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    May 12, 2022 3 min read

    Fun With Hydra Hair


    Hydra Hair is one of our new specialty ingredients, and it is one fantastic hair conditioner! 


    INCI: lauryl/myristyl polyricinoleate and glycerin


    It is made from 100% renewable plant based resources, and is COSMOS and Ecocert approved. 


    Used from 0.5-5%, Hydra Hair is extremely versatile as well as being compatible with nonionics, anionics or cationics (which makes it rather handy in hair care formulations). It is a liquid so it is easily cold processed with other liquid surfactants.


    Studies have shown it to perform as well as, and sometimes even better than, cationic and quat based conditioners (which are not natural, and we do not stock on Essentially Natural).


    Due to its chemical structure, Hydra Hair is able to form lamellar-layers which support excellent conditioning benefits. Used on wet hair, it swells and produces parallel ‘sheets' on the hair fibers. When rinsed, the slip effect between these sheets generates detangling effects as well as a slippery feel on the hair. In addition, any component of the lamellar liquid having a strong affinity to hair withstands rinsing and remains on the hair strand, generating repair and moisturization benefits.


    We’ve been playing around with Hydra Hair quite a bit and have developed a few great hair care recipes for you to try out. Give them a go!


    Leave-in Hair Oil / Beard Conditioning Oil

    69%  jojoba oil

    14%  argan oil

    10%  grapeseed oil

    5%  Hydra Hair

    0.5%  rosemary

    1.5%  Vitamin E oil



    Conditioning Shampoo

    62.5% water/botanical infusion (I like using a botanical infusion of  marshmallow, horsetail, aloe and  hibiscus)

    1%  xanthan gum

    3%  glycerine

    1%  D panthenol


    8%  lauryl glucoside

    6%  coco glucoside

    4%  cocamidopropyl betaine

    5%  argan oil

    5%  Hydra Hair


    3% vegetable keratin

    1% Geogard 221

    0.5% rosemaryvanilla essential oils

    Citric acid to adjust the pH

    pH test strips

    Pump bottle


    Blend the xanthan gum with the glycerine and panthenol to hydrate then add the water or botanical infusion. Add the surfactants, argan oil and Hydra Hair, and give everything a whizz with a stick blender. Lastly add the preservative, keratin, and essential oils and then check and adjust the pH down to around 4.5-5. Decant into a bottle and enjoy your all-natural shampoo! Follow up with conditioner as required by your hair type.




    This is a more advanced recipe.


    Hair Conditioner Cream


    Heated Water Phase

    60% water/infusion

    0.5%  xanthan gum

    5%  lauryl betaine

    1%  D panthenol


    Heated Oil Phase

    10%  sunflower oil

    5%  Hydra Hair

    2%  cetyl alcohol

    3%  mafura butter

    5%  Montanov 68 MB


    Cool Down Phase

    2%  vegetable keratin

    2%  marine collagen

    2%  broccoli seed oil

    1% inulin

    1%  Geogard 221

    0.5%  essential oil of choice

    Beakers

    Citric acid to adjust the pH

    pH test strips

    Heat the water up to around 75 degrees. If you are making a botanical infusion, use this hot water to do so.

    In a larger beaker, blend the xanthan gum with the lauryl betaine, panthenol and water/ botanical infusion.

    In another beaker melt together the heated oil phase ingredients.

    Make sure both your heated water and heated oil phases are at a similar temperature (around 70 degrees).

    Pour the water phase into the oil phase and blend with a stick blender to form an emulsion. Once the emulsion has formed (usually in about 30 seconds to 1 minute), continue stirring by hand until cool down.

    Add the cool down phase ingredients and stir well to blend them in. Check the pH and adjust to around 4.5-5 if required.


    Use your conditioning cream after shampooing. It can be used as a rinse out conditioner in the shower, or leave it in as a mask for an hour and then rinse out.


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