A guar-based hair care innovation to durably fix split ends

Polycare® Split Therapy is the latest hair care active ingredient developed by Solvay’s Home and Personal Care teams. This naturally-based product can be used in shampoos, conditioners and serums, and proves remarkably efficient for repairing damaged hair.

Extensive testing has shown that serums and shampoos containing Polycare® Split Therapy make hair appear smoother and thicker after just one application. The secret? It contains a novel guar derivative, obtained from the legume cultivated in Northern India, making for a highly renewable naturally derived active ingredient that works miracles on damaged hair.

Better hair care, naturally

Research & Innovation teams at Solvay came up with Polycare® ST as they were looking for a versatile, efficient and natural product that would satisfy a need in the hair care market and complete the business unit’s Home & Personal Care portfolio with its first split ends repair solution. “There are many products for split ends on the market, but they all have their limitations,” explains Marie Arzel, Business Development Manager at Solvay’s Home and Personal Care department within its Novecare business. “Some products leave a powdery or sticky substance on the hair, and they tend to be silicon or synthetic-based. We wanted to develop a solution using a natural-based product and which didn’t necessarily need to be rinsed off after use.”

The result of this research is that Polycare® ST offers a host of advantages for everyone. Its versatility and compatibility mean that manufacturers can easily use it in their formulations (for shampoos, conditioners and serums alike). For end users, it offers instantly perceivable and durable split ends repair properties, as well as a pleasant texture. And finally, as it’s vegetable-based and non eco-toxic, it’s better for the planet too. “Going towards natural products is a strong trend on the market, and it’s also the direction we want to take”, says Marie.
 
Demonstrating these properties, Polycare® ST has definitely proven its efficiency. After one application as a serum, 90 to 95% of split ends are repaired (compared to 60-73% for commercial serums). After three applications, the split ends are fully sealed. In a shampoo, the results are telling as well: after just one washing, 40 to 60% of the hair is repaired (48% for commercial shampoos).

Hair Split-ends treatment animation

 “This product offers great durability too,” continues Marie. “You can keep washing your hair with neutral shampoo, comb it and use a hot iron on it, most of the repair obtained is retained, especially after an initial application as a serum.”

Going towards natural products is a strong trend on the market, and it’s also the direction we want to take

Marie Arzel, Business Development Manager, Home and Personal Care, Solvay

Bridging the splits

So how does it work? Polycare® ST develops specific interactions with the chemistry of split surfaces, and capillarity brings the split parts back together. After the hair has dried, Polycare®  ST remains on the fibers, forms a thin film and bridges across the parts of a split, locking the split in a closed state.

This is the first time Novecare ventures into the niche market of split ends repair, but Polycare® Split Therapy’s properties are promising. The product was launched globally at the In-cosmetics trade fair in 2017, and certain manufacturers are currently validating their formulations incorporating Polycare® ST (typically 0.5% is enough for shampoo, serum and conditioner formulations alike), while others have already added it to products currently available on the market.