5. Cetyl Alcohol
Alcohols are often associated with a drying effect on the scalp, but this isn’t the case for all. Some alcohols are put into haircare formulations for their immense hydrating and conditioning effect. Cetyl alcohol is one of them—and it has been recognized for its ability to work wonders in hair conditioners.
Cetyl alcohol is a fatty alcohol that's often used in hair products. This fatty alcohol, derived from plants, is popular in major haircare products to relieve hair-related concerns. It's heavier than ethanol, for example, giving more hydration and moisturization to the hair for longer.
The presence of cetyl alcohol in haircare products helps improve the manageability of hair and seal in moisture. It also helps to soften and smooth hair, providing shine and nourishment from root to tip, creating voluminous and vibrant hair.
Benzophenone is an aromatic ketone that possesses UVB and UVA absorbing properties, designed to filter out harmful ultraviolet (UV) radiation. Benzophenones are a type of organic compound often used in sunscreens and provide beneficial properties in a range of haircare products, including shampoos, hair sprays, and hair conditioners.
The ingredient works to protect the hair cuticle from UV damage. It also aims to preserve the results of specific chemical treatments such as hair dye use. It does this by maintaining the integrity of different ingredients and effects, such as color, scent, and stopping them from deteriorating in the sun.
Dimethicone is a type of silicone ingredient popular in hair conditioners for its ability to control frizz and give hair extra slip and shine.
It's often used to create hair conditioning formulas as it's known to detangle and smooth hair. Dimethicone can smooth down and bind the cuticles to the hair strand, giving it a silky texture and shine. It’s also valuable for heat-damaged hair as it has heat protectant benefits that help combat the impact of thermal styling.
Dimethicone creates a protective barrier on the hair’s outer layer, known as the cuticle, which contributes to the hair’s healthy appearance. However, it does not fully protect against water entering or escaping the hair cuticle. It comes in various polymer sizes and consistencies, from thin fluid to thick, gooey varieties.
The ingredient is not water-soluble and, therefore, consumers perceive it to be hard to rinse off. Haircare shoppers may actively avoid it for its association with coating tresses with a greasy-like texture. However, dimethicone is recognized by the International Journal of Trichology for its ability to protect the hair shaft from abrasive handling, contributing to healthy and effective management. It is also known for its ability to develop hair strand density, giving the appearance of sought-after volume and lack of breakages.
Fructose is a simple sugar molecule that is made up of glucose. It’s a water-soluble, colorless, and odorless crystalline substance with a sweetish taste.
It’s a carbohydrate commonly found in various foods, such as fruits and honey, and is also produced commercially from sugar cane, sugar beets, and corn.
But what does all of this mean for hair care and hair conditioning, in particular? Well, fructose is known to have water-binding properties for hair, helping to hydrate and lock in moisture (the number one benefit shoppers want to see in their hair conditioning selections).
Fructose has hygroscopic properties, which means the material can attract and keep water molecules by absorbing and adsorbing them from their surroundings. Absorbing refers to the complete absorption of a liquid into an absorbent material, while adsorbing relates to single molecules, atoms or ions gathering on the surface of a material. It works to condition the hair, softening and protecting it from environmental factors, making it a popular choice for hair conditioning formulas.