Thursday, 13 November 2014

About Ingredients: Behentrimonium Methosulfate

Behentrimonium Methosulfate or BTMS is a commonly used quaternary ammonium compound. It is lab-bred from modified rapeseed oil and is classified as a surfactant or an emulsifier if it's only being used to mix oil and water. In its raw ingredient form, it looks like little white waxy pellets, as shown in this picture. It is typically paired with Cetyl or Cetearyl alcohol (these are the moisturizing alcohols) in formulations, because these fatty alcohols enhance it's thickness and moisturizing ability. Typically the raw ingredient form carries a pH between 5-7 depending on the manfuacturer and lab process. As a surfactant it acts as a fantastic cleansing conditioner ingredient, it is CG friendly and rinses off clean. As an emulsifier, it helps combine the water and oil phases of products and give us that smooth creamy texture we like.

It also serves another purpose: it is naturally cationic/negatively charged, meaning it loves to bond to positively charged molecules. One type of molecule that carries a positive charge is a damaged hair cuticle, which means that BTMS functions as a temporary repair agent, however the effect eventually wears off. This is still good news for those suffering from chemical, heat or mechanical damage; any set of raggedy ends will appreciate a product with a high BTMS concentration. These temporary bonded sites are the only portions of your hair which would retain BTMS post-rinsing, meaning that those fearful of any buildup can rest assured, everything that your hair doesn't use will wash down the drain. It has another feature which differentiates it from its close cousin, Behentrimonium Chloride, it's known to be very gentle on sensitive skin, so it makes for a fantastic leave on option which is very unlikely to irritate the scalp. This is the active ingredient in Kinky Curly Knot Today, probably one of the most beloved natural hair products on the market.

 It's my personal favorite conditioning ingredient. It's very commonly used in leave-in water based conditioners, deep conditioners and regular detangling conditioner. Why I personally love it comes down to detangling, it is so slippery that tangles just melt beneath the fingers. I have used many conditioners which feature it high on the ingredient list and have almost never been disappointed in the slip. At lower concentrations you don't see as great of an effect and it may only be in your product to serve its emulsifying purpose.

Long story short:
Pros- Detangling, slippery, rinses cleanly (except from damaged ends), CG friendly, not prone to buildup or weighing hair down, gentle enough for use in leave-on products
Cons- As a raw ingredient, it is pricier than most other Quats, so stingy manufacturers often use it in very low quantities, if at all. However, many natural hair companies are on the BTMS bandwagon and know how much curly hair loves it, so they are more generous.

No comments:

Post a Comment