Monday, August 19, 2013

Monday Wonderings: The difference between a conditioner with BTMS and a lotion with BTMS?

Whew! It's been a crazy few weeks with loads of youth programs, tons of work, and a chemistry final on the 16th for which I was studying quite a bit. I spent the weekend lounging about playing Animal Crossing: New Leaf, and feeling really guilty that I wasn't running about getting things done, but I'm feeling much more relaxed. I'm getting ready for a short camping holiday next week, followed by more around-the-house holiday time for playing in the workshop and doing some sewing, before school starts again on September 3rd! So let's get to some of those comments I've missed over the last two weeks before I get to posting some new recipes and researching some new ingredients in my time off!

In this post, short hair still needs conditioner, Tina asks, I have been reading your blog for a little while now and just made my first conditioner with BTMS and a little oil from a recipe I found and adapted. So now my Q is - what is the big difference between a cream and a hair conditioner? Seems to me they are much alike? I know you don't have my recipe, but in general terms? I saw you also had a very basic recipe with just BTMS and water and started wondering cause wth a few oils (low content) and a bit of glycerine the ingredients. Are close to those of a lotion?

Yay! Are you happy with it? Have you spent a ton of time thinking about how to modify it? It's so addicting to make one's own stuff - I should have mentioned that, eh? Okay, on with the questions...

What is the big difference between an oil-in-water lotion and a hair conditioner using BTMS? Not much, to be honest. Both are oil-in-water lotions using BTMS-225, BTMS-25, or BTMS-50 as the emulsifier. The big difference tends to be the inclusion of things that are good for our hair, like hydrolyzed proteins or panthenol or...hey, wait a minute! I use those things in my lotions, too. So what's the difference? There are some differences in ingredients - I don't tend to use cetrimonium chloride in non-hair products - and there are some differences in oil content - sometimes, as there are people who like to use a lot of oils in their products - but for the most part, hair conditioners with BTMS-50 can be used as body lotions and vice versa. I make a shaving lotion that pretty much looks like my conditioners, although I don't use silk in stuff for my hair as it hates it!

So the big difference real difference at all. A conditioner tends to be more about the cationic quaternary compounds (the BTMS-50 or BTMS-225 or BTMS-25, and so on), substantivity, and hair loving ingredients, while a lotion tends to be about the oils and butters with more emphasis on skin loving ingredients. If you have a lotion made with a conditioning emulsifier that you want to use in your hair, and your hair likes it, then enjoy!

As a note, the first product is a lotion, while the second and third are conditioners. Very little difference in appearance. 

Having said all of this...this only applies to positively charged or cationic emulsifiers, like BTMS-25, BTMS-50, BTMS-225, cetriomonium bromide, and so on. It doesn't apply to Polawax, which is non-ionic, or Ritamulse SCG, which is slightly anionic. These are lotion making emulsifiers, not conditioning emulsifiers, although some people enjoy them in conditioners.

Related posts:
Anionic, cationic, non-ionic? 
Using different emulsifiers in conditioners

Related recipes - lotions:

An aside: Leave in conditioners become light lotions
Formulating facial moisturizers - silicone based
Formulating facial moisturizers - for oily skin (oil free)
Modifying lotion recipes - that powdery feeling

Related recipes - shaving products:
Conditioners become shaving products (part 1)
Conditioners become shaving products (part 2)
An aside: Conditioners become beard conditioners
Modifying recipes: Conditioners become shaving lotions
Experiments with BTMS-225: Shaving lotion
Solid conditioner bars become shaving bars (my favourite shaving product recipe!)

Related recipes - drier feeling lotions: I'd check the men's products section first!

Related recipes - hair conditioners: I'd check the hair care products section first!

I have at least a hundred recipes on this blog using BTMS-50 or BTMS-225 as the emulsifier or as the main conditioning agent, so I recommend doing a search for more recipes!


Tina said...

Susan thank you so much!
Was just checking to see if you'd written something and there - a full post with info just for me (well, kinda sorta). Since its early evening in my part of the world I'll go make coffee and have a thorough read, probably add more ingredients to my have-to-have list and then go mix up something to try both in and out of the shower :-)
Thank you again, Tina

Tina said...

PS. Yes, almost happy with my conditioner. It has silk (which I see you dont like in hair products) and argan oil but I know there are other additives that would be good for my hair but not in my cupboard yet.
And you are right - I am addicted already!

Ingrid said...

Hi Susan,

Love your blog, as you well know, but I am still wondering who was it that was going to sue you for posts you made to your blog.

You did promise that you would name the company/person responsible for those ugly posts.

I would like to know that I am ordering from a reputable seller, who has no plans to sue me in the near future.

So, can you finally tell us??

Cheers, and awaiting your reply,

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Ingrid. I updated the initial post - Why someone's trying to suppress our freedom of speech! - but I might have been too subtle!

It was Saffire Blue, but she hasn't pursued anything against me because there isn't anything to pursue. I think it's sad that she decided to come at me guns a'blazing instead of approaching me nicely because I think I could have helped her deal with this reputation issue she has. But this is why she has the reputation of being unreasonable...Instead of writing to me asking that I amend some of the comments, she has her husband call me and swear at me, then claims that I wouldn't work with him to come to an agreement. As an aside, someone found a post she wrote on an "ask a lawyer" type website - which might have been the consultation she claimed to have had - who told her she didn't have a leg to stand on. In fact, the lawyer suggested they approach me and work collaboratively instead of threatening to sue me, but they didn't listen to that good advice.

What a sad state of affairs...

Kim said...

Hii Susan! Glad that I came across this post! I seem to have something odd going on... In the beginning of making my own products, I made a basic lotion (polawax) and a basic conditioner (btms50) with 7% btms, water and preservative. Ever since I've made many additions to both the lotion and the conditioner. In this post, you say that there's not much difference between a lotion with btms and a conditioner with btms. So I tried my conditioner as a lotion once, it was soft on my skin but I always felt a "layer", and indeed, when using water, that layer would just wash of my skin, even a day after applying the product. Is it normal that my conditioner doesn't sink in my skin? And if so, why does it do this?

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Kim. Products don't really sink into our skin as the molecules are just too big, but they give the impression of doing so. It might be the ingredients you used in the BTMS lotion contains more waxes or more ingredients that form a thick film on your skin than the Polawax one? I'm really not sure without informaiton on the recipes. Are you saying that you found you could rinse it off your skin the next day? Your lotion lasted that long on your skin?

I think I'll go into more detail in an upcoming Weekend Wondering about this topic...

Kim said...

Thanks for answering! I didn't give a recipe because I have it with every conditioner I make. With the basic conditioner (7% btms+.5% germall plus+92.5% water) and the very extended version I use at the moment. I put it on my skin like one would use a lotion, if it's a day after that or an hour, it doesn't really matter. The moment water get's to my skin, I immidiatly feel parts of that layer "loosening", some more water and it's completely gone. It's hard to explain the feeling, unlike a lotion, with the conditioner it always feels like something's there. I've never had this with any of the lotions I made in the past, with or without IPM.

Like I said, it's hard to explain (even harder with english not being my main language). So I hope I'm still making sense here... (^^,)

Lauren Walker said...

Hello, can I make a conditioner without Btms? Could use certyl alcohol instead? I'm trying to learn and research how to make my own conditioner. Thank You

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Lauren. No, you can't make a conditioner with cetyl alcohol. It is oil soluble, and won't mix into any water without an emulsifier. As well, you want a conditioner to be positively charged, and cetyl alcohol isn't. I encourage you to go visit the hair care section of the blog to learn more about what you need to make a conditioner as I go over every ingredient and why you'd want to use it!

Jaslyn Begni said...

My bathroom cupboard is full of discarded hair conditioner recently bought by other members of the family. After reading this post I decided to see if I could incorporate it into a DIY cream. I analysed the ingredient list, made a compatible, complimentary thick moisturizing hand cream and added the two together in different percentages to form a body lotion. It came out great. The conditioner had a lot of stearic acid and other stearyl ingredients and the only thing I would do differently next time is add 3% dimethicone for additional slip and glide. Even without the dimethicone I don't see the soaping effect which was highly visible before the two were added together. I'm not sure if it's OK to do this, but I couldn't find a reason not to... plus it was fun!