Question of the Day: Can I Use a Leave-In with Emulsifying Wax? (Ingredients and Formulations)

Q: I’m looking at a conditioner base that contains emulsifying wax. Have you ever left a condish in with e. wax? Does it leave a film or make your hair dry?

A: The ingredients for Emulsifying Wax NF are: Cetearyl Alcohol, Polysorbate 60, PEG-150 Stearate, and Steareth-20 (just FYI) and is water soluble (as far as I know). In my experience, emulsifying wax is an ingredient where the formulation is really key regarding its performance and effects on my hair. I have used leave-ins that contained e. wax and I did think that my hair felt kinda waxy (Alaffia Beautiful Curls), and times where I thought the leave-in was great (Cush Creme de Palm). Also, it depends on where the ingredient is on the list – remember, if the ingredient is higher on the list, there tends to be more of it in the product (unless it’s equal to surrounding ingredients). But if the formulation is good, one ingredient should not be able to make or break a product. And that goes for ALL ingredients, not just e. wax (Example – I can use Oyin Honey Hemp in dry dews even though it has glycerin).

So, if you are really curious about a product, the best thing to do is try it out! If you are scared it’s going to suck, you can always use it on a smaller section of hair, so you at least don’t jack up your whole head. I do that a lot if a product has a lot of cones or mineral oil, because my hair tends to be bratty with those types of ingredients. Hope that helps and good luck testing products!