Tuesday, January 7, 2014
Winter hair custard for those dry winter days!
As with all my conditioner recipes, feel free to substitute ingredients for ones you have at home and leave out those you don't have. Every time you leave out an ingredient completely, increase your distilled water by that amount. If you leave out the hydrolyzed protein, which makes up 2%, add 2% to the distilled water amount, making it 65.5% distilled water.
WINTER HAIR CUSTARD
HEATED WATER PHASE
63.5% distilled water
2% humectant (like glycerin or sorbitol)
2% hydrolyzed protein
HEATED OIL PHASE
10% coconut oil
7% Incroquat BTMS-50 or Rita BTMS-225
3% Incroquat CR or stearalkonium chloride
3% cetyl alcohol
2% cetrimonium chloride
COOL DOWN PHASE
1% fragrance oil or essential oil
0.5% liquid Germall Plus
3% Vital hair and scalp blend (optional)
Weigh the heated water phase into a heatproof container and place in the double boiler. Weigh the heated oil phase into a heatproof container and place in the double boiler. Heat until both reach 70˚C, then hold for 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and combine the two. Mix well, then allow to cool until it reaches 45˚C. Add the cool down phase ingredients. Allow to cool to room temperature, then package in a jar or pump container.
Why do I call this a hair custard? It has the viscosity of custard, and originally I used sea buckthorn oil, which made it a lovely yellow colour. You can call it an intense conditioner with oils, if you want. (I'm sure you'll come up with a better name than me.)
So why am I using each ingredient?
Incroquat BTMS-50 or Rita BTMS-225 is the base conditioning ingredient. It offers conditioning and softening of hair. If you don't have these types of ingredients, you don't have a conditioner. We need something that is positively charged and substantive - that is to say, it adsorbs to the hair strand to condition it - and without it, we don't have a conditioner.
Incroquat CR or stearalkonium chloride is another type of substantive, positively charged conditioning agent that adsorbs to the hair strand offering conditioning and softening. It also offers some anti-static properties, which will deal with the fly-aways that I get in this really dry weather. If you don't have it, leave it out and add 3% to the water amount.
Cetyl alcohol is a fatty alcohol that can boost the conditioning power of the cationic conditioning ingredient by up to 50%. Plus, it's a great emollient on its own. You can use another fatty alcohol in its place like cetearyl alcohol or behenyl alcohol.
Cetrimonium chloride is a cationic quaternary compound that offers great detangling at small amounts. It's a liquid, and I add it to the heated oil phase. It can make your product seem thinner, so if you're using it, you will get a thinner product than if you don't use it. It is lovely for people who have loads of tangles!
Coconut oil is always my first choice for hair care products because it has been tested so many times in so many ways and it shows such an affinity for the proteins in our hair. Plus, it's not very expensive compared to other oils - I still pay less than $5 a pound! - and it thickens up the conditioner so nicely. You can choose any other oil you want if coconut oil isn't your thing!
In the heated water phase, I'm using a humectant like glycerin to offer moisturizing and water retention to my hair. If you have honeyquat, which is a cationic or positively charged polymer that also behaves as a humectant, you can use that in the cool down phase at up to 5% to behave as both a conditioning and moisturizing agent!
hydrolyzed protein in my conditioners to offer film forming and moisturizing. I usually use hydrolyzed oat protein because it doesn't penetrate the hair strand, but you could use silk protein if you want something to penetrate or something like Phytokeratin, which is a blend of different weights of proteins that can film form and moisturize.
In the cool down phase, I like to add my silicones, dimethicone and cyclomethicone. Dimethicone offers some conditioning and helps control my frizzies, while the cyclomethicone creates a film on my hair to trap in moisture and help with smoothing.
Panthenol is one of my favourite ingredients, and it will behave as a humectant in this product, drawing water from the atmosphere to my hair to offer moisturization; a film former, which means it will trap in that moisture; and an increaser in plasticity of your hair, meaning it will penetrate into the hair strand and keep your hair flexible!
Vital Hair & Scalp Complex (INCI: Water, Saccharum officinarum (Sugar Cane)Extract, Citrus medica limonum (Lemon) Fruit Extract, Betaine & Hexylene Glycol & Pyrus malus (Apple) Fruit Extract & Camellia sinensis Leaf Extract & Hexapeptide-11) The claim is that it "Helps clear the follicles of excessive build up of dead cells, allowing for thicker hair growth." (From this datasheet.) "(It) addresses many of the aspects of ageing hair and scalp with its combination of alpha hydroxy acids, trimethylglycine, a peptide and antioxidants." Despite the hype - I don't believe it can help my hair be thicker or will make my hair look younger - I wanted more exfoliating abilities in this product, so it seemed like a good choice. You don't need to include this in your product. I had some and I thought I might use it. You could use papaya extract, strawberry extract, apple extract, white willow bark, or another exfoliating extract in its place at 0.5%. Or replace that 3% liquid with water.
If you want to learn more about hair care or just want to make sense of some of these ingredients or instructions, please visit the hair care section of the blog!