The use of hair care products such as shampoo or conditioners is an integral part of our personal care routine.
Using hair care products is driven by our desire for clean and great-looking hair which also leaves the impression of regular care. There are clearly differences between women and men in the value perception and usage pattern of hair care products, but overall it can be agreed that hair care products are today considered to be the main cosmetic products that determine the external appearance of a person.
The main purposes of shampoo and conditioners are also the main subjects in the advertising messages and in the product claims used, for example: “brightening/illuminating” to emphasise the ameliorative effect on our appearance, or “moisturising/hydrating” to indicate their nourishing properties. But, in reality, the main functions of hair shampoo go far beyond this.
Most importantly, a shampoo cleans and degreases the scalp and hair through the use of surfactants. Shampoos also improve the combability and shine of hair, some help tame frizz and some reduce dandruff. Another beneficial function of certain shampoos is their moisturising effect on the scalp. One of the last trends are so-called natural shampoos with ingredients that are organic and biodegradable, these have become very popular in recent years.
Shampoos consist primarily of a mixture of water and surfactants. Surfactants are responsible for cleansing and foaming; they increase viscosity and largely determine the hair’s condition after shampooing. There are also a number of other ingredients with a variety of functions: these include modifying agents and additives such as emulsifiers (e.g. glycol distearate), colouring additives, foam boosters (e.g. cocamide monoethanolamine), humectants, thickeners (e.g. xanthan gum) and preservatives (e.g. parabens). pH control is very important – citric acid is typically added for this purpose and makes the hair feel smoother. Finally, fragrance oils are added to produce a pleasant scent.
The purpose of this paper is to highlight how the fermentation-based polyol ERYLITE® erythritol, known to have moisturising properties in personal care applications, influences the performance of shampoo.