Behentrimonium Chloride

What is it? Behentrimonium Chloride is a cationic emulsifier and conditioning ingredient. Unlike Behentrimonium Methosulfate (BTMS) it is often available without any stabilizing additives like cetearyl alcohol, so you’ll need to add some of your own in order to create stable emulsions with it.

Check with your supplier to learn how active your BTMC is; mine is from Making Cosmetics and is approximately 80% active.

INCI Behentrimonium Chloride
Appearance White pellets or flakes
Usage rate The CIR report covering Behentrimonium Chloride notes usage rates ranging from 0.2–7%.
Texture Products made with behentrimonium chloride tend to have a smooth, powdery finish.
Scent Strong fishy odor
Approximate Melting Point 90°C (194°F)
pH 6–8
Charge Cationic
Solubility Oil
Why do we use it in formulations? Behentrimonium Chloride is an excellent conditioner, helping improve comb-through, reduce static, and soften coarse hair. It is most typically used in cream-type hair conditioners, both leave-in and rinse-out.
Do you need it? No, but I’d recommend trying a store bought product that uses it as the primary conditioning agent—some people find their hair really prefers Behentrimonium Chloride to Behentrimonium Methosulfate (BTMS).
Refined or unrefined? Behentrimonium Chloride only exists as a refined product.
Strengths Behentrimonium Chloride is an excellent conditioning active in hair products.
Weaknesses Behentrimonium Chloride smells pretty bad, though I don’t find it tends to come through in finished products if the usage rate is low. Its higher melting point can also make it difficult to work with (it doesn’t like to melt in water baths).
Alternatives & Substitutions BTMS-50 is a good alternative.
How to Work with It Melt it in your oil phase; I find it typically needs some form of direct heat (microwave or stovetop) to melt through. Be careful not to burn it! Running it through your DIY-only coffee grinder to powder it will help it melt.
Storage & Shelf Life Stored somewhere cool, dark, and dry, Behentrimonium Chloride should last at least two years.
Tips, Tricks, and Quirks  Behentrimonium Chloride is made from canola oil and is Whole Foods Premium Body Care approved.
Recommended starter amount 100g (3.3oz)
Where to Buy it  Buy it from an online DIY ingredient supplier; mine is from Making Cosmetics and is approximately 80% active.

Some Formulations that Use Behentrimonium Chloride


Posted on

February 10, 2019