Catonic Surfactants

I'm trying to formulate a conditioner using Cetrimonium chloride and behentrimonium methosulfate. At what active percentage should I include in my formula for it to be a good conditioner? I would say up to 4% but what happens if I add more?


  • PerryPerry Administrator, Professional Chemist
    Cationic surfactants work by depositing on hair where there are negatively charged sites on the proteins on the fiber. Since there is a limited number of these sites, all the extra surfactant you put in the product will simply rinse down the drain. Whether 4% is the max depends on the level of damage on the hair.  However, that sounds pretty high to me. 2% is probably plenty.

    You just have to test though. Make a sample with more and test to see if you notice any combing differences.
  • Also the Centrimonim chloride is also an emulsifier so would I need to add a different emulsifier? Should I add less behentrimonium methosulfate than Centrimonim?
  • PerryPerry Administrator, Professional Chemist
    You'll have to experiment to find out what you prefer. There is no simple answer to this.
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