How did this hair mask straighten curly hair?

A hairstylist friend of mine reached out and said a client's hair got "accidentally" straightened after leaving on this mask for 40 minutes, with no heat applied. I see a lot of amino acids and emollients, don't see any formaldehyde-releasers but I could be missing something. I'm so curious as to how this could have happened with these ingredients! Any ideas?

Comments

  • I know Quat-15 releases formaldehyde, but I don't see any other ingredients here that release it that I'm aware of. 
  • When you say it straightened curly hair, what do you mean?

    Was it permanently straightened like a relaxer?  Was it temporarily straightened like a flat iron?

    Most likely what happened is that the hair mask left a coating on the hair fibers which weighed down the hair and hydrogen bonding in the fiber did the rest. If it goes curly after the next wash, that's probably it.

  • The List Of Ingredients doesn't contain any water 
    so it makes it all dubious
    it may well contain an undeclared ingredient.

    Can you please check its pH to see if it's highly alkaline, thus the reason it relaxes hair?
    Does it smell like perm? If it does it may contain thioglycolic acid
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thioglycolic_acid

  • edited December 6
    The stylist lives across the country, but I am curious enough to purchase it myself to test the pH. I was told the hair was straightened like a relaxer or similar straightening treatment and did not recurl when washed in the salon. Client has coily-type curly hair. The roots were still curly but the rest of the hair where this "moisture mask" (not my brand, they were just curious) was applied went straight. I advised them to have the client wash with a clarifying shampoo and then report back. I'm just so curious now! 

    And yes, they did say it smelled a little bit like sulfur after the 40 minutes when they rinsed it, but not before they rinsed. I couldn't find a reason for that in the IL, so I agree it could be an undeclared ingredient. 

    Thank you both!
  • Yeah, the ingredient label is has lots of mistakes so you can't really use it to know what is in the formula. If it straightened the hair like a relaxer, then it's probably a relaxer.
  • The stylist lives across the country, but I am curious enough to purchase it myself to test the pH. I was told the hair was straightened like a relaxer or similar straightening treatment and did not recurl when washed in the salon. Client has coily-type curly hair. The roots were still curly but the rest of the hair where this "moisture mask" (not my brand, they were just curious) was applied went straight. I advised them to have the client wash with a clarifying shampoo and then report back. I'm just so curious now! 

    And yes, they did say it smelled a little bit like sulfur after the 40 minutes when they rinsed it, but not before they rinsed. I couldn't find a reason for that in the IL, so I agree it could be an undeclared ingredient. 

    Thank you both!
    Thioglycolic acid has both sulfur, and a particular smell, although I disagree that it's a strongly unpleasant odor
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thioglycolic_acid

    Maybe you smell peroxide used to neutralize it?
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ammonium_thioglycolate
  • edited December 10
    Gunther said:
    Thioglycolic acid has both sulfur, and a particular smell, although I disagree that it's a strongly unpleasant odor
    there speaks someone who has never worked with it in large quantities, or has been in the same building as a two-ton batch of perm in the process of being mixed
    UK based formulation chemist. Strongest subjects: hair styling, hair bleaches, hair dyes (oxidative and non-oxidative) I know some stuff about: EU regulations, emulsions (O/W and W/O), toothpaste, mouthwash, shampoos, other toiletries
  • @Perry ;
    Could you explain the hydrogen bonding effect that you mentioned.  What exactly does hydrogen bonding do with relaxing the hair.  

    Assuming a relaxer would be used on an African/African American hair would you need more or stronger hydrogen bonding to occur?
  • Bill_Toge said:
    Gunther said:
    Thioglycolic acid has both sulfur, and a particular smell, although I disagree that it's a strongly unpleasant odor
    there speaks someone who has never worked with it in large quantities, or has been in the same building as a two-ton batch of perm in the process of being mixed
    Is free thioglycolic acid any more effective at relaxing hair than the thioglycolate salts?
  • @Stanley - Hydrogen bonding doesn't play a huge role in relaxed hair. I was just suggesting it as a possible explanation for the question posted above. 

    But you can see the straightening effect of hydrogen bonding by taking a curly / wavy hair tress and getting it wet. It absorbs water which pulls the hair straighter. Hydrogen bonding between water molecules and hair protein can help maintain the shape for a short while. But as the water evaporates so does most of the effect.

    To relax hair, you would need a more significant chemical change which is what you can get from Lye or Thioglycolate.

     

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