Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Esters: Combining esters in rinse off conditioners

I know we've taken a look at using cetyl esters in a rinse-off conditioner, so let's take a look at incorporating other esters into the mix!

Ethylhexyl palmitate is a good inclusion in hair care products if you're trying to avoid silicones (for a few more silicone replacement ideas, please click here). It's considered a replacement for dimethicone for non-hair care products, and will offer some of the same qualities as dimethicone in your conditioners. 

I'm going to be honest here - as a frizzy haired girl who loves silicones, I haven't found a dimethicone alternative that my hair likes. I did see some nice shine, but my frizzies were wild and untamed! If you're looking for a frizzy tamer and you don't want to use silicones, then this is one of the options to consider but please don't expect the same results. If you're looking for an emollient that will add some shine to your hair, then this is a good option. 

C12-15 alkyl benzoate is considered a good alternative to silicones, offering slip and shine. Again, I've tried this but don't consider it as good a frizz tamer as dimethicone, although it offers some great slip and shine. If you're a non-frizzy girl, this might work well for you. 

PEG-7 olivate or another water soluble ester is a great inclusion in conditioners intended for oily or fine hair that doesn't want to be weighed down or see an increase in oiliness. 

So we have our ideas for some esters we can include in our conditioners - let's make some! 

Normally intense conditioners or rinse-off conditioners with butters and oils are only for the dry haired girls, but using some esters can make them suitable for oily haired girls! So let's say you're an oily haired girl who has some damage to her hair but wants to avoid oils and silicones. Esters to the rescue! 

If you use cetyl esters in this recipe, it will be slightly less thick than if you use cetyl alcohol. That's not a bad thing - this is a really thick recipe suitable for a jar. 

55.5% water
10% aloe vera or hydrosol of choice
2% humectant - glycerin (if you want to use 2% honeyquat, put in cool down phase)
2% hydrolyzed protein

7% Incroquat BTMS
3% Incroquat CR (detangling, softening)
8% C12-15 alkyl benzoate
3% cetyl esters or cetyl alcohol
4% ethylhexyl palmitate

2% panthenol
2% cetrimonium chloride (optional)
1% fragrance or essential oil
0.5% to 1% preservative

If you like silicones, use 2% dimethicone and 2% cyclomethicone in this recipe in place of the ethylhexyl palmitate and use the ethylhexyl palmitate instead of the C12-15 alkyl benzoate if you wish. If you don't like humectants, feel free to leave out the aloe vera and glycerin and increase the water amount. Feel free to add cationic polymers if you wish. In other words, tweak this recipe silly! 

Use the general conditioner instructions for this recipe. 

What if you want to make a regular rinse-off conditioner! Well, follow this recipe and substitute your esters for the oils and/or silicones as mentioned above. 

We know BTMS-50 is a good emulsifier, but cetrimonium bromide isn't. It claims to be, but try making a conditioner with some silicones and oils and you might see some separation. But using PEG-7 olivate or another water soluble oil will ensure your product stays emulsified! (Please click on this post to see more about this ingredient!) 

If you've found yourself with really damaged hair - see my little encounter with the Dremel and a huge tress of my hair! - this is a great conditioner to help those damaged ends see a little relief. I'd include cetyl alcohol for really damaged hair, and cetyl esters for less damaged hair. Conditioners with cetyl esters will be thinner. 

This would be a great recipe for fine hair that is damaged and/or dry. You can reduce the cetrimonium bromide to 4% and the cetyl alcohol or esters to 2% if you want something thinner. 

7% cetrimonium bromide
3.5% cetyl alcohol or cetyl esters
5% PEG-7 olivate or another water soluble oil
82% water

2% panthenol
0.5% to 1% preservative

You can use the general or alternate instructions for these recipes.

Or let's say you like a cream rinse recipe. Normally we can't use oils in a cream rinse, but we can use our water soluble oils because they don't require an emulsifier! If you're a fine but dry haired girl, this might be a great recipe for you! 

73% water
10% aloe vera or hydrosol of choice
7% Incroquat CR
2% cetrimonium chloride
2% hydrolyzed protein
2% to 5% PEG-7 olivate (remove 3% from water if you're using 5%) 

2% panthenol
0.5% to 1% preservative
1% fragrance oil
0.5% powdered extract (optional)

Use the general or alternate instructions for this conditioner.

Join me tomorrow for fun formulating leave-in conditioners with our various esters! 


Anonymous said...

Hi Susan, I enjoy using PEG'S,but know some people want to stay away from them all together. Will substituting the PEG-7 Olivate for sulfated castor oil in conditioners or shampoos not work as well?? Would the product loose some emolliency or moisturization? I'm not really sure of how much of a difference there is between the two.... Thanks

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Aethete. You can just use oil in place of the ester in all the conditioning products, except for the creme rinse. This post was written for people who wouldn't normally use oils in conditioners, but if you want to avoid PEG esters, then using a regular oil works just as well (except for those of us with really oily hair!).

For shampoo, you can add a little oil to the mix because the surfactants are emulsifiers or solubilizers. If you want to add a bit of oil - say no more than 3% - you could use the sulfated castor oil or polysorbate 80, but both will reduce your foam and lather dramatically and might make your hair feel kinda squeaky. (Can you tell I've tried it?)

If you want to add regular oils to a conditioner, please see the hair care link for more ideas!

An aside for those who might not know, sulfated castor oil is also called turkey red oil and it was one of the first emulsifiers. It can be added to water based products to emulsify a small oil phase - like in a toner, for instance - the way we'd use something like polysorbate 20 or 80. It will reduce your foam, bubbles, and lather.

Anonymous said...

Hi Susan,

I purchased some Incroquat CR and I'm looking forward to making a condioner with it when it arrives. I've been looking at another product called "Hair Conditioner Concentrate". The ingredients are: Cetyl Alcohol, Stearyl Alcohol, Stearalkonium Chloride, Dimethyl Stearamine, Lactic Acid. You add about 1/2 oz of pellets to 8 oz of water. You can also add oils or other additives. I would like to know how the ingredients in this product compare to Incroquat CR. I'm not familiar with the dimethyl stearamine and I think the lactic acid might be used as a ph adjuster. Just my theory. I truly enjoy your blog and have I learned so much. I look forward to your reply. Thank you! DMCC