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Forever Young: Antiaging Hair Care
By: Katie Schaefer, Cosmetics & Toiletries
Posted: April 30, 2007, from the May 2007 issue of Cosmetics & Toiletries.
When most consumers think about aging, they think about skin. Contrary to popular belief, however, hair also ages. The visible sign of aging hair is lack of pigment, which is a result of hair follicles no longer producing melanin.1 Accompanying this decrease in pigment is a decrease in hair strength and thickness. Although there is no way to prevent hair from becoming gray and thin, there may be a way to slow the process by which it happens. To slow hair aging, researchers are turning to an ingredient that has been formulated into personal care products for quite some time—silicone.
Beth Johnson, senior industry specialist and global hair care technology leader for Dow Corning Corp., is researching ways to use silicones to provide color retention and strengthening properties to hair.
“The trends that are in skin care carry over to hair care,” said Johnson. “Aging hair is drier and wiry. Silicones provide more protection to hair that is losing its strength.” Johnson and fellow researchers chose to test the efficacy of silicones on enhancing hair strength. According to Johnson, amino functional silicones are able to strengthen hair by forming a film along the fiber shaft, essentially sealing in the cuticles. It is hypothesized that the film can provide protection to hair, sealing the hair cuticle, helping prevent moisture penetration into and out of the hair cortex to maintain an optimal moisture level for hair strength.
“Amino silicones have a benefit in enhancing hair strength. The amino silicones have a better deposition on hair [than other silicones], so they can better bind to damaged hair,” said Johnson.
The amino silicones were formulated into dilute leave-on and rinse-off conditioners for its ability to seal in moisture. “If the hair is properly conditioned, less damage is being done to it.