrimonium chloride, and 27% to 33% quaternium 37.

Behentrimonium chloride is a positively charged or cationic quaternary compound that acts as the hair conditioner and emulsifier in this product. Cationic ingredients adsorb to the hair strand to condition it, which means it reduces the friction between hair strands and reduces the combing forces or how much effort we have to make to comb our hair. It makes the cuticle lay down flat, which leads to less tangling and damage.

You might recognize the behentrimonium part of the name as being part of something like Incroquat BTMS-50 or Rita BTMS-225. In those, we use behentrimonium methosulfate or BTMS. BTMS seems to be less irritating to the skin and eyes than behentrimonium chloride, but they are still both nice conditioning agents. (As a note, behentrimonium chloride was not found to be irritating to skin at 5%. (this link, page 64This study indicates that using it at 1% to 5% for a whole body, leave on products is safe.

Interestingly, Whole Foods allows behentrimonium chloride, but not methosulfate. For more information, click here for an interesting discussion.

Check out this post on how conditioners work for even more detail! 

Cetearyl alcohol is a fatty alcohol we use to thicken our lotions. It also works to boost the conditioning power of a cationic compound like behentrimonium methosulfate. It can feel a bit waxy when compared to cetyl alcohol, which is more glidy, or behenyl alcohol, which can feel a bit drier or more powdery.

Polyquaternium 37 (aka Poly(2-methacryloxyethyltrimethylammonium chloride) is a cationic polymer like polyquat 7 or Honeyquat. A cationic polymer is like the cationic quaternary compound above, but they tend to be more water soluble or more easily mixed with water. They all condition our hair, but some can thicken our products, too.

Polyquaternium 37 is good for thickening, which is why I think it's included in this product. I couldn't find a thing about this ingredient in any of my textbooks or saved PDFs, which is very strange, but I found a few blogs that indicated it might be good for fine hair, that it's a good anti-static ingredient as most other cationic ingredients would be with low build up. (Reference)

Please note, this isn't to say that the other blogs I found aren't scientifically based, it's just I find it really weird that in all the textbooks, journals, and everything else I have hoarded on my computer and in real life, I could find nothing on this ingredient. 

The instructions say to use it at 3% to 10% in warm-ish water to create a hair conditioner that can emulsify up to 10% oils. The example formula from Making Cosmetics notes to stick blend or propeller mix after the addition of each ingredient, so that's what I've done with my formulas. This example formula from Jeen doesn't suggest doing that.

I found that this product could be a little lumpy when I added it to the water amount. So I put it into a small container - I have a 50 ml beaker that worked really well - and took the tiny mixer to it for about 20 seconds to break those up. I added that to the water phase, and it worked really well.

Join me tomorrow as we make some cold-ish process conditioners using this new ingredient!

Please note, I have no relationship with either of these companies. I purchased this from Making Cosmetics earlier this year, and really loved it.


Charlette said...

I bought ICE from Making Cosmetics by mistake. So, if you have a hair conditioner formula for this ingredient--I'd love to try it!

Belinda Karst said...

The woman who runs the Science-y hair blog is Wendy. She's a geologist, I think she told me, by trade but is fascinated by the science of hair and hair products. She started the blog to help curly girls with their hair, since she's a wavy haired girl herself. She also does hair analyses under the name Goosefoot prints on the Etsy shop. I've heard they're fantastic and help you better choose products for your hair, based upon its characteristics.

Srjnm said...

I had purchased a while back from Making Cosmetics - ICE Silicone and ICE Alginate to play around with cold emulsion. I didn't understand how to use it and wasn't thrilled with the results. After reading your post, I was motivated to try it again. I played around with the ICE Silicone (Cetyl alcohol, sodium polyacrylate, polysorbate 80, glyceryl stearate, dimethicone/divinyldimethicone/silsesquioxane crosspolymer). I followed your tip by mixing the ICE with the water first. I wasn't able to create a smooth paste; it was clumpy. Since I'm impatient, I added the other ingredients one by one, mixing at each addition. Eventually the emulsion smoothed out. Result is a creamy light cream. Goes on smoothly, non-greasy feel. Thank you for your help!