Crystallization of polymers during heat with flat iron

LisaniLisani Member
Hello everyone,

i am facing some crystallization issues of some polymers during heating the hair using flat iron on 200-230 degrees (C).
The functionality of using polymers is for thickening/stabilizing the formula, with that in mind, some kind of polymer needs to be inside the formulation. It’s a gel like runny texture, oil in water emulsion, so picking the right polymer is very important.

i used several polymers which caused crystallization:

1. Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer.
2. Xanthan gum (not a polymer but indeed a stabilizer).
3. Polyquaternium-10.
4. Polyacrylamide (and) C13-14 Isoparaffin (and) Laureth-7

Does anyone have a recommendation for me in order to firstly achieving the right texture together with eliminate the crystallization effect? I was reading about this issue and found that polymers with high molecular weight may cause crystallization while low weight may not, not sure about this fact but I’ll be thankful for the helpers here.

**Non of the other ingredients in the formula is a polymer or a powder ingredient.

Thank you 


  • What's the formulation for?
    A pre-ironing leave-in conditioner, or sealer?

    Be careful with its formulation.
    Youtube is full of horror videos of iron flats causing hair to catch fire. 'Halt and catch fire' may turn to 'Iron flat and catch fire'

    While flammable-solvent containing hairsprays are the most common culprit, many other substances can light a fire, at the typical ironing flat temperatures.
    i.e. paraffins are highly flammable:

    So it makes sense to mainly use:
    1. (Non flammable) water,  altough some customers dislike excess water vapor when ironing. Some say water worsens ironing damage

    2. Heat resistant silicones. It looks like higher molecular weight dimethicones both seem to work better for hair, and are even harder to lit up.

    3. Only add really necessary ingredients. Only if they really really add something useful to the formula, like CETAC for detangling, Behentrimonium for conditioning or to emulsify silicones, etc.

    4. See if ingredients really work that fast to condition hair. If not, they'll just get dried or burnt on hair.

    5. Test both the bare ingredients and the finished formulation for flammability at higher temperatures than the highest temp iron flat can achieve.
  • DuncanDuncan Member, Professional Chemist
    On silicones: Dimeticones OK, Cyclomethicones really not a good idea as they are volatile and quite flammable
    Generate clouds of white silica dust when they burn

    (Don't ask)
    UK based, Over 20 years in Toiletries, After a 5 year sabbatical doing cleaning products, back in the land of Personal Care
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