HAIR STYLING INGREDIENTS
Roger McMullen, a principal scientist who manages
the materials testing laboratory, explained that style longevity as a function of film durability can be demonstrated
through this method.
“Conducting tests such as the DHSA enable us to
make recommendations on how to best use this ingredient alone or in combination with other fixatives to achieve
desired performance in areas such as hold longevity, high-humidity curl resistivity and style flexibility,” he said.
Ashland’s polymer team, in addition to synthesizing
Advantage 4910 fixative polymer, synthesized the n-t-octylacrylamide monomer, a key component of the polymer, adding another monomer capability to its toolbox.
Analytical, physical and performance characteristics are
equivalent to the commercial technology, according to the
David Streuli, a principal scientist who oversees the
company’s in-house aerosol laboratory, pointed out that
delivering consumer benefits from a finished aerosol hairspray involves both the art of formulating and the science
of copolymer mixtures, solubilizing agents and propellants.
“Controlling particle size distribution and spray aesthetics
while assuring overall formulation compatibility with propellants
and packaging is only part of the story,” he said.“It’s vital to know
how various polymers behave at different use levels and how
combinations of polymers affect consumer benefits in a finished
formulation. Beyond that, it’s vital to know how the formulation
performs on various hair types and how consumers will use the
product to obtain today’s preferred hair styles.”
To that end, in Ashland’s aerosol laboratory, the company de-
velops hairsprays and styling mousses as a complete system, de-
signing the concentrate and understanding the interaction with
the propellant and packaging. In addition, Ashland’s experts run
corrosion screening, spray characteristics evaluation, propellant
tolerance, clogging and product evacuation studies, and they work
closely with valve and can manufacturers to keep up to date on
new packaging developments.
“Ashland looks at all of these factors in the aerosol laboratory
and in consumer science evaluations to find the best formulation
concepts for our customers,” Streuli said.
During the media event, Wendy Gutkin, a cosmetologist for
Ashland Specialty Ingredients, demonstrated how the company’s
hairspray formulation concepts performed in hairstyles ranging
from the classic updo to sleek ponytail to long layers with multicolor tones to the men’s pompadour.
All of the formulations used in the demonstration contained
Ashland Advantage 4910 polymer, and one or more polyvinylpyr-
rolidone (PVP) based copolymers, Aquaflex polymers or Gantrez
methyl vinyl ether and maleic acid (PVM/MA) copolymers that
bring additional styling and hold benefits, such as stiffness, shine,
climate control, touchable hold, style longevity or improved curl
memory—attributes that keep hair spray a go-to styling aid,
representing $3 billion a year business. According to Ashland,
hairspray formulations represent approximately 36% of the global
consumer hair styling market.
To support manufacturers working on new or reformulated
products, Ashland offers the Style Advantage program, a service
offering that includes a combination of technical and market-
based solutions modules that companies may utilize to produce
market-leading aerosol hairsprays.
“As a long-time producer of hair fixative and styling polymers,
Ashland has studied the behavior of these technologies in finished
formulations for decades and, in doing so, developed an extensive
toolbox of technical solutions that may be used to create new, more
consumer-desirable formulas,” said Linda Foltis, VP-R&D, Care
Specialties, Ashland Specialty Ingredients, who was on hand at the
media tour in January.
According to Ashland, the Style Advantage offering is based on
three modules: a consumer science laboratory team with expertise
in hair optics and an in-house salon and stylist with expertise in
the latest hair styles; an aerosol applications group with expertise
in designing optimized high- and low-VOC formulas based on
customer needs and consumer trends; and a polymer synthesis
and materials group with expertise in designing and evaluating the
structure-property relationship of hair fixative, styling and condi-
“As consumers seek benefits from hairsprays that go beyond
the traditional parameters of hair hold and humidity resistivity,
Ashland offers its customers solutions to deliver those benefits
while meeting regulatory mandates across the globe. Holding a
palette of hair fixative, styling and conditioning polymers in our
portfolio and broad competency in polymer synthesis, Ashland
invites the hair care industry to consider the Style Advantage pro-
gram,” said Foltis.•
Models with a classic updo and sleek and shiny ponytail pose for the
camera following application of aerosol hairspray produced with
Ashland’s new Advantage