Multi-talented raw material from Bayer combines protection, hold and conditioning.
A well-groomed appearance is an important success factor in both professional and private life. A contemporary, trendy hairstyle is part of the look. Frequent washing, blow-drying, combing and straightening may style your hair the way you want it, but it also damages hair considerably over time: Hair gradually loses its shiny, healthy appearance when exposed to heat and humidity. These effects are compounded by age-related changes in hair, which is a significant issue in view of rising life expectancy worldwide.
Hairstyling products with an anti-ageing effect are therefore in demand. After years of work in this field, a team of researchers at Bayer MaterialScience has now made a breakthrough in hair care with the waterborne polyurethane dispersion Baycusan® C 1008. This multi-talented raw material combines a three-fold advantage in formulations for hair care products: Protection, hold and conditioning.
The sleek look is the current international trend in hair styling. Millions of women treat their hair every day with straightening irons that reach temperatures of up to 230°C, but this is not without consequences: Unprotected hair suffers microscopic damage that in the long term leads to split ends, reduced shine and hair breakage. Conditioning products containing Baycusan® C 1008, a film-forming polymer stable up to 270°C, coat every single hair fiber and easily wash out later on, without leaving behind any residue.
Extensive testing confirms the tremendous protective effect against heat: Electron microscope images of hair fibers that have been regularly treated with a straightening iron for a long period show significant differences compared to conventional heat protection products: The thin, highly elastic Baycusan® C 1008 film protects hair against overheating at concentrated points. It expands with the hair under the influence of high temperature and shrinks again during cooling. “That prevents the surface of the hair from becoming brittle,” says Paula Rodrigues, global head of Cosmetic Raw Materials at Bayer MaterialScience. “Otherwise, longitudinal and transverse fractures and broken hair would be visible under an electron microscope.” Proof positive, in other words, that the hair is protected against extreme heat.
These characteristics also were confirmed in tests of the tensile elastic behavior of hair strands: The heat protection of different conditioning products was examined on hair treated regularly with a straightening iron over a long period of time. The results are unequivocal: “Adding Baycusan® C 1008 protects hair significantly better than other systems against damage caused by heat straightening. In fact, it even matches the property level of unstraightened hair,” explains Dr. Sophie Viala, head of technical development for cosmetic raw materials at Bayer MaterialScience. “Formulations with the polyurethane dispersion lend hair elastic, natural hold and protect it from extreme heat.”
The effect on styling is just as impressive as the heat protection: Formulations based on Baycusan® C 1008 display astounding anti-frizz properties. The film-former is proven to prevent frizzy hair for a period of up to 24 hours, even in weather with 90 percent humidity. At the same time, the protective film gives hair flexibility and breathtaking shine.
Damaged hair needs effective conditioning. Hair care products containing this raw material truly are capable of “cementing” split ends. Studies show that using a two-percent test formulation of Baycusan® C 1008 reduces the average length of split ends by over 90 percent. Millions of women have been waiting for this very solution.
Curious? At the in-cosmetics 2014 trade show in Hamburg, Bayer is presenting sophisticated formulations for cosmetic products with added value at Stand 1K20, Hall A1.