Assessing the Targeting Conditioning Performance of Cationic Polymers

Sep 1, 2010 | Contact Author | By: Paquita Erazo-Majewicz, PhD, John A. Graham, PhD and Courtney R. Usher, PhD, Ashland Inc.
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Title: Assessing the Targeting Conditioning Performance of Cationic Polymers
guarx conditioningx shampoox siliconex polymerx infraredx
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Keywords: guar | conditioning | shampoo | silicone | polymer | infrared

Abstract: The distribution of a conditioning shampoo’s cationic polymers and silicone oils along the hair fiber defines its performance. Therefore in the present paper, researchers conduct spectroscopy and microscopy measurements to assess the polymer and silicone deposition of various conditioning systems on hair fibers, the results of which are used to compare efficacy.

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P Erazo-Majewicz, JA Graham and CR Usher, Assessing the targeting conditioning performance of cationic polymers, Cosm & Toil 125(9) 24-30 (Sep 2010)

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The conditioning performance of a formulation reflects the distribution of cationic conditioning polymers and agents such as silicone oils along the hair fiber. Thus, to deposit conditioners as well as fragrances, actives and other materials onto hair surfaces from cleansing and conditioning formulas, various deposition technologies have been developed. In cleansing formulations, the most broadly used deposition technology is based on the complex coacervate formed from a combination of cationic polymers and anionic surfactants. Alternatively, pearlized wax networks provide deposition in cleansing formulations.

In order to target the deposition of materials, innovative methods are required to assess the delivery of conditioning agents to the fiber surface and damaged ends. One such spectroscopic technique, generally used with flat film substrates, is called attenuated total reflectance-infrared spectroscopy (ATR-IR). ATR-IR has effectively been used to monitor the migration of low molecular weight silicone polymers through a silicone matrix. In the present study, ATR-IR is used to map silicone polymer depositions along the length of hair fibers from conditioning shampoo formulations. In addition, a combination of confocal laser scanning (CLS), fluorescent microscopy and atomic force microscopy (AFM) are used to define the corresponding distributions of cationic polymers along hair fiber surfaces.

Materials and Methods

For the present study, three conditioning polymers were used: guar hydroxypropyltrimonium chloride (GHPTC), acrylamidopropyltrimonium chloride/acrylamide copolymer (APTAC-Acm), and a developmental polymer system combining the two—i.e., GHPTC (and) APTAC-Acm. All three polymers had high molecular weights, ≥ 1 MM kdaltons. GHPTC and the developmental polymer system also exhibited a medium charge density, 0.5–1.1 meq/g, whereas APTAC-Acm had a high charge density, 1.5–3.0 meq/g.

GHPTC is well-known for delivering conditioning benefits to keratin substrates from cleansing formulations. In addition, cationic acrylamide polymers are known for their conditioning performance. In the present work, APTAC-Acm was redesigned for further improved deposition performance. As a result, the developmental polymer system and APTAC-Acm were found to provide uniform conditioning along the hair fiber as well as targeted conditioning to the damaged ends of the hair fibers, as will be shown.


Lab Practical: Formulating with Cationic Polymers

  • Formulate with 0.05% w/w polymer for lighter conditioning.
  • Formulate with 0.2% w/w polymer for deeper conditioning.
  • Amphoteric surfactants and nonionic surfactants can be added to the water phase, followed by anionic surfactants and an emulsion stabilizer.
  • Add conditioning oil to desired level.

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Table 1. Polymer/shampoo treatment

Table 1. Polymer/shampoo treatment

Polymer/shampoo treatment on contact angles for virgin brown hair

Figure 1. Silicone distribution and deposition

Figure 1. Silicone distribution and deposition

The developmental system enhanced silicone deposition by 50–140% relative to the individual polymers GHPTC and APTAC-Acm.

Figure 2. CLS fluorescent micrographs

Figure 2. CLS fluorescent micrographs

CLS fluorescent micrographs of the tops (left) and ends (right) of virgin brown hair treated with a) GHPTC, b) APTAC-Acm and c) the combined system

Figure 3. AFM micrographs of hair treated with GHPTC

Figure 3. AFM tapping mode micrographs

The atomic force micrographs in Figures 3, 4 and 5 confirm the full coverage provided by the three conditioning polymers to the hair cuticle at both the top and end of the virgin brown hair tresses.

Figure 4. AFM micrographs of hair treated with APTAC-Acm

Figure 4. AFM micrographs of hair treated with APTAC-Acm

The atomic force micrographs in Figures 3, 4 and 5 confirm the full coverage provided by the three conditioning polymers to the hair cuticle at both the top and end of the virgin brown hair tresses.

Figure 5. AFM micrographs of hair treated with GHPTC (and) APTAC-Acm system

Figure 5. AFM micrographs of hair treated with GHPTC (and) APTAC-Acm system

The atomic force micrographs in Figures 3, 4 and 5 confirm the full coverage provided by the three conditioning polymers to the hair cuticle at both the top and end of the virgin brown hair tresses.

ATR-IR Technique

The ATR-IR technique employed in this study uses the ratio of the peak height of the silicone band near 796.5 cm-1 (tangent baseline), to an area slice of a hair reference band from 940.1 cm-1 to 919.9 cm-1 (tangent baseline) to determine the relative surface silicone level, as shown in Eq. 1.

This method of surface silicone measurement was shown to have a correlation with total extracted silicone levels across a range of 300–4000 ppm. The total silicone deposited on each tress as a function of the conditioning polymer present in the shampoo was measured by extracting the silicone deposit from the tress with solvent and quantifying the total amount of silicone from the infrared spectrum of the dried extract. This method has been validated for 30–5,000 ppm silicone oil levels.

Footnotes [Erazo 125(9)]

a N-Hance (INCI: Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride) is a product of Ashland Aqualon Functional Ingredients, a commercial unit of Ashland Inc., Wilmington, Del., USA.

b N-Hance SP-100 (INCI: Acrylamidopropyltrimonium Chloride/Acrylamide Copolymer) is a product of Ashland Aqualon Functional Ingredients.

c The developmental polymer system (INCI: Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride (and) Acrylamidopropyltrimonium Chloride/Acrylamide Copolymer) is in production at Ashland Aqualon Functional Ingredients, with no trade name established as of this publish date.

d The Specac Imaging Golden Gate Diamond ATR Accessory is a device produced by the collaboration of Varian Inc. (Palo Alto, Calif., USA) with Specac (Slough, UK).

e The Nicolet FTIR Spectrometer is a device manufactured by Thermo Fisher, Waltham, Mass., USA.

f The Single Fibre Tensiometer (K100SF) is a device manufactured by Krüss, Hamburg, Germany.

g Confocal microscopy data was obtained with a Axiovert 200 M equipped with a LSM 510 NLO confocal microscope, both devices manufactured by Carl Zeiss International, Jena, Germany.

h Authoring Instructional Materials (AIM) v3.2 was the software used to record the confocal microscopy data.

j Alexa Fluor 488 Conjugate Dye is produced by Invitrogen Corp., Carlsbad, Calif., USA.

k AFM was performed in a MultiMode Scanning Probe Microscope with a NanoScope IIIA Controller, both devices manufactured by Veeco, Plainview, N.Y., USA.

Formula 1. Test shampoos for the present study

Water (aqua), qs to 100.00% w/w
Sodium Laureth Sulfate (Standapol ES-2, Cognis), 12.00
Cocamidopropyl Betaine (Amphosol CA, Stepan), 2.00
Dimethiconol (and) TEA-Dodecylbenzenesulfonate (DC 1784 Emulsion, Dow Corning), 1.20
Cationic Polymera, b, c (Ashland Inc.), 0.20
Sodium Chloride, 1.00

Note: Carbomer was used as a suspending aid.

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