What's glyceryl monostearate function in hair conditioners?

Is GMS used as an emulsifier for lamellar gel networks?

But why another one is needed if you already have a cationic emulsifier?

Any other purpose?


  • EVchemEVchem Member
    So I would guess the cationic emulsifier/conditioning agent the article mentions is not meant to hold the product together so much as it is there for deposition on the hair. This bit from the article also supports that idea:

    The majority of instant, deep, and leave in hair conditioners sold globally are lamellar gel network (LGN) based oil in water formulations using a cationic surfactant to swell fatty alcohols. LGNs are combinations of low and high hydrophilic-lipophilic balance (HLB) surfactants that can thicken water and shear thin when applied to hair. LGN bilayered structures can easily slide toward each other to provide a slippery, smooth feel to hair during use. The LGN structure is critical for:

    • Thickening and stabilizing the formulation
    • Increasing cationic surfactant, fragrance, and emollient deposition

     The GMS  is helping create that lamellar gel network that is important for the slippery feel of the conditioner and enabling the cationics to  leave your hair feeling smoother.

    I'm probably missing a lot of the finer details, but that's the impression I got from those two articles
  • chemicalmattchemicalmatt Member, Professional Chemist
    EVchem, you didn't miss much there. Nice job!
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