Advances in polymer availability for hair products

By Deanna Utroske contact

- Last updated on GMT

Advances in polymer availability for hair products

Related tags: Hairstyle

Prominent ingredient brands are moving to manufacture, produce, and market polymers at a substantial scale for use in hair product formulations and market research pros are paying attention.

“Customization of polymers according to end-use applications, cost-effective manufacturing and scalability are the most significant challenges faced by technology developers,”​ reports Frost & Sullivan in new analysis.

Ashland’s 4910
A synthetic fixative polymer that the company has used in-house for years is being offered commercially now. “With the addition of Advantage 4910 polymer to its portfolio of hair styling, conditioning and fixative products, Ashland now offers hairspray manufacturers all of the major polymers required to produce today’s consumer-desirable formulas,” ​according to a media release.

“Prior to adding the legacy technology as a commercial offering, Ashland tested the polymer using Dynamic Hairspray Analysis…[measuring] the impact of mechanical and environmental stress applied to treated hair fiber assemblies.”

In conjunction with the commercial launch of the company’s Advantage 4910 hair fixative polymer, Ashland has created a new hair science, applications, and materials design program—Style Advantage—to help manufacturers with both technical and market-based aspects of product formulation. The service brings Ashland’s knowhow into conversation with formulations professionals and product development teams at hairstyling product manufacturing companies.

For example, Ashland can “tailor testing to consumer expectations…and create tests that help meet marketing claims,”​ according to Linda Foltis, vice president of R&D care specialties, who spoke during a lab tour to update industry editors on the polymer and testing technology.

Penford Corporation’s PenCare DP
The company launched a new proprietary polymer last month at the Society of Cosmetic Chemists  Scientific Meeting and Technology Showcase in New York City. Pencare PD is a naturally based cationic polymer intended for use in skin and hair conditioner, and “offers a number of benefits and advantages for formulators in developing the latest rinse-off and leave-on products for Hair and Skin Care,”​ according to a press statement.

Penford has recently announced a distribution partnership with Univar: “Univar’s expertise, experience and leadership position in the personal care industry directly support Penford’s commitment to providing innovative, naturally based ingredients that exceed customers' expectations for performance and sustainability,”​ said Greg Keenan, Penford’s vice president and director of business development.

Both companies are content with the arrangement. “We are looking forward to further developing our partnership with Penford as a recognized leader in biopolymer innovation and applications development,” ​said Kelly Gilroy, senior industry director at Univar Personal Care.

Unnatural
Polymers either occur in natural materials like silk, cellulose, and proteins; or are made synthetically from petroleum.

 “Anna Ibbotson, industry manager, chemicals and materials at Kline, has highlighted hair fixative polymers as the most challenging category, concerning the development of effective, viable natural alternatives to h​air products and fixatives,” reported Michelle Yeomans, assistant editor of Cosmetics Design in a recent article about the supply of natural ingredients​.

“With the exception of corn-startch based formulas, devising fixative properties from natural ingredients to replace their synthetic counterparts is proving to be a formidable challenge,” ​according to Ibbotson.

Related topics: Formulation & Science, Hair Care

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