Cosmetic Science Talk

Cosmetic Science discussion form. For people who want for formulate cosmetics and get advice from other formulators around the world.

Home Cosmetic Science Talk Hair Deep conditioner or prewash conditioner

  • Deep conditioner or prewash conditioner

    Posted by Abdullah on August 6, 2022 at 6:26 am

    According to definition, Deep conditioner is meant to be applied to hair, stay for  a while like 20 minutes or higher and then rinsed or washed with shampoo. Ulprospector also says applying conditioner before shampoo has better effects than after shampoo.
    https://knowledge.ulprospector.com/8959/pcc-hair-conditioner-formulations/

    I have searched google for Deep conditioners specially from big brands but couldn’t find any conditioner that says it should be applied before shampooing or it should stay in hair for more than 5 minutes. 
    It is advised to apply after shampoo, leave for 1-5 minutes, then rinse. Both normal and deep conditioner.

    My questions:
    1. What is the difference between normal and deep conditioner? ( If above definition for deep conditioner is wrong.)
    2. Why companies specially big companies don’t make conditioners that should be applied to hair before shampoo or stay for longer time in hair?
    3. Big brands suggest you apply conditioner after shampoo and rinse after 1-5 minutes. This is for both normal and deep conditioners. So what is the difference between them? 

    Abdullah replied 5 months, 3 weeks ago 4 Members · 10 Replies
  • 10 Replies
  • grapefruit22

    Member
    August 8, 2022 at 1:53 pm

    Companies usually have a division into conditioners and masks. They have similar ingredients, the masks have a thicker and richer texture and probably a greater amount of conditioning ingredients. Below is a photo of a conditioner and mask from the same company, maybe it will be helpful in some way.
    Usually they recommend keeping the conditioner shorter - 1-2 minutes, and the mask 5-7 minutes.
    Pre-wash treatment is a rare product, usually it is an oil or a mask with a heavy consistency.

  • Abdullah

    Member
    August 9, 2022 at 2:30 am

    Companies usually have a division into conditioners and masks. They have similar ingredients, the masks have a thicker and richer texture and probably a greater amount of conditioning ingredients. Below is a photo of a conditioner and mask from the same company, maybe it will be helpful in some way.
    Usually they recommend keeping the conditioner shorter - 1-2 minutes, and the mask 5-7 minutes.
    Pre-wash treatment is a rare product, usually it is an oil or a mask with a heavy consistency.

    Thanks a lot 

  • Microformulation

    Member
    August 10, 2022 at 11:22 pm
  • Perry

    Member
    August 11, 2022 at 5:45 pm

    These terms are marketing terms. They were invented to get consumers to buy more / multiple products. Functionally, there isn’t much difference.

    - deep conditioner : thicker version of normal conditioner

    - Pre-conditioning can work. I used to work on a product called VO5 Hot Oil treatment. There was no oil in it but you put it on your hair before shampooing. It had a cationic polymer (PEI) and a cationic surfactant (cocotrimonium chloride). You put it on before shampooing, then the anionic in the shampoo would  react with some of the cationic that was on the hair and you’d get additional conditioning. Well, theoretically anyway. In truth, it didn’t really work much better than just a standard conditioner. And if you conditioned after shampooing, there wasn’t really any extra benefit.

    - There is no evidence that keeping a conditioner in your hair longer will condition it better. Conditioner is like ketchup on french fries. Once you coat it, it’s pretty much as coated as it’s going to get. Letting it soak doesn’t have much effect.

    - The only difference between conditioners and deep conditioners is the marketing story. 

  • Abdullah

    Member
    August 12, 2022 at 11:21 am

    @Microformulation thanks 
    @PerryYou put it on before shampooing, then the anionic in the shampoo would  react with some of the cationic that was on the hair and you’d get additional conditioning.” 

    Does anionic surfactant in shampoo remove cationic surfactant and polymer from hair which reduces their conditioning effects or it reacts with them and provides additional conditioning? 

  • Perry

    Member
    August 12, 2022 at 1:28 pm

    It does both. Mostly it removes the conditioning ingredients. But some of it combines with the cationic & forms an insoluble salt that stays behind on hair.

  • Abdullah

    Member
    August 12, 2022 at 3:08 pm

    Perry said:

    It does both. Mostly it removes the conditioning ingredients. But some of it combines with the cationic & forms an insoluble salt that stays behind on hair.

    I have made some insoluble salts by mixing 0.2% cationic and 2% anionic surfactants. They made insoluble salt. Then when i mixed this salt with phenoxyethanol or glycerin it turned into a very sticky substance that was extremely difficult to remove from mixing equipment or from skin. I didn’t use them on hair 🤣.

    Question: this insoluble salt if anionic surfactant is SLES, cationic surfactant is BTAC, cationic polymer is cationic guar, will it be more conditioning than BTAC or cationic guar in their cationic form or less? 

    If less then how can we say we get additional conditioning? 

  • Perry

    Member
    August 12, 2022 at 4:30 pm

    How are you measuring conditioning?

  • Abdullah

    Member
    August 13, 2022 at 3:15 am

    Perry said:

    How are you measuring conditioning?

    I don’t have equipments to measure it. My measurement is by asking people how their hair feel when it is dry and how much easy it is to comb when wet and dry. 

    That is why a lot of time i am asking here how the conditioning effects are in theory. Because most of the consumers can’t feel the difference properly. 

  • Perry

    Member
    August 13, 2022 at 2:56 pm

    If the consumers can’t feel the difference then why does the answer matter? Just make a product that consumers like.

    The truth is that you’re asking a question that doesn’t have a simple answer. The characteristic of “conditioning” is a subjective one. So whether something is more conditioning or less depends on what you are measuring. 

    Your measure is based on asking people. So there is no way you can theoretically guess what they will think.
  • Abdullah

    Member
    August 14, 2022 at 12:46 am

    Perry said:

    If the consumers can’t feel the difference then why does the answer matter? Just make a product that consumers like.

    The truth is that you’re asking a question that doesn’t have a simple answer. The characteristic of “conditioning” is a subjective one. So whether something is more conditioning or less depends on what you are measuring. 

    Your measure is based on asking people. So there is no way you can theoretically guess what they will think.

    We are a group of 5 people who test my every product to see how it feels in every aspect. I am sure that when we 5 people can’t tell the difference doesn’t mean no one or majority of people can’t.

    As I don’t have another method to measure differences, knowing what difference in theory would a change in product ingredients bring will help a lot.