I have to thank Jarmelia at http://wahmtown.blogspot.com/ and Teri at http://www.tightlycurly.com/welcome/ for leading the way and getting me in the information and inspiration for making my own conditioner. I HATE scented conditioners and shampoos. There is always way too much scent and it gets me nauseous, headaches and itchy skin. There are very few brands of hair products I will buy because of the scents. And this extends to what I put on my girls since there are always up in my face. ;)
Jarmelia introduced me to Essential Wholesale and so I've been experimenting with their products. Their moisturizing conditioner has been my staple product for combing, detangling, setting, co-washing, and conditioning. But it really wasn't as slippery as I liked. I really like Aussie Moist Conditioner because it has the best slip but I only use it when I have time to detangle Amanda's hair and then wash it to get out all the conditioner. Usually I don't have that much time. I usually wash her hair in it's style, saturate it with the unscented conditioner and then get back to detangle later or another day.
I also like Organix Coconut Milk conditioner and think it has good slip but it't expensive for the amount I need to detangle Amanda's hair. So, I looked carefully at the ingredients of both those conditioners and Kinky Curly's Knot Today detangler, which several of my friends really like.
Kinky Curly Knot Today
Ingredients: Organic mango extract, organic slipper elm, organic marshmallow root, organic lemongrass, cetyl alcohol, *behentrimonium methosulfate, citric acid, phenoxyethanol and natural fragrance.
Dl Water - Aqua , Cetyl Alcohol , Behentrimonium , Cetearyl Alcohol , Cetearyl Glucoside , Glyceryl Stearate , Glycerin , Cyclomethicone , Dimethicone , Jojoba Oil , Panthenol , Silk Amino Complex , Coconut Milk , Egg White Protein , Coconut Oil , Tocopheryl Acetate - Vitamin E , Tetrasodium EDTA , Fragrance , DMDM Hydantoin , Methylchloroisothiazolinone , Methylisothiazolinone. 1.3 Fl Oz./384.5ml
Ingredients: water, stearyl alcohol, cetyl alcohol, stearamidopropyl dimethylamine, glutamic acid, fragrance, bis-aminopropyl dimethicone, benzyl alcohol, edta, methylchloroisothiazolinone, methylisothiazolinone, ecklonia radiata (australian sea kelp) extract, simmondsia chinensis (jojoba) seed oil, aloe barbadensis leaf juice extract.
Then I searched the ingredients on Teri's website to see what they did.
Then I searched to see if I could buy them and found some to try at the Herbarie.
Then I looked at some of their formulas to get an idea of how and how much I could add to my basic conditioner.
This is the formula that has the closest proportions of the BTMS and oils.
Ingredients/Tech Specs:Aloe barbadensis (Organic Aloe) Juice, Lavendula angustifolia (Organic Lavender) Distillate, Anthemis nobilis (Roman Chamomile) Distillate, Cetearyl Alcohol,Ricinus communis (Castor) Oil, Stearalkonium Chloride, Phenoxyethanol, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, dl-Panthenol (Pro-Vitamin B5), Vegetable Glycerin, Rosa mosqueta (Rosehip) Seed Oil, Salix nigra (Black Willow Bark) Extract
If you look at the first three ingredients of the Aussie you see "water, stearyl alcohol, cetyl alcohol."
And then the first ingredients of the Essential Wholesale conditioner is two distillates (water) and Cetearyl Alcohol which is what you call "stearyl alcohol and cetyl alcohol" mixed together. The first ingredients of Knot Today are herbal extracts (water), cetyl alcohol and then the BTMS. Fascinating!
So that how I arrived at trying this first recipe.
1 cup of the moisturizing conditioner from Essential Wholesale in a glass measuring cup in a pot of water.
2 Tbsp of BTMS (behentrimonium methosulfate)
1 Tbsp Jojoba Oil
1 Tbsp Coconut Oil
2 tsp , Glyceryl Stearate
These ingredients were in a glass jar also in the pot of water. Set up like a double boiler.
At this point, I realize that this was a pretty heavy percentage for these ingredients and thought, "Oh well."
Once the emulsifiers melted in the oil and the conditioner reached about 170 degree F, I mixed them together with a hand blender and put them in the refrigerator to cool. Then I added 1 tsp of the dimethicone and blended some more.
While I was waiting I mixed about 2 mL of the dimethicone with the conditioner, water and oil mixture I had been using to moisturize Ana's twists. Just that little bit seems to add more slip to combing out the first sections of Amanda's hair.
I was pretty happy with the improvement in slipperiness and ability to comb out the tangles although it seemed to be drying and getting sticky quickly so I had to keep adding more water to her hair. We'll see how the style holds up and hopefully I can find of few more moms willing to try the conditioner as a detangler. I did decide to keep it in the fridge because I wasn't sure if I altered the ratio of preservatives enough to allow bacteria or mold growth.
So that's the start of experiment #1. I'll keep you posted.