Do you guys add any “heavy lifters” to your mixes or pre-made conditioners? When I say ‘heavy-lifter’, that’s my way of noting an ingredient which adds to the ability of a DIY mix to improve the condition on the hair, skin, or in some cases, improve the overall feel of your finished product to make it more usable and marketable.

Heavy-lifters are ingredients which aid in improving strength, shine, softness, hydration, etc.  of your hair and skin.  They are the “additives” you add to your BTMS+Water+Oil mixes which help condition the hair.


Panthenol (ProVitamin B5) is a heavy-lifter ingredient. Its a known moisturizer, but it also helps to strengthen and improve the quality of the hair.  

Pro-vitamin B5 is said to improve the quality of your hair and make the strands appear thicker.   In addition, its also great for body care products as well to help with moisture retention.

Beet Sugar Extract

Vegemoist (beet sugar extract) is a heavy-lifter.  It’s not just a humectant.  It’s also an anti-irritant ingredient which adds hydration directly to hair instead of trying to draw moisture from the air.   It has “cellular hydrating activity” and its an ingredient known to penetrate the hair shaft.

In addition, Vegemoist improves sheen for hair and adds hydration to the skin.  Like panthenol, its great for use in hair and skin products.


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Royal Jelly Extract

Royal Jelly extract is another ingredient which doesn’t just moisturize.  It has a dual purpose serving to help improve the quality of hair and skin.  

Royal Jelly is incredibly rich in proteins, vitamins and minerals.   For the skin, it promotes the “synthesis of collagen and elastin”.   It also is said to help tone and firm the skin.

Royal Jelly extract is actually high in pantothenic acid (Vitamin B5) which serves to soften the hair and make it feel supple.


Even Glycerin (assuming you like glycerin) is a heavy-lifter meaning that it does something special besides just serving to moisturize the hair.  

Glycerin improves the slip and feel of the actual product, making it more likely to be used…. especially by people with curly hair.  Why do you think companies use glycerin in everything from gels to conditioners besides the fact that its cheap? 🙂

Glycerin works by drawing moisture out of the air around you.  Have you ever had the experience of using a product heavy with glycerin on a rainy day?  Ever noticed your hair feeling SUPER soft even if the curl definition is almost non-existent?  Well that’s the glycerin doing what its supposed to do to soften your hair.

Guar Gum

In that sense, Guar Gum is also a heavy-lifter.  If you’re looking for slip, then Guar Gum and its buff cousin (Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride) are the ingredients for you!

Adding Guar Gum to any conditioner immediately improves “slip” and can often aid in defining the curl pattern of your hair.

When I say ‘improve’, I mean it depends on the amount you use.  Use a little to add slip and definition.  Add a little more to get SUPER slip for use as a rinse-off detangler.

Because of the immediate result you get by using Guar Gum, your customers (or your family members lol!) will be much more likely to use it.

Alkyl Esters

If you’re looking for an ingredient to improve the gloss of your finished product and stop it from leaving a super “greasy” after-feel in the hair or on the skin, Alkyl Esters is a heavy-lifter you should check out.  Its a great ingredient for professionalizing the feel of your products (assuming you care about that type of thing ).

Alkyl Esters is the silkiest of all the esters used in hair and body products.  Its a replacement for silicone because it decreases the “tacky” feeling of conditioners and creams.  It even helps your fragrances linger longer in your hair and on your skin.

In addition, its reportedly non-comedogenic making it a replacement for silicone in facial products.  If that weren’t enough, it also can help to “solubilize” ingredients which are difficult to incorporate into your products (resins, salicylic acid, etc).

Of course there are many more ingredients which add an extra, immediate difference to the quality of your diy mix’s performance or the feel of the final product.  But these are just a few which I’ve used in some of the DIY recipes I’ve posted here.

So when you’re formulating your DIY mixes, also make sure to invest in a few ‘heavy-lifters’ which will add an extra pop to your products.  


DL Panthenol (provitamin-b5)
Alkyl Esters
Royal Jelly Extract

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The d-alpha form of Vitamin E is the natural form. The dl-alpha form of Vitamin E is synthetic. Any "-acetate" form of Vitamin E is useless at preventing oxidation in your actual formulation. The d-alpha form of Vitamin E is best for your actual skin.
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