Cetrimonium chloride is a cationic quaternary compound like BTMS, incroquate CR and cetrimonium bromide. It is a water-soluble antistatic agent, surfactant and has some antimicrobial properties.
It performs a similar conditioning function to BTMS-50 and cetrimonium bromide but is not nearly as lubricating so it ideally should not be used on its own especially for dry hair types. You need to add either a humectant or a fatty alcohol to make it more conditioning.
That said, its detangling capabilities are superior to both BTMS and cetrimonium bromide. Importantly, it can be added to surfactant formulations because it is water-soluble where as BTMS-50 and cetab cannot.
Cetac is a different compound to cetrimonium chloride. It is composed of:
If you have very fine, tangle-prone hair try formulating a conditioner with cetrimonium chloride on its own to see how it perform otherwise combine it with other ingredients to create a more complete conditioner, e.g. add cetyl alcohol or cetearyl alcohol or glycerin.
Usage rate: 0.5% to 5% in rinse-off products; 2% can be optimal to get the detangling benefit. 2% will get rid of any silicone build-up in your hair. Check the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS). Usage rate in leave-on products can be as little as 0.25%,
You can add cetrimonium chloride to any phase: heated oil phase, heated water phase or the cool-down phase. You may find your conditioner is less watery if you add it during the cool down phase.
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By Heather Katsonga-Woodward
I was a natural hair blogger and mixtress living between London & Chicago from 2012 to 2017. I always thought I was 4C but some say 4B; images below - you decide! Heather xx