Home Cosmetic Science Talk Formulating Hair Advice on conditioner please

  • Advice on conditioner please

    Posted by Mel55 on March 5, 2021 at 11:58 pm

    Hello,

    I’m a home formulator just making products for my
    own use.  I am looking for some feedback on
    a rinse-out conditioner formulation that I have been using.  I want something conditioning for my
    bleached, curly hair and find this isn’t quite doing it. These are the
    ingredients as supplied:

    Demineralised water – 72%

    BTMS 50 – 7%                                

    Cetyl alcohol – 3%                         

    Argan oil – 6%                                                   

    CETAC (25%) – 2%                         

    Cyclomethicone – 2%                   

    Dimethicone – 2%

    Hydrolised wheat protein – 2%  

    Chamomile extract – 1%

    B5 – 2%

    Fragrance - 0.5%

    Preservative - 0.5%

    I have learned from this forum that the BTMS is too
    high, but I have kept it at this level because I am looking for that extra
    conditioning. I also expect that the chamomile, wheat protein and B5 are just
    being washed away and am keen to produce to something that is simple and not
    wasteful.

    Here are my specific questions (although any
    feedback is appreciated):

    1.       I do sometimes add polyquaternium 7 but as I use it
    in a leave-in conditioner have started leaving it out. Should I reintroduce
    it?  I can get polyquaternium 10. Should
    I use that if it I am looking for more conditioning?

    2.       I have limited access in my country to many of the
    ingredients recommended in this forum, such as amodimethicone, but I can get
    polyester-11 (kerazyne), which I believe is similar.  If I were to use this, would I use it in
    place of the silicones and polyquaternium?

    3.       I have always used BTMS but now find that I can get
    behentrimonium chloride from a supplier. If I was to try this, would I use it
    in addition to the BTMS/CETAC or in combination?  If so, what percentages would be
    appropriate? 

    Thanks in
    advance.

    Mel.

    OldPerry replied 2 years, 10 months ago 7 Members · 20 Replies
  • 20 Replies
  • natzam44

    Member
    March 8, 2021 at 3:26 pm

    1. You could add either polyquaternium 7 or 10 but given that you are already using 2% dimethicone, I doubt you would notice much of a difference.

    2. See above.

    3. This will come down to personal preference. You can give behentrionium chloride a shot if you would like. For percentages, look at the manufacturer recommendations and then experiment from there.

  • OldPerry

    Member
    March 8, 2021 at 4:06 pm

    When formulating, you really need to start simple. And it helps to know how ingredients work.

    For a rinse off conditioner to work the conditioning agents have to stay behind on the hair. There are 3 ways that happens.
    1. Electrostatic interaction
    2. Dilution deposition
    3. Combination of the above

    Cationic surfactants follow the first mechanism. Oils & silicones the second. Cationic polymers can adhere in both ways. 

    In general, you don’t want more than one ingredient operating through each of the mechanisms.

    So, you have Behentrimonium Methylsulphate and CETAC.  Why? Both of these are cationic surfactants. They both will stick to the hair in the same way and essentially compete against each other for places to stick. When you are first starting a formula, don’t use multiple cationic surfactants. Start with just one.

    You have Chamomile extract, hydrolyzed protein & B5 which are all (mostly) just rinsing down the drain. 

    You have Argan oil which may deposit a bit but then you have Dimethicone and Cyclomethicone which also deposits. With silicones in your formula you aren’t going to notice any effect from Argan oil. (If there is any anyway). And you don’t really need 2 silicones, Dimethicone would suffice.

    If you want to add a polyquaternium, you could but as has been suggested if you have dimethicone so you probably won’t notice anything.

    I’d say start with a simple formula and build from there.

    Water 
    BTMS 50
    Cetyl alcohol
    Dimethicone
    Fragrance
    Preservative
  • Abdullah

    Member
    March 9, 2021 at 2:09 am

    Over conditioning also makes your hair feel bad and in your formula i think it is cover conditioning. 
    As perry said start with

    %2 BTMS
    %2 cetyl alcohol or more for viscosity
    %1 dimethicone
    Fragrance
    Preservative
    And see how this fees
    Btw what viscosity dimethicone are you using?

  • Mel55

    Member
    March 9, 2021 at 9:09 pm

    Thanks so much @natzam44, @Perry and @Abdullah, your advice is very, very helpful.  

    @Abdullah, I have been using dimethicone 100 but have recently been able to get 350. I have course, naturally dry and bleached hair and have trouble adequately conditioning it.

    @Perry, how do these principles extend to a leave-in conditioner? I assume the water soluble ingredients can be included (but should they be?). Is BTMS or CETAC your preferred cationic surfactant in a leave-in conditioner?  Is the polyquaternium again redundant if I am using a silicone in this case?

    Thanks so much.

    Mel.

  • OldPerry

    Member
    March 9, 2021 at 9:22 pm

    @Mel55 - that’s right, in leave-on products you can use water soluble ingredients to better effect. But you should also reduce the level  of things like BTMS and CETAC since they can cause irritation if left on at higher levels. You also don’t need to use as high a percentage of the ingredient when put in a leave on product.

  • chemicalmatt

    Member
    March 10, 2021 at 4:44 pm

    Perry is correct in that BTMS renders CETAC redundant. The larger alkyl chain quat always displaces the lesser one, so delete. I know an ingredient you can obtain that will resolve the drying effect of post-chemical treated African hair: petrolatum. Cheap and totally effective. Also, @Mel55 you are wise to employ 350cst dimethicone. Good call there: that is the most versatile of all the dimethylpolysiloxane chain lengths for personal care. 

  • Mel55

    Member
    March 10, 2021 at 11:26 pm

    Thanks so much for your replies, your comments are very helpful.
    Mel.

  • Mel55

    Member
    March 12, 2021 at 12:06 am

    Perry said:

    When formulating, you really need to start simple. And it helps to know how ingredients work.

    For a rinse off conditioner to work the conditioning agents have to stay behind on the hair. There are 3 ways that happens….

    Hi Perry, just one more question if you don’t mind.  I was just reading in a cosmetic text that behentrimonium chloride is a weak emulsifier and needs to be combined with another surfactant, such as CETAC, to be effective. I am questioning this as it conflicts with what you have said above.  I would like to try a conditioner with behentrimonium chloride and am trying to adhere to your advice to keep formulas simple. Should I leave the CETAC out?

    Thanks again,

    Mel.

  • OldPerry

    Member
    March 12, 2021 at 4:30 pm

    Sure, if you’re using the Behentrimonium chloride to emulsify your system you’ll want to have a co-emulsifier to improve stability. It’s a trade off. You may be improving stability but reducing conditioner effectiveness. Or maybe you won’t notice. If you need better product stability, include the CETAC. If it is stable without it, don’t.

  • Mel55

    Member
    March 12, 2021 at 10:09 pm

    Thanks @Perry, I’ll experiment with both.

  • abierose

    Member
    March 13, 2021 at 6:32 am

    Perry said:

    Sure, if you’re using the Behentrimonium chloride to emulsify your system you’ll want to have a co-emulsifier to improve stability. It’s a trade off. You may be improving stability but reducing conditioner effectiveness. Or maybe you won’t notice. If you need better product stability, include the CETAC. If it is stable without it, don’t.

    Hi Perry…so by including both Behentrimonium chloride and CTAC in a conditioner formula, you are potentially sacrificing the effectiveness of the conditioner? Am I understanding this correctly? And if so, why would the conditioning effect be reduced? Just curious!! I’ve never used Behentrimonium chloride in any of my formulations ????‍♀️ Thanks!

  • OldPerry

    Member
    March 13, 2021 at 10:09 pm

    @abierose - it’s not that you are necessarily sacrificing effectiveness, it’s just that you are duplicating effort and more of it is rinsing down the drain. 

    Think of it like this. 
    Behentrimonium chloride has 22 carbons per molecule
    Cetrimonium chloride has 16 carbons per molecule

    Let’s make the assumption More carbon left behind = better conditioning.
    Let’s make another assumption that a strand of hair can “receive” 10 molecules of conditioner.  

    So, if you treat it with a Behenyl only system you’ll get 220 carbons on the hair
    and a CTAC only system will have 160 carbons on the hair.

    If that was the case, the Behenyl system would be seen as “better”.  Whether you would notice or not is a matter of opinion but let’s just say it is.

    Now, if you mix Behenyl and CTAC they will each compete from the 10 slots equally so maybe you get 5 behenyl and 5 CTAC which would be 190 carbons on the hair.  

    Of course, this is just simplified and theoretical but hopefully you get the idea of why mixing them could result in lessened conditioning.

  • abierose

    Member
    March 14, 2021 at 5:27 am

    Perry said:

    @abierose - it’s not that you are necessarily sacrificing effectiveness, it’s just that you are duplicating effort and more of it is rinsing down the drain. 

    Think of it like this. 
    Behentrimonium chloride has 22 carbons per molecule
    Cetrimonium chloride has 16 carbons per molecule

    Let’s make the assumption More carbon left behind = better conditioning.
    Let’s make another assumption that a strand of hair can “receive” 10 molecules of conditioner.  

    So, if you treat it with a Behenyl only system you’ll get 220 carbons on the hair
    and a CTAC only system will have 160 carbons on the hair.

    If that was the case, the Behenyl system would be seen as “better”.  Whether you would notice or not is a matter of opinion but let’s just say it is.

    Now, if you mix Behenyl and CTAC they will each compete from the 10 slots equally so maybe you get 5 behenyl and 5 CTAC which would be 190 carbons on the hair.  

    Of course, this is just simplified and theoretical but hopefully you get the idea of why mixing them could result in lessened conditioning.

    Wow! What a great answer! Thanks for breaking it down to me and in a simple way for me to understand ???? Very cool, thank you! 

    So is more carbon left behind on the hair more conditioning..? Or are you saying it’s am assumption because the actual chemistry of hair conditioning and conditioning ingredients are much more complex and depend on multiple factors..? 

    If you taught a chemistry class, I would definitely take it!! ☺

  • kot

    Member
    March 15, 2021 at 1:00 am

    Hi @Perry, what about the antistatic properties of CTAC? I always thought that CTAC in shampoo and or conditioner is as an antistatic!?
    2)Cyclomethicone is volatile, will it be feasible in products that are not in any kind of packaging, or will it evaporate?
    Thank you.

  • OldPerry

    Member
    March 15, 2021 at 4:26 pm

    CTAC is antistatic. But so is Behentrimonium Chloride.
    Cyclomethicone will slowly evaporate so it needs to be in some kind of packaging.

  • kot

    Member
    March 15, 2021 at 6:46 pm

    @Perry                                                                                       Yep! Thought so thank you Perry for confirming my thoughts! Seen Cyclomethicone in shampoo and conditioner bars formulas, this made me think that it will evaporate.
    Behentrimonium Chloride, but what if they use BTMS -50 / 25 or anything else? Does BTMS have antistatic properties too?

    Thank you.

  • OldPerry

    Member
    March 16, 2021 at 12:14 am

    @Kot - yes BTMS is a cationic surfactant so it helps with antistatic properties too. It works the same way as CTAC and BTC

  • kot

    Member
    March 16, 2021 at 2:31 am

    Perry said:

    @Kot - yes BTMS is a cationic surfactant so it helps with antistatic properties too. It works the same way as CTAC and BTC

    Thanks again .
    Perry , you’ve said that too many cationics in the formula and they compete with each other, lowering the performance of the conditioner- do you mean too many different or quantity?
    Also- if they’re competing with each other- why all of them BTMS and CTAC and polyquats are in the formulas? 
    Thank you.

  • Abdullah

    Member
    August 24, 2021 at 2:10 pm

    @kot both 

    Which formula? 

  • OldPerry

    Member
    August 24, 2021 at 3:49 pm

    @kot - that was related to the different types. See the explanation above.
    Polyquats actually have a secondary mechanism by which they are left behind on the hair (dilution deposition). So they don’t compete as much with other cationics.

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