Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Conditioners: Solid conditioner bars

I love conditioner bars! They travel well, don't over-condition, and aren't hard to make! In short, they're awesome!

I've written a great deal about conditioner bars in the past (including a visual tutorial), so I'll offer you those links now so you can see where the recipe originates, then we'll do some tweaking.

Formulating a conditioner bar
The conditioner bar recipe
A visual tutorial for making conditioner bars
A note on using preservatives in shampoo and conditioner bars

CONDITIONER BAR FOR NORMAL TO DRY HAIR
HEATED PHASE
60% Incroquat BTMS
10% cetyl alcohol (you can use stearic if you want a harder bar, but it's going to be draggy!)
10% butter of your choice - preferably 5% cocoa butter plus 5% something else
5% oils of your choice
2% hydrolyzed protein of choice

COOL DOWN PHASE
3% condition-eze 7, honeyquat, or other cationic polymer
2% panthenol
2% dimethicone
2% cyclomethicone
2% cetrimonium chloride
2% fragrance or essential oil
0.5% to 1% suitable preservative

Since I've already formulated this bar a dozen times, let's go right to the tweaking.

Feel free to change the 60% BTMS-50 to 30% Incroquat CR and 30% BTMS-50 to increase the softness and decrease the static charge of your hair (plus cost savings, as Incroquat CR costs a lot less than BTMS). You can use any oil or butter you like - I'd suggest something like 5% cocoa butter and 5% coconut oil or shea butter, and for oils choose one your hair likes. You can use coconut oil, virgin coconut oil, or fractionated coconut oil, or any other choice.

If you like cetrimonium bromide, use 40% BTMS and 20% cetrimonium bromide in the solid bar for any hair type.

The recipe I generally use is for oily hair, so I use 5% butters, no oils, and I substitute half the BTMS for Incroquat CR to increase softness and decrease static. If you don't want to use Incroquat CR, then use all BTMS. I like cetrimonium chloride in mine for the detangling, and I always use a high molecular weight hydrolyzed protein as I don't want a lot of moisture in my frizz-prone hair.

CONDITIONER BAR SUITABLE FOR OILY HAIR
HEATED PHASE
35% Incroquat BTMS
35% Incroquat CR
10% cetyl alcohol (you can use stearic if you want a harder bar, but it's going to be draggy!)
5% butter of choice - I use orange butter
2% hydrolyzed protein of choice

COOL DOWN PHASE
3% condition-eze 7, honeyquat, or other cationic polymer
2% panthenol
2% dimethicone
2% cyclomethicone
2% cetrimonium chloride
2% fragrance or essential oil
0.5% to 1% suitable preservative


Weigh the heated ingredients in a heat proof container and put in a double boiler to melt. When it has melted, add the cool down phase and stir really well. Pour into a mould and put said mould into a fridge or freezer to set. When you take the bars out of the mould, lay on a table on top of a paper towel to sweat a little. (I like to let them sit for at least 24 hours before using because they'll harden up and won't smoosh when you drop them in the shower. But if you can't wait to use them, then choose a sacrificial one you can use right away, and accept it will be funny shaped!)

As usual, leave out what you don't want to use...but where to replace that missing amount? Say you're leaving out the silicones - 4% - you can increase the oils or butters by 4%, or increase the cationic conditioner by 4%. It's not that easy to substitute in a solid bar - there's no water amount we can play with! - so generally you will increase the BTMS or Incroquat CR.

A note for fine hair: Conditioner bars are awesome for fine hair because you can control how much conditioner you use. Swipe only once and lightly over your hair for light conditioning; swipe twice and less lightly over your hair for more conditioning.

Join me tomorrow to modify some of our conditioners into shaving products!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Conditioners: Very light leave in conditioners with cationic polymers

We've already seen what cationic polymers like honeyquat or polyquat 7 can do for a shampoo, so let's take a look at using these as leave in conditioners suitable for fine hair or children's hair.

The cationic polymers are less conditioning than the cationic quaternary compounds like BTMS-50 or cetrimonium bromide, but they can offer light conditioning to a leave-in conditioner. We can add our water soluble goodies to it to offer some film forming and moisturizing, if you want, and we can add cetrimonium chloride or Incroquat CR to increase the detangling and softening.

BASIC LIGHT LEAVE IN CONDITIONER WITH CATIONIC POLYMERS
93.5% to 96.5% water
2% to 5% cationic polymer
0.5% to 1% preservative
1% fragrance oil

This will make a clear, very watery leave in conditioner that sprays well from a mister. This leave in conditioner could be made cold - cationic polymers should be added at below 50˚C. Just make sure you are using distilled water, and consider heating the water slightly if it's not at room temperature to increase solubility of the cationic polymer.

Why the "2% to 5%" in the recipe? Because you may need to tweak it to make it more or less conditioning for your hair type. 

We can add a high molecular weight protein like oat protein as a film former and moisturizer, and add panthenol because it's always awesome in hair care products. We can also add cetrimonium chloride or Incroquat CR for extra detangling. (If you use cetrimonium chloride, you can make this recipe cold. You need to heat it to get the Incroquat CR to melt.)

LEAVE-IN DETANGLER WITH CATIONIC POLYMERS AND CETRIMONIUM CHLORIDE
HEATED PHASE
87.5% to 90.5% water
2% cetrimonium chloride (or Incroquat CR)
2% hydrolyzed protein

COOL DOWN PHASE
2% to 5% cationic polymer
2% panthenol
1% fragrance oil
0.5% to 1% preservative

If you're making this for a child, may I suggest some kid friendly fragrances? Pink Sugar is a huge hit with my craft group kids, as is the new blend "Fruit Loops" (designed by Melissa, an up-and-coming scentsmith in our youth crafting groups), which is equal parts Lemon Curd and Cream Cheese Frosting. I've been playing with Cream Cheese Frosting and other fruity scents, and I've found strawberry at 1 part strawberry, 3 parts cream cheese frosting smells like a sugary breakfast cereal as well!

I hope you've enjoyed this series on leave in conditioning and detangling products! Join me tomorrow for fun with solid conditioner bars!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Conditioners: Detanglers using Amaze XT

Yep, Amaze XT has some wet and dry detangling properties we can use to make some gel based detanglers. We covered a bit about this product in the building viscosity post on surfactants, but let's re-cap and add a bit more to our knowledge base.

You can use a product like Amaze XT (INCI: Dehydroxanthan gum) to thicken your surfactants or to use as a base for a detangling gel. It's anionic, and it's compatible with silicones, propylene glycol, hydrolyzed proteins, EDTA, sodium phosphate, and low levels of Flexan II, a polymer used in hair styling products (3:1 ratio of Amaze XT to Flexan II). Use it at 1% to 2% to create a gel without neutralization in the heated water phase of the product. It is soluble in water and alcohol. You can't use paraben based preservatives with Amaze XT based gels, which means Phenonip and Germaben II are right out. You can use liquid Germall Plus, Optiphen ND, and Tinosan SDC without problems (although if you're using cationic ingredients like cationic quaternary compounds or cationic polymers, you can't use Tinosan).

The ideal pH for products containing Amaze XT is between 4.5 and 6, which is right where we want our skin and hair care products. Below 4.5, you'll see a decrease in clarity, so you can add a little salt at 0.1% to make it a little more viscous.

It will provide long lasting hold in humid conditioners, so you can make hair gels out of this and it won't run down your face or attract too much moisture to your hair! Yep, this product will create some hold for your hairstyle, so it can act as a light hair gel without adding any of the sticky stuff we normally associate with those products! So this may help keep your curls a little curlier and less frizzy!

Combine Amaze XT with cetrimonium chloride and you'll have yourself a clear, slightly thickened conditioning gel with great detangling properties!

DETANGLING GEL WITH CETRIMONIUM CHLORIDE
HEATED PHASE
94.5% water
3% cetrimonium chloride
1% Amaze XT

COOL DOWN PHASE
1% fragrance oil (optional)
0.5% preservative

DETANGLING AND LIGHT CONDITIONING GEL WITH CETRIMONIUM CHLORIDE
HEATED PHASE
92.5% water
3% cetrimonum chloride
1% Amaze XT
2% cationic polymer like honeyquat or polyquat-7

COOL DOWN PHASE
1% fragrance oil
0.5% preservative

If you want to make a styling type gel, you can increase the Amaze XT to 2% and you will get some curl retention! Yay!

Let's take a look at making a conditioning styling gel with detangling properties. And let's include all those lovely things we like for our hair!

DETANGLING, LIGHT CONDITIONING, AND STYLING GEL WITH DETANGLING PROPERTIES USING AMAZE XT
HEATED PHASE
88.5% water
2% Amaze XT
2% hydrolyzed protein
2% cetrimonium chloride

COOL DOWN PHASE
2% cationic polymer like polyquat 7 or honeyquat
2% panthenol
1% fragrance oil (optional)
0.5% preservative

For all of these recipes, you'll want to heat the water phase - except the Amaze XT - to about 70˚C. Sprinkle the Amaze XT into the heated water and mix well until it is dissolved. Remove from heat and let cool to 45˚C, then add your cool down ingredients!

Oh, and here's a bonus, apparently Amaze XT is Ecocertified!

Join me tomorrow for some light leave-in conditioners made with cationic polymers!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

We be camping!

We're on a four day road trip of super holiday camping fun, leaving this morning for the wonderful Potholes State Park near Moses Lake, Washington and returning late on July 1st. We'll be enjoying some fire roasted food, lots of swimming, a short trip for shopping in Spokane, a lot of Dungeons & Dragons, and way too much laughter.

I've written a few posts in advance, and although I won't be around to answer any questions or comments during this time, please feel free to write or post comments! I'll be sure to respond as soon I can on the 2nd or 3rd. (I will have my iPod with me, and I'll be checking at WiFi points to make sure people aren't posting spam or ads for seabuckthorn related products, so you've been warned!)

I love camping! I'm not really the most outdoors-y girl in the world, but I love swimming and roasting things over the fire (not marshmallows - they get way too gooey and sticky!), sitting up late, watching the stars, talking about politics and other controversial subjects, and generally hanging out with my friends. I love sitting in the morning with my cup of tea, doing a crossword puzzle, and enjoying the sounds of nature. I love going 'sploring with my friends, seeing new places, finding cool hamburger stands or out of the way craft stores. In short, I do love an adventure! (And yes, I am bringing one of my cosmetic textbooks and my math homework with me! It's fun!)

How are you spending your first long weekend of the summer?

Conditioners: Detanglers with Incroquat CR

We took a look at using cetrimonium chloride in detangling sprays yesterday, so let's look at Incroquat CR, another great detangling ingredient. Incroquat CR is easier to find than cetrimonium chloride and it will allow you to include some oils and silicones, if you want. You won't get a clear product out of this recipe, so if that's a consideration, please use the cetrimonium chloride based recipe from yesterday.

We'll start with a low level of Incroquat CR and a lot of water, then we'll take a look at tweaking this recipe with lots of hair lovin' goodies!

BASIC DETANGLING SPRAY WITH INCROQUAT CR
HEATED PHASE
95.5% to 97.5% water
1% to 3% Incroquat CR

COOL DOWN PHASE
0.5% preservative
1% fragrance oil

Use the general or alternate instructions for this recipe.

You must have some idea of what's coming next - tweaking it to include other goodies! Remember that you can't include a ton of oils and silicones in a conditioner with Incroquat CR. It's an emulsifier, but it's not a great one, so we'll include water soluble goodies instead of oil soluble ones. I'd use oat protein or another high molecular weight protein for this recipe as we want film forming, not moisturizing.

Having said this, if you have really dry tangled hair, then silk protein will be ideal. I don't know why I'm making assumptions that fine hair won't like silk. I know as a rule fine hair won't like silk, but there are fine haired people out there with dry hair!

DETANGLING SPRAY WITH INCROQUAT CR
HEATED PHASE
91.5% to 93.5% water
1% to 3% Incroquat CR
2% hydrolyzed protein

COOL DOWN PHASE
0.5% preservative
1% fragrance oil
2% panthenol

There you have it! A detangling conditioner with Incroquat CR!

But wait...could we make this more detangling? Yep, just add 2% cetrimonium chloride to any detangler with Incroquat CR and you'll have a fantastic leave in detangler (you might remember this from the cream rinse post).

DETANGLING SPRAY WITH CETRIMONIUM CHLORIDE AND INCROQUAT CR
HEATED PHASE
89.5% water to 91.5% water
1% to 3% Incroquat CR
2% hydrolyzed protein
2% cetrimonium chloride

COOL DOWN PHASE
0.5% preservative
1% fragrance oil
2% panthenol

Have fun formulating! Join me tomorrow for more detangling formulating fun with Amaze XT!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Conditioners: Detanglers using cetrimonium chloride

We've looked at cream rinses - which are effectively detanglers in rinse-off form - and we've looked at leave in conditioners, so let's take a look at leave-in detanglers suitable for fine hair or children's hair.

The concept is pretty much the same for detanglers as for cream rinses - we want something that contains mostly water and the detangling ingredients with some light conditioners. We can include water soluble ingredients like humectants, proteins, panthenol, and hydrosols, but the emphasis is on the detangling.

We know Incroquat CR and cetrimonium chloride are good detangling and softener ingredients, so these will be the basis for our detangling products. We know we need water and preservative, and fragrance is always a bonus! Today we'll take a look at cetrimonium chloride based detanglers; tomorrow join me for Incroquat CR based detanglers.

Although cetrimonium chloride is listed as an emulsifier, it isn't a great one. I wouldn't add more than 1% or 2% oil soluble ingredients if cetrimonium chloride was my only emulsifier. If you really must add some oils to this recipe, then I'd suggest only 1% or using water soluble oils that don't need emulsifying. You won't be able to add silicones to this recipe either, unless you have some lovely water soluble silicones!

BASIC RECIPE FOR A DETANGLER SPRAY WITH CETRIMONIUM CHLORIDE
HEATED PHASE
3% cetrimonium chloride
95% water

COOL DOWN PHASE
0.5% to 1% preservative
1% fragrance oil

Okay, so we have our detangling spray, but where's the good stuff for our hair? You already know what you can add - aloe, hydrosols, extracts, and so on - so you can modify this as you want. If you have fine hair, this might be enough for you because you don't want to weigh your hair down with tons of oils and silicones. If you have thicker hair, you can make yourself a leave in conditioner to include the oils and silicones, or use Incroquat CR as the basis for your product.

Here's how I'd modify this for my best friend's fine hair. She has chemically processed hair - in the form of permanent dyes - and she straightens her hair on occasion. So I want to include some film forming proteins, panthenol, and cationic polymers. Ideally I'd add some silicones in there, but I don't have anything that will emulsify a ton of silicones and I know she uses a heat treatment spray, so she's getting the protection she needs there.

DETANGLING AND LIGHT CONDITIONING SPRAY FOR FINE, PROCESSED HAIR
HEATED PHASE
89.5% water
3% cetrimonium chloride
2% hydrolyzed oat protein

COOL DOWN PHASE
2% polyquat 7
2% panthenol
0.5% preservative
1% fragrance oil (I generally use Oatmeal, Milk & Honey for her)

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

This is a neat product as it's quite thin and clear - it looks like water (the foam in the picture above is because I was shaking it! It was fun!). Your choice of fragrance oil might colour it slightly, but does look really cool in a clear spray bottle! This will act as a very light conditioner and detangler for fine hair.

Join me tomorrow for more fun making detanglers with Incroquat CR.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Conditioners: Modifying the leave-in conditioner with extracts or hydrosols!

Extracts and hydrosols in your leave-in conditioners can offer anti-inflammatory, anti-irritancy, anti-oxidant, film forming, and moisturizing benefits to an already awesome product! We know our botanical ingredients can have awesome benefits in a rinse-off conditioner - which ones could we choose for a leave-in conditioner?

Well, most of them would be suitable - check out this post for some ideas. And you already know how to tweak your conditioners, right? Just substitute the hydrosols for the water amount, and add your powdered extracts in the cool down phase by dissolving them in a little hot water, then adding them to the mix.

Here's an example of something you might want to try...

SWIFT'S FAVOURITE LEAVE IN CONDITIONER MODIFIED TO INCLUDE ALOE VERA, LAVENDER, AND ROSEMARY
HEATED PHASE
59.5% water
2% Incroquat BTMS
4% glycerin
11% aloe vera
10% lavender hydrosol
2% hydrolyzed oat protein

COOL DOWN PHASE
2% polyquat 7 or honeyquat
2% cetrimonium chloride
2% panthenol
2% cyclomethicone
2% dimethicone
0.5% powdered rosemary extract
1% fragrance oil
0.5% to 1% preservative (I use liquid Germall plus at 0.5%)

Use the general or alternate instructions for making conditioners.

In all honesty, I couldn't use this recipe in the summer as the aloe vera would be far too humectanty for my frizzy hair, but it would be a good recipe for someone with oily hair and a scalp that needs a little soothing, or someone with dry hair who can use a lot more moisturizing. Try your favourite hydrosols in a leave in conditioner!

And remember that using hydrosols and extracts in your conditioners can lead to some lovely product names! If I wanted to make something for dry hair with a little oil, some nice humectants, and some anti-oxidants, I could put together a lovely leave-in conditioner like this, that I might call...

CHAMOMILE & GREEN TEA HYDRATING LEAVE IN CONDITIONER
HEATED WATER PHASE
58.5% water
10% chamomile hydrosol
10% aloe vera
4% glycerin
1% hydrolyzed protein of choice (I'd use silk for dry hair)

HEATED OIL PHASE
2% Incroquat BTMS
2% cetrimonium chloride
up to 4% oils of choice (2% for normal hair, 4% for dry hair)

COOL DOWN PHASE
2% cationic polymer (like honeyquat or polyquat 7)
1% panthenol
2% cyclomethicone
2% dimethicone
1% fragrance oil
0.5% to 1% preservative (I use liquid germall plus)
0.5% green tea extract

Or you could put together a nice leave in conditioner for normal hair with rose hydrosol, honeyquat cationic polymer, and this stuff I bought at Voyageur, Vital Scalp Complex. (It's supposed to contain things to help exfoliate our scalp, help with collagen production, help our hair proteins stay hard and resistant to breakage, and it's used at 1% to 5% in our recipes. Does it do all of this? I don't know - I just liked the idea of honey, fruit & flowers together and I couldn't find a suitable fruity extract I liked for this recipe.) 

I would provide you with more information but apparently Arch Chemicals doesn't recognize my name and password for my login, even though it lets me go to my account to change my password and account information! So I have an account I can alter, but I can't actually login with it! ARGH!

HONEY, FRUIT & FLOWERS LEAVE IN CONDITIONER FOR NORMAL HAIR
HEATED WATER PHASE
56.5% water
10% aloe vera
10% rose hydrosol
4% glycerin
1% hydrolyzed protein of choice

HEATED OIL PHASE
2% Incroquat BTMS
2% cetrimonium chloride
up to 4% oils of choice (2% for normal hair, 4% for dry hair)

COOL DOWN PHASE
2% Vital Hair & Scalp Complex
2% cationic polymer (like honeyquat or polyquat 7)
1% panthenol
2% cyclomethicone
2% dimethicone
1% fragrance oil
0.5% to 1% preservative (I use liquid germall plus)

So there you have it - so many variations on leave-in conditioners you probably won't know where to start! Join me tomorrow for a few ideas on creating detanglers! 

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Why am I perceived as hating "all natural" things?

I love my all natural babassu butter body butter! You can find the recipe here

I received an e-mail last night from someone who notes she is a formulator of mostly natural bath and body products, and that she was writing to  me "even though I know you have little love for formulators like me", meaning natural bath and body formulators. Where did this idea arise that I don't like natural formulators or their products?

I like natural bath and body products and I like natural bath and body formulators. I make a lot of what some people would call anhydrous natural body products like lotion bars, oil based sprays, and whipped butters - products without preservatives or synthetic ingredients - and I have seen some amazing natural products made with natural (or as I call them, minimally processed ingredients) like my favourite anise flavoured lip balm from Prairie Naturals.

I think of natural ingredients like oils, butters, extracts, and so on as minimally processed as opposed to natural. All of our natural ingredients have to be processed in some way - bees and honey have to be removed from beeswax before its cleaned, olives have to be pressed, extracts have to be dried and ground into powder - because you wouldn't just throw an olive into a lotion! 

I get upset over three things when it comes to the all natural crowd (although these tend to be the actions of the larger companies, not smaller formulators...)

The first is the "we don't use this" crowd, and I've already blogged about that. These types try to make their products stand out by stating what they don't use, and they tend to forget to include what they do use. "We don't use SLS" in our lotion bars. Well, of course you don't; no one would.

The second is the "hide it under something else" crowd, the ones who put preservatives under "perfum" and claim to be preservative free!

The third is the "strainin' to do some explainin' " crowd who actively lie about their products, saying silly things like silicone comes from sand, therefore it must be natural.

I love natural products and those who formulate them, as long as they are being safe and truthful. If a formulator is leaving the preservative out of a water based creation because they want to be all natural, they're being unsafe, and that worries me. If a formulator is leaving ingredients off their list or cutting corners to qualify for the category of "natural" or to gain customers, that's when I lose all respect. On the other hand, if someone can formulate a lovely product made from minimally processed ingredients that is effective and safe, then I will stand up and applaud their efforts.

Each of us started on this wonderful journey through the land of bath and body products for different reasons, and over time we have developed different philosophies about which products we make and which ingredients we use. That's the great thing about making our own products - we can pick and choose what we make, what ingredients we leave in or take out, and how much of each we want to use. We can truly customize each product to represent who we are, what we need, and in what we believe. As long as those choices are made with safety in mind, I respect and honour those philosophies.

Personally, I like to use a combination of natural and synthetic ingredients for their skin feel, effect on my skin or hair, ease of use when formulating, stability, or cost. I make these decisions based upon my research on the ingredients, my crazy mad experiments in the workshops, and the comments from my testers. I would never use just synthetic ingredients as there are far too many botanical extracts, hydrosols, oils, butters, proteins, and complexes that take my creations from nice to awesome, but I like to have a full pallet of ingredients from which I can choose. But that's just my opinion, which is reflected in my recipes and this blog. 

I like all natural stuff, as long as it's made properly and safely! I hope this clarifies my position on this topic.

Conditioners: Modifying the leave-in conditioner with Incroquat CR.

Okay, so we've seen how we can include BTMS-50 and cetrimonium bromide, so why not make a leave in conditioner with Incroquat CR? We'll be getting more into using Incroquat CR alone in a detangling product shortly, but we can include it in our leave-in conditioners to add more anti-static and softening properties.

As with any conditioning agent, we don't want to use too much in a leave-in product, so we'll keep it at 1% to 2%, depending upon your hair type. We can add it in the heated phase to any other leave in conditioner. This is a great inclusion if you don't have cetrimonium chloride - it offers detangling and softening like cetac - but you can add it to any product including cetrimonium chloride as well.


SWIFT'S FAVOURITE WINTER TIME LEAVE IN CONDITIONER WITH INCROQUAT CR
HEATED PHASE
78% to 78.5% water
2% Incroquat BTMS
4% glycerin
1% aloe vera
2% hydrolyzed oat protein
1% Incroquat CR

COOL DOWN PHASE
2% polyquat 7 or honeyquat
2% cetrimonium chloride
2% hydrolyzed protein
2% panthenol
2% cyclomethicone
2% dimethicone
1% fragrance oil
0.5% to 1% preservative (I use liquid germall plus)

Use the general or alternate instructions for making conditioner.

Wow, that was easy! This conditioner now has pretty much every type of conditioning agent we can include, so it might be too conditioning for some hair types, like our fine haired friends.

As I'm a frizzy haired girl, I generally take the cationic polymers and humectants out in the summer time as it can get pretty humid around here and I turn into Swift, the girl who thought the 80s never ended. But I need the anti-static properties that the cationic polymers offer, so what to do? Up the Incroquat CR!

SWIFT'S FAVOURITE SUMMER TIME LEAVE IN CONDITIONER WITH FEWER HUMECTANTS AND INCROQUAT CR
HEATED PHASE
84.5% water
2% BTMS
2% Incroquat CR
2% hydrolyzed oat protein

COOL DOWN PHASE
2% cetrimonium chloride
2% dimethicone (1000 cs for my frizzy hair)
2% cyclomethicone
2% panthenol
1% fragrance oil
0.5% liquid Germall Plus

Join me tomorrow to include some lovely hydrosols and extracts in your leave-in conditioners!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Conditioners: Modifying the leave-in conditioner with cetrimonium bromide

So how can we modify a leave-in conditioner? We looked at the basic recipe yesterday, and we've already tweaked this to include oils, so what can we do next? Let's try using another cationic quaternary compound!

Cetrimonium bromide is a great cationic quaternary compound for those of us with damaged hair. Let's use that as the basis for our leave-in conditioner.

What else can benefit really damaged hair? We know adding a fatty alcohol to a conditioner increases the substantivity, so let's add 1% cetyl alcohol to this recipe (you can use cetearyl alcohol, if you have it). We know coconut oil is fantastic for all hair types, so let's include that - or another oil of choice - at 2% for normal haired girls and 4% for dry haired girls. We can include our proteins and film formers and humectants as well to create an awesome leave in conditioner!

LEAVE-IN CONDITIONER WITH CETRIMONIUM BROMIDE FOR NORMAL, BUT PROBABLY DAMAGED, HAIR
HEATED PHASE
79.5% water
2% cetrimonium bromide
1% cetyl alcohol
2% hydrolyzed protein
2% coconut oil or other oil of choice
4% glycerin

COOL DOWN PHASE
2% cetrimonium chloride
2% cyclomethicone
2% dimethicone
2% panthenol
0.5% to 1% preservative
1% fragrance oil

To modify this for dry hair, add 2% more oils to the heated phase and remove 2% water.
To modify this for oily hair, remove the oils and add 2% water to the heated phase.
If you don't like humectants then remove the glycerin and add 4% to the water phase.
If you don't have cetrimonium chloride, then leave it out and add 2% to your water phase.
Use the general or alternate instructions for making conditioners.

This will be thicker than our usual leave in conditioners with the inclusion of the cetyl alcohol, glycerin, and oils, so you'll want to put this in some kind of disc cap or pump bottle.

What else can we do with a leave in conditioner? Join me tomorrow for fun formulating leave in products with Incroquat CR!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Conditioners: Leave-in conditioners

I love leave-in conditioners! I generally make a litre at a time to last me at least six months because I'd hate to run out of it! Don't you love this container? Look at all these exclamation marks! I'm very enthusiastic about this topic! 

What's the point of a leave in conditioner? We use these to keep the goodness of conditioning on our hair throughout the day by including our film forming and moisturizing proteins, silicones to seal in or fend off moisture, and panthenol to keep our hair healthy. By using these various ingredients, we can reduce the friction our hair experiences through grooming and daily life, we can seal in moisture or reduce frizziness, and we can increase the detangling when we comb our hair wet or dry.

Here's our basic recipe...

BASIC RECIPE FOR LEAVE-IN CONDITIONER
1 to 2% Incroquat BTMS-50 or cetrimonium bromide
.5% preservative
up to 1% fragrance oil
water to 100%

A leave in conditioner contains fewer conditioning agents than a regular conditioner as we don't want to walk around all day with loads of conditioner in our hair! I find 1% to 2% BTMS or cetrimonium bromide is more than enough for the conditioning part and will emulsify any silicones or oil based ingredients we wish to add.

This is a nice basic recipe that will offer some anti-static and emollient properties, but we want to add our goodies to this to really make our hair feel great!

If you've been following along on the blog, then you probably have an idea of what works for your hair by now. If you're new to the blog - welcome! - and here's the link to all the ingredients I'll be writing about in this and other posts - hair care ingredients

So what else can we include in a leave-in conditioner? We can add cationic polymers if you wish - these will add some moisturizing and film forming to your product - or add some cetrimonium chloride - detangling is always a great idea! We could add some Incroquat CR to increase the softening and decrease static build-up. And we can add all kinds of botanical ingredients to help our scalp or add anti-oxidants to the mix.

Here's my favourite recipe for a leave-in conditioner (and you've already seen a post on how to include oils in your product...)

SWIFT'S FAVOURITE LEAVE IN CONDITIONER
HEATED PHASE
79% to 79.5% water
2% Incroquat BTMS
4% glycerin
1% aloe vera
2% hydrolyzed oat protein

COOL DOWN PHASE
2% polyquat 7 or honeyquat
2% cetrimonium chloride
2% panthenol
2% cyclomethicone
2% dimethicone
1% fragrance oil
0.5% to 1% preservative (I use liquid Germall plus at 0.5%)

Use the general or alternate instructions for making conditioners.

I find this recipe works well for my oily, frizzy, coarse hair. The cetrimonium chloride makes it much easier to comb wet or dry, the glycerin works as a humectant, the protein acts as a film former, the panthenol offers both hygroscopic and smoothing benefits, and the silicones help keep the moisture out (which probably seems weird considering the glycerin in there, but it does work well).

Can we tweak this for other hair types? Of course! Join me tomorrow for fun modifying the leave-in conditioner recipe for other hair types!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Conditioners: Special considerations for fine hair

If you're a fine haired girl, oils and moisturizers don't tend to be your friend. They can weigh your hair down and make your normally non-frizzy hair frizzy. You want a lot of light conditioning that rinses off easily! Consider using cream rinse type products over intense or rinse off conditioners, and consider using detanglers over leave in conditioners. If your hair is really fine, you might be able to use a leave in conditioner as a regular conditioner (you can use it outside of the shower and use before combing!).

Humectants may or may not be your friend - you'll have to decide that for yourself - and you'll probably find you like the hydrolyzed proteins that film form rather than penetrate, so you'll want to stock up on oat or soy protein instead of silk. (My best friend has fine hair and she hates silk, but anecdotes do not make data, so I can't say for sure what your hair will like!)

When making any of the recipes I've posted, always leave out the cetyl alcohol - it's way too moisturizing for your hair - and replace it with water. Although my fine-haired best friend finds the 7% BTMS recipes work well for her, you might want to reduce the BTMS or cetrimonium bromide to 3% or so and replace that missing amount with water. (Having said this, if you add cetrimonium chloride to your conditioner recipes, it will thin out dramatically, so I do suggest using 7% in that case.)

I have included low levels of silicones in this recipe as even fine haired girls like the gloss, sheen, and lubricity silicones have to offer. If you don't like them, then remove them and add 2% water to the heated water phase.

LIGHT CONDITIONER FOR FINE HAIR
HEATED WATER PHASE
90% water or a combination of hydrosols, aloe vera, and water
2% hydrolyzed protein
2% humectant

HEATED OIL PHASE
3% BTMS-50 or cetrimonium bromide

COOL DOWN PHASE
1% cyclomethicone
1% dimethicone
0.5% to 1% preservative
1% fragrance oil

You can use the alternate instructions for conditioners for this recipe as we don't have a very large oil phase! And I realize this is very close to being a leave-in conditioner - a little more BTMS in this recipe - so you can follow those recipes and add a little more BTMS or cetrimonium bromide if you wish.

Feel free to add all kinds of wonderful extracts and hydrosols if you choose. And if you have cetrimonium chloride, add it at 2% in the cool down phase and take out 2% water.

As for leave in conditioners, I'd suggest using a detangler if you really need to get rid of knots! Join me for fun formulating leave in conditioners and detanglers over the next few days!

Challenge: We were jamming!

Wow, did I have fun yesterday or what? My friends and I set June 20th as our challenge date for making jam, and we went nuts making all kinds of gooey strawberry concoctions!

We bought a 30 pound bucket of local strawberries from the Rotary Club, and they were already washed, cleaned, and packed in their own juices, so that saved us a ton of time. We each bought a case of jars, and we bought regular and freezer jam pectin, along with lemon juice, and a few other fruits to add to the jam.

The first jam was a freezer jam from the Certo packaging. Wow, it was sweet - too much sugar, I think! We figure we'll reserve this one for pancakes and waffles because it was really really sweet and would be too much for a sandwich. The second jam was a strawberry lemon jam we found in one of Raymond's preserving books. It was a processed jam with lemon as the thickener. It seems to have thickened well.

We went on to make strawberry banana freezer jam, strawberry lime processed jam, strawberry orange freezer jam, strawberry mint processed jam, and strawberry pineapple processed jam (scroll down). We couldn't help ourselves, we had to dive into the strawberry banana jam for dinner last night and it was fantastic!

I did not know freezer jam could be so easy! Seriously! We mixed the fruit together, then added the sugar and pectin mix and stirred, then put the jam in jars. Wait a bit, then eat. Seriously simple! I was shocked!

So we've set out sights on making blueberry jam when the season starts, and we're putting our names down for the cucumbers for a pickling party in late August/early September. And we'll be making applesauce as well. (Raymond makes an amazing apple butter, so I'm hoping he'll make some of that, too.) We have to try the pickled garlic again - last time we used organic garlic and it was incredibly strong, even after pickling - and I'd like to try the asparagus again, but the season's almost over and we won't have time next weekend as we're going camping (hooray!). We're lucky to live in farming country where we can get most of these products locally - Abbotsford (30 km west) is known for its raspberries, and Chilliwack is famous for corn - so we can get huge amounts for a lot less than it would cost at the grocery store.

What a great day! We spent time with our friends, made way too much jam - we made about 80 jars total - and covered the kitchen with strawberry juice. The house smells amazing and my tummy's full of jam! I need to make some scones so we can have scones with strawberry jam and clotted cream! I think I'll make some cute labels so I know what's what when we go into our cool, dark place in three weeks to extract the first jar of processed jam!

How are you doing on your challenge?

Mariaan sent along some amazing pictures of her weekend of crafting - bath bombs, shaving bars, lotions, and bubble bath as a present for her wonderful husband on Father's Day! I love her packaging and labelling. I believe it was her first lotion, so she got to experience the "wow" moment of emulsification. Way to go, Mariaan!

Next up for us - silkscreening on July 3rd! I'm so excited!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Conditioners: Modifying cream rinses

I sincerely doubt Farrah Fawcett managed to keep her hair in good condition with all that styling and Aquanet using just a cream rinse, but those were the olden days when we had to wash our hair with rocks and straighten our hair with irons, and the only conditioners we really had were cream rinses. And we had to walk five miles in the snow to buy it! 

Yesterday we took a look at the basic cream rinse recipe - today, let's see how we can modify it. We know a cream rinse is intended to reduce static charge and increase the smooth feeling of our hair, but we can add a little detangling to the product with cetrimonium chloride, add some hydrolyzed proteins, throw in some hydrosols and extracts, or use a little aloe vera to give this a little oomph!

CREAM RINSE WITH EXTRA DETANGLING PROPERTIES
HEATED PHASE
89% water
7% Incroquat CR
2% cetrimonium chloride

COOL DOWN PHASE
0.5% to 1% preservative
1% fragrance oil

The reason I've upped the Incroquat CR in this recipe? Because the cetrimonium chloride will thin out this cream rinse to almost water at 3%!

With any cream rinse, you can include all the water soluble goodies - 2% panthenol, 2% hydrolyzed protein, aloe vera, hydrosols, extracts - but you can't add a ton of oils or silicones as they simply won't emulsify well (which leaves a really icky oil-floating-on-top-of-water kind of thing going on...ask me how I know!)

CREAM RINSE WITH VARIOUS GOODIES
HEATED PHASE
75% water
10% aloe vera or hydrosol of choice
7% Incroquat CR
2% cetrimonium chloride
2% hydrolyzed protein

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

Use the general or alternate instructions for all of these recipes.

All of these recipes are suitable for all hair types as detanglers and softeners!

Join me tomorrow for special considerations for products for fine hair! 

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Question: Differences between cetrimonium bromide and cetrimonium chloride?

Kontakt asked this question: As I understand it, the only difference between centrimonium bromide and cetrimonium chloride is the negatively charged ion: chloride or bromide. What differs between these two compounds in effects, and why? In solutions, the ions should be free from each other so unless the chloride/bromide ion does something in itself, I fail to see what the difference should be. Similar things are true for many pairs of related compounds, SLS/ALS for instance. Sodium or ammonium. As long as you adjust pH, is there really any major difference?

Cetrimonium bromide is actually cetyltrimethylammonium bromide. Cetrimonium chloride is hexadecyltrimethylammonium chloride, so there are differences other than the negatively charged ion.

Having said this, when you are buying bath and body supplies, you aren't getting the pure version of a product. When I buy cetrimonium bromide, I'm buying 27% to 29% cetrimonium bromide with cetearyl alcohol making up the rest, and it comes in a waxy flake format. When I buy cetrimonium chloride, I'm buying a liquid with about 25% active ingredients with preservatives and water making up the rest.

It's hard to compare different surfactants between companies because each brand is different depending upon how much of the active surfactant is in the solution, other ingredients added by the manufacturer (preservatives, conditioning agents, thickeners, and so on). For instance, I generally use SLeS in my body washes, but thought I'd try ALeS because my SLeS bottle was almost empty. The ALeS thickened the mixture up so much, I turned it into Jell-O with 1% Crothix - I'd normally need 2% for SLeS to thicken it nicely. This has more to do with the extras in the SLeS vs. ALeS mixture than the surfactants themselves, but it's still very relevant when you're making a product. And then we have to consider the moles of ethoxylated molecules...

Buying cosmetic supplies is like buying salt - we aren't buying straight NaCl. Just as table salt contains iodine, dessiccants, stuff to help it pour out, we find the same thing with our supplies. You aren't buying straight SLS or concentrated cetrimonium chloride. You're buying something containing water, preservatives, thickeners, conditioners, and so on. And each manufacturer will add or remove something that will make their product different from their competitors. And then there's differences in moles of ethoxylation and titer points and all those other lovely things that make cosmetic chemistry so interesting!

Conditioners: Cream rinses

So what's the difference between a conditioner and a cream rinse? A cream rinse is basically a detangler that should eliminate fly-aways (reduce static charge), and give our hair a smooth feeling. A conditioner also has these goals, but offers an increase in glossiness or lustre, an increase in body or volume, and may include moisturizing and anti-frizz agents. Cream rinses are great for those with unprocessed or fine hair as they won't include a ton of ingredients that will weigh down that hair type. (These are great for kids with really tangly hair!)

So what do we use as the base of a cream rinse? We use something like Incroquat CR, a cationic quaternary compound that doesn't contain a lot of moisturizers and isn't a great emulsifier (which is irrelevant here as we aren't adding oils to these recipes), or cetrimonium chloride, which is a great detangling ingredient. Neither of these are really long chain cationic quaternary compounds, so they offer less conditioning to our hair but more detangling. Both offer a reduction in static charge, and both make our hair feel smooth. (You can also use Incroquat OSC at low levels in cream rinses, but I still have to make a conditioner including this ingredient, so I can't comment on it yet.)

You can also use BTMS-50 and cetrimonium chloride in a cream rinse, but we want to use them at very low levels and leave out the oils and silicones.

BASIC RINSE OFF CREAM RINSE
HEATED PHASE
91% to 95% water
3% to 7%  Incroquat CR

COOL DOWN PHASE
0.5% to 1% preservative
1% fragrance oil

Pretty basic, eh? Yet the Incroquat CR will offer some great softening, detangling, and anti-static properties suitable for any hair type.

Join me tomorrow for more fun creating cream rinses!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Conditioners: Cetrimonium bromide - modifying the recipes

Yesterday, we took a look at making basic conditioners with cetrimonium bromide - today, let's add some goodies to our creations! From our posts on BTMS-50 based conditioners, we know we can add all kinds of wonderful ingredients to our conditioners - proteins, silicones, cetrimonium chloride, and so on. So let's take a look at making cetrimonium bromide based conditioners for different hair types.

We took a look at making an intense conditioner with cetrimonium bromide in the post on adding butters to intense conditioners, so I won't go into it here. 


If you're an oily haired girl, you'll want to leave out the oils and cetyl alcohol in your conditioner. There's no point in making an awesome shampoo for oily hair only to put a ton back in before rinsing (unless you're going for an everyday washing kind of thing...) So we'll make our basic oily hair recipe using cetrimonium bromide but leaving out the emollient ingredients. This is a conditioning, detangling, and lubricating conditioner (thanks to the silicones!)

CETRIMONIUM BROMIDE CONDITIONER FOR OILY HAIR
HEATED PHASE
81% to 81.5% water
7% cetrimonium bromide
2% hydrolyzed protein
2% cetrimonium chloride

COOL DOWN PHASE
2% dimethicone
2% cyclomethicone
2% panthenol
0.5% to 1% preservative
1% fragrance or essential oil

Use the general or alternate instructions for making a conditioner. Leave out the cetrimonium chloride if you don't have it, and feel free to leave out the silicones or use silicone substitutes.

If you're a dry haired girl, you might like to include some of those lovely oils and butters we talk about all the time to increase the moisturization of your hair. You can include silk protein (instead of oat protein) and you definitely want some cetyl alcohol in there to boost the substantivity of the conditioner and increase moisturization. You'll also want some humectants in there to help draw water to your hair!

CETRIMONIUM BROMIDE CONDITIONER FOR DRY HAIR
HEATED PHASE
71% water
7% cetrimonium bromide
2% hydrolyzed protein
3.5% cetyl alcohol
2% cetrimonium chloride
5% oils or butters of choice
2% glycerin or other humectant

COOL DOWN PHASE
2% dimethicone
2% cyclomethicone
2% panthenol
0.5% to 1% preservative
1% fragrance or essential oil

Use the general instructions for making conditioners for this recipe, and feel free to leave out whatever extra ingredients you want and add more water in its place.

If you're a normal haired girl, you can tweak these recipes how you like. I'd suggest taking out the heavy duty moisturizers - for instance, the oils or cetyl alcohol - from the dry hair recipe. Humectants can be a normal haired girl's friend, so you'll have to see how your hair handles it!

As a note, for these recipes you can include 10% aloe vera or 10% hydrosols or 0.5% extracts and other goodies in the usual way.

And finally, we can make a leave-in conditioner using cetrimonium bromide, but I'm saving that for a post in the leave-in conditioner series in the next few days...

Join me tomorrow for fun formulating a cream rinse!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Challenge: Start with the basics!

I've been thinking a lot about how overcome our crafting fears, and I've realized I'm part of the problem - if you ask me the time, I tell you how to build a clock. It's a little overwhelming at times to take in a ton of information or recipes and sort those through your head to make your first lotion or shampoo or eye shadow. It's kinda like showing up at your first singing lesson and being handed an aria - too much, too soon. You'll be able to do it one day because you're awesome, but right now you just want some information on how not to trash your throat while playing Rock Band.

If you're nervous about making a product for the first time, choose a basic recipe for something you might like from a trusted source (click here for some ideas on how to tell if it's a good recipe. And don't forget, suppliers like the Herbarie or Voyageur have great recipes!). Don't try to tweak it or add other things, just choose one that has ingredients you already have or are easy to find. Then make it.

As a note, I try to call the basic recipes "basic something or other" so you know this is the base recipe for that product - body butter, lotion, shampoo, conditioner - and that's where I'd suggest you start if you're looking at making a recipe from this blog. 

Let's say you want to make a lotion (from this post and this post...). Choose your oil - just choose one - and choose your butter - again, just one. Don't stress about the benefits of the oils or their shelf lives just yet, just follow the instructions and rejoice in having made a lotion! (Although you'll want to note which oils you use and put a use by date on the bottle.)


BASIC FIRST LOTION RECIPE
HEATED WATER PHASE
70% water

HEATED OIL PHASE
15% oil
5% shea or mango butter
3% cetyl alcohol
5% emulsifier (BTMS, Polawax, or emulsifying wax NF)

COOL DOWN PHASE
1% fragrance or essential oil
0.5% to 1% preservative
(This doesn't total 100% because of the difference in preservatives!)

1. Weigh out your water in a heat proof container and put into a double boiler. (As a note, weigh more than 70% because it will evaporate when heated, so you'll have less than 70% in the end).

2. Weigh out your oil, butter, cetyl alcohol, and emulsifier in a heat proof container and put into your double boiler.

3. When both containers have reached 70C, weigh out your water again, then add it to your oil container. (This is a very cool moment...watch closely. It's emulsified! It's lotion!)

4. Blend with a hand mixer or stick blender for at least 3 minutes. Repeat this process as often as you would like until the temperature reaches 45C.

5. Let cool to 45C, then add your fragrance or essential oil and preservative. Mix well with your hand mixer or stick blender, then let cool.

6. When the mixture has cooled to room temperature (a few hours), put into a bottle (with a pump, if possible), jar, or malibu bottle, then use.

If you want a body butter instead of a lotion, check out this recipe for a basic body butter.

So get into that workshop and get formulating! I only have 4 more days until we be jamming!

Conditioners: Cetrimonium bromide - basic recipes

Cetrimonium bromide isn't used a lot by homecrafters as it isn't easy to get, but it is a great cationic quaternary compound for really damaged hair, especially hair with gaps in the cuticle. It isn't as lubricating as BTMS, so you'll want to include some oils or silicones or cetyl alcohol to ensure you are reducing the combing forces and friction enough to prevent further damage.

Okay, this sentence seems to imply that cetab will hurt your hair. I don't mean it that way. My thought is that this...if you have hair so damaged you have gaps in the cuticle, then you probably need tons of lubrication to reduce the friction and combing forces that might arise when your hair is tangled. So you'll want to ensure you increase the emollients in the conditioner!

If you don't have seriously damaged hair, then cetrimonium bromide is still a good conditioner for all hair types. Again, it's not the most lubricating cationic quat - BTMS has a longer fatty acid chain - but it's still a great conditioning agent that has a place in making excellent conditioners.

If you want to make a basic conditioner with cetrimonium bromide, start with 7% cetrimonium bromide, 0.5% to 1% preservative, and 92% to 92.5% water. As I suggested, you might want to include up to 3.5% cetyl alcohol (more lubricity and more substantivity) or oils (up to 5% in a regular conditioner, or 10% in an intense conditioner). If you have damaged hair, I'd suggest using up to 2% panthenol in the cool down phase as well because it's a great humectant and film former. (And if you're an oily girl, leave out the butters and/or oils.)

In case you're wondering why I'm behaving as if we've never made a conditioner before, it's because I figure the best way to learn how to use a new ingredient is to make a basic recipe to get an idea of how our hair reacts to it, then add the other ingredients to see how they affect the consistency, stability, and feel of the product. I'm also trying to come up with variations on products according to the questions I am asked. Since silicones seem to be considered - by some - to be a tool of evil, I'm leaving those out of some of the recipes. In honesty, I can't understand why people with really damaged, curly, or frizzy hair would leave silicones out of their conditioners and try to find something that works as well, but I'm doing my best to create recipes that everyone can enjoy. 

BASIC HAIR CONDITIONER WITH CETRIMONIUM BROMIDE 
HEATED PHASE
7% cetrimonium bromide
90.5% water

COOL DOWN PHASE
2% panthenol
0.5% to 1% preservative

This would be suitable for someone with normal to oily hair. If you'd like a little more moisturization, you can include cetyl alcohol and/or oils and butters.

HAIR CONDITIONER WITH CETRIMONIUM BROMIDE & OILS OR BUTTERS
HEATED PHASE
7% cetrimonium bromide
3.5% cetyl alcohol
5% oils or butters
82% water

COOL DOWN PHASE
2% panthenol
0.5% to 1% preservative

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

If you are someone with really dry hair and/or damaged hair, you might want to consider including a hydrolyzed protein - probably silk - to increase the moisturization to your hair. I'd also suggest using a humectant - glycerin is good, but something like honeyquat will behave as a cationic conditioner and humectant, so it's a double bonus!

For any conditioner, I think a few things are essential - have we covered those bases?
  • Conditioning - cetrimonium bromide (essential) - cationic polymer (optional)
  • Humectant - glycerin or honeyquat
  • Moisturizing - oils or butters, or cetyl alcohol and panthenol for oil free moisturizing
  • Film forming - hydrolyzed protein, panthenol
There are other things we can add to a conditioner, so let's take a a look at creating more complicated cetrimonium bromide based conditioners tomorrow.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Conditioner: Adding butters to intense conditioners

Adding butters to a conditioner may only work for the most dry haired girls out there - normal and oily haired girls might find them too intense, and fine haired girls will probably hate these. All butters contain stearic acid, which is a great moisturizer, so they'll work for a dry, itchy scalp, and some contain lauric acid, which we know can moisturize our hair well. Two butters showing great promise for hair care products are sal butter and murumuru butter.

Sal butter contains 18-MEA, a fatty acid that makes up about 40% of our hair's lipid layer. Adding some sal butter to your conditioner might help here, although the jury's still out on its complete efficacy.

Murumuru butter contains lauric acid, which you might remember from the coconut oil post as having a high affinity for hair proteins. Because of its low molecular weight and linear chain structure, it can penetrate the hair shaft!

Mango butter contains stearic acid, which is a great moisturizer, and oleic acid, which is also a great moisturizer. It's best suited for normal to dry hair because it is astringent.

Shea butter contains stearic and oleic acid, which are great moisturizers. It contains allantoin, so it can help soothe an annoyed scalp. Because it is an oily butter, it's best suited for very dry hair or scalps.

Cocoa butter contains those soothing fatty acids, and it is an approved barrier ingredient, so it could help a very dry scalp.

So how do we incorporate butters into our conditioners? I'd suggest using them only in intense conditioners you use once a week or so. If you're someone with African or Asian hair types, putting the butters on your hair neat or using intense conditioners as a regular conditioner might be a good thing as your hair can handle it (whether your scalp can is a different story - keep it away from your scalp if you're an oily haired girl with these hair types).

And something like cocoa or sal butter can cause your conditioner to be much thicker than those with the other butters, so consider starting with 5% of those butters instead of 10% to see how you like it!

INTENSE CONDITIONER WITH BUTTERS
HEATED WATER PHASE
53.5% water
10% aloe vera or hydrosol of choice
2% humectant
2% hydrolyzed protein

HEATED OIL PHASE
7% Incroquat BTMS
3% Incroquat CR (detangling, softening)
10% butter of choice
3% cetyl alcohol (synergistic effect with the cationic quats)

COOL DOWN PHASE
2% dimethicone
2% cyclomethicone
2% panthenol
2% cetrimonium chloride
1% fragrance or essential oil
0.5% to 1% preservative

At 100 grams, this will make more than a 2 oz jar (60 ml) but less than a 4 oz jar (120 ml).

Here's a variation of this recipe with cetrimonium bromide, which we know can help with really damaged hair. Again, this is a once a week kind of recipe. If you want to use it as a regular conditioner, reduce the cetrimonium bromide to about 5%, reduce the butter to about 5%, and increase your water amount by 10%.

INTENSE CONDITIONER WITH CETRIMONIUM BROMIDE & BUTTERS
HEATED WATER PHASE
56.5% water
10% aloe vera or hydrosol of choice
2% humectant
2% hydrolyzed protein

HEATED OIL PHASE
7% cetrimonium bromide
10% butter of choice 
3% cetyl alcohol (synergistic effect with the cationic quats)

COOL DOWN PHASE
2% dimethicone
2% cyclomethicone
2% panthenol
2% cetrimonium chloride
1% fragrance or essential oil
0.5% to 1% preservative

If you are trying to avoid silicones, then take them out and increase the water by 4%. Feel free to add any extracts at 0.5% in the cool down phase or hydrosols in place of the water in the heated phase.

Use the general instructions for making these conditioners. 

Join me tomorrow for creating conditioners with cetrimonium bromide. 

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Conditioners: Adding oils to leave-in conditioners

We know that adding oils to leave-in conditioners works well for dry and curly hair types, especially those who aren't fond of silicones. Oils can reduce the impact of combing forces on wet hair by up to 20%, which can reduce potential damage to the cuticle. And oils can increase the shine and gloss of your hair, so it's all good - unless you're an oily haired girl (if you must use something like this, keep it away from your scalp!). 

Here's the basic recipe for a leave-in conditioner...

BASIC LEAVE-IN CONDITIONER
1 to 2% Incroquat BTMS or cetrimonium bromide
0.5% to 1% preservative
up to 1% fragrance or essential oil

We've seen how we can modify our conditioners with aloe, hydrosols, extracts, proteins, and silicones, so let's put it all together. By now, I hope you know how to modify this to include or leave something out you don't like. If you're removing ingredients, add that percentage to the water. If you're adding ingredients, remove that percentage from the water.

LEAVE-IN CONDITIONER WITH OILS
HEATED WATER PHASE
68.5% water
10% aloe vera
4% glycerin
1% hydrolyzed protein of choice

HEATED OIL PHASE
2% Incroquat BTMS
2% cetrimonium chloride
up to 4% oils of choice (2% for normal hair, 4% for dry hair)

COOL DOWN PHASE
2% cationic polymer (like honeyquat or polyquat 7)
1% panthenol
2% cyclomethicone
2% dimethicone
1% fragrance oil
.5% to 1% preservative (I use liquid germall plus)

Use the general conditioner instructions for this recipe.

Join me tomorrow for fun formulating conditioners with butters! 

Monday, June 14, 2010

Conditioner: Adding oils to rinse off conditioners

There are as many opinions about which oils are good for your hair as there are oils, so for the most part, it's really up to you to decide which oils you like best for your hair. Some oils are used regularly by commercial conditioners - jojoba, avocado, sweet almond - and those are good choices. You can use any oil in a conditioner or as a hot oil pre-treatment because all of them will moisturize your scalp and leave your hair feeling softer. But some of them are better than others...there are a few suggestions below. (For more information on using oils on your hair, please click here. For more information on coconut oil in your hair, please click here.)

So why use an oil? All oils will moisturize your scalp. Some low molecular weight oils will penetrate your hair shaft and moisturize from within, while others offer specific benefits like increased shine or reduction of electrostatic charge. If you're an oily haired girl, oils are not your friend - what's the point of making some incredible shampoo to help with the greasies if you're just putting more oil on your hair in the conditioning stage?

Avocado oil is easily absorbed by our hair and scalp to soften and condition. It can protect against fly-away hair (static charge) and may help with dry scalp.

Fractionated coconut oil contains the short chain fatty acids of coconut oil but is less greasy. It is absorbed easily. Use at 2% to 4% in a leave in conditioner and up to 8% in a rinse off conditioner.

Jojoba oil penetrates our skin through our hair follicles and loosens the sebum found there, so it's easily rinsed off. It forms a non-occlusive layer on our scalp. Use at up to 25% in a conditioner (which is way too much for most hair types!)

Macadamia nut oil is a light weight, dry feeling oil, that contains squalane, which is good for our scalps.

Soybean oil contains phytosterols that soften hair and may reduce the electrostatic charge, leading to fewer fly-aways.

Camellia oil is a light weight oil with a dry feeling that can be used at 10% in conditioners to moisturize your scalp and leave your hair a little shinier. It will not make hair or nails grow faster.

So how do we incorporate these lovely oils into our conditioners? For a leave in conditioner, I would use between 2% and 4% of any oil with 2% BTMS to emulsify. For rinse off conditioners, I'd use them at up  to 5% to 10% (for a really dry hair conditioner) and up to 15% in an intense conditioner. Let's take a look at a few recipes...

INTENSE CONDITIONER WITH OIL
HEATED WATER PHASE
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

HEATED OIL PHASE
7% Incroquat BTMS
3% Incroquat CR (detangling, softening)
8% oil of choice 
3% cetyl alcohol (synergistic effect with the cationic quats)

COOL DOWN PHASE
2% dimethicone
2% cyclomethicone
2% panthenol
2% cetrimonium chloride (optional)
1% fragrance or essential oil
0.5% to 1% preservative

Use the general conditioner instructions for this recipe. At 100 grams, this will make more than a 2 oz jar (60 ml) but less than a 4 oz jar (120 ml).

RINSE OFF CONDITIONER WITH OILS SUITABLE FOR DRY HAIR
HEATED WATER PHASE
60.5% water
10% hydrosol or aloe vera
2% hydrolyzed protein (silk is a good choice for dry hair)
2% glycerin or 2% honeyquat in the cool down phase

HEATED OIL PHASE
7% BTMS
3% cetyl alcohol
6% oils of choice

COOL DOWN PHASE
2% panthenol
2% cyclomethicone
2% dimethicone
2% cetrimonium chloride
1% fragrance or essential oils
0.5% to 1% preservative of choice

Use the general conditioner instructions for this recipe. 

Please note, adding oils to our conditioner can make it thicker. If you find it is too thick, reduce the BTMS or reduce the oils or choose another, thinner oil. Using cetrimonium chloride will decrease the viscosity of your product, so if you're not using it, you will end up with a thicker product. 

Join me tomorrow for more conditioner-y fun when we include oils in leave-in products!