Using Silicones in Formulating Hair care Products 

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Introduction
A new wave of consumer preference is shifting focus on Silicon-based high-end hair products. Often low in cost of production, hair care products formulated with conditioning ingredients, heat resistant and fiber strengthening ingredients fetch high profit margins. The hair care division of the general Cosmetic Industry takes the highest pie compared to skin products. The heavy users of these products (mostly women) focuss all their attention in physical appearance (especially hair) and can go to greater lenth in securing what seem “perfect-look” in the society
Silicones are actually one of the most effective ingredients in both hair care products.
Silicones work by covering hair with a thin hydrophobic (waterproof) coating and aids in reducing the porosity of the hair, which makes the hair strand (shaft) less likely to absorb humidity (Which is why it’s great for smoothing and straightening!) The hydrophobic property of silicones offer great conditioning benefits to the hair because they reduce moisture loss from the inside of the hair. Silicones also lubricate the surface of the hair making it feel smoother and easier to comb. Hair care products with silicones as ingredients make your hair feel slippery and less tangled. Some silicones like D-Met C coat hair, providing great shine and conditioning to the hair.
Types of Silicones.

Different silicones used in hair care that exhibit different properties. At least four types of commonly used silicones in hair product formulation are popular with high-end brands found in the Kenyan market. Some types of silicones are volatile, which means they evaporate and won’t build up on your hair. These volatile silicones give the hair a silky,smooth feel and leave the hair with incredible slip when wet and are often found in both leave-on and rinse-off products. They are also best used in conditioning shampoos.
Others are water-soluble, lightweight and provide very little build-up. They can comfortably be used in conditioning shampoos.
Silicones that have “amo”, “amine” or “amino” in their name (often categorized as amodimethicones) are a different kind of silicone that are chemically modified to stick to the hair better. That means they condition well but they can also be more challenging to remove.Amodimethicones are commonly used in leave-in conditioners.
Negative Effects

Sometimes use of silicones in your hair products have the negative effects; eg Silicone-buildup and heavy coating which makes the hair more likely to attract dirt and pollutants from the air, occasionally making the hair feel weighed down.
Some silicones (not all) are water insoluble, and therefore can be difficult to remove. However, this property makes them good for formulating hair serums and other leave-on products.
Advice

Herman, a medically trained senior industrial formulation scientist advises that the buildup occasioned by some types of silicones can be dealt with by washing hair with a surfactant based shampoo. “On the label of your product, he says, always advice heavy users of your silicone based products (particularly those with dimethicone), to apply copious amounts of shampoo to lather, rinse and repeat”. He continues: “If you want the benefits of silicone without the weight, look for lightweight silicones. These ingredients won’t build up but still give you some conditioning and shine benefits”.

SummarySilicones are very effective conditioners, provide great shine and can help smooth and straighten hair. The best shampoos in the market, Leave-on and Wash-off hair conditioners use silicones in the formulation. Hair serums, sprays and other products that make the hair manageable (like easy combing) are carefully formulated with a variety of silicones that offer such benefits.
For Comprehensive training on high quality hair care products that fetch good net profit, visit us at Nyota Building, Accra road Nairobi city and talk to the experts. You may call us on Tel. No. +254 723424240

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