Ahead of in-cosmetics North America, Personal Care magazine spoke to Neil Kilcullen of Itaconix.

Neil Kilcullen will be presenting a session entitled ‘Hair damage prevention with naturally derived ingredients’ at in-cosmetics North America in the Technical Seminar Theatre on 11 October 2017, between 13:50 - 14:20 at in-cosmetics North America. 

• What types of damage are now being targeted in the hair care industry?

Hair may become damaged as a consequence of repeated use of hair dryers, curling tongs and straightening irons. The type of damage observed includes cuticle damage such as cuticle lifting or cracking and damage leading to an increase in porosity. This can lead to an increase in surface roughness and weakening of fibre making hair more difficult to comb, generally less manageable and more prone to breakages such as split ends.

• How are ingredient manufacturers responding?

Manufacturers are responding to these consumer needs by adapting their existing technology or developing new technology to protect hair against heat damage. These technologies are normally polymers, silicone derivatives or protein derivatives. The approach is generally preventative, to protect the hair against rapid expansion of water during thermal drying or styling, but a reparative approach can also be taken. Rapid expansion of water can cause mechanical damage to the fibre. Excessive temperatures can also lead to protein degradation and it is these processes that are being targeted by manufacturers.

• Is it easy for formulators to use naturally-derived ingredients for these products?

It’s always more difficult to develop products based on natural ingredients simply because there are fewer of them, but naturally-derived is an enduring concept in Personal Care therefore the portfolio of naturally-derived ingredients is expanding. As an example, RevCare NE 100S from Itaconix  was launched in 2016 and is the first styling polymer to be COSMOS approved.  We have continued to expand our naturally derived range with the introduction of RevCare HP for heat protection during hair styling and RevCare MC for malodour control in skin and hair care products. All these products are water soluble and can be easily formulated into a range of consumer products that can help contribute to a more a sustainable future.

• What ingredients from Itaconix fit in this sector?

At Itaconix, we have developed a range of products based on our naturally-derived polyitaconate technology platform. At in-cosmetics North America we are excited to be launching RevCare HP for heat damage prevention. RevCare HP can be used during thermal styling to help prevent cuticle damage such as cracking, breaking and raising of the cuticle edge which would otherwise lead to a rougher hair surface and increased porosity. If allowed to occur this will create increased friction between the fibres making the hair more difficult to comb. RevCare HP keeps hair in excellent condition following thermal styling so that it is easier to comb and has a reduced tendency to be affected by frizz. An additional benefit, especially compared to some other synthetic polymers, is that RevCare HP can be easily removed by washing and so consumers can avoid the build-up of polymer residues that can negatively affect the way the hair looks and feels, or obstruct other hair care treatments.

• What else will visitors learn from the presentation?

In addition to presenting data we have demonstrating the effectiveness of RevCare HP for protecting hair against heat damage, I will be demonstrating how RevCare NE 100S can be used to style hair and control frizz even under high humidity and temperature, yet still maintain a natural feel on the hair. With the RevCare range from Itaconix you do not have to compromise, you can achieve the best of both worlds and have excellent performance from a naturally derived polymer.

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