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What’s New in Shampoo? GPC Ingredients Can Help with Dry and Sulfate-Free Products.

Shampoos are undergoing major consumer-driven changes. Due to the increased awareness of not only what is being put into the body, but also what is being applied to the body, personal care ingredients are being scrutinized closely. This applies not only to the ingredients themselves, but how often these ingredients are used. Two new trends are the growth of the number of sulfate-free shampoos in the market and the resurgence of the dry shampoo.

Sulfate-free shampoos were once only seen in specialty personal care lines but now are mainstream enough to be found at the local grocery store. Surfactants containing sulfates have been around for years, but have recently become a hot topic for discussion. These surfactants, such as Sodium Lauryl Sulfate in particular, have been touted as being harsher to the hair and skin than other surfactants. Even though there are more mild forms of these surfactants available, such as the ethoxolated forms, many consumers have decided to stay away from sulfates completely. The problem formulators have is that sulfated surfactants are excellent cleansers, they create copious amounts of foam and they are extremely easy to use in formulations. Foam is an important attribute to a shampoo. Consumers correlate the amount of foam with the cleansing ability of the shampoo. Non-sulfated surfactants don’t always create the same amount or type of foam as some of the sulfated surfactants. These surfactants can also be difficult to thicken. Watery shampoos, which may clean just as well as thick ones, are not appealing to the end consumer.

Dry shampoos, once popular in the 1970s, are making a comeback. People are once again realizing that hair does not need to be washed every day. In fact, there are some recommendations that hair only needs to be washed one or two times per week. People may be more aware of how often they are applying chemicals to their body, but they also don’t want oily, lifeless hair. Thus the need for dry shampoo has reemerged. Dry shampoos usually contain some type of starch, typically corn, rice or a mixture that has oil-absorbing capabilities. Most oil accumulates at the scalp, so by applying this dry shampoo directly to the scalp and then combing it out, most of the oil or sebum is absorbed. Dry shampoos also contain a rather large amount of fragrance in order to help portray that “just washed” smell.

Grain Processing Corporation has a line of personal care ingredients that work well in these two types of formulations. PURE-GEL® modified starches are thickeners as well as rheology modifiers. They can thicken sulfate-free formulas as well as add a rich, creamy texture, without reducing the foaming ability of the surfactants. These thickeners do not have to be neutralized and can help control product stability under high heat, shear and pH extremes.

The PURE-DENT® line of corn starches contain several starches that can be incorporated into dry shampoo formulations. PURE-DENT® B700 starch can help absorb the sebum that is accumulated on the scalp after a few days without washing the hair. PURE-DENT® B812 Topical Starch USP is a whitened version and PURE-DENT® B816 Topical Starch USP is a fine particle size whitened corn starch. Since most dry shampoos have evolved from when they were first introduced, some of them contain conditioners as well as botanicals that are liquids. PURE-DENT® B836 Topical Starch USP is more absorbent than a regular corn starch so fragrances and other liquids can be plated onto the starch and carried into the formula. PURE-DENT® B836 Topical Starch USP will still remain flowable and will have enough absorbency to pick up the additional sebum on the scalp. All of the PURE-DENT® corn starches are also label friendly and can be listed as Zea Mays (Corn) Starch.

If you have questions or are interested in products or formulas, please visit the Personal Care section of our website.

PURE-GEL® and PURE-DENT® are registered trademarks of Grain Processing Corporation.

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