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Frizz Control Hair Care

By: Eric Abrutyn
Posted: November 30, 2011, from the December 2011 issue of GCI Magazine.

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Hair care products that control or repair frizz must eliminate lifting of the cuticle, minimize loss of internal lipids and improve hair tensile strength. Conventional methods utilize a physical coating to smooth the cuticle, modulate moisture content in the cortex, and improve both wet and dry combing. The most widely used smoothing ingredients are silicone fluids.

Frizzy hair can temporarily be controlled with the daily use of a good conditioner. It does not matter whether the conditioner is deposited from a 2-in-1 shampoo, a rinse-off conditioner or a leave-on conditioning product so long as a sufficient quantity is deposited to reduce the degree of friction on hair during wet and dry combing. Controlling the amount of deposited conditioner is difficult, as it can be hindered by consumer application techniques, degree of damage to hair, and so on; thus it is important for consumers to adjust the amount or type of conditioner they apply to their hair to meet their individual conditioning needs. One popular frizz control approach is to apply an anhydrous serum, or a water-and-silicone emulsion, that deposits a high molecular weight silicone gum. This approach fills the gaps where humidity can enter the cuticle to smooth it.

Although this approach is effective, excessive deposition can result, leaving a greasy, heavy feel on hair that could be perceived as “dirty.” Since siloxanes are water-insoluble, they are also difficult to remove, and can build up after continued applications.

Challenges & Trends

Defining the elements to make a product control hair frizz is difficult. For the most part, hair damage is not repaired because hair is dead when it leaves the scalp. Therefore, consumers can only control frizz by styling it and making it more manageable. The trend in frizz control products has been to create softer, less depositing products so the hair feels as natural as possible, as well as to incorporate anti-frizz control into product forms other than the traditional serum such as shampoos, conditioners and styling gels.

When creating a frizz control product, it is best to avoid ingredients that will leave the hair sticky or impart a “dirty” feeling coating that result in unnatural shine/gloss, or that incorporate hydroscopic components, e.g., glycerin. If hair feels dirty or greasy, consumers will wash it more frequently, which consumers associate with increased frizz—and the demand is for hair that is as natural looking as possible.