This recipe for Olive and Jojoba Silk Conditioner was inspired by a request from Nick, who says “Came across your website and it’s great. Despite being the manliest of men I do like the finer things in life and the rubbish mass produced stuff from the high street just doesn’t do it for me! So I thought I’d have a go at making something myself. I have been using a conditioner, which has been great for my hair compared to anything else I’ve tried from the supermarkets or from natural product websites. It makes my hair very soft and hydrated, which is rare for me. I’m hoping you would be able to help me make it myself by suggesting what weights/volumes that you think the ingredients might have been mixed in so I can try to recreate it at home – My girlfriend and I go through quite a lot of it so it’s costing quite a bit of money (relatively speaking, for conditioner!). Are you able to help me out?”
The list of ingredients he sent over were short and sweet; it was a simple emulsion of water, aloe, and glycerin with olive and jojoba oil (USA / Canada). Certainly easy enough (and inexpensive) to make. I decided to play a bit with the oil/water balance in the emulsion to create something lighter than my usual lotions to make it a bit harder to cross that line from “conditioning” to “oops, I should wash my hair again.”
The oils bit is a blend of olive oil (pomace) (USA / Canada), jojoba oil (USA / Canada), and a fairly good dose of Vitamin E MT-50 (USA / Canada) (which is a great antioxidant that helps with healing and just might help boost hair growth as well). The original also contained a touch of unrefined shea butter (USA / Canada), so if you wanted to work some of that in you could drop the jojoba and/or olive oil (pomace) (USA / Canada) down by a gram or two and swap in some unrefined shea butter (USA / Canada). I elected to leave it out to keep things simple and a bit lighter, but if you’ve got super dry hair you might love the addition of some shea.
A blend of water and aloe vera juice makes up the water bit, plus a pretty good dose of moisturizing vegetable glycerine (USA / Canada) and some silk, which helps strengthen your hair and adds a bit of a silky shine. It wasn’t in the original, but silk is amazing, and I couldn’t help myself.
We’ll use BTMS-50 as our emulsifying wax as it’s cationic, which is key to creating something that’s truly conditioning. While you can use emulsifying wax NF or Polawax you’ll be making more of a hair lotion than a true conditioner. I’ve done it, and the results are still good, but the use of a cationic emulsifier really does amp up the end product noticeably.
The essential oil blend is a simple one—bright bergamot and cardamom mingle with sweet geranium and calming lavender for a nice, mild scent blend that leaves your hair smelling rather pretty. You could really do anything that strikes your fancy, though; the original was unscented, so go nuts (or go bare)!
And, well—does it work? I’m happy to report that this stuff is amazing. I ran about three palmfuls of it through my hair (only from the shoulders down), let it soak in while I shaved my legs, and then rinsed it out (with a squeak test to prove it). My hair is amazing. I’ve been stroking it all day like a bit of a weirdo. It’s unbelievably soft and silky. Seriously, guys, you have to try this.
Olive and Jojoba Silk Conditioner
3g | 0.1oz BTMS-50 (USA / Canada)
4g | 0.14oz olive oil (pomace) (USA / Canada)
3g | 0.1oz jojoba oil (USA / Canada)
40g | 1.41oz distilled water
40g | 1.41oz aloe vera juice (not gel!)
10g | 0.35oz vegetable glycerine (USA / Canada)
1g | 0.03oz silk peptides (don’t have silk?)
10 drops bergamot essential oil (since this conditioner will be washed out of the hair, it doesn’t need to be bergapatene free)
4 drops cardamom essential oil
5 drops lavender essential oil
2 drops geranium essential oil
0.5g| 0.017oz Vitamin E MT-50 (USA / Canada)
0.5g | 0.017oz Liquid Germall Plus™ (USA / Canada) (or other broad spectrum preservative of choice at recommended usage rate [why?])
Weigh the BTMS-50, olive oil (pomace) (USA / Canada), jojoba oil (USA / Canada), and Vitamin E MT-50 (USA / Canada) into a small saucepan and melt over medium heat.
While the emulsifying wax mixture is melting, combine the water, aloe juice, glycerin, and silk in a small measuring cup and gently warm.
Once the emulsifying wax mixture has melted, add the water mixture. Heat through to ensure everything is melted before removing the pan from the heat.
Whisk the mixture as it cools—it will thicken into a nice white cream. I’d recommend using an immersion blender, especially if you are using a different emulsifying wax than emulsimulse.
Whisk in the essential oils. Add your preservative (though do check the instructions for your specific preservative—some have special instructions for adding to concoctions) and decant the mixture to a 120mL/ 4oz plastic pump-top bottle (avoid glass since this’ll be in your shower, and avoid wide mouthed jars so you don’t get lots of extra water into your conditioner when you try to use it). Enjoy!
Don’t have the oils called for in the recipe? Check this out.
New to lotion/conditioner making? Watch my basic lotion how to video!
Thank you for so many recipes and sharing your experiences and creative ideas. I always enjoy very much to read them.
My hair is very short, so I’m looking for a conditioner that is ok to use on my scalp.
My best found so far is
Aubrey Organics, Honeysuckle Rose Conditioner, Moisture Intensive, Dry
Thanks in advance
Hi Ivalu! There’s no reason you can’t use this on your scalp, I just don’t because my scalp doesn’t need conditioning.
what using some Bay EO as a replacement or additive in the EO section? Wouldn’t this move the scent a bit more to favor us men?
Hey Jess! This really isn’t a very gendered scent, despite the geranium and lavender I find it to be quite bright and not at all floral 🙂 And I’ve actually never worked with Bay EO (!), so I’m not sure how it would work here.
Marie…thanks for your response.
I was reading the following benefit to Bay EO recently, which prompted my question:
“Like bay rum, West Indies bay oil is frequently used in cosmetics and perfumery, specifically in men’s personal care products. It also works as a skin toner and can help against razor burns and breakouts on skin.3 Unlike other plant oils, like rose or geranium oils (which are more “feminine”), its spicy and masculine aroma makes it a good choice for men.” I ordered some and may try it.
Ooooh, I think I’ll have to add that to my cart for my next order 😀
Yes, Jess! I read about Bay too!! I’ve got a bottle and plan on using it in other recipes. My hubby has no hair so this conditioner wouldn’t really benefit him in the least…unless he used it on his beard. Hmmm…I wonder.
Here is some more info on the use of Bay Oil that I read about which may be useful in your test with your husband’s beard and muscles.
” Bay oil is also considered an analgesic in aromatherapy, relieving relieve muscle and joint pain and neuralgia. It may also be used as a massage oil or added to bath water to induce a relaxing effect. It is added to hair products like shampoos and for hair loss treatment. You may also use it to treat dandruff and oily or flaky scalp, and to give your hair a vibrant shine.4
Historically, bay rum oil served as an insect repellent, and is particularly effective at moth abatement. It is often added to fumigants, vaporizers, sprays, and other insecticides.
Thank you for sharing, Jess! I bought a bottle of Bay a little bit ago and forgot which recipe ( I have lots!) to use it in…Now I’ll just add it to any of my husband’s concoctions. Poor guy has his dresser full of pain salves and the like (has a traumatic brain injury from his time in the Army/Iraq.) I like the properties of Bay and can’t wait to try it out on him. So far everything I’ve made in the past has helped him. Just one more awesome EO to add to the mix! Thanks again!
This sounds very nice. I’ve been slacking in making homemade skin/body/hair goodies lately but this motivates me to get all my tools and tubs out this weekend. 🙂
Do it! Nothing perks up a weekend like some DIYing 😉
Thank you! I have made some of you lovely products with my sister-in-law and am now in the process of starting. I have curly hair and I need bit more conditioner that the ACV rinse recipes I have tried. I recently got my first shipment of supplies and can hardly wait to try this! Also, I found the acne soap my SIL made from your recipe is great for my itchy scalp.
You’re very welcome! I hope you love this conditioner as much as I do 🙂 Also, give this a read re: the differences between an ACV rinse and a conditioner; and ACV rinse isn’t supposed to be a conditioner, despite what many people say!
SO excited to try this! My hair is shorter now, but when it was longer, I needed conditioner like it was nobody’s business. I can do without shampoo for a bit.
I just moved cross country from Cali to NYC and got rid of most of my homemade lotions but took my ingredients. I need to get cracking on making some stuff. Cold weather is no joke!
I absolutely love your blog. Thanks for all you do. 🙂
Thanks, Kendra! My hair is so in love with this conditioner, I can’t stop running my fingers through it 🙂 Also, I am so jealous that you live in NYC!
I go through SO much conditioner. This recipe isn’t helping my need to try more DIY products. I’ve been telling myself I don’t need an emulsifying wax, preservative, scale or immersion blender yet. Although if I bought them the possibilities would be endless…. Hehe
Dooooo it 😀 I’m a terrible influence haha. But, if you look at it, this conditioner is about 80% water, so think about how much money you’re spending on WATER when you buy conditioner… it’s so worth it to make your own 😉
Good news – a neighbour gifted me an immersion blender she had laying around. What a shame 😉
Marie, I so wish you were my neighbor so I could run over and hug you every time you post a recipe that is EXACTLY something my household has been looking for! (Note: you’d get sick of me quickly!)
Thanks for this! Love, love, love! And the note about the wax – ROCK ON! Everytime I read your posts I get all excited and ultra-motivated! In fact, my husband and 18yr old daughter have a PLETHORA of products on their dressers that they use continually and we don’t drop a dime on commercial products anymore! Thank you so much and God bless!
Hey, who doesn’t love hugs!? I hope your hair loves this conditioner as much as mine does!
Well, my daughter and I LOVE this recipe. I just commented to Jess about maybe using this conditioner for my husband’s beard. Your beard oil has made a huge impact on my husband…uses it religiously! I wonder how this would fare… I will keep you posted!
Yay! I’m so glad 🙂 I just used it again yesterday and I LOVE how it makes my hair feel 🙂
Marie, this looks lovely. I have a general question that I didn’t see answered in your FAQ section. I’m curious to know what you do when refilling a conditioner or lotion like this. Would you just discard the bottle and fill a new one? I haven’t figured this one out myself yet and am mindful of the high potential for spoilage, even with preservative. I think it’s impossible to truly clean out a pump type bottle to refill.
Oh, don’t throw the bottle away. Look on ebay for bottle brushes. There are some with short enough bristles and long enough handles that allow you to get the bottles clean. I reuse my bottles for years and have never had an issue with spoilage of a diy product. I suppose you could rinse with hot bleach water, vodka or something like that. Hope that helps.
I try to wash and re-use most things where I can, but I wouldn’t do that if I were selling things. I’ve found these plastic bottles aren’t dishwasher safe (I definitely melted one), but a good hot soapy scrub with a bottle brush + a swish with some high proof rubbing alcohol does a pretty good job 🙂 I’ll pump the alcohol through the pumping mechanism as well.
Miss Marie – YOU ARE AWESOME!
I re-read the post and am still confused: water + oil = needs preservative. Si? Where is the preservative for this intriguing potion? I am living in NM (HOT and DRRRRRYYYY) but my son is in Austin (HOT and WEEEETTTTT). His shower molds overnight so I am concerned about no preservative in this one…..
PS I joined your Patreon group. Hope you can create full-time soon!
Oops, didn’t hit reply first. See message below.
The preservative is right there in the ingredients list 🙂 You must have skipped over it 😉
Thanks so much for your support! It is hugely appreciated 😀
At bottom of recipe (below the essential oils) Marie says to use broad spectrum preservatives of choice.
Hope that helps.
First I LOVE your blog. I truly appreciate getting your emails 2x/week! May I ask why you didn’t use emulsimulse here? Is it a bad idea to use emulsimulse and an emersion blender?
No reason, really, I just know a lot of my readers don’t have emulsimulse so I thought I’d play around with some alternatives to try to keep things accessible 🙂
I have to say, I LOVE that you used good old ewax NF in this recipe! I always thought that conditioner needed a special, fancy (very pricey) emulsifier. Which is why I never tried making it. I always have ewax on hand, so I’ll be making this soon! Hair conditioner is the last commercial bath&body product I still buy and don’t make myself!
Woo! I think you’ll love this and never look back—I am so in love with my hair ever since making this 🙂
Can’t wait to try this my hair is in need of some extra love. My only question is can this be used instead of an ACV rinse after washing your hair?
Hey Emma! I wrote an FAQ on this 🙂
Emma, your hair has a natural P.H value of 4.5 to 5.5. using a traditional no’poo method like Baking soda then ACV takes it from one end of the P.H spectrum ALL THE WAY to the other. The process is the same as chemically dying your hair…Every… Single…Day. ACV rinses are really bad for your hair, if you do one, it’s best to do it once per month as a way to get rid of excess product build-up. Infact even the shampoo & conditioner you get at the store has a higher P.H value than is healthy, most fall between 6.5-9 P.H.
Just in case you were curious! lol.
(Also after my own research a couple weeks ago, it turns out P.H strips are not an accurate way of testing P.H either. Only a P.H meter is accurate, and apparently they’re only available on-line.)
Hey May! For what its worth, I’ve been using a natural homemade shampoo + ACV rinse for 5 years and nothing about my hair seems like it has been chemically dyed every single day. In fact, it’s never been healthier. A gently acidic ACV rinse simply helps smooth the hair back down, which hardly destroys the hair—it just makes it smoother and easier to comb out. Nothing about a gentle ACV rinse would help strip out excess product build-up, it’s really just for pH correcting the hair. If you’ve got that much product in your hair (silicones, for instance), a mild acidic rinse is not going to pull those out. When I switched to all natural hair care it was still a good six months before the build up of silicones started to peel out of my hair (ugh) and that was with using an ACV rinse every time I washed my hair (~ever 4–5 days).
I just wanted to say that in all my Chemistry classes at my University, we use pH strips all the time to get a rough estimate of the pH of the solution. They are accurate, just not very precise. They can’t tell you its a pH of 4.5 but they do give an accurate range of, say, 3-5.
Marie… Thanks so much for another great recipe! I use one of your herbal vinegar rinses religiously. Was wondering if you think it would be a good/bad idea to sub some of the water for vinegar so I can try a 2 in 1? Thanks again!
Hey Renee! This is something I’m actually planning on trying 🙂 I’m slightly worried about the pH breaking the emulsion, but it does sound like a great idea if it works!
Please let us know if it works. I’m going to try the original first. I’m so hooked on the Shine & Detangle ACV Rinse that I don’t think I could replace it anyway. I use a mixture of citrus essential oils and they smell so good with the ACV! My sister is hooked on it too now so I always make a larger batch. She has fibromyalgia and tends to get rashes and soars on her scalp and she is super sensitive to hair products. This really helps to keep all of that to a minimum so it’s been a real relief for her. Thanks for all of your great recipes & info. I use your site for almost everything I make! You are fantastic and I can’t wait for your book!!
Will do! I think I’ll add this experiment to my next batch of fiddling, so hopefully I’ll have an answer (and maybe a recipe!) soon 😀
Thanks Marie. I am quite keen on making this. I apologise if you have already answered this question in a previous blog but I was wondering since using shampoo bar the ACV is a must, does the conditioner have to be used after the rinse with ACV? Also is it possible to substitute vinegar for some of the liquid in the conditioner (in order to skip the ACV rinse) and still have the same results?
I actually answered this in the comment directly above yours 😉 And I think you’ll find this to be quite informative!
Thanks. Just read it.
Just made this today. Is it supposed to be super thin?
It’s fairly thin, but definitely still a lotion-y texture. How thin is yours?
Well ok maybe it’s supposed to be runny as opposed to cream like. It is more like a thin lotion instead of a creamier lotion so I was just surprised. I used it yesterday and it is definitely nice on my hair. It felt like it wasn’t rinsing well but afterward there is no problem, no oily feeling. So I’m very pleased with it and thanks much for sharing this!
Yeah, a thicker lotion means more oils (or another added ingredient like guar gum that’s just there for thickening), and more oils means it’s harder to wash out of the hair, increasing the chances of your hair looking dirtier after washing than before 🙂
I made the recipe twice. The first was a “no go.” The second time i used a small micro bender recommend by LotionCrafter. I think i over blended. It came out fluffy, fluffy. I am using a regular emulsifying wax from Mountain Rose Herbs. Here is my question – how long do you blend with stick blender? In your picture, the condition looks really creamy. I was blending to make sure it was emulsified. I may have done it for too long. 🙁
I probably blended mine for a minute, pulsing at first to keep it from spraying all over. I’m surprised yours ended up so fluffy; mine was still thin after blending and I had to wait another 20 minutes or so for it to actually thicken.
Thank you so much for this and the explanation of when to use ACV rinse and when to use conditioner! I infused the water portion if this with the silk, bamboo extract and shavegrass. It is perfect! Not too greasy on my thin hair and leaves it so very soft.
You’re very welcome! Enjoy that silky soft hair 🙂
Hi, which preservative would you use in the recipe? Optiphen or pheonip or neither? Thanks in advance for your response.
I’m afraid I don’t have experience with either so I can’t make an experience based recommendation 🙂 I wrote an FAQ on the safest preservatives to use from my research, which you can read here.
Marie, how do you combine this with your no poo’? I want to try it but I’m not sure where to place it in my routine.
Hey Andrea! I use it after shampooing and doing my acidic rinse, let it soak in for a minute or two (or however long it takes to shave my legs) and then thoroughly rinse it out.
Hi there thanks for all your great work, I’m a keen Australian follower, I have made 2 batches of this conditioner so far, what do you suggest I could add to boost the conditioning power to suit my really dry hair? Just finding it needs a bit more something.
Hi Lucy! Have you tried my latest conditioner recipe? I LOVE it 😀
No, I don’t have all the ingredients, some are not available in Australia.
Have you tried simply letting the conditioner absorb into your hair for longer? That’s a pretty easy thing to try 🙂
Yes, I have, but with no luck. Will try and incorporate a little shea butter or bump up the oil content. See how that goes.
You can also try increasing the humectants in the recipe—the glycerin and the silk 🙂
Great, shall do, will let you know how it goes. Appreciate the reply
I’ve made this twice already but only in oils form. Didn’t have the e wax but I do now!
And I borrow from your newer conditioner and throw in the broccoli oil. I have bought so much broccoli seed oil and stashed it in the fridge, just in case calamity strikes and I’m no longer able to buy it. It’s that important to my ego. I don’t have bad summer hair days anymore.
Anyway, I’m making it again today the proper way, Marie. As a real creamy conditioner
Thanks for this most amazing hair product, from the bottom of my heart and top of my vanity problem.
Oooh, I can’t wait to hear what you think of the emulsified version! Also, you are making me think I should go get out my broccoli seed oil and play with it some more 😛 Happy making 😀
Ha! I’m here on your site, revisiting your rosehip and tamanu serum recipe and I get notified that you’ve commented to me. Just funny that I’m already here.
Anyway, the conditioner turned out wonderful. The family loves it.
My husband gets itchy scalp syndrome. Why is this? I don’t know but this recipe helps with it.
And I’m all for you playing with and sharing broccoli oil recipes! I can’t get enough of it.
That’s awesome! I’d hypothesize he has a dry scalp if this conditioner is helping, but that’s just a guess 🙂
I’m relatively new to the field of long hair — my hair hasn’t gone past chin length since I was 13, and right now it’s right past my shoulders. I’m trying to wash my hair less often, but I’ve noticed a huge gradient in hair greasiness from the roots to the ends. My ends can get really frizzy and dry while my roots are super oily — and the more I scrub my scalp, the quicker it seems to oil right back up. Using some homemade lotion/conditioner on the ends has really helped, but I can’t seem to keep my scalp from greasing up after a day. I’ve been a natural hair care person for a while now, using true soaps and homemade conditioner/dry shampoo. Advice on how to defeat the greasies?
Hmm. My first query would be on where you’re using your acidic rinse—if you’re using it on your scalp, move it down (bottom of the ears and south from there). Acid rinses on the scalp make the greasies set in faster!
I’m pretty solid on keeping my acis rinses at my ends only, and sometimes I skip them altogether (based on how my hair feels that day slash how lazy I am). I’ve also moved onto trying to wash only my scalp with soap to try and combat the super greasy scalp compared to my roots, which seems to help in the short term.
To help some more I’ve just got a boar bristle brush to help redistribute the oils in my hair away from my scalp. I’ve never used one before so I’ll see how it goes! I’m going to try and be very stubborn these next few days and not. Wash. My. Hair. For as long as humanly possible before Friday… Must. Resist…
Pro tip: once you fall in love with boar bristle brushes (it’s inevitable), start trawling the eBay for a beautiful silver one. SWOON. You’ll be like Rose in Titanic!
What about thickening the conditioner with guar gum?? I use ecomulse and it was way too runny, even after using a stick blender and leaving it for a week. I blended in 1/4 tsp guar gum and the texture is way better. But will the guar gum leave a residue or be hard to rinse out??
I can’t think of any reason not to—I’ve used guar gum in quite a few hair milks/serums and never had any issues with it 🙂
Need more ewax. But this is going on the list. My hair need conditioner. This might just take the edge off without being too heavy. Plus it’s simple. I like simple.
Get BTMS-50 for this one! It’s cationic, which will make this a true conditioner 🙂 Happy making!
Why can’t we use aloe vera gel?
I’ve written an entire post on that in the FAQ.
Hi! I live in Mexico and can’t find 100% aloe vera juice, however I do have access to actual leaf and can extract the pulp. Could I use this instead?
Love your recipes!!’
Sadly not—there’s no way you’ll be able to keep that shelf stable 🙁
Curious – my conditioner thickened up perfectly During the cool down phase. As soon as I added the essential oils it went back to a liquid. Any idea what I’m missing? Thank you!
Hmm. Did you change anything? Which emulsifier did you use? Which preservative?
Thank you for responding
My preservation was Germaben Preservative from Brambleberry. Thanks!