Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Conditioners: Leave-in conditioners
What's the point of a leave in conditioner? We use these to keep the goodness of conditioning on our hair throughout the day by including our film forming and moisturizing proteins, silicones to seal in or fend off moisture, and panthenol to keep our hair healthy. By using these various ingredients, we can reduce the friction our hair experiences through grooming and daily life, we can seal in moisture or reduce frizziness, and we can increase the detangling when we comb our hair wet or dry.
Here's our basic recipe...
BASIC RECIPE FOR LEAVE-IN CONDITIONER
1 to 2% Incroquat BTMS-50 or cetrimonium bromide
up to 1% fragrance oil
water to 100%
A leave in conditioner contains fewer conditioning agents than a regular conditioner as we don't want to walk around all day with loads of conditioner in our hair! I find 1% to 2% BTMS or cetrimonium bromide is more than enough for the conditioning part and will emulsify any silicones or oil based ingredients we wish to add.
This is a nice basic recipe that will offer some anti-static and emollient properties, but we want to add our goodies to this to really make our hair feel great!
If you've been following along on the blog, then you probably have an idea of what works for your hair by now. If you're new to the blog - welcome! - and here's the link to all the ingredients I'll be writing about in this and other posts - hair care ingredients!
So what else can we include in a leave-in conditioner? We can add cationic polymers if you wish - these will add some moisturizing and film forming to your product - or add some cetrimonium chloride - detangling is always a great idea! We could add some Incroquat CR to increase the softening and decrease static build-up. And we can add all kinds of botanical ingredients to help our scalp or add anti-oxidants to the mix.
Here's my favourite recipe for a leave-in conditioner (and you've already seen a post on how to include oils in your product...)
SWIFT'S FAVOURITE LEAVE IN CONDITIONER
79% to 79.5% water
2% Incroquat BTMS
1% aloe vera
2% hydrolyzed oat protein
COOL DOWN PHASE
2% polyquat 7 or honeyquat
2% cetrimonium chloride
1% fragrance oil
0.5% to 1% preservative (I use liquid Germall plus at 0.5%)
Use the general or alternate instructions for making conditioners.
I find this recipe works well for my oily, frizzy, coarse hair. The cetrimonium chloride makes it much easier to comb wet or dry, the glycerin works as a humectant, the protein acts as a film former, the panthenol offers both hygroscopic and smoothing benefits, and the silicones help keep the moisture out (which probably seems weird considering the glycerin in there, but it does work well).
Can we tweak this for other hair types? Of course! Join me tomorrow for fun modifying the leave-in conditioner recipe for other hair types!