INCI Name: Behentrimonium chloride, ethyl alcohol
You should be familiar with the word ‘behentrimonium’ itself already. It’s the ‘B’ and ‘T’ in BTMS-50. Both BTMS and Behentrimonium Chloride have the same surfactant, but BTMS itself is milder.
Behentrimonium Chloride is said to have very potent and obvious conditioning effects. It has anti-static properties which is thought to fight frizz. It’s also said to be an excellent detangler.
As of this writing, I’ve only used Behentrimonium Chloride at 1% so I can’t call it an “excellent detangler” just yet. More experimentation is necessary.
There’s also information online about it helping to rebuild damaged hair over time because it penetrates the hair shaft instead of simply coating it.
Behentrimonium Chloride isn’t exactly a natural ingredient, I know. One obvious drawback is that it’s not as mild as BTMS.
There seems to be two versions, although I’m not quite sure about that: BTAC228 and BTAC228KC. Don’t quote me on that though!
BTAC228 is said to be a yellowish wax that’s supposed to be very irritating. The one I have from MakingCosmetics.com is white chunks which dissolve in hot water with an INCI name of “Behentrimonium chloride, ethyl alcohol”.
But three positives is it’s cheaper than BTMS-50 in some cases, it doesn’t build-up on the hair, and it’s supposed to be used at a much lower percentage to feel the conditioning effects. Lower usage rate could mean it’ll last longer so you won’t have to buy it as often.
Behentrimonium Chloride is an ingredient in the hugely popular Shea Moisture Raw Shea Butter Conditioner and Suave Professionals Almond and Shea Butter conditioner. It’s also an ingredient in TRESemme Naturals Radiant Volume Conditioner, Renpure Conditioners, Herbal Essences Conditioners, OGX Conditioners, Wondercurl Restoring Hair Treatment and many other products.