Today we’re blending up a rich and creamy Double Butter Conditioning Hair Mask that was inspired by the hair mask made by the Bum Bum cream company. My Patron Bianca introduced me to it (thank you!), and not only did the ingredient list look downright lovely, but it was another place I could use the Bum Bum fragrance dupe I used in this formulation! In the original, all of the butters and oils come well after the fragrance (the fragrance is ingredient #4, while the first butter is ingredient #10), so one of the biggest things I did with my formulation riff was turn up the butter content so they could really shine. Let’s dive in!
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The oil phase of this hair mask features two butters—you probably could’ve guessed from the name 😉 I used refined cupuaçu butter and unrefined murumuru butter. The product that inspired this formulation also used tucumã butter, but I didn’t have any. You could easily swap half of the cupuaçu butter for tucumã butter if you do—that’s what I’d originally planned to do before going to my butters cupboard and discovering I was out!
The inspiration product contains three different oils (açaí berry oil, coconut oil, and Brazil nut oil), but I didn’t feel like I had room for that many oils—at least not at meaningful amounts—so I went with 3% açaí berry oil. If you don’t have açaí berry oil, but you do have coconut oil and/or Brazil nut oil, those would be great on-theme alternatives.
If you’re looking to make this even richer, you can add up to 4% to the oil phase without needing to increase the emulsifier (make sure you drop the distilled water by the same amount to keep the formulation in balance. After 4% you’ll need to increase the BTMS-50 to keep it in the 20–25% of the oil phase range for optimal stability; read this to learn more.
Our conditioning goodness comes from three ingredients; BTMS-50, polyquaternium 10, and cationic guar gum. You don’t need all three, but it does make for a lovely hair treat. Out of the three, BTMS-50 is key; you could replace the polyquaternium 10 with more water and the cationic guar with regular guar. That will definitely reduce the conditioning power of the formulation, but it won’t break it.
For some added hair-pampering goodness I’ve also included 4% Hydrolyzed Baobab Protein. This awesome ingredient has been found to help protect hair/reduce damage from chemical treatments, like bleaching and perming, and it helps strengthen hair. If you don’t have it feel free to choose a different hydrolyzed protein that you do have!
So—how to use this decadent hair mask? In short, use it in whatever way works for you and your hair. I have type 1B hair, and it’s really not very tolerant of oils. With that in mind, I’ll use this mask no more than every ten days. I apply it generously to wet or dampened hair from the ears down, and then clip that up and leave it for a few hours before shampooing it out (I’ve been using my More Mango Sulfate-Free Shampoo Bar a lot lately). If your hair likes or loves large amounts of oil you might enjoy using this more often. You might also find the rinse-out properties inherent to the formulation are enough—no shampoo needed. Perhaps you can massage this into all your hair, right down to the scalp. It’s all about you, your hair, and what delivers the results you’re looking for.
Relevant links & further reading
- Vegetable Glycerin in the Humblebee & Me Encyclopedia
- Cocamidopropyl Betaine in the Humblebee & Me Encyclopedia
- BTMS-50 in the Humblebee & Me Encyclopedia
- Cetearyl Alcohol in the Humblebee & Me Encyclopedia
- Cupuacu Butter in the Humblebee & Me Encyclopedia
- Murumuru Butter in the Humblebee & Me Encyclopedia
- Açai Berry Oil in the Humblebee & Me Encyclopedia
- Hydrolyzed Baobab Protein in the Humblebee & Me Encyclopedia
- Tocopherol (Vitamin E) in the Humblebee & Me Encyclopedia
- Liquid Germall Plus in the Humblebee & Me Encyclopedia
- Can I remove the essential oil or fragrance from this recipe?
- How much essential oil can I add to this recipe?
- What’s the difference between a vinegar/acidic hair rinse and conditioner?
- Other rich hair things:
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Double Butter Conditioning Hair Mask
Heated oil phase
6.5g | 6.5% BTMS-50 (USA / Canada)
4g | 4% cetearyl alcohol (USA / Canada)
10g | 10% cupuacu butter (USA / Canada)
5g | 5% murumuru butter
3g | 3% açaí berry oil
0.2g | 0.2% cationic guar gum (USA / Canada)
0.5g | 0.5% Polyquaternium-10 (USA / AUS)
Cool down phase
4g | 4% hydrolyzed baobab protein (USA / Canada)
0.3g | 0.3% Vitamin E MT-50 (USA / Canada)
0.5g | 0.5% Liquid Germall Plus™ (USA / Canada)
0.5g | 0.5% “Bum Bum Type” fragrance oil (USA / Canada)
Prepare a water bath by bringing about 3cm/1″ of water to a bare simmer over low to medium-low heat in a wide, flat-bottomed sauté pan.
Weigh the heated water phase into a small heat-resistant glass measuring cup or glass beaker. Weigh the entire lot (measuring cup + ingredients) and note that weight for use later. Weigh the heated oil phase into a second heat-resistant glass measuring cup. Place both measuring cups in your prepared water bath to melt everything through.
After about 20–30 minutes the oil part should be completely melted and the water part should be thoroughly dissolved. Remove the water bath from the heat and weigh the water phase. Add enough hot distilled water to the heated water phase to bring the weight back up to what it was before heating, and then pour the water part into the oil part. Stir with a flexible silicone spatula to incorporate.
Grab your immersion blender and begin blending the mixture, starting with short bursts so the still-very-liquid hair treatment doesn’t whirl up and spray everywhere. Blend for about a minute, leave to cool for ten, blend for another minute or two, and repeat this blend-cool-blend cycle until the outside of the glass measuring cup is barely warm to the touch and the hair treatment is thick and creamy.
When the hair treatment is cool it’s time to incorporate our cool down ingredients. Because cool down ingredients are typically present at very low amounts you’ll need to use an accurate scale—preferably one accurate to 0.01g. As these more accurate scales tend to have fairly low (100–200g) maximum weights you won’t be able to put the entire batch of hair treatment on that scale without blowing it out. So—grab a smaller dish. Add a scoop or two of hair treatment, and then weigh the cool down ingredients into that, using the more accurate scale. Stir to thoroughly incorporate, and then stir all of that back into the master batch of hair treatment. Doing it this way minimizes the amount of cool down ingredients lost to the secondary container.
Once the cool down phase has been incorporated, all that’s left to do is package it up! This is far too thick for any sort of pump-top bottle; I used a 100g clear plastic jar from YellowBee.
There are lots of different ways to use this product, depending on your hair and your preferences. Please read the blog post to learn more!
Shelf Life & Storage
Because this product contains water, you must include a broad-spectrum preservative to ward off microbial growth. This is non-optional. Even with a preservative, this project may eventually spoil as our kitchens are not sterile laboratories, so in the event you notice any change in colour, scent, or texture, chuck it out and make a fresh batch.
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 100g.
- To learn more about the ingredients used in this formulation, 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 use propanediol 1,3 or sodium lactate instead of glycerin.
- If you’d like to learn more about the surfactants used and compare them to ones you might already have so you can make substitutions, check out this page and read this FAQ. I would recommend sticking with something amphoteric if you don’t have Cocamidopropyl Betaine. You can also replace it with water if you are planning on always shampooing this hair mask out.
- You could replace panthenol with more glycerin.
- You could try different butters instead of the two I’ve used; shea, cocoa tucuma, etc. Make sure you check the scent beforehand to make sure it meshes well with the fragrance you’re using.
- You could use Polyquaternium 7 (USA / Canada) insead of Polyquaternium-10, but I’d use 2%, decreasing the distilled water to make room for it.
- You can substitute the acai berry oil with another lightweight oil like sweet almond, grapeseed, or sunflower seed.
- Cetyl alcohol will work instead of cetearyl alcohol.
- I don’t recommend substituting the BTMS-50.
- You could try a different cationic or non-ionic gum/gelling ingredient instead of cationic guar gum. Make sure you are checking the charge as some gums (like xanthan) are anionic and anionic and cationic ingredient do not always play well together. Guar gum would probably be the easiest alternative.
- If you’re like to use a different preservative, please review this FAQ and this chart.
- If you’d like to incorporate an essential oil, please read this.
- You can replace hydrolyzed baobab protein with a different hydrolyzed protein (oat, rice, quinoa).