Home Cosmetic Science Talk Formulating Favorite volumizing/thickening polymers - hair

  • Favorite volumizing/thickening polymers - hair

    Posted by MattTheChemist on March 5, 2022 at 5:55 pm

    I am diving into raw materials for hair and the number of available polymers in this category is mind-blowing :D . Working on a new project for a client (volumizing hair mist/spray), but haven’t spent much time on the hair side of things. 

    I am just curious what everyone’s favorite polymers are for volumizing and thickening. A few hair “novice” questions:

    1) Is there really a difference between the “thickening” polymers and the “volumizing” ones? 

    2) Do most of these polymers require heat to “activate”?

    I am currently looking at Fixate G-100 PR by Lubrizol, among others. 

    Thank you!


    MattTheChemist replied 2 years, 3 months ago 4 Members · 5 Replies
  • 5 Replies
  • natzam44

    March 6, 2022 at 9:02 pm

    1) There is no difference here, only marketing.

    2) Generally, they do not require any heating and can be dispersed in water with relative ease. Heating can help to decrease the time it takes for the polymer to disperse though so it could save you some time. 

    My favourite polymers for hair styling products are PVP and VP/VA copolymer. They are both easy to use and widely available.

  • MattTheChemist

    March 6, 2022 at 10:41 pm

    @natzam44 As suspected. Thank you! The heating question is regarding post-application on the hair, not during formulation. It seems a lot of the polymers, after application to the hair, require some sort of heat source to “activate” the fixative and film-forming properties. Maybe I am wrong!

  • OldPerry

    March 8, 2022 at 3:30 am

    My favourite polymers for hair styling products are PVP and VP/VA copolymer”  I’m with you @natzam44

  • chemicalmatt

    March 11, 2022 at 9:44 pm

    @MattTheChemist For volumizing I’ll take the polyurethanes any day, hands down. Look into DynamX from Nouryon. This is a urethane/acrylic co-polymer so you get the curl retention too. Be advised not all polymers will atomize and you mention a spray. DynamX will spray as will PVP K30. You don’t need heat to activate with most either.

  • MattTheChemist

    March 13, 2022 at 2:48 pm

    @chemicalmatt brilliant. Thank you for the insight and suggestions!

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