Home Cosmetic Science Talk Formulating Hair “Puffery” Ingredients in Shampoos and Conditioners

  • “Puffery” Ingredients in Shampoos and Conditioners

    Posted by komirra on August 24, 2016 at 7:59 pm

    I hear alot about puffery ingredients added to cosmetics simply just to add marketing appeal to a product. Are some of these ingredients I use in my shampoo and condtioner formulas simply puffery? I am a homecrafterso I don’t need any “fancy marketing ingredients” to appeal to myself. i am formulting for very dry hair.

    -hydrolized proteins (wheat protein and silk amino acids mostly used as 2%)
    -aloe vera juice (10% usage)  
    -honeyquat (typically used at 2%)
    -polyquat 7 ( 2% usage)
     -shea butter

    Alot of “natural” products advertise using shea butter, coco butter, blah blah blah oil. But do any of these oils really make a difference? Does it matter which one you use?


    OldPerry replied 7 years, 9 months ago 3 Members · 8 Replies
  • 8 Replies
  • OldPerry

    August 24, 2016 at 9:07 pm

    Of course it depends on the other things in the formula but here’s my comments.

    1.  Hydrolyzed proteins - not doing much except maybe some moisturizing. They are water soluble which means mostly, they get rinsed away & have very little effect.

    2.  Aloe vera juice - not doing anything. It’s water soluble and gets washed away.

    3.  Honeyquat - some light conditioning. You may (or may not) notice any difference.

    4.  Polyquat 7 - some conditioning. If you have polyquat 7, you’re even less likely to notice anything from the honeyquat

    5.  Glycerin - it just washes away. It will help prevent crusting of your formula if it is delivered from a pump. But it’s not having any effect on your hair.

    6.  Shea butter - It’s reducing foam and the cleansing effectiveness of your surfactants. You might get some “conditioning” from it but it’s conditioning in that it is not cleaning your hair.

    For cleansing products shea butter does not make much difference. For conditioning products (after shampooing) things like coconut oil and shea butter can have an emollient effect changing the feel of hair.

    Coconut oil is the only oil that is proven to penetrate hair so if any matters, that would be the one I use.  Just not from a shampoo because it just gets washed away.

  • komirra

    August 24, 2016 at 10:34 pm

    hmm very interesting @Perry  . you say glycerin just washes away, does that mean that humectants have no effect on hair since they just wash away? or should you just use them on leave on products? 

    i’m kinda surpised hydrolized proteins have no/little effect. the reason I say this is because I always hear ppl talk about some sort of protein-moisture balance in the hair. like proteins make hair stronger while conditioning agents provide moisture (softness). and you use products to help achieve this. is this true or is that just a bunch of lies or twisted truth from marketing?

  • belassi

    August 24, 2016 at 11:48 pm

    Use the shampoo to clean and a conditioner to condition.

  • komirra

    August 25, 2016 at 1:09 am

    I dont think you understand the question im asking @Belassi. Im asking if the items i listed were truly benefical to a formula of a shampoo OR conditioner, or if they were simply puffery ingredients for marketing. i know the purpose of a shampoo and conditioner  

  • belassi

    August 25, 2016 at 4:00 am

    I understand perfectly well, thank you.

  • OldPerry

    August 25, 2016 at 12:33 pm

    Yes, humectants pretty much rinse away when used in rinse-off products. They can have an impact on the way the product feels in hair and maybe impact the foam, but as far as hair goes, it just rinses away.  They are better for leave-in products.

    I don’t think all formulators will agree with me and hydrolyzed proteins have been used in hair care products for decades. However, I haven’t seen evidence that they do anything noticeable when delivered from a shampoo. There is also no good mechanism by which they would stay on the hair from a shampoo since they aren’t charged. It’s possible the protein could absorb onto the surface of hair but there is little practical evidence for that.

    In a conditioner which stays on the hair longer and does not have surfactants to easily rinse away the hydrolyzed protein, it may stay behind on the hair better in which case it will act as a humectant. Protein does not really strengthen hair when applied topically. The thing that gives hair strength is the structure of hair protein. Just glopping hydrolyzed protein on top of a structured protein fiber like hair isn’t going to do much.  Think of it like this. If you had a cotton shirt that had a hole in it, could you just dump more cotton on the surface of the shirt and expect the hole to be repaired?

    The talk of protein on hair (the kind doesn’t matter because it’s all hydrolyzed so essentially the same) is just marketing fluff.

  • komirra

    August 25, 2016 at 1:29 pm

    WOW @Perry Im so surprised. I’m going to do a knock out experiment with my favorite conditioner formula and start by elminating the hydrolized protein and see if i feel it makes a difference. Thanks!

  • OldPerry

    August 25, 2016 at 1:44 pm

    That’s a good way to prove it to yourself.

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