Which combo of emulsifiers and other ingredients condition hair the best?

I've been working on a beard butter formula for some time now and originally my formula included cationic ingredients but in the most recent version I used non cationic ingredients so my question is, which method is preferred to achieve the most conditioning product? Or are they both equally capable of producing the best possible conditioning effect..? 

Comments

  • emma1985emma1985 Member
    edited June 2021
    Anecdotally cationic works best for hair, especially beard hair. But you could always use a nonionic emulsifier, if you really wanted to, and combine it with cationic ingredients like Honeyquat or Polyquat.
  • @emma1985 ah, so which option do you prefer? Are there any specific limitations to either one of those options? I know that cationic and anionic ingredients do not play together, but in addition to your suggestion above, are there any other combination of ingredients that can work as well as or even better than cationics?

    I was also under the impression that cationics have the most conditioning capabilities but then one of the commercial beard products that I decided to use as a benchmark uses Glyceral Stearate and Peg-100 and a polymeric emulsifier, along with some very common butters, oils, and esters....

    Thank you for your feedback!! I appreciate it!

  • chemicalmattchemicalmatt Member, Professional Chemist
    Cationics work best with hair conditioning no matter where that hair is found. The combo of behenetrmonium chloride emulsifying dimethicone 350 cst is the workhorse.  Add Polyquaternium-10 and lactic acid-neutralized stearamidopropyl dimethylamine and you have a top-shelf product. This is all based on cost considerations. If money is no object then we'd need a lot more space here: like 60 pages more.
  • Cafe33Cafe33 Member
    abierose, I have a very coarse beard combined with very sensitive skin. I let it grow without cutting it and I have been testing conditioners this last few weeks as well as using a variety of products over the last year or so.

    Simple emulsified oils/butter/balms are utterly useless for me and have a very unpleasant feel. 

    BTMS-25/Dimethicone 350cst has been the most successful for me. I have also had some success with Polyquat-7.  I also found Natrasil to be a fairly good "natural" alternative to silicones if that is of interest to you.  I found panthenol to be a good addition in leave on conditioner. I have experimented with DANOX HC-30/Dimethicone and found it to be underperforming as compared to BTMS. 

    For a fairly thick product (Butter), I use around 6-8% BTMS-25 w/ 2-3% cetyl alcohol. You don't need 30-50% Shea and other plant butters as some will have you believe. From a user standpoint (me!), those types of products are greasy and underperforming.
  • Cationics work best with hair conditioning no matter where that hair is found. The combo of behenetrmonium chloride emulsifying dimethicone 350 cst is the workhorse.  Add Polyquaternium-10 and lactic acid-neutralized stearamidopropyl dimethylamine and you have a top-shelf product. This is all based on cost considerations. If money is no object then we'd need a lot more space here: like 60 pages more.
    This is EXACTLY the information I was looking for! So, do you feel that BTMC or BTMS-25 are better than BTMS-50? I have BTMS-50 on hand but can essily purchase one or both of the other emulsifiers if you think they perform better. I have the other ingredients you listed except the stearamidopropyl dimethylamine...would I use this in addition to the btmc/s or in place of..? What would be the top 5 or 10 ingredients you recommend if, say, money is no object...?
    Thank you SO MUCH for your input! 
  • Cafe33 said:
    abierose, I have a very coarse beard combined with very sensitive skin. I let it grow without cutting it and I have been testing conditioners this last few weeks as well as using a variety of products over the last year or so.

    Simple emulsified oils/butter/balms are utterly useless for me and have a very unpleasant feel. 

    BTMS-25/Dimethicone 350cst has been the most successful for me. I have also had some success with Polyquat-7.  I also found Natrasil to be a fairly good "natural" alternative to silicones if that is of interest to you.  I found panthenol to be a good addition in leave on conditioner. I have experimented with DANOX HC-30/Dimethicone and found it to be underperforming as compared to BTMS. 

    For a fairly thick product (Butter), I use around 6-8% BTMS-25 w/ 2-3% cetyl alcohol. You don't need 30-50% Shea and other plant butters as some will have you believe. From a user standpoint (me!), those types of products are greasy and underperforming.
    This information is so appreciated, particularly because it sounds like your beard is exactly the type of beard I am making this product for.

    I have also tried many different versions containing all different kinds of butters, emolients, humectants, etc. but the benchmark product, and the one that got the most positive feedback (although still not very conditioning), contains a polymeric emulsifier along with glyeceral stearate and peg-100, as well as the standard butters (Coconut, Shea, cocao). But having made versions of both, and still not getting to where I'd like to be with this product, is what led ask on the forum 😊

    So, it sounds like I will be going back to cationics, but this time increasing the silicones (I have Natrasil as well as a couple of other silicone alternatives and also Dimethicone). 

    I guess my question(s) to you now is, do you prefer BTMS-25 over BTMS-50? And do you use any butters or specific oils in the one you make that you like? 
  • @chemicalmatt and @Cafe33 what percentage of Dimethicone 350 do you recommend? I've never used over 4% in any product I've made, which is probably a bit conservative...
  • Cafe33Cafe33 Member
    edited June 2021
    I am also interested in what @chemicalmatt has to say about dimethicone input as he is the professional here. 

    As for me, I have used anywhere from 2-5%. I also make a conditioning mask which is popular and contains no silicones using 1.5% Polyquat 7 and panthenol. 

    I guess my question(s) to you now is, do you prefer BTMS-25 over BTMS-50? And do you use any butters or specific oils in the one you make that you like? 

    I use BTMS-25 for economic reasons. I do have some experience with the 50 version, but I did not find that it justified the expense. For me it is exactly double the price. I also do not buy that it is necessarily "double" the conditioning power as the 25 version. I find BTMS-25 to be a suitable version. If your budget allows it, you can use the 50 version. 

    As far as oils, I feel they are more like label appeal ingredients, but that is my personal opinion. I do think there is a benefit in smaller inputs like 5-10%, it does soften the hair. I might use a greasier oil like avocado at 1-2% but overall I have a strong preference for esters.  
  • emma1985emma1985 Member
    edited June 2021
    abierose said:
    @emma1985 ah, so which option do you prefer? Are there any specific limitations to either one of those options? I know that cationic and anionic ingredients do not play together, but in addition to your suggestion above, are there any other combination of ingredients that can work as well as or even better than cationics?

    I was also under the impression that cationics have the most conditioning capabilities but then one of the commercial beard products that I decided to use as a benchmark uses Glyceral Stearate and Peg-100 and a polymeric emulsifier, along with some very common butters, oils, and esters....

    Thank you for your feedback!! I appreciate it!

    I prefer to just use BTMS 50 for hair products, just to keep things simple.

    I'm not a huge fan of BTMS for skin, I find it kind of draggy and dry and it certainly doesn't give me the slip and glide I get when I combine nonionic emulsifiers (like Glyceryl Stearate PEG 100 Stearate) with a polymeric emulsifier, BUT slip and glide is not as important with hair products.

    I've never used BTMS 25, but I hear BTMS 50 is better.

    I also love Dimethicone in hair products, I use 2-4%.

    Hydrolyzed proteins work well for hair products as well. 

    I will tell you the ingredients I used for my husband's latest beard cream that he loves.

    Water
    Glycerin
    Sodium Lactate
    Panthenol

    (I have tons of other humectants and water soluble ingredients, but I think these work best for hair.)

    BTMS 50 (7%)
    Cetyl Alcohol (4%)
    Stearic Acid (2%)
    Candellila Wax (just 1%)
    Shea Butter
    Mango Butter
    Argan Oil
    Macadamia Nut Oil
    Rice Bran Oil
    Dimethicone

    Preservative
    Silk Amino Acids (hydrolyzed protein)
    Polyquaternium-7 (I prefer it to Honeyquat as Honeyquat has a smell)

    Normally I wouldn't have used Candellila Wax, but he wanted a beard cream that would work as both a beard conditioner and a styling product, so I needed it to be a bit waxy and very thick.

    Next time I think I'm going to increase the Dimethicone. I used only 2% this time.

    I agree that Natrasil is the closest you will get to Dimethicone amongst alternatives. I've tried Daikon Seed Extract, Isoamyl Laurate and a few others that are recommended as alternatives. I think Natrasil is best if you must use an alternative. But I still think Dimethicone offers something the alternatives don't.

    Let me know if you have any other questions.
  • @Cafe33 have you ever tried LuxGlide N350 (INCI: Diheptyl Succinate (and) Capryloyl Glycerin/Sebacic Acid Copolymer) as a dimethicone alternative? I really like it, although I do still prefer dimethicone 😁
  • @Cafe33 thank you so much for taking the time to give me some feedback!!
  • @Cafe33 one more question....does the beard balm you make offer enough hold for your husband's beard? Originally I was also trying to formulate a product that would be both a leave-in conditioner as well as offer some hold but at some point I decided to just make two separate products 🤷‍♀️ I am definitely into going back to the drawing board on this one and attempt a 2-in-1 product again if it works!
  • Cationics work best with hair conditioning no matter where that hair is found. The combo of behenetrmonium chloride emulsifying dimethicone 350 cst is the workhorse.  Add Polyquaternium-10 and lactic acid-neutralized stearamidopropyl dimethylamine and you have a top-shelf product. This is all based on cost considerations. If money is no object then we'd need a lot more space here: like 60 pages more.
    I've been meaning to ask you more about this...so say cost is not an issue...what other ingredients would you recommend for making a conditioning beard balm...? Also do you prefer btmc over btms..? Thanks in advance!
Sign In or Register to comment.