Sunday, February 12, 2012

Hair Penetration By Conventional Cosmetic Ingredients

These are not current research studies.

This one is from 2005, and is about the quaternium ammonium compound, cetrimonium bromide, being able to be absorbed into hair because of its low molecular weight. Again, the hair preparation, is not clear to me. However, it had to have nothing on it that could prevent absorption for the tests to be accurate. The catch? "Quats" as they are often referred to are highly toxic and are recommended to be used only in very small percentages in hair care. They are not used on their own but in a formulation. In order to get the absorption benefits from it, the hair would need to be well clarified and the formulation would have to be free of barrier coatings like waxes and other high molecular ingredients that would interfere with its absorption. That is different to toxic consituents in ingredients being absorbed into even intact skin in creams, for example, see Page 2 "Safety"

This one, from 1995 is most interesting to me, as it concerns the absorption of various silicone emulsions used as a pre-treatment before chemical hair dye and bleach to help prevent oxidative hair damage. The hair was prepped or prepared, by washing it. This 2002 patent by L'Oreal, uses the 1995 study as a reference.

So, what happened to all of that between then and now?

There appears to have been or is some difficulty in stabilizing such emulsions.

Coconut and argan oils used as a pre-treatment before the application of conventional peroxide containing dye, help increase dye uptake while helping to prevent processing damage and condition the hair. Used the same way before the application of bleach, or only conventional peroxide, they help prevent such peroxide oxidative damage too, while not hindering hair colour lightening, and they condition the hair at the same time. See

Friday, February 10, 2012

More On Oils And Oil Shampoo

I have said all of this regarding oil shampoo and oil penetration of hair, on LHC. My posts there are copyright protected as are my posts in this blog. Linked sources, and partial quotes in this blog are from websites which anyone can access.

Someone once asked me about the 2003 research, the one "everyone" including scientists quote that shows that coconut oil can penetrate hair the deepest, compared to other oils. I was asked if I thought the research study was biased, since it was funded by a company that sells vegetable oils. My reply at the time was that it is a peer-reviewed study. To me, the results are accurate.

However, after rereading the research study, I realized that the hair had been prepped or prepared, with an emulsifier first to remove oils and then washed with SLES (sodium laureth sulfate), to make sure nothing could prevent any of the oils from penetrating hair.

In the 2005 study, on hair penetration and heat being used, the hair preparation is unclear to me. However, what is clear is that the cuticle scales are clear to the researchers in measuring what if any oils remain on the hair surface, or are visible. That means to me that absolutely nothing was on the hair that could obstruct any of the oils from penetrating it, in as much as the researchers could do to make that so.

I have no issues with the research studies. What they did not address was that in real life today, many shampoos and conditioners coat the hair and do obstruct the lauric acid in coconut oil from penetrating hair.

If this were not so, the results the movie stars in those articles I wrote about regarding oil shampoo had, hair with volume and curls and waves, with no tangling, when no conditioner had been used afterward and no styling aids either, just acidic rinses, would be the same results that anyone who tried any coconut oil shampoo would get.

That did not happen and I realized why. The coatings that exist today in products did not exist then. The coatings that did exist like certain botanicals were not widely used in soaps or the shampoos available then, like today in "all natural" hair products.

Coconut oil used over conditioner can cause dry "crunchy" ends. It is not going into the hair one bit. It is just sitting on top of the conditioner, which can be nice though, if there is also no product residue on the hair. No oil mixed with conditioner, or a butter on unclarified or clarified hair is going into the hair. They can make very nice surface conditioners only.

Even herb washes coat the hair and no results like those of the movie stars have been reported by people using coconut oil as a pre-wash before a herb wash that I have read anywhere.

It is as simple as that. Some coatings in shampoos today do allow lauric acid to penetrate hair. That is the biggest issue with oil shampoo, finding those shampoos and finding a clarifying shampoo that does not leave barrier coatings behind. Superfatted soaps can also create problems for an oil shampoo and lauric acid penetration. Extra, double bond oils, which can also be drying oils and cause tangling, or butters, which contain waxy stearic acid, choke off lauric acid access to the hair. Only a small amount of lauric acid can access hair without barrier coatings present.

Concerning coconut oil used as a grooming aid reducing protein loss from combing, the same thing applies. It would need to be used on bare hair for that benefit, like in the research. Used over coatings, it has no direct access to the hair. The protein loss coconut oil can help prevent is from the hair cuticles. Conditioner can help do that too or any coating on the hair that helps prevent friction, like mineral oil, which can do so better than conditioners, vegetable oils and silicones.

Protein treatments can penetrate hair, well clarified hair best, as directions on packaging often indicate and they can wash out easily, easy in, easy out.

When coconut oil lauric acid deeply penetrates well clarified hair, it bonds with protein in the hair cortex and while it can be washed out too, it tends not to be washed out as easily as protein treatments. Note: Most fractionated coconut oils contain no to almost no lauric acid. They are not suitable to be used to achieve this result.

Why was the research conducted? Here is the answer from your Page 3 or Page 177 of the study. Colour added by me.
"Prolonged use of coconut oil has been known to lead to healthy looking long hair, suggesting that it may prevent damage to the cuticle in grooming procedures involving abrasion. Obvious is the lubricating effect of oil on fiber friction, which reduces abrasive damage, especially in combing. However, in modern times, the trend in hair oil formulations is more towards the use of non-sticky oils such as mineral oil ..."

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Cosmetic Mineral Oil Or Baby Oil Summary

Conditioners are not without their uses. The coatings and waxes most contain fill in the gaps in cuticles from damage and help smooth the hair and make it easy to comb. That is what catnip steeped for 4.75 hours does for my hair when I use it as a treatment. Catnip also moisturizes my hair very well.

Without mineral oil in them, conditioners are not great moisturizers for hair. Other oils, butters or silicone cannot outperform mineral oil for that or its detangling effects.

My hair is not damaged. I can use baby oil drops on my hair without catnip. Friends of mine can go without conditioning and use baby oil drops too.

For those with damaged hair using a light conditioner first may be helpful.

It is not an either or proposition to get great hair. There is no reason to me why you cannot mix it up and add the mineral oil to conditioner (drops) or use a conditioner lightly and the drops over that one time and go without conditioning first another time, whatever works best.

You can use a protein treatment if desired and use the drops as a moisturizing treatment afterward on damp hair or use a moisturizing conditioner lightly after the protein treatment and use the drops after that on damp hair for extra moisturizing.

Using mineral oil drops as a pre-treatment before washing with shampoo may be helpful but not necessary. Less drops would be needed afterward for detangling I would bet.

For those who clarify anyway because of conditioner and conditioning shampoo or styling aids, the above are options to try. Cosmetic mineral oil or lightweight mineral oil baby oil otherwise is very easy to completely shampoo or conditoner only wash remove from hair.

For those like me who do not want build-up or to clarify and if your hair is not damaged, clarify the hair first and try the drops alone on damp hair and switch to a shampoo that does not cause build-up. I had no build-up on my hair when I used the baby oil without anything else on my hair after washing and I got 0 tangles. It may be, that that if someone does not want to use conditioner following clarifying, that a well diluted vinegar rinse can be substituted for conditioner. A well diluted vinegar or lemon juice, or citric acid rinse is no doubt more acidic than the shampoo used and that may be enough to reduce tangling, before the oil is applied. My shampoo, although not a clarifying one is more acidic than others I have used in the past.

If the hair has a great moisture level, the drops can be used on dry hair (as opposed to damp or very damp hair). It may also be, that by continuous use of the oil, dry hair can be moisturized enough, to no longer require the oil being used on damp hair and using it on dry hair can be done to maintain the new, moisturized level.

The key is less is more with cosmetic mineral oil. Use and think small drops.

It spreads so easily, that much less than you would ever think necessary can give fantastic results without the downsides of vegetable oils or butters - heavy, greasy, stringy, sticky hair. To top it off, it is antistatic and helps control frizz.