The Argan Rose goodness continues today with this silky & nourishing Argan Rose Conditioning Hair Balm. It’s like the lovechild of an oil-based hair serum and a solid conditioner bar. This balm has the richness of the oil-based serum, the conditioning wonderfulness/solidity of the conditioner bar, and the nourishing goodness both. Starring luxurious argan oil, fragrant rose wax, and ultralight Neossance® Hemisqualane, this conditioning hair balm is a truly decadent hair treat.
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When it comes to anhydrous hair things, I find I much prefer solid hair balms/serums to liquid ones as it’s much easier to control application. My hair is not very tolerant of oils and I find it very easy to accidentally over-apply liquid oils, but the firmness of this balm makes it much easier to limit and steer application—I can just glide my fingers over the surface of the balm and work tiny amounts of it through dry ends for added shine & conditioning goodness.
The conditioning kick comes from BTMS-50, which contains 50% Behentrimonium Methosulfate—the positively charged conditioning active. The inclusion of BTMS-50 in this hair balm gives it the most divine skin and hair feel, and it’s what makes this balm a solid leave-in hair conditioner.
For liquid oils, I’ve blended vitamin-rich argan oil with ultralight Neossance® Hemisqualane. My hair really isn’t very tolerant of oils, so I kept this blend on the lighter side of things—if your hair loves oils you could consider swapping the Neossance® Hemisqualane for something heavier that your hair loves (broccoli seed oil comes to mind, as does Brassica Campestris Aleurites Fordi Oil Copolymer). I’ve also included some refined coconut oil as it is one of relatively few oils that actually penetrates the hair.
I’ve selected a blend of three different hardeners to create a firm balm that balances creaminess and glassiness: silky cetyl alcohol, creamy stearic acid, and glassy candelilla wax. These ingredients come together to create a really lovely end texture that’s a key part of applying the balm. It’s quite firm, making it difficult to over-apply the balm as you just can’t pick up that much on your fingers all in one go. If your hair loves oil you may wish to adjust the concentration of thickeners to make it a bit softer so you can apply more—I’d start by dialling back the cetyl alcohol and candelilla wax (click those links to learn more about how they thicken our products).
Our gorgeous floral/citrus scent blend comes from two ingredients. The rose note comes from the inclusion of some fragrant rose wax, which is easily my favourite way to get some natural rose scent into anhydrous products. Not only is it far cheaper than rose essential oil, it also doesn’t have the same low usage rates. If you don’t have rose wax please make sure you’re reading the list of substitution suggestions at the end of the formulation. The lemon note comes from a wee bit of lemon slices fragrance oil, but you could also use lemon essential oil. It’s up to you!
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Argan Rose Conditioning Hair Balm
2.5g | 10% BTMS-50 (USA / Canada)
0.25g | 1% rose wax
5.5g | 22% coconut oil
7.5g | 30% argan oil
3.75g | 15% Neossance® Hemisqualane (USA / Canada)
1.81g | 7.25% cetyl alcohol
2.5g | 10% stearic acid
1g | 4% candelilla wax
Prepare a water bath by bringing about 3cm/1″ of water to a bare simmer over low to medium-low heat in a small saucepan.
After about 20–30 minutes everything should be completely melted through. Remove the water bath from the heat, remove the measuring cup from the water bath, and dry it off with a dishtowel. Stir with a flexible silicone spatula to incorporate. Quickly weigh in the cool down phase, stir to combine, and transfer to a 30mL (1fl oz) tin. Carefully transfer to the fridge to set up.
Once the balm has solidified, that’s it! To use, glide a few fingertips over the surface of the balm, and work your fingers through the ends of your hair. I like to follow up by brushing my hair with a boar bristle brush. Enjoy!
Because this balm is 100% oil-based, it does not require a broad-spectrum preservative (broad spectrum preservatives ward off microbial growth, and microbes require water to live—no water, no microbes!). Kept reasonably cool and dry, it should last at least a year before any of the oils go rancid. If you notice it starts to smell like old nuts or crayons, that’s a sign that the oils have begun to oxidize; chuck it out and make a fresh batch if that happens.
As always, be aware that making substitutions will change the final product. While these swaps won’t break the recipe, you will get a different final product than I did.
- As I’ve provided this recipe in percentages as well as grams you can easily calculate it to any size using a simple spreadsheet as I’ve explained in this post. As written in grams this recipe will make 25g, which fills a 30mL (1fl oz) tin or jar perfectly. 25g is a lot of this product—I really don’t recommend scaling it up!
- To learn more about the ingredients used in this recipe, including why they’re included and what you can substitute them with, please visit the Humblebee & Me Encyclopedia. It doesn’t have everything in it yet, but there’s lots of good information there! If I have not given a specific substitution suggestion in this list please look up the ingredient in the encyclopedia before asking.
- You could try using BTMS-25 instead of BTMS-50, but it does contain half the active ingredient and it’s also a more potent thickener. You could try doubling the amount to 20% and dropping the stearic acid, but you will need to do your own experiments to get a desirable end consistency.
- You have two options for substituting the rose wax:
- If you want to use rose otto essential oil, use it at 0.02% (that is the maximum usage level) and add 0.98% coconut oil. This is going to result in a much weaker rose note.
- If you want to use a rose fragrance oil I’d use it at 0.3% and add 0.7% coconut oil.
- I chose refined coconut oil to allow the rose & lemon scents to shine, but you could use virgin coconut oil instead. Babassu oil will also work.
- You could use a different midweight liquid oil that your hair loves instead of argan oil; broccoli seed oil would be a good choice.
- C12-15 alkyl benzoate would be my first choice alternative for the Neossance® Hemisqualane. You could also try olive squalane or camellia seed oil.
- You could also try 45% of a light to midweight liquid oil instead of both the argan oil and the Neossance® Hemisqualane.
- You could try cetearyl alcohol instead of stearic acid and/or cetyl alcohol, but you’ll need to do your own experiments to get a desirable end consistency. Ditto for trying to use all cetyl or all stearic.
- Carnauba wax is a good alternative for candelilla wax.
- You can use lemon essential oil instead of the lemon fragrance oil; you may wish to up it to 0.5% (reduce the Neossance® Hemisqualane to make room for it) as it’s not quite as strong as the fragrance oil.