Cetrimonium bromide is a cationic compound like BTMS, Incroquat CR and cetrimonium chloride. It is very commonly used as a base for commercial conditioners.
Cetab is a different compound to cetrimonium bromide. It is composed of:
BTMS is a more conditioning compound and a better detangler than cetrimonium bromide because it’s more strongly attracted to hair. However, cetab works better with damaged hair than BTMS because it can be adsorbed into the damaged areas of the cortex as it is smaller in size than BTMS. For a damaged hair conditioner consider using just cetrimonium bromide or cetab or BTMS plus cetab.
Importantly, note that BTMS and cetab may not work well together, they may separate.
If you are using cetrimonium bromide as your only cationic compound add oils and/or silicones and/or cetyl alcohol to improve the detangling properties of the conditioner.
Properties of cetrimonium bromide include:
Usage rate: 0.5-10%; 5-7% is a good amount in a rinse off conditioner but use 2-3% if you are using it in combination with BTMS.
Interestingly, some research suggests that cetrimonium Bromide could be used as an anticancer agent (Ito et al).
Add it to the heated oil phase of a conditioner.
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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