Products developed to cleanse the skin and bleach the hair also remove fatty acids, lipids, proteins, amino acids and other essential components, leaving the skin and hair rough and dry. Bleaching, for example, removes the fats and proteins that are important for the binding of water to hair. A conditioner is needed to correct these losses.
NOF Corporation has developed a synthetic water-soluble polymer that mimics the structure of skin surface lipid, has the ability to coat the skin and hair surface, and holds moisture. Now from that polymer, NOF Corporation has developed a cationic varianta, polyquaternium-64, that binds with skin and hair, forms a protective barrier, and helps to prevent the loss of moisture and other components from skin and hair. Its structural similarity to naturally occurring skin phospholipids enables this material to stabilize the lamellar structure of skin and to coat the hair, offering protection from surfactants and harsh chemical treatments.
This article reports polyquaternium-64’s effect on damaged hair by evaluating moisture retention, combing friction, conditioning efficacy, and tensile strength of damaged hair treated with the copolymer. Other studies report on its ability to form gels on the hair surface and to adhere to that surface. Scanning electron micrographs show its ability to restore moisture to the cuticle and prevent the cuticle from lifting.