Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Newbie Tuesday: You made conditioner! Bragging and questions!

Yay! You made conditioner last Newbie Tuesday! Congratulations to those of you who made your first batch. Wasn't it awesome to see emulsification happen? And wasn't it fantastic to try it on your hair for the first time. What did you like about it? What do you want to change about it? How was the process for you? (If you want to play along, click here for the list of ingredients and equipment required, or click here for the recipe and process.)

Please share your thoughts with us in the comments section or by e-mailing me at sjbarclay@telus.net (especially if you have pictures to share)! I'll be randomly drawing a name from the people who comment or e-mail me for a copy of my Hair Care Products e-book

Julie writes: Made my first conditioner last night! I used this recipe and I LOVED it! I'm so glad I listened to you and bought the BTMS 50 because I originally had no interest in making conditioner. My hair feels so amazing! I made a solid shampoo last week with minty tingly EO's, so I made the conditioner to match and it's awesome. I can't believe how soft my hair feels. I think the conditioner definitely couldve been thicker though. I'll be browsing through the other recipes to make one with more additives. I just got my first order of Panthenol also so I'll be trying that out today. I couldn't not buy it considering its in almost every recipe! Thanks!

Yay, Julie! So how do you feel about it a few days later? Did you modify your conditioner? What kinds of things do you think you'd like to add next time? What could you do to make the product thicker? Do you think you'd want to add more BTMS-50 or some fatty alcohols to enhance the substantivity?

Michelle writes: Yep this was me a few months ago. I had emailed you my thoughts you did tell me just to make something and stop researching ;-) I made conditioner 4x's. First was too thin. Second I loved and made again. Fourth I removed some oils and still love it. It feels like it isn't penetrating my hair but the curls are AMAZING! I went ahead and ordered green tea and carrot extract for the 3&4th batches. LOVE IT. I am addicted. I use Bramble Berry's extracts and fragrance oils. I get so many compliments on the scent. I had a few ladies hang around to sniff me.

I really do believe there's a point where we have to get into the workshop and experience the making and using of our own conditioners or we'll never get around to it. There's always so much more to learn! What fragrance did you use? I love oatmeal, milk & honey in my hair care products - I smell like marzipan! - and I notice people smelling me from time to time. (At least I hope that's why they're smelling me!)

Thanks for sharing your process, Michelle. It's all about tweaking and tweaking and tweaking - which is so much fun! No matter how much I love a product, I'm always thinking about what I could do differently next time. I know, I have a problem...but it's a fun problem to have!

Ashley asks: I'm just curious could I add honey powder to my conditioner? Or even to a moisturizer?

What is the purpose of honey powder? Once you know the purpose, you can figure out if you should add it. I think it's used in a liquid as a humectant - that's how I've used it in the past - so you could use is in a conditioner as a humectant, if you wish. I don't know if it's the best humectant you could use, but it would behave that way. I've used it in the cool down phase of the product, so I suggest you figure out the suggested usage rate and add it when the product gets below 45˚C or 113˚F.

soblue asks: I really want to just try this but i would like to try natural- I know, i read your thoughts on natural, too. lol. Are there ecocert ingredients available to use for conditioner and shampoos? I'm tired of researching... ;D thanks!

soblue, you know I'm going to give you the short lecture, so let's get it out of the way! I know you can be tired of researching at some point - believe me, I get to that point regularly - but part of learning your ingredients is staying curious. If it's that important that you have a natural conditioner, then you have to do your homework and keep researching.

Having said that - No. Not that I can find. If you consider what a conditioner is, you'll see that there's nothing natural that can fit this description.

A conditioning agent (like Incroquat BTMS-50) is a cationic quaternary compound. It's a positively charged compound that adsorbs to the surface of your hair. (Adsorption means the molecules accumulate on the surface of your hair. It's different from absorption in that it doesn't penetrate, it just sits on top of the hair fibre.) This is called substantivity. Substantivity is defined as "an adsorption phenomenon by which materials that have opposing charges or like composition are more readily adsorbed onto or attracted to its surface and, once there, resistant to subsequent rinse-off." In other words, a material that is positively charged - like our cationic ingredients - will be attracted to the surface of our hair, which is negatively charged.

If you don't have adsorption and substantivity, you don't have a conditioner. And there are no natural ingredients we can find that behave this way. I've seen people claim that things like catnip, various teas, vinegar, and so on are conditioners. They are not conditioners because they don't adsorb to your hair strand. They can be considered apres shampooing cleansers or rinses, but they are not conditioners.

If you see a conditioner that claims to be all natural it is either not a conditioner or not telling the truth. There is no way I would consider any of the cationic quaternary compounds natural in any way. There are people who use Ritamulse SCG as a conditioner - it's actually negatively charged, so I'm not completely sure how this works because you aren't supposed to use any positively charged ingredients with this emulsifier.

Related posts: 

Now that you've made a conditioner, you're probably thinking about how to tweak it. Do you want to add oils or butters to it? Should it be thicker or thinner? Do you want to add some silicones for shine and defrizzing or some proteins for film forming and moisturizing? Do you want to add some fatty alcohols to increase the conditioning and moisturizing or would that be too much for your hair? So many questions! If you simply can't wait, check out the hair care section of the blog for some ideas on how to tweak your conditioners! If not, see you next week!

Pose your questions and we'll try to get some answers for next week's Newbie Tuesday! 


Anonymous said...

Dear Susan, you are amazing!!!
I am reading the blog from Brazil, we are visiting our family and i can't wait to go back to USA to get my hands on making hair conditioner. Can we use petrolatun or lanolin in a conditioner.

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Rosi! Yes, you can. You can use any oils or oil-like things you like in a conditioner if you want it to be more moisturizing! Have fun on your trip!

canfieldfive said...

We made our first conditioner with BTMS-50 and just a few extracts and really liked it, then made a conditioner with BTMS-25 and coconut oil and it was not right for our hair, then made another with BTMS-50 and cranked up the extracts (and included some extra panthenol and Sodium Lactate) and LOVED it! I have haystack split ends as a rule, but it made them virtually invisible and silky to the tips. My mom's hair is the silkiest it's been in forever- she trimmed it the same day she used the conditioner and said she wanted to stick with this recipe. When I have a bulk bag of BTMS-50 I'll experiment more- but for now, on to conquering shampoo!

Thank you for all your help, Susan!
- Cheyenne (canfieldfive)

Kate McAfee said...

According to the Natural Products Association, there are a few allowed synthetic ingredients for conditioners: guar hydroxypropyltrimonium chloride, hydroxypropyltrimonium honey, hydroxypropyltrimonium oligosaccharide, and shea butter amidopropyltrimonium chloride. So a conditioner could be certified "natural" by NPA and use one or more of these ingredients for conditioning. Not that they are actually natural...

Julie said...

Well its been a few days since I first used the conditioner and I've got to say how great my hair still feels. The main thing I noticed (which I was so happy about) was not the first day after I washed it (I wash at night), but the second day when I woke up I was pleased to find my hair super voluminous, I couldn't even get my hair that thick if I used a product. Has anyone else here ever noticed this?

Here is the recap you asked for:

So how do you feel about it a few days later? Awesome! I made it and used it on the 20th and here it is the 25th and with no washes since it's not greasy, still soft, but its time to wash it. I wanted to see how many days I could go. It would definitely be greasy by now with store bought conditioner.

Did you modify your conditioner?
Not yet, but I think I will tonight and try it.
What kinds of things do you think you'd like to add next time?
Panthenol for sure. I will probably add that alone first to see what it does since I haven't used it yet, then try adding butters or oils or extracts.

What could you do to make the product thicker?
I think I'd like the feel of Cetyl Alcohol in my hair, and maybe a bit more BTMS 50

Do you think you'd want to add more BTMS-50 or some fatty alcohols to enhance the substantivity?
Fatty alcohols! :)

Michele Clarke said...

I am almost ready to make another batch. I started with 4oz and moving to 8oz bottles ;-)

I used BB's Island coconut, Butter Cream And Snickerdoodle Fragrance & White Ginger & Amber. Yum! I skipped the snickerdoodle the last batch and that is what made it so yummy. Just a tiny b/c it's strong.

I like Rosemary EO for hair care. I use Lavender in my skin care.

I learned my hair doesn't like aloe in any form. Panthenol is nice but adds too much volume to my very thick curly hair.

I don't think I save money because with couponing I usually got paid to shop. I much rather pick my own ingredients. I spent way to long trying commercial ones. Everyone's hair is different. Less is more too when it comes to how many ingredients we need to use.

I have shared my knowledge of ingredients with a family member. I helped pick a new shampoo for her hair type by reading the ingredients. She said she loves it and for the first time ever she loves her hair. I know it was the Jason brand but not sure which one.

Karen said...

Hi Susan, I'm sort of new to lotion making and I'm a little embarrassed to admit I got my first mold recently. I know it happens to the best of us, but it just sucks. It was in a lotion, and I think I know what caused it. I used the adequate amount of preservative, and it wasn't a complex recipe, it was actually your Rice Bran Hand Protector Cream, with I believe Lecithin used to replace an ingredient I didn't have. At first I thought it may have been the honey powder, but then I remembered the lecithin granules I bought from a non-cosmetic supplier (it was an herb company), I put them in after the heat and hold phase of the water, which is what I read about incorporating them into products (not from where I got them, I can't remember what site I read that on). I figured maybe cosmetic suppliers do something to sterilize all ingredients, and this herb company didn't. Does that sound like it could cause mold? Especially with adding it after the H&H phase?

So I think my lesson learned here is not to use any ingredients that aren't bought from an actual B&B supplier. I thought this concept might be an interest to you and maybe you would want to make a post on whether purchasing ingredients that can be used for other purposes from regular companies is ok. Thank you.


Anastasia said...

I have a question related to conditioner and emulsified products in general. I'm getting foaminess in a lot of my emulsions. It seems like they get air in them when I'm mixing the ingredients, and it doesn't go away! Instead they sit in the container with little air bubbles in them.

Do you have any ideas that might help this problem? Store bought products don't have air bubbles. I don't want mine to either!

Julie said...

I have the air bubble problem also. They are tiny little air bubbles so banging the container on the counter doesn't help any. I really got a lot of them in my cream soap I made and it doesn't look nice and creamy now. I too would love to know how to prevent this!!

Briana B. said...

I made my first conditioner a couple of weeks ago with BTMS- 50 at 3% and other additives. However I found that my hair did not feel that moisturized after using this conditioner. Then I used BTMS-25 instead and it seemed to make a world of difference.

I used BTMS-25 because I remember in the past that my hair like conditioners without humectants. Also I saw your post and frizzy hair and this helped me realize BTMS-25 might be better for me. It is because I have really course and curly hair. So I increased the amount of BTMS-25 to 6% and added oils, butters, and even hydrolyzed oat protein this time. This conditioner worked so great for my hair and for once my hair feels moisturized for more than three days after I washed it.

Thank you Susan for all the great information you have put on your blog. And I also took your advice you put in a post about taking notes while making the conditioner and how it worked on my hair. I believe this really helped because with the notes I had taken with my first batch of conditioner I was able to see what changes I could make to help my conditioner turn out better the next time.

Veronique said...

I kinda jumped the ship and went straight to make your intense conditioner for dry hair (having bleach blonde hair that i straighten daily i really need something super strong and moisturizing) and I used jojoba, argan and avocado oils, with some aloe and hydrosols, and let me tell you it is amazing! im used to using a handful of conditioner (i go through 3 bottles of conditioner for 1 bottle of shampoo) and the first time i used as much as i usually use, and let me tell this this stuff kicks major butt, i'm only using half the amount that i would normally use! This stuff is amazing! I fragranced mine with some philosophy dupe f.o. smells amazing! Thanks!!!!!

Michele Clarke said...

hmm I had bubbles the first recipe. I lost my notes (newbie) so I don't recall what was the recipe. I know it was thinner than my 6% oil recipe. I didn't have extracts either.

Brianna if you can try carrot extract. I was stunned to see my curls become more defined. That is if you like curls.

Kim said...

Hii, I made my first conditioner last week and I had to try it out immediatly. Oh I'm so in love with the F.O! (it was a small bottle I bought when buying B&B supplies for the first time and it kinda got further and further burried with -many- other F.O's) I noticed that my hair was drying a lot faster, usually it takes 4hrs for my semi-long hair and it took 1 more day for my hair to get greasy. Which means something if it gets greasy everyday. I did miss the "slip" other conditioners give me, for some reason this one feels dry-like on my hair. I'm hoping to prevent this by adding cetearyl alcohol to my next conditioner. The combing wasn't as bad as expected but better would be nice, I don't have cetrimonium chloride but I do have dimethicone and cyclomethicone maybe they can help? Some de-frizzing action would be nice to. I would like to buy Dimethylamine stearamidopropyl as it is said to help detangling and it's conditioning but I'm kinda lost on this one, one website says you need to use lactic acid with it for the ph other websites says no word about it and useage recommendation is very different. I would like to make my next conditioner with these products and panthenol and see what it gives. In the 3th I might start with the confusing world of extract, there are so many of them and everyone has many different descriptions.

I like making my own conditioner (and the other products ofcourse) you are not bound to 1 thing, like the store bought ones. (Anti-frizzing, detangling, dry hair, greasy hair,...) You can make 1 products with All the things you like! Thank you for sharing this knowledge!

Anonymous said...

Quick question :) I know oil is neutral, but doesn't it adsorb to hair strands?

Briana B. said...

I do like curls but I have already made a styler that I use to seal in the moisture from my conditioner. It also helps with making my curls to pop. But when I get the chance I will buy carrot extract.

I just have so much ingredients already that I want to wait awhile til I buy more.