Please improve my hair conditioner lotion recipe

nicotironicotiro Member
edited October 2018 in Formulating
I want this lotion / conditioner to be more watery so I can glop more of it on my head while in the shower. Can I add more water to this formula or do I have to adjust the waxes.

75 grams water
5 g fruit acid
5 g ethanol and extracts blend w fragrance
2 g glycerin
2 g polysorbate 80
2 g cetyl alcohol nf
4 g ewax nf
8 g liquid hot six mist oil (ing. below)
2 g e.o. blend and MCT oil
.50 baobab oil
.50 germall plus in PEG 400 1:2

i made a mixture of the fruit acid, glycerin, e.o. blend, polysorbate, and preservative and added it at cool down.

The lotion hasn't destabilized and it works really well my hair feels really silky and not oily at all, but i just want more of it, and for it to feel more watery, because for me the texture is too thick and like lotion.

Here is the hot 6 mist oil, which has a silicone and isopropyl myristate:

Canola Oil, Isopropyl Myristate, Castor Oil, Sweet Almond Oil, Vitamin D, Vitamin A, Cyclomethicone, BB Oil complex Eucalyptus Oil, Coconut Oil, Rosemary Oil, Tea Tree Oil, Camelina Oil, Geranium Oil, (Aloe Vera), Sheep Sorrell, Sage, Ginseng, Yarrow, Wheat Germ, Slippery Elm Bark, Henna, Comfrey, Burdock Root, Golden-seal, Cherry Bark, Black Walnut, Chamomile, Alfalfa, Hyssop, And Fragrance

Any suggestions? I was reading the caffeine / coffee threads....


  • Is that a rinse off conditioner?

    I got a theory that most things won't work to condition hair in rinse-off products, unless they are cationic.
    Rinse off products are left for such a short time, that they need to be attracted to hair = cationic. Oils and glycerin won't do much for the previously quoted reason.

    Sure there are exceptions, like silicones, fatty alcohols. They are a bit conditioning, yet non cationic.
  • yes its a rinse off conditioner.

  • I dont think this is cationic. Can you tell by the ingredients?
    I have little experience with these terms and ingredients (no idea)

    My concept here was the fruit acid lowers the pH which would seal the hair shaft, the baobab oil and the MCT being very attracted to hair to condition the hair, and the hot 6 oil is already for hair and has a bit of silicone (to make hair shiny and slippery) but i read this silicone evaporates. so im not sure why my hair feels So Slippery and So Soft aside from the hot 6 oil.
    I am also using an essential oil blend with rosemary, peppermint, and eucalyptus blue for my scalp.

    I will have to try it with more water and see how it works.
    I really want the conditioner to be more watery and liquidy.

    I cant stop touching my hair! It feels great!

  • To make it watery and liquidy, you may need to raise up the Water % up to 90% - 95%.  In this way, you can compensate the extra water you add in the formula. You may replace Beeswax by Cetearyl Alcohol which acts as emollient and thickener.  You may not increase the total concentrations of emulsifiers than 6%.  On the other side, you may decrease the concentration of the rest of the ingredients to keep the % water 90% - 95%.  You need good equipment for that.  good Mixer and good homogenizer
  • It’s not cationic. You are using nonionic surfactants. You need much less oil (1.5% max) cationic emulsifiers (behentrimonium chloride) some conditioner (cetrimonium chloride), lower the pH to 4.5-5, why so much of acid? What’s the % of the acid?
  • I think too much of polysorbate 80. I would replace it to ceteareth-20 to improve the stability of the emulsion (if you want a second emulsifiers)
  • nicotironicotiro Member
    edited October 2018
    i have added water to the conditioner and it became more watery as expected.
    almost too watery (not slippery) but the scent was still very nice and soft.

    i noticed some strands of my hair (5-10) started falling out so i stopped using it directly on my scalp. i want 0 strands of hair falling out.

    1.5% of oil? its so little. im not sure what the percentage of the oil is in the "hot six hair and body mist" i am using as oil in this formula.

    the fruit acid comes supplied at pH 4. it is a mixture of different sugars and fruit extracts in water from lotion crafter.

    i am using the mini shear mixer from their website.

    do you think i used too much polysorbate 80? i dont have ceteareth-20. and what about the PEG 400? has anyone tried this ingredient topically? (its vape liquid)

    not sure why my hairs are falling out when i use too much of the conditioner or leave it on my scalp (its supposed to be a scalp treatment)
  • nicotironicotiro Member
    edited October 2018
    i want to change the cetyl alchol to cetostearyl alcohol (50:50 ratio)
    since i'm almost finished my little bottle i'll reformulate and follow the advice such as: adding more water as described above and reducing the oil. honestly its not oily on my hair when rinsed off, but do you think the 8 grams of oil is wasted?
    (dont have the chlorides so i cant add those to my formula)

    it also works really well as a leave in (really small amount on wet hair worked very well)
  • You can formulate a good conditioner without any oil at all. You need cationic emulsifiers (behentrimonium chloride, btms-50) and conditioning agents (centrimonium chloride, polyquat-7 polyquat-10 etc). What is the function of polysorbate 80 in your formula?
  • chemicalmattchemicalmatt Member, Professional Chemist
    nicotero, ignore all of the above.  Just decrease cetyl alcohol and the viscosity will decrease with it. See: liquid crystal formation with fatty alcohols. 
  • FekherFekher Member, Professional Chemist
    edited October 2018
    @nicotiro from best way to improve your conditionner add polyquaterniums they are too effective for that job you just need to choose best ones .
  •  thanks very much for the comments and suggestions and advice everyone, in time i'll look into these mentioned ingredients i currently don't have

    remade this conditioner a week ago and replaced the cetyl with cetostearyl, added water to 90 grams instead of 80, added more ethanol to 10 grams. The texture is more like how i wanted it, more watery. The cetostearyl alcohol I have is supposed to be the 50:50 ratio, so yes thanks chemicalmatt it is much softer with the less cetyl

    I appreciate how the waxes and oil dissolved in this hair conditioner preparation, the texture is great. makes me want to buy IPM for sure.

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