Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Mixology: In The Formulary | How To Make Your Own Moisturizing Spritz

 I want to try this hair-style, the necklace is pretty dope too! [source]

Pro's of Formulating Your Own Products:
Cheaper [one 8oz bottle of your homemade spritz can cost as little as $3.00]
More control over what goes in your products
Ability to tailor the products to suit your needs

Con's of Formulating Your Own Products:
Most of the products you need can only be found online

One of the joys of formulating my own products comes from the realization that sometimes they are just as good and often better than [both for your hair as well as performance-wise] most store bought products that are chock full of hard to pronounce ingredients and chemicals. 

I have been formulating bath, body, and hair care products as a hobby for well over ten years. Although soaping is my first love, I enjoy the instant gratification of making skin and haircare products. I like to use a mix of herbal infusions, and essential oils in my formulations, as they are a lot more effective versus synthetic ingredients. The key to successfully formulating your own products lies in the ingredients you choose, the stability of your end product, and the ratio of raw ingredients you decide to use. 

Today we are going to focus on formulating an effective, stable moisturizing spritz. We are going to start off with a basic formula consisting of a humectant [draws moisture, and allows for better moisture retention], water, then build from there to give the product more therapeutic properties. In order to create a stable emulsion [aka a product that won't separate] when formulating with water, we must add water soluble ingredients. The other alternative would be to add a emulsifier which helps bind oil-soluble ingredients to water molecules which results in a stable emulsion, but we will get to that at another time. For now, lets keep it simple, and focus on water soluble ingredients that are easy to obtain and use. 

How To Formulate:
To start, formulations should always be comprised of percentages, as this allows you to convert your recipe into whatever quantity you need while still maintaining the same integrity [effectiveness, quality, etc]. In the end, your formula should always equal 100%. Also keep in mind that using fluid or volume measurements is not an effective way to produce stable products, which is another reason using percentages is beneficial. 
Some vendors [like this one] will list the recommended percentage in the description of the product in order to give you an idea of the most effective way to incorporate the ingredient in your formula. Here are some basic recommended percentages for the use of humectants:
  • Glycerin 2-5% - One of the more popular humectants
  • Honeyquat 2-5% - I like to use this in place of honey in my hair formulations, its much easier to work with.
  • Sodium Lactate 2-10% - This is actually purported to improve moisture retention better than glycerin, it's actually a bit cheaper, and doesn't leave that sticky, hard residue that glycerin sometimes leaves behind.
Working With Percentages:
These percentages indicate the amount of product to use. For instance, if you decide to make a spritz using sodium lactate as your humectant, your formula may look like this:
90% Water
10% Sodium Lactate
To break this into an recipe which yields 8oz, we need to first turn those percentages into decimals by taking each percentage, and dividing by 100. Your formula should now look like this:
90/100 = 0.90 [water]
10/100 = 0.10 [sodium lactate]
We aren't done yet, in order to find out how much of each product you need to make 8oz, multiply the new numbers [the decimals] by 8. Your formula should now look like this:
0.90 x 8 = 7.2oz water
0.10 x 8 = 0.8oz sodium lactate
Now we know that we need 7.2 ounces of water, and 0.8 ounces of  sodium lactate to make an 8oz product. As you can see, having a digital scale to accurately measure your ingredients is essential. 

Tip: You can use other liquids like Aloe Vera, or Herbal Tea's to take the place of water in your formulas. 

Whenever you add additional ingredients to your formula, you have to account for it in percentages. Here is an example:
86% Water
4% Silk Amino Acids
10% Sodium Lactate
You can see that I reduced the amount of water to make up for the addition of Silk Amino Acids. Keep in mind that your end formula should always equal 100%
How Do I Mix My Spritz?
Easy, just dump everything in a jar and either shake vigorously, or use a stick blender to thoroughly incorporate the ingredients.

Preserve Your Mixes: This is one of the most critical elements of working with water-based products, as the potential for bacteria sky-rockets anytime you introduce water into the equation. Here are a few natural ways to preserve your kitchen concoctions:

CosmocilWater soluble, Paraben & Formaldehyde free, recommended usage: 0.2% -1.2%
Grapeseed Extract:  Water soluble, completely natural, recommended usage .2%-1%

Get To Formulating; Here Are Some Great Additions To Moisturizing Spritz's!
  • Silk Amino Acids: Water soluble, adds sheen, strengthens, and repairs. Recommended usage: 1.0%-10%
  • Aloe Vera Liquid: Water soluble, softens hair, adds sheen and luster, can offer a slight hold. You can use as much of this as you like, but beware that too much can make for hard hair. I typically use no more than 15% in my formulation. But if you hair loves Aloe, than by all means, up the ante. 
  • Panthenol:  I am sure you have seen this in most conditioner ingredients, this offers an incredible amount of softness, strengthens hair shaft, and improves manageability. This ingredient is also water soluble. Recommended Usage: 2%-10%
  • Herbs; Infuse Your Water With Some Of These Herbs [2-5tbsp is more than enough];
  • Rosemary: Imparts shine, offers light conditioning, helps stop hair loss, also purported to help with thinning
  • Nettles: Purported to stimulate hair growth, and help with dandruff issues
  • Horsetail: Offers conditioning properties, imparts shine, and strength
  • Coltsfoot: Rich in minerals, strengthens hair, improves elasticity, improves manageability of the hair

How To Infuse Water:
Boil water, add herbs, then turn off stove. Allow herbs to steep covered for about 30 minutes. Remove herbs and you have herbal infused water!

My favorite place to buy organic herbs - [Mountain Rose]
Favorite bottle resource - [Sunburst Bottle]
Favorite place for raw ingredients [Ok. I lied; there are three: FMNWL - The Herbarie - Texas Natural Supply]

What's gonna be in your next moisturizing mix? 

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  1. Gorgeous hair style. I had issues with my spritz this summer. Really got discouraged but I did learn a few things along the way. This will def be on my list for next spring. Thanks!

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Two quick questions: When you mix your oils and spritzes how long do they last or how long should they be kept? Next, do you use the glass bottles or plastic ones? Or do you switch out depending on what you are mixing? OK I lied one more question, where is an ideal place to store the products and mixtures to prevent "spoiling?"

    You are one lean, mean, mixing queen :) Thank you for the knowledge, I swear you have really taken the guess work out of transitioning for me. I also like that you are able to educate us newbies on our transformation without breaking the bank.

    Awesome job!

  4. You are honestly my favie blogger! greeat information! :) thanks for this!

  5. I made one of aloe vera juice vs. water, and added Lisa's Hair Elixer (CD), some Mixed Chicks LI leftovers and veggie glycerin. It makes my hair so slippery and slick! I only make it about 4 oz. at a time since I don't add a preservative and don't want to store it in the fridge. I use it all within 2-3 days. Can't wait to try your recipe! I like the idea of percentages.

  6. WOW!! thank you so much for this. I have been searching all over the internet on how to mix and what amount to put in. I love the information!! Also, I tried to make my own body wash and what a mess. I made it too oily. I mixed Dr. Bronners castile soap, aloevera juice, glycerin, olive oil and jojoba oil. I know I made a mess because I didn't know how much of each was enough to mix in. Do you have any suggestions or your own recipe I can try? Thank you!!!!

  7. Honestly you should bottle it up and sell it! :)

  8. Her leaf necklace is so HOT!!!

    *Check out my blog*

  9. Hey! I wanna know, how do you preserve your herbal infusions? Mine dont last more than a week, in the fridge!

  10. thanks for the recipe. i have that same necklace, and it is dope... although i don't wear it nearly often enough, lol!


  11. are these recipies recomended for relaxed hair?I am in the process of transitioning.

  12. I have been trying to find Grape seed extract and I only see it in the form of capsules. Is that the only way it is sold?

  13. Hi,

    If I wanted to make 8 oz in total and add all of the things you listed like the herbs, pathenol, and aloe vera how do i figure out the percentage? since it won't be 90% water and 10% humectant any longer.

  14. HEY, came across your blog two days ago and i love it! your giving me inspiration to maintain my hair. i peeped your interest in the necklace in the picture and thought i would mention my blog. My sister and i make earrings out of natural and found materials like wood, mango skin, grapefruit skin, matchsticks, and photographs! check us out:

  15. Hi, I'm fairly new to your blog so maybe I missed this but I have two questions: where do you get all this info from? and what do you do for a living (to have time to do all this)?

  16. @Hell Notes for Beauty™ Isn't it? Well I hope these tips help you out some!

    @SweetyHunni; Because I use preservatives, my products can last between 6 months to one year. I use plastic bottles for formulating regular products, and I use dark glass whenever I make a product that has a lot of essential oils in it. The dark glass prevents rays from damaging the properties of the oil. If you use preservatives, you can store them anywhere. If you don't, I would recommend the fridge. Thanks for the compliments! I hope these tips helped some!

    @Terra; Thanks for the compliment and the love!! Much appreciated!

    @Napfrocurlzgirl; Sounds like a great moisturizer!! It's fun concocting stuff in the

    @OloriOba; You are very welcome, I am glad you found it useful! I have to go through my book and see what I can come up with. I will try to have a simple soap recipe up next week!

    @Michelle; LOL That's what my mom told me.

    @Forever a Haute Mom; Isn't it?!

    @nelita; I use a preservative, check out the ones I linked in the post. Cosmocil is my favorite

    @Closet Confections; Can I have it? LOL I'm just kidding! LOLLL

    @ariez; Yes, sodium lactate works much better on relaxed hair versus glycerin!

    @leta; I buy mine in liquid form here:

    @Anonymous' herbs don't count in your mixture since you are infusing them. If you want to add aloe vera, subtract from the water. I listed an example above; hopefully it helps, if not, let me know!

    @Yaminah and Yarminiah Rosa; Thanks for stopping by! I appreciate it, I can always appreciate a fellow craftsman, I will definitely check out your work, sounds dope!

    @Rosie; I am a jewelry designer; this is just all random knowledge that I have accumulated over the years. I have always into books, and studying up on things that I have an interest I have an outlet to share it.

  17. Aww, Soaping..I miss it! I haven't soaped in a long time but I will soon!

    Thank you, so much for this guide! I've been piddling around with my own spritzes and NONE of them make my hair feel moisturized and as a result I always have terrible split ends...

    I'll try making another one with your guidelines and see how that turns out for my hair..

  18. We can be having any type of hairs then we have to deal with them in particular way so as to make them more attractive.

  19. Hi,
    Thanks so much for this post. It is very much appreciated. Isn't it dangerous to apply protein in hair on a daily basis? Is it safe to use silk amino acids in spritzes and use it everyday?
    Thanks in advance


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