Hair thermal protection

Hi All!

I have been researching hair thermal protection sprays recently but I don’t understand whether they work at all.

The majority of these products are water-based with some conditioners such as cetrimonium chloride, water-soluble silicones (PEG-8 Dimethicone or Amodimethicone emulsions), film formers (VP/VA or PVP), Propylene Glycol and some proteins for claims.

There are also emulsions (less common) with dimethicone as a 2-3rd ingredient in the list, BTMS or behetrimonium chloride and maybe some non-ionic blends. Plus some humectants and proteins for claims.

I can imagine the emulsion high on dimethicone probably create a film which serves as a thermal protectant, but do these water-based sprays do anything?

Appreciate any input.


Comments

  • PerryPerry Administrator, Professional Chemist
    I suppose I should recreate my Facebook answer here...

    The challenge in your question is in quantifying damage. To say "reduce damage caused by heat" you'd have to be able to quantify that damage. The studies I've seen aren't able to quantify it. Take this example. https://www.dropbox.com/.../heat-damage-to-hair.pdf... While they had some nice SEM pictures and pointed out damage, they didn't show a quantitative measure of heat damage. So from a blow dryer standpoint, there isn't much heat damage.

    This study looked more specifically at heat treatments and the effect of a flat iron. They conclude that some polymer treatments provide protection, https://www.dropbox.com/.../hair-heat-flat-iron.pdf... most notably from hair breakage. But from my reading the reduction in breakage could just have been coming from the polymer coating and the heat wasn't relevant. Hair could have been damaged by heat but the polymer resisted hair breakage because of the coating. 

    All this is to say, it's complicated. They may just be conditioners that provide conditioning benefits and have no noticeable protection of the fiber from heat.
  • Inspired by this conversation I made my own version of "heat protectant" yesterday:

    Phase INCI %
    W Aqua 67.8%
    W Disodium EDTA 0.5%
    W PVP 0.5%
    W VP/VA copolymer 1.0%
    W Amodimethicone (emulsion) 1.0%
    W Propylene Glycol 5.0%
    W Polyquaternium 7 0.5%
    O Cetyl Alcohol 2.0%
    O Ceteareth 25 3.0%
    O IPM 3.0%
    O Behetrimonium Chloride 4.0%
    O Dimethicone (viscosity 1000) 5.0%
    Cool down Amodimethicone 1.0%
    Cool down Cetrimonium Chloride (30%) 2.0%
    Cool down Germaben II 0.7%
    Cool down Cyclomethicone 3.0%
    Cool down Citric acid qs to pH 4.5

    It might not provide any real heat protection but it is a very light and nice styling product to be used with flat iron (my hair look amazing today yay!). It's a low viscosity emulsion easy to apply. I will attempt to do some stability testing and share here if there are any issues.
  • PerryPerry Administrator, Professional Chemist
    Heat protection is marketing speak for conditioning the hair and this looks like it will do that. 

    Is this a leave-in or rinse out?

    If it's a leave in the Cetrimonium chloride can be a problem as might the behentrimoium chloride.

    If it's a rinse out, the PVP and VP/VA copolymers will likely just rinse down your drain. 
  • I actually intended it as a leave-in, thus film formers. I noticed that many leave-in products include cetrimomium chloride (example https://incidecoder.com/products/tresemme-heat-defence-styling-spray)

    I saw benetrimonium in a couple of styling products as well (plus some non-ionic emulsifiers) but can't find it now.
    Are these always a problem or it's a matter of concentration?
  • Found! 

    John Frieda Frizz Ease Miraculous Recovery Repairing Creme Serum for Dry and Damaged Frizzy Hair

    Aqua, Cyclopentasiloxane, Cetearyl Alcohol, Dimethicone, Stearyl Alcohol, Ceteareth-20, Aminopropyl Dimethicone, Phenyl Trimethicone, Laureth-4, Laureth-23, Anthemis Nobilis Flower Extract, Propylene Glycol, Diazolidinyl Urea, Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate, Lactic Acid, Malic Acid, Quaternium-91, Cetrimonium Methosulfate, Behentrimonium Chloride, Sodium Hydroxide, Propylene Glycol Dicaprylate/Dicaprate, Cetrimonium Chloride, Parfum, Linalool, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Limonene

    looks like less than 1%. I probably have it too high..
  • PerryPerry Administrator, Professional Chemist
    edited May 14
    Yes, you have 0.6% active cetrimonium chloride where the CIR safety recommendation is 0.25% maximum for leave-in products.

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/36lf0xpi5x9ts33/cetrimonium-chloride copy.pdf?dl=0

  • GuntherGunther Member
    Inspired by this conversation I made my own version of "heat protectant" yesterday:

    Phase INCI %
    W Aqua 67.8%
    W Disodium EDTA 0.5%
    W PVP 0.5%
    W VP/VA copolymer 1.0%
    W Amodimethicone (emulsion) 1.0%
    W Propylene Glycol 5.0%
    W Polyquaternium 7 0.5%
    O Cetyl Alcohol 2.0%
    O Ceteareth 25 3.0%
    O IPM 3.0%
    O Behetrimonium Chloride 4.0%
    O Dimethicone (viscosity 1000) 5.0%
    Cool down Amodimethicone 1.0%
    Cool down Cetrimonium Chloride (30%) 2.0%
    Cool down Germaben II 0.7%
    Cool down Cyclomethicone 3.0%
    Cool down Citric acid qs to pH 4.5

    It might not provide any real heat protection but it is a very light and nice styling product to be used with flat iron (my hair look amazing today yay!). It's a low viscosity emulsion easy to apply. I will attempt to do some stability testing and share here if there are any issues.

    Interesting.
    However, can propylene glycol catch fire?
    Flat irons temps do get to its flash point:
    https://monumentchemical.com/uploads/files/TDS/PG - TDS.pdf

    Also, the study says that PVP provides no heat protection, but VP/VA polymers do.
  • ngarayeva001ngarayeva001 Member
    edited May 15
    I guess it's quite diluted at 5% and shouldn't be as flamable... I will reseach it.
  • FekherFekher Member
    @ngarayeva001 intersting product ☺.
  • It's actually not bad, but I will have to reformulate it to address Perry's comments. I have too much of cetrimonium indeed.
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