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Formulating Hair Care Products: A Q&A With Vaishali Gode, PhD
By: Katie Anderson
Posted: October 5, 2012, from the November 2012 issue of Cosmetics & Toiletries.
When it comes to hair care, not all products or ingredients are created equal, and no one knows this better than Vaishali Gode, PhD, head of advanced technology development for Marico Ltd. Gode has seen many technologies change the shape of hair care during her 15 years in the industry, and her research on actives and technologies continues to drive hair care innovation. Following is a sampling of trends she is currently seeing, tips for hair care formulators and an outlook on where hair care technology is headed.
C&T: What ingredient trends are you seeing in hair care?
Hair care has witnessed a surge in activity in recent years. A clear trend is using actives that enable cosmetic companies to make stronger claims and provide top-end benefits to consumers. Some of these actives are derivatives of drugs, especially for benefits like reduction in hair loss. Peptides and amino acids are also being used for their health benefits to hair. Another trend is to use plant-derived stem cells in formulations, which is more for biological benefits like the prevention of hair loss or improvement in hair density, etc.
Currently, oils are finding their way into formulations in a big way, particularly in the South Asian subcontinent, where oils such as argan, olive, almond and coconut are being used. For physical modifications, silicones continue to rule the roost, and formulations that provide instant benefits such as shine or softness are being used extensively.
C&T: What research topics are hair care formulators exploring?
Pigmentation and prevention of hair loss top the list for research in hair care. Besides these, safer and longer-lasting hair styling technologies such as colors, technologies for hair straightening and perming are being researched. There is also a lot of research being conducted on understanding hair as a fiber and the correlation of the fiber properties of hair and their relevance to the consumer. The technical measurements of hair may not always correlate well with consumer grooming habits and the way consumers assesses their hair physically. Hence, a lot of work is being conducted to draw a correlation between the two. New actives that can benefit hair are also being researched.
C&T: What formulation technologies have revolutionized hair care?
New technologies like micro and nano emulsions are currently being investigated. However, there are some controversies on the safety aspects of these technologies. Also, new technologies that can modify the appearance of hair—such as hair color, hair straighteners and perming agents—have changed the way consumers look at hair, and have given the consumer an opportunity to experiment. It has also increased the repertoire of hair grooming products.
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