Best homemade conditioner for co-washing?

SusieSuzeSusieSuze Registered Users Posts: 524
The only ones I've found so far (I keep getting sidetracked with all the great stuff you awesome ladies share) contain BTMS.

I was hoping to be able to find a recipe that was a little more on the natural side, with easy to get ingredients.

My hair is colour treated and I'm in my 3rd week if no-poo- my hair is loving it but the Wen I'm using is building up. I used a bit of apple cider vinegar in water to rinse which helped. My 3B curls are feeling pretty moist compared to before, so I'm thrilled so far, and excited to go even further. I know I need no cones.

I'm already feeling indebted to you ladies for sharing all your great thoughts and ideas.

Thank you!!!


  • EsGardenEsGarden Registered Users Posts: 5
    I realize that you are asking for "home made" condish's w/out BTMS... I just wanted to share some info w/ you that may clear some things up (if I may). As a maker of handmade products, I tend to get a tad "sciency" but here goes:

    The main conditioning agent in BTMS - behentrimonium methosulfate - is a cationic quaternary ammonium salt derived from rapeseed oil (the plant for canola oil). By putting it in salt form, it will dissolve in water, so we can access the condition-y goodness for our hair. The cationic part means it's positively charged, so it will stick to the negatively charged sections of your hair. It has a long carbon chain - 22 carbons, hence the prefix behe- and it will adsorb to your hair to condition it. Behentrimonium methosulfate will improve your hair's texture and controls static, but on its own it can feel oily and sticky. As you can see in the INCI, Croda has added a fatty alcohol (cetyl alcohol) and humectant (butylene glycol). These are added because a cationic quat on its own can feel sticky or oily; these ingredients mitigate those feelings to make it feel smooth and silky.

    Adding a fatty alcohol like cetyl alcohol or cetearyl alcohol will help to reduce the combing forces for wet and dry hair by almost half and reduces the friction between strands of hair, so you can see how important adding a fatty alcohol to your conditioner can be. <end>

    For me, I make condishes with and without BTMS and it's good... BUT a conditioner has to have a conditioning agent in it to be, well... conditioning. Otherwise, you just have a lotion for your hair, which is more of a moisturizer / "hair milk" kind of thing, right??! The latter being great as a leave on moisture thing...

    My five cents!
  • SusieSuzeSusieSuze Registered Users Posts: 524

    Awesome info- thanks so much!!!

    Will look into ordering online-- in the mean time though, still looking for great common ingredient recipes that work well with no-poo, cg method. :)
  • EsGardenEsGarden Registered Users Posts: 5
    Are U looking for someone to post a recipe? Do you want/need assistance with putting something together? What type of ingredients do you already have on-hand? You may need to order the emulsifiers, preservatives, extracts and anti-oxidants on-line... you can get some really nice food-grade oils like Hemp, Pumpkin, Avocado etc and small bottles of essential oils from Whole Foods; as well as organic Aloe Vera Juice from Trader Joe's and just be sure to only use DISTILLED water when making things for your hair/skin.

    Conditioners for hair are essentially a lotion formula, the difference being the type of emulsifier used and the hair-loving additives, like hydrolyzed proteins, Panthenol (pro-vitamin B5) and other plant extracts, being added in during the "cool down" phase. BTMS and BTMS-50 are "conditioning emulsifiers", couple this with a fatty alcohol, and you have a nice conditioner for hair. Using anything else will make a nice emollient cream that you could use as a rinse off or leave-in product. For instance, when I read the ingredients for Giovanni's Leave-In, there aren't any conditioning agents in it, so it seems more like a lotion that you can put in the hair as a leave on...

    Personally, I "co-wash" as well. I make my own Conditioner Cleanser (with similar/same ingredients as Curl Junkie Daily Fix). I use this on my 3C/3B hair and my daughter's Type 4 hair with success. I DO NOT formulate anything using ANY kind of silicone's, so co-washing gets our scalp and hair clean... for deeper cleansing (one time per Month or so), I use a Castile Soap bar that I make, which contains 100% extra virgin olive oil and Coconut Milk OR a low-poo (low sudsing, very mild conditioning shampoo) that I also make. Again NOTHING made with silicone's so we have no problems getting clean!

    If you use products with Silicone's, you will need to cleanse the scalp and hair with more than a co-wash 'cause a co-wash will not remove heavy build up or 'cones.
  • EsGardenEsGarden Registered Users Posts: 5
    If you want to get stuff to make your own hair conditioners, try these suppliers:

    Lotioncrafter - Oregon - Oregon
    Essential Wholesale - Oregon
    Mountain Rose Herbs - Oregon
    Brambleberry - Washington
    Glory Bee Foods - Oregon <great for bulk oils>
    Ingredients To Die For - Texas
    Personal Formulator

    The Herbarie - S. Carolina (?)
    Wholesale Supplies Plus - Ohio
    Soaper's Choice - Ohio <great for bulk oils>
    From Nature With Love - Connecticut (?)
  • SusieSuzeSusieSuze Registered Users Posts: 524
    Yes, I'm looking for a recipe.

    I live in Vancouver and hate ordering online from the US. It's usually super expensive to ship, and besides, I like to shop at locally owned businesses. There could very well be something local where I can get all the stuff you mentioned to make a copy of a store bought style conditioner, but I'd really like to try to go for all natural and simple ingredients first.

    I can easily purchase oils like jojoba, avocado, etc and already use coconut oil for my skin and as a deep treatment in my hair. I bought some Grape Seed Extract to try to preserve my FSG.. though I found out it's not a great preservative so I'm still refrigerating my FSG.

    I can also get vegetable glycerin and aloe vera juice and gel and a ton of other stuff and essential oils. The health food stores here are great and have all the natural ingredients I could want. I just need to know what will work. So far from what I've gathered, glycerin and aloe vera juice/gel are good bases to start with generally. I have no idea how much slip I'll get with them. I'm just concerned about getting the tangles out and giving myself a little moisture.. something I think I can get with a bit of coconut or jojoba oil in the mix.

    Not sure about a protein source or if I really need one much, but suppose I probably should put in something. I'll bet with it though we're talking needing preservatives too. What am I getting myself into! lol

    Anyway, I think you're awesome giving me all this info. Thank you so much for taking the time to write it all out. I am guessing this natural thing will take its course and I will eventually bow down and go for all your other recommendations and place that dreaded online order. Or maybe I'll find that shop in Washington State next time we head there on a shopping trip.

    Thanks again!!!
  • CeriCeri Registered Users Posts: 142
    ESGarden gave you some great advise. Heres some Canadian suppliers:

    Voyageur Soap and Candle

    Creations From Eden

    Aquarius Aromatherapy & Soap Inc

    You're not going to be able to make a proper conditioner for co-washing with stuff from the grocery store. Deep conditioning treatments yes, but not for daily washing.
    3a/3b Medium Texture & Normal Porosity
    Modified CG since November 2009
    Low Poo - (Once in a while) True Polaris Solid Shampoo Bar
    CO-wash/Condish - (I'm lazy, one step only!) True Polaris Solid Conditioner Bars
    Styling - True Polaris Truly Curly Styling Gel I add 'cones in summer Truly Frizz Free Hair Serum
    I plop and defuse daily

    c_band2.gif I love MUSE
  • SusieSuzeSusieSuze Registered Users Posts: 524
    Thanks so much Ceri.

    That was the first time I've read that anywhere and although it's not what I want to hear, at least I can stop hoping. Thank you so much for the Canadian supplier list!!

    You've all been so helpful. Thanks again!!
  • honeysweet20honeysweet20 Registered Users Posts: 362 Curl Novice
    If you want a natural recipe for conditioner. Try 1 cup of plain yogurt and teaspoon of honey and 1 tsp of tea tree oil + 1 tsp of EVOO. Then mix and enjoy great conditioner. For a deep treatment leave on for 30 mins then rinse with cool water. HTH!
  • SusieSuzeSusieSuze Registered Users Posts: 524
    Thank you!

    This sounds like a hood one as I found out I need protein.

    I just figured out that since going cg, my hair is actually now overmoisturized! I did not think that was possible!

    So.. Protein and detangling is what I need.

    This journey is so much fun! Great to actually have some things figured out!
  • Curly_JammyCurly_Jammy Registered Users Posts: 626
    If you want a natural recipe for conditioner. Try 1 cup of plain yogurt and teaspoon of honey and 1 tsp of tea tree oil + 1 tsp of EVOO. Then mix and enjoy great conditioner. For a deep treatment leave on for 30 mins then rinse with cool water. HTH!


    Yogurt is like hair food, for me

    I use full fat plain yogurt with some olive oil, works great cuz it seems to moisturize and add protein
    3c, fine, porous,MBL
    Pre: EVCO Poo: GTTT DC:AO GPB, TJ Nourish Spa+EVOO
    LI: Cantu Shea butter LI, YesToCarrots,(AVJ+H2O) Spritz
    Style: AVG, Eco Seal: Qp Mango & Olive oil, Shea AloeMix
  • GretchenGretchen Administrator Moderators Posts: 10,840 Curl Virtuoso
    Wow, ESGarden, love all your great info about handcrafting curly hair care products! Thanks for sharing with the community!

    Gretchen co-founder

    You are beautiful!
  • madametjmadametj Registered Users Posts: 119
    If you want a natural recipe for conditioner. Try 1 cup of plain yogurt and teaspoon of honey and 1 tsp of tea tree oil + 1 tsp of EVOO. Then mix and enjoy great conditioner. For a deep treatment leave on for 30 mins then rinse with cool water. HTH!

    tea tree oil is VERY potent. i wouldn't use more than one drop in a mix that small.
    Hair Type: 3b/3c (I think! lol)

    Quit using heat 9 months ago :)
  • honeysweet20honeysweet20 Registered Users Posts: 362 Curl Novice
    madametj wrote: »
    If you want a natural recipe for conditioner. Try 1 cup of plain yogurt and teaspoon of honey and 1 tsp of tea tree oil + 1 tsp of EVOO. Then mix and enjoy great conditioner. For a deep treatment leave on for 30 mins then rinse with cool water. HTH!

    tea tree oil is VERY potent. i wouldn't use more than one drop in a mix that small.

    Your absolutely right 1-3 drops is all you need.
  • CurlyFireHorseCurlyFireHorse Registered Users Posts: 350 Curl Neophyte
    SusieSuze wrote: »
    Yes, I'm looking for a recipe.

    Here is a recipe. I have not tried it, but let me know how it works if you do

    2 tablespoons (30ml) Carrier Oil for your hair type (see above)
    1 tablespoon (3-4g) Emulsifying Wax
    1/2 tsp (2.5ml) Vitamin E (or 2 capsules)
    1/2 cup (125ml) distilled Water or Herbal Infusion
    5 drops Grapefruit Seed extract
    Essential Oil Blend for your hair type
    1. Stir together the oil and emulsifying wax in the top part of a double boiler, warming slowly over a low heat until the wax is melted. Remove from heat and pour in the Vitamin E.
    3. In a separate pot on the stove or in the microwave, gently warm the water or herbal infusion just until lukewarm. Do NOT skip this step or your conditioner will separate later on.
    5. Slowly pour the water/herbal infusion into the oil mixture, stirring constantly with a wire whisk until the mixture is thick and smooth.
    7. Stir in the essential oils and the grapefruit seed extract. Pour the natural hair conditioner into a clean, sterilized 8oz (250ml) dark glass or PET plastic bottle and allow it to cool before putting the lid on.
    9. Shake the bottle occasionally as the conditioner cools to prevent the ingredients from separating. Store in a cool, dark place.
    Herbs for Natural Hair Conditioner Recipes
    Add a herbal infusion to your natural hair conditioner to enhance the color and healthy appearance of your hair. Here's how:

    1. Combine 1/4 cup (60ml) distilled water with 1 tablespoon each of the appropriate herbs in a small pot and bring to a boil on the stove.
    3. Remove from the heat and let steep for 30 minutes to an hour.
    5. Strain out the herbs and replace the water with your infusion in the basic conditioner recipe above.
    Hair: 2a or 3a (not sure), very porous and fine as frog hair
    Day 1: Cowash and condition with AO GPB, ACV Rinse,
    Co-Kra gel (this stuff is fantastic)

    Day 2: KCKT, KCCC, plop, KCCC, plop again, air dry
    Day 3: Curly Kinks Satin Roots, Coil Jam
    Day 4: IAGirl's PT, KBB DT, FSG

    Co-Kra gel is my own concoction of okra boiled in coconut milk. It is a cross between FSG and KCCC and leaves my hair very soft and shiny

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