Heat protection is a hot topic, literally. More than ever, consumers are looking for ways to protect their hair using natural ingredients to achieve the best results possible.

In this blog, we look at the benefits of Polycare® Heat Therapy and how it works to protect your hair.

How does heat styling damage hair? 

While heat styling is a quick and easy way to get the results you want, hair dryers, straighteners and curling irons can all cause damage to your hair. But what is heat damage? 

Heat damage occurs when your hair is exposed to high temperatures, breaking the hydrogen bonds and disulfide bridges found between keratin proteins and even changing the structure of the keratin itself. So it’s no wonder that regular use of heat styling tools can ultimately lead to lacklustre locks.  

Here are some of the key features we know are attributed to heat damaged hair;

  • Weaker, more porous hair
  • Dehydration 
  • Delipidation
  • Brittle hair 
  • Course surface
  • Loss of softness

The growing trends for heat protection

A better understanding of the effects of heat damage has seen a huge increase in companies developing and releasing products to combat unwanted results. Up until 2019, styling products with heat protection claims had the biggest market share in terms of heat protection products. However, more recently we have seen the emergence of other hair treatments, such as conditioners, which are staking a claim to protect against heat damage. 

The vast majority of heat protection products take the form of sprays and mists which can be easily applied to the hair throughout the styling process, with more and more of these product formulations entering the market every year.

North America has been leading the charge in the development of heat protection products but we are also starting to see other regions, such as Europe, Middle East, Africa and Latin America developing and launching products with these heat protecting claims. 

Have a good hair day with Polycare® Heat Therapy 

Solvay has developed Polycare® Heat Therapy, a natural, non ecotoxic double-derivatized cationic guar, which protects hair from being damaged under high temperatures. This new ingredient forms an invisible barrier on the hair’s surface, helping to maintain the hair structure, integrity and keeps hair feeling soft and supple. 

Here are some of the key benefits of Polycare® Heat Therapy; 

  • Heat Protection and damage prevention 
  • More control over hair with better styling results
  • Natural and non-ecotoxic 
  • Keeps hair feeling soft without build up 

Protecting hair integrity 

Polycare® Heat Therapy (PHT) is able to delay the denaturation of keratin in the hair when exposed to high temperatures, meaning that the structure of the hair remains intact and protected from the effect of damage.

Tests showed that there was 30% less damage seen when using PHT compared with other natural products and that the damage associated with the use of hair straighteners was reduced. They also found that the hair was protected more with repeated applications of PHT. 

Keeping hair strong and healthy 

The strength of the hair fibre rests on the bonds holding the hair structure together. As we’ve already mentioned above, extreme temperatures can break the bonds linking keratin fibres so it’s important to find ways in which products can prevent this from happening. 

Polycare® Heat Therapy protects the internal structure of the hair, preventing breakages and reducing damage. Tests showed stronger, more break resistant hair; comparable to that of a non heat treated control group. 

SEM images below, show that the cuticles on the hair fibres remain largely intact with less damage seen than in hair with no heat protection at all, this was the case for both virgin and bleached hair. 

Less stress with wet combing 

When hair is combed when wet, there is force exerted on the hair fibres which can also result in a degree of damage. When tested, PHT showed an 80% improvement in the force of wet combing, meaning that PHT has the added benefit of detangling hair before styling. 

Softer lighter hair  

Long term effects of heat styling can lead to dull dry hair that loses softness over time. When PHT was applied to wet hair as a leave on treatment before styling, it was found that softness was not only maintained but added to the hair without leaving a sticky or oily residue. 

Better results from your favourite styling tools

It’s obvious that everyone wants the best results possible from their styling tools, but what if there was a way to improve the results from your tool without continually having to buy the latest one? With Polycare Heat Therapy, that’s possible! When PHT was applied to the hair before styling, it was found to improve the effects of straightening with greater control and discipline over the hair.

With so many benefits, this bio-based silicone free formulation is truly paving the way for innovative natural hair care ingredients. If you want to learn more about how to incorporate Solvay’s Polycare® Heat Therapy into your formulation, get in touch. 

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