Ashland introduced its trio of cutting-edge technologies and customer-centric solutions focusing on overcoming the detriment caused by environmental pollutants on skin and hair.
In the first part of our interview with the speciality ingredient and material leader, Ashland discussed the impact the urban environment has on the hair and scalp, and what is driving this sector.
What product process do you follow from conceptualisation to delivery?
Ashland and its team of solvers were able to solve this issue by focusing on three key areas: “repel – physical adhesion”, “shield – chemical damage”, and “rejuvenate – improving scalp health”.
Using specific methods developed by Ashland, a number of technologies were evaluated for their protective properties. Their efficacy was also demonstrated in its final formulation.
Our studies have identified key styling polymers that deliver pollution protection through leave-on formulas, conditioning polymers that deliver through rinse-on systems, and cosmetic actives that help improve scalp health.
How did you choose your active ingredients?
The team of solvers at Ashland evaluated and researched the mechanism of how pollutants stick on hair and damage the hair and scalp.
Numerous ingredients have been evaluated by Ashland test methods, and the best candidates will be studied to understand their protection mechanism.
Leveraging our internal understanding of the impact pollution plays on hair and scalp, Ashland will be able to design novel solutions that provide the best pollution protection efficacy.
Who are these new products targeted at?
Consumers that are concerned about the impact urban living would have on the overall health of their hair and scalp. Our solutions would target styling products that help deliver shine, shield against dust and particulates, and deliver durable styling benefits.
In hair care systems including rinse-off and leave-on treatments these products will help create a foundation of protection and cleanse the hair and scalp from the effects of daily city life. These technologies are suited for all types of hair systems available through massive to professional channels.
Where do you see the environmentally-protective hair and scalp sector heading?
The concept of environmental protection will continue to increase as we see urban populations grow. There is an opportunity to personalise claims in this space based on personal lifestyles.
Environmental protection may mean something different depending on where the consumer lives or works. There is an opportunity to educate consumers under the premise of cause and effect.
For example, formulating a hair styling product that not only repels dust, which can weigh down and dull the hair, but can also build in added shine benefits to help hair look its healthiest. In the scalp sector, there are growing opportunities in helping to maintain a healthy scalp environment.
For example, protection of scalp microflora will gain in momentum, since an imbalance in the microflora can create disharmony of the scalp.
How instrumental do you think cosmetic actives and pollution shielding technologies will be in achieving this?
As mentioned previously, cosmetic actives and pollution shielding technologies will provide anti-dust deposition (repel), reduce pollutes penetration (shield) and improve scalp health (rejuvenate) to achieve holistic pollution protection of hair and scalp.
Cosmetic actives and pollution shielding technologies can work both from outside-in (polymer shield preventing pollution to go in) and inside out (cosmetic actives working inside (barrier function) to help keep the pollution out).
Through its fundamental understanding of the hair fibre and scalp structure, Ashland and its team of solvers can help hair care formulators create solutions that mitigate issues associated with exposure to pollution and other detrimental environmental conditions.