How do you make conditioner formulas for different hair types?

Different hair types have different conditioning and repair needs, which means different hair types will need conditioner formulas specific to their hair concerns. There is no ‘one size fits all’ when it comes to conditioner formulas, so here is a handy guide on how to adjust conditioner formulas to suit varying needs of consumer hair types.


Before you start: how natural (or organic) does your conditioner formula need to be?

When it comes to making semi-natural conditioner formulas, there are lots of ingredient choices. A lot of these are naturally derived with some synthetic component, so can’t claim ‘all natural’, but do perform exceptionally well. Examples include: guar hydroxypropyltrimonium chloride, and behentrimonium methosulfate.

When it comes to making organic conditioner formulas, there is very little choice of suitably performing ingredients, especially from small raw material suppliers.

To get the best performance out of your conditioners, use the regular create cosmetic formulas program, because using ingredients that provide the conditioning performance you and your consumers are looking for is essential.


What type of conditioner are you trying to create?

In the create cosmetic formulas skin and hair care program, you will see three different types of conditioner products:

  • Conditioner formula build – this is your standard conditioner which gets applied to the hair and then rinsed out shortly after application.
  • Conditioner – leave in formula build – this is a build specific for conditioning products intended to be left on the hair until the next wash. This could be 1-3 days later before it is washed out, so the formula is adjusted to suit this application method.
  • Conditioner – spray in formula build – an extremely light sprayable formulation build. This type of product is ideal to apply on dry hair between washes to help with detangling and conditioning.


How to create conditioner formulas for oily hair types

Oily hair still needs conditioning and detangling without adding weight or oil to the hair. Using the right combination of conditioning materials in the right inputs will ensure you get effective performance without weighing down the hair. Here is how to adjust your conditioner formulas to suit oily hair:

  • using the minimum recommended input for lipids, oils & butters.
  • use the low to mid-point of cationic emulsifying agents
  • use the mid point of non-ionic emulsifying agents
  • keep the gum and polyquaternium inputs low to remove excess build up
  • keep antioxidants and added extra (extract) input low

How to create conditioner formulas for normal hair types

Normal hair needs regular conditioning to bring out the best shine and keep it frizz free. Adjust your conditioner formulas to suit normal hair:

  • use the mid-points on cationic and non-ionic emulsifier selections – the program will guide you on what is the mid-point for the different emulsifier ingredients you select
  • use a polyquaternium agent at the mid-point input for conditioning benefits
  • use a low to medium input of lipids (oils & butters) – normal hair doesn’t need a lot of extra oil, its already balanced
  • humectants and added extras can be used from mid-point to maximum recommended input; they won’t weigh the hair down and will boost hydration


How to create conditioner formulas for dry and damaged hair types

Dry and damaged hair needs deep conditioning and great detangling. Adjust your conditioner formulas to suit dry hair:

  • using the maximum recommended input for non-ionic and cationic emulsifiers – the program will guide you with your selections
  • add lipids (oils and butters) at their maximum input; dry hair needs the extra emolliency
  • add polyquaternium agents at their mid-point up to their maximum. These will help detangle and condition the hair
  • use the mid to maximum input amounts for the humectants and herbal extracts – these will add great hydration to the hair
  • choose hydrolysed proteins and/or actives to help restructure and repair the hair


How to make salon quality conditioner formulas

Salon quality conditioner formulas should have the best possible performance. They need to condition effectively and help rebuild and restructure the hair. You can get tips from the above hair types, but remember, these products cost more than supermarket conditioners because they should contain the additional ingredients more budget products can’t afford to have! As a result, they should work far better, which means adding extras like active ingredients and hydrolysed proteins to ensure outstanding performance.

  • using the recommended input of emulsifiers for the hair types according to its needs (as listed in the previous sections)
  • make sure lipids and polyquaternium agents are used to adequately condition and care for the hair. These will help improve condition and detangling of the hair as it dries
  • make sure humectants and herbal extracts (from added extras) are selected to suit your marketing story and hair type
  • choose hydrolysed proteins and/or actives carefully to get the best performance

Get inspiration from our video:

Well, there you go, that is how to adapt conditioner formulas using the create cosmetic formulas program to suit a variety of hair types and product needs! Remember to precede each type of conditioner with a shampoo that suits specific hair needs, and use a hair mask or repairing hair serum to make the most of your hair care routine.
Get inspiration from our videos:

Now its over to you, to get creating…

Create conditioner formulas confidently with the Create Cosmetic Formulas program – and always get a formula that works!

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