Silicones have been a popular, commonly used ingredient in hair care products since the 1970s. But today their popularity is beginning to wane – in part due to consumers’ demands for more silicone-free products, along with a worldwide silicone shortage – leaving both formulators and consumers searching for silicone alternatives.

Solvay’s Silicone alternatives meet these demands, providing formulators with viable and effective ingredients that can be used for various hair care formulations.


The Pros and Cons of Silicones

There are many advantages to using silicones in hair care products, so it’s easy to see why it’s remained a popular ingredient choice over the last 50 years. They’re known for being a very versatile, stable, safe and biocompatible ingredient that has a whole range of benefits, such as moisturising, anti-frizz and smoothing properties.

However, with this come some disadvantages. Silicones can build up over time, which can often leave hair looking dull and feeling weighty and greasy. In addition, there is often a negative connotation around silicones being a chemical, and so consumers are now actively looking for products with more naturally derived ingredients.


The Silicone Shortage

Production cuts in China have led to a worldwide shortage of silicone metal, with prices increasing by a shocking 300% in less than two months last year! It’s this silicone shortage, mixed with the shift in consumer demands, that’s pushing formulators to seek alternative ingredients.


Solvay’s Silicone-Free and Silicone Alternatives

Solvay has been working hard to meet the demands for silicone-free and silicone alternative ingredients, yet without compromising on the overall performance and efficacy of the product.

Dermacare® LIA MB

If you’re looking for a natural silicone alternative with exceptional eco credentials, consider Dermacare® LIA MB first. It’s ideal for ‘circular beauty’ claims due to it being carbon negative and 100% naturally derived. It is readily biodegradable, non-toxic and non-ecotoxic. Is is produced be esterification of lauric acid with isoamyl alcohol which are both collected as waste products of renewable feedstock. Application areas for Dermacare® LIA MB include haircare and skincare; shampoo, conditioner, moisturisers, sun creams and more. It is COSMOS validated, and the palm kernel oil the lauric acid is derived from is also RSPO certified.

Jaguar® Optima

Unlike silicones, Jaguar® Optima has the ability to condition wet and dry hair without weighing it down and without build-up. It’s naturally derived, is considered best-in-class for silicone-free shampoos and is also a COSMOS certified ingredient. In addition, it is a highly efficient alternative to other polymers such as polyquaternium-10.

Jaguar® Excel

Another conditioning polymer with no build-up, Jaguar® Excel offers effective conditioning at wet and dry stages for both normal and slightly damaged hair. It’s also naturally derived and COSMOS certified, and is beneficial for transparent and clear formulations such as shampoos, rinses and baby formulations.


Formulating with Solvay’s Silicone Alternatives

If you’re looking for silicone-free or silicone alternative products and are keen to learn more about these ingredients, contact our technical team via the form below for further information and to request product samples.

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