Hair Fixatives for wax/cream/pomade

Hello all, Newcomer here.

I am in the process of formulating my own men's hair product line. I just finished my first product, but am running into issues with hair fixatives. The sample I was sent is working very well for this product, the down side is they want $7-8 per lb and 400lb. I am going to talk to them about purchasing from a distributor, but it got me to looking around at different options.

It has been hard to find straight forward information about the differences between PVP, VP/VA Copolymers, and all the other polymers/co-polymers on the market. I know the "K value" refers to strength of hold, but I am curious to get more info about how they compare to each other.  Does anyone know where to find information on the differences between these (and other) hair fixatives?

Currently I am using a VP/VA Copolymer of vinyl acetate and vinylpyrrolidone. K value is 30-38.


Thanks !

Comments

  • Bill_TogeBill_Toge Member, Professional Chemist
    the K value is proportional to the length of the polymer chain, which controls how brittle/tacky the film is; it also affects the viscosity and rheology of solutions, with larger K values resulting in longer flow 

    VP/VA copolymer is similar to PVP but less brittle and more water-resistant (vinyl acetate being the hydrophobic part), and it has little effect on the viscosity or rheology of the finished product

    the weight ratio of VP to VA is an important factor, as these polymers are available in several different ratios; this ratio affects how water resistant and how sticky the film is, with higher VP/VA ratio resulting in more tack and less water resistance

    the grades typically used in water-based styling products (as opposed to aerosols) are 70% VP to 30% VA, or 60% VP to 40% VA

    for information about more specialist resins, suppliers' literature is the best place to look - BASF, Ashland and Akzo Nobel are the major manufacturers and innovators in the field
    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
  • Thanks Bill! 

    So the higher the k# the more brittle/tacky. Does that mean that higher k value vp/va would have more hold without being brittle? 

    The spec sheet doesn't give me a % ratio. But the name is pvp/va 73w. Would the 73 w refer to the ratio or just a company name? It is a 30% vp/va copolymer and 70% water solution. 

    Also, it says: 

    Vinylpyrrolidone: 300 ppm max 

    VA Content: 100 ppm max 

    What does PPM Max stand for? 


  • Bill_TogeBill_Toge Member, Professional Chemist
    VP/VA copolymer doesn't generally have a K value, in my experience that's just used for PVP; the K value is correlated to the length of the polymer, and VP/VA copolymer consists of two connected polymers with different lengths

    based on the fact it's got a very similar name to the BASF material (Luviskol VA 73W) I'm guessing the material you have is a solution in water of a copolymer which is comprised of 70% VP and 30% VA

    if it's like the BASF material, it'll consist of 50% water and 50% copolymer by weight

    the figures are the maximum levels of residual monomers, i.e. unreacted starting materials, in the final material (ppm = parts per million)
    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
Sign In or Register to comment.