Hair Care Solutions3.9.2015
The natural trends regarding socio-economic and lifestyle issues has stimulated in recent years a mounting quest for alternatives to synthetic or mineral ingredients which can be responsibly extracted, derived or manufactured from natural sources. This trend is not simply market or “marketing” driven but is based on research showing the superior compatibility, safety and performance of selected materials of natural origin such as fatty acids and derivatives, vegetable unsaponifiables and triglycerides, natural waxes, plant extracts, etc. when used in cosmetic application. Natural ingredients have demonstrated greater affinity with skin and hair than most synthetic counterparts and are capable of superior integration with their metabolism. They can therefore better contribute to conditioning, replenishing and protecting both skin and hair whilst respecting the natural conditions required for maintaining them in a healthy state.
Additionally most consumers are aware of the impact that the products they buy have on their personal wellbeing and on the environment. However, they are not willing to sacrifice product performance or convenience going forward.
The demand for vegetable based ingredients is nowhere else as pressing or as important as in the field of hair care formulations where the search for alternatives to wellknown conditioning ingredients such as silicones, quaternized compounds and synthetic polymers is a major issue. Such alternatives should satisfy criteria of natural origin, sustainability and efficacy whilst avoiding recognized problems caused by the traditional conditioning agents mentioned above such as long-term build up, limited or no biodegradability and poor integration with the substrate.
Committed to researching effective and reliable alternatives to synthetic ingredients based on decades of experience in oleochemicals and particularly in the development, manufacture and application of natural ingredients such as natural waxes, vegetable oils, natural butters, fatty acid esters and derivatives, Natura-Tec is currently producing several natural based alternatives to synthetic conditioning and protecting ingredients, two of which have particular interest in hair care products.
Silicone-free natural hair care
Natura-tec Plantsil, an ester complex from olive origin, is a unique sensorial agent designed to be used as a vegetable based alternative to silicone. It mimics perfectly the feel of silicones thanks to its balanced formulation of natural derived ingredients. It is a highly stable, almost odourless transparent fluid oil. It imparts a light and soft touch and leaves a dry after feel on the skin and hair with an appealing elegant touch.
The sensorial profile of Natura-tec Plantsil is very close to silicones. It provides a silky touch and smoothness to skin and hair without oily residue. Furthermore, thanks to its excellent penetration and fast spreading properties, it can mimic perfectly the volatile feel of cyclomethicone (Fig.1).
A cosmetic emollient of universal use, Natura-tec Plantsil restores suppleness and elasticity to skin and hair. It is rapidly absorbed, leaving a soft sensation with a unique powdery finish. It imparts a long lasting silky feel giving a velvety touch in skin and hair care applications.
Most interestingly, in shampoo formulations it has been shown that Natura-tec Plantsil behavior on hair is very similar to actual silicone. Lab evaluations confirm the compatibility with common surfactants and co-surfactants and it is recommended as an ideal conditioning agent to replace silicones in haircare products (Fig.2).
All-natural hair conditioning
Natura-tec Abysoft, a triglyceride ester of phytosterols, is a MPE “Multifunctional Performance Enhancing” active that combines the benefits of Crambe Abyssinica Oil with the bio-availability of Phytosterols.
Based on long chain triglycerides Natura-tec Abysoft presents a unique molecular structure. It contains long chain fatty acids and is concentrated in C22:1 fatty acids, making it highly resistant to oxidation. Due to its high molecular weight, it is also more stable against heat.
Natura-tec Abysoft is non-irritant and acts directly on skin and hair forming a thin protective film which retains the vital balance of water maintaining the substrate in optimal conditions. It also shows self-emulsification and co-emulsifying properties. By creating this delicate natural film it imparts maximum comfort and suppleness to the skin and a velvety feel to hair. Thanks to its excellent moisturizing performance it increases the hydration rate over 60% after 5 days and helps restore the substrate’s ideal healthy condition.
Natura-tec Abysoft has also the ability to enhance colour pigment dispersion improving substantivity and intensity providing a longer lasting effect.
Specific studies on hair application demonstrate that Natura-tec Abysoft improves hair elasticity, increases hair brightness, and shows a significant conditioning effect with an immediate effect on the increase of hair volume (Fig. 3, 4 and 5). Natura-tec Abysoft can also be used as a replenishing agent with a perceivable and beneficial sensorial performance.
Effect on hair elasticity
-After 12 washings/treatments improves hair elasticity by + 191%
-Natura-tec Abysoft improves the resistance of hair to traction
Effect on hair brightness
-After 12 washings/treatments increases the hair brightness by + 50%
-Natura-tec Abysoft in formulation provides immediate and long lasting effect on hair brightness.
-Natura-tec Abysoft in formulation has an immediate effect on the increase of hair volume by forming a film.
Extensive laboratory evaluation has shown the above materials to be highly effective as natural based replacements for silicone in conditioning and hair care applications. These innovative ingredients allow cosmetic formulators to develop finished products based on vegetable derived ingredients which conform to modern trends without compromising important parameters such as efficacy and sensorial performance which have great impact on consumer perception.Consequently hair care products today can be both green and efficient, satisfying all the criteria which are considered of major importance by informed, motivated and environmentally-savvy consumers which place emphasis on issues such as renewability, sustainability and eco-friendliness whilst still looking for quality, performance and cost-effectiveness in the personal care products they purchase.