Sunday, April 10, 2011

Duplicating products: VO5 conditioning hair dressing.

Will asked about this product, VO5 conditioning hair dressing, which claims to "soothe split ends, smooths flyaways, and adds shine like no regular conditioner can!" I used this product for years before I discovered the joys of silicones, and we still have a container in the cupboard. It is a very thick, emollient product that does add shine, but adds a lot of grease as well. (I only used it on the ends of my hair!)

Ingredients: Mineral Oil (Paraffinum Liquidum), Petrolatum, Lanolin, PEG 8 Dilaurate, Beeswax (Apis Mellifera), Isopropyl Myristate, Fragrance (Parfum), BHA

Let's take a look at the ingredients one by one.

Mineral oil: An emollient.

Petroleum: A thicker version of mineral oil.

Lanolin: An emollient that offers great moisturizing and thickening to our products.

PEG 8 dilaurate:  From Cosmetics Info: Polyethylene Glycol (PEG) Dilaurate and PEG Laurate ingredients are produced from lauric acid, a naturally occurring fatty acid in coconut oil. PEG Dilaurate and PEG Laurate ingredients are manufactured by reacting lauric acid with a specific number of units of ethylene oxide. The average number of units of ethylene oxide is indicated by the number in the ingredient name. They range from pale yellow, oily liquids to tan, waxy solids. PEG Dilaurate and PEG Laurate ingredients help to form emulsions by reducing the surface tension of the substances to be emulsified. They also clean the skin and hair by helping water to mix with oil and dirt so that they can be rinsed away.

Beeswax: A thickener.

Isopropyl myristate: An ester that reduces the feeling of greasiness in our products. Can be used at up to 50%, but I generally use it at 2% to 5%.

Fragrance: To make it smell nice.

BHA: An anti-oxidant.

So what kind of product is this? It's an anhydrous one, so we don't need to include any preservatives in the mix. We might want to include an anti-oxidant - I'd use Vitamin E at 0.5% to 1% as I don't have any BHA - but we don't need anything to preserve the product itself. Having said this, these are all very long shelf life oils and esters, so if you don't want to include the Vitamin E, it should still have a 2 year or so shelf life. 

What ingredients are we going to use? Since I have all but the PEG-8 dilaurate, this should be a simple product for which I can create a starting recipe. I have to find a replacement for the dilaurate. Is there another PEG type ester that would work? I might be able to use something like PEG-7 olivate, but most of my PEG esters are water soluble and that isn't necessary in an anhydrous product. I could use something like C12-15 alkyl benzoate or ethylhexyl palmitate - they're both esters, but not PEG esters. They will offer light emolliency to the product. I could also use a carrier oil - maybe something like avocado or olive oil, something thicker. 

I think I'll use the ethylhexyl palmitate as it offers shine to our hair and feels less greasy. 

I can use mineral oil in this product - I'm thinking of starting at around 40% - but I don't have petroleum. I could use butter in here - I'm thinking about babassu as it's a less greasy oil - or thicken it up with more lanolin or beeswax. I'm going to use my IPM at about 5% to reduce the greasiness, and I'm going to use about 10% beeswax to get it thicker. I could go higher than 10% - 15% to 20% would be verging on balm territory - so I'll start there. 

Let's take a look at our starting recipe...

40% mineral oil
18% babassu oil (in place of the petroleum, choose any butter you like)
10% lanolin
10% ethylhexyl palmitate or fractionated coconut oil
10% isopropyl myristate
10% beeswax
1% fragrance oil
1% Vitamin E

Heat the lanolin and beeswax in a heatproof container in a double boiler until melted. Add the other ingredients, except the fragrance oil and Vitamin E, and mix well to keep the beeswax from hardening too much. Whip until it cools to 45˚C, then add the fragrance oil and Vitamin E. Put into container, use and rejoice. 

As with every other duplicate recipe, you will have to play with it until you get the texture and skin feel you want. This is not a product an oily haired person wants near his or her scalp, and you don't want to use too much lest you look like those Brylcreamed elderly men you see in barber shops or in line with you buying sucking candies. 

Join me tomorrow for more duplicating fun! 


Will said...

I'll be trying this in a few mins - the version with the FCO.

Just the smallest dab mixed in with hair gel is perfect. That'll be my test.

Thanks, Will

Shannon Marie said...

I made this using equal parts avocado oils and jojoba to replace the mineral oil. It's great for styling African type hair. I just keep a little on my fingertips while doing my daughter's braids. I figure with the avocado, jojoba and babassu it's good for scalp and hair. I really like the consistency and it's handy to have our favorite hair oils in one product that won't spill. I chose blackberry vanilla fragrance for this and poured it into 1 oz jars. One to keep and a couple to give to friends.