MaizeCare™ Style Polymer: How can corn enable a hairstyle that lasts all day?


Authors: Bethany Prime, Dow Technical Service & Development Specialist; Allison Hunter, Manager - Technical Services, Univar Solutions

Consumers continue to look for naturally derived ingredients in their hair products without sacrificing performance. Mintel reports that even though nearly a quarter of all clean beauty launches globally are in haircare (23%), an opportunity exists in the United States for more natural and eco innovations in the styling category (1). MaizeCare™ Style Polymer is a biobased polymer recently launched by Dow that can help brands take advantage of the opportunity for more natural hair styling products. Derived from non-GMO corn (INCI: Hydrolyzed Corn Starch), MaizeCare™ Style Polymer has 100% natural origin content, is certified COSMOS by EcoCert and is readily biodegradable. This means brands can grow and own this space by providing consumers with high-performing styling products that align to clean beauty demands and explore interesting and eco-friendly formats.


Key features of Maizecare™ Style Polymer:

  • Customizable hold levels with excellent aesthetics and durability
  • Excellent humidity resistance and curl retention over eight hours
  • Ideal solution for formulators seeking a clean and natural formula

MaizeCare™ Style Polymer in action: A natural styling gel formulation

We put MaizeCare™ Style Polymer to the test in a natural styling gel formulation to determine the frizz control and curl retention performance in a high humidity environment. Many of the styling gels on the market today use synthetic polymers to achieve durable film-forming properties on hair. Many formulators do not want to sacrifice performance when switching to natural ingredients. This has become the unwavering goal for formulators and customers alike. In order to evaluate the frizz control performance of the natural styling gel, a panelist with type 3a hair applied 2g of HOLD Styling gel with 2% MaizeCare™ Style Polymer Gel and HOLD base gel containing no MaizeCare™ Style Polymer to damp hair. The panelist spent five hours at 30°C and 65% relative humidity. The photos show less frizz and better curl definition with the styling gel containing 2% MaizeCare™ Style Polymer.

Measuring the curl retention of a natural styling product is also important. Virgin dark brown 3g hair tresses were used to measure high humidity curl retention in triplicate. Damp hair tresses were treated with 0.45 g of gel, rolled using plastic rollers, and allowed to dry overnight. Humidity resistance was tested for eight hours at 25°C and 90% relative humidity. HOLD Styling gel containing 2% MaizeCare™ Style polymer matched the performance of a commercial benchmark containing Dehydroxanthan Gum and Acacia Senegal Gum for curl retention and hold (Figure 2). The panelist reported the formulation with MaizeCare™ Style Polymer felt less crunchy, more natural and controlled frizz better than the commercial benchmark.

Based on the success of the MaizeCare™ Style Polymer, we have formulated an entire suite of clean beauty prototypes featuring MaizeCare™ Style Polymer in different formats and textures to provide a range of natural styling benefits for curly hair. For the full formulations or to request samples, please visit the Univar Solutions Innovation Hub at univarsolutions.com/STYLED

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