Polawax or Ritamulse SCG in our conditioners, and the general answer is no, you can't use those emulsifiers to make conditioners. We use ingredients like Incroquat BTMS-50, Rita BTMS-225, and cetrimonium bromide to create conditioners and they are emulsifiers, but that isn't their only feature: We're using them because they are cationic or positively charged emulsifiers.
Here's the chemistry. Your hair is negatively charged. A conditioner is positively charged. Positive and negative attract each other, and the conditioner is left behind on your hair when you rinse thanks to a concept called adsorption.
If you want to learn more, click here for a lengthy post on the topic. Click here for more information on the charges we find in our ingredients.
If you use an ingredient that is neutrally charged - like Polawax - you aren't going to get that adsorption. The oils you use will moisturize your hair and the humectants will offer hydration, the silicones will help repel moisture and the proteins will help moisturize, but you do not have a conditioner without the adsorption. We need to have that positive charge so our hair is conditioned as well as moisturized and hydrated. (Click here to learn what "conditioning" really means!)
I know there are products that are marketed as hair moisturizers that contain these emulsifiers and a whole lotta oil and butter, but those are not conditioners. They are hair moisturizers. They are lotions that you put on your hair. They will rinse out and leave behind a feeling of moisturization and hydration, but they aren't conditioning your hair. I know this might seem like a matter of semantics - if my hair feels conditioned, isn't it conditioned? - but it's an important matter. Only a positively charged ingredient can offer conditioning. This isn't to say that you don't like the product and that it doesn't work to moisturize your hair, but what you are getting from a product that doesn't contain a positively charged ingredient is not - by definition - conditioning.
There are dozens of emulsifiers out there and we can create many more combinations using the HLB system, but adding a moisturizer to water and oil doesn't create a conditioner - it creates a lotion. If you want to use a lotion in your hair, that's perfectly fine, but it isn't a conditioner. (I think about people who have used polysorbate 20 or 80 or other liquidy type emulsfiers as conditioning agents. EEK! So sticky!)
HAVING SAID ALL THIS...I know some of you are using Ritamulse SCG as an emulsifier for conditioners. It's anionic or negatively charged, so I'm wondering if you wouldn't mind sharing (a) where did you see that you could use it in this way?, (b) how are you using it (for instance, without shampoo, in a solid bar, once a week, and so on), (c) how long have you been using it?, and (d) how does your hair feel after using it? I'm really confused from a chemistry perspective as to why this would work, so if those of you who really love this emulsifier in a conditioner could share your thoughts, I'd be so grateful!