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SensaLuxe™ DF: a biodegradable and inclusive ingredient for dry hair conditioning 

Introducing SensaLuxe DF, a revolutionary hair conditioning ingredient that provides a full approach by offering inclusive performance, sensory experience, and sustainable credentials.

The quest for healthy hair is universal but hair types are not. When finding the most suitable product for our hair not all ingredients will have benefits on every hair type. On top of that, customers have other purchasing criteria than efficacy, such as sustainability or sensorial experiences.

Our hair care experts have been working hard to develop a solution that would fit this criteria and our end product is SensaLuxe DF, a naturally derived, biodegradable and non-aqua toxic ingredient that delivers consumer perceivable improvements for hair that is smoother, softer, and more manageable. SensaLuxe DF is effective in both rinse-off and leave-on treatments, providing a novel alternative to traditional hair care actives to enhance the condition of damaged hair in its dry state, regardless of curl type.
long straight brunette hair

The world is finally embracing differences, and when it comes to hair care, it means demonstrating product performance on multiple hair types and its ability to be inclusive. It requires being relevant and having a good definition of every hair type. In that sense, existing curl type classifications allow the market to gain a better understanding of hair types and to have an overall consistency.

It considers curve diameter, curl length, number of waves and number of twists, leading to a classification of hair into 8 different categories, from straight (category 1) to extremely curled hair (category 8) in a consistent manner. [2] At Croda, we decided to follow the scientific approach developed by L'Oréal. 

L'Oréal curl classification

Figure 1. L'Oreal curl classification

Inclusivity has become a key element of purchasing decisions for a lot of consumers, but it is not the only consideration. As wellness is being redefined and there is an increased promotion of self-care and emotional mood enhancement routines, consumers are subconsciously placing greater emphasis on sensory experiences throughout their everyday lives. This is more evident than ever in hair care applications, where products must deliver their primary role of providing tangible improvements to the condition of hair, but also offer a range of consumer perceivable sensory benefits, giving hair a luxury feel and a healthy appearance.

Sustainability is also a major factor with 2019 and 2020 being very pivotal with a collective “eco anxiety” rise leading to greater expectations. For hair care, the preservation and protection of the oceans is important. Consumers want to take care of themselves but not at the detriment of the environment, and with a lot of hair care products rinsed off and released into the water, it is important for stakeholders to ensure it is harmless.

In developing Sensaluxe DF it was important to begin by understanding the reasons behind the high demand for hair conditioning solutions and how SensaLuxe DF could help. Everyday grooming practises such as combing and styling, as well as chemical treatments and UV exposure, are a major cause of hair damage. Repetitive combing of the hair damages the fibre, depletes its natural lipid layer, and contributes to inter-fibre friction, which consumers recognise as rougher, weaker hair making it more difficult to comb. The look and feel of the hair are also impacted and cuticle damage results in dull, rough, unmanageable hair.

To effectively improve dry state conditioning of hair, the conditioning agent must exhibit a natural tendency to “slip” in order to reduce friction force when consumers touch their hair. However, traditional conditioning agents that give positive conditioning performance in the wet state, such as quats, do not tend to show the same conditioning performance in the dry state due to the absence of water that serves as the lubricant. The long, branched chain structure of SensaLuxe DF is designed to provide a lubricating effect on different hair types, for luxurious, touchably smooth hair, without the build-up associated with some traditional hair conditioning ingredients, like silicones.

SensaLuxe DF performance has been validated through several substantiation tests and 6 different hair types have been explored from the curl classification, as shown in Figure 1 above. For instrumental testing, dry friction assessments demonstrated excellent surface smoothing properties of SensaLuxe DF on bleached type 2 and type 4 hair and combing and detangling evaluations showed its great conditioning properties. Positive results have also been obtained following bending force tests, proving that SensaLuxe DF can deliver incredibly soft hair. 

Salon evaluations reinforced the value proposition, as SensaLuxe DF outperformed the control for both wet and dry attributes when tested on relaxed type 6/7/8 hair and colour-treated type 2 hair. SensaLuxe DF also presented similar benefits to dimethicone for dry attributes when tested on type 3/4 and type 5/6/7 hair (Figure 2). Evaluation results demonstrated the capacity of SensaLuxe DF to offer consumer-perceivable improvements in the sensory feel of hair from type 2 to type 7 hair.

Rinse off conditioner

Figure 2: Graph showing dry attributes ratings for the respective rinse-off conditioners on hair types 3-8-4 and 5-6-7

SensaLuxe DF presents great consumer-perceivable benefits, delivering a luxuriously smooth and soft hair in the dry state. With studies performed on most hair types, there is no doubt its exceptional conditioning properties will please all the consumers looking for hair that looks and feels good. You can find out more about SensaLuxe DF here.

Literature references:

1. Euromonitor
2. De La Mettrie, R., Saint-Léger, D., Loussouarn, G., Garcel, A., Porter, C., Langaney, A. (2007). Shape Variability and Classification of Human Hair: A Worldwide Approach. Human Biology, 79(3), 265-281.

SensaLuxe DF - Dry state conditioning

With consumers increasingly looking to limit the impact they have on the world around them, SensaLuxe DF is a naturally derived, biodegradable active that delivers consumer perceivable improvements, for hair that is smoother, softer and more manageable.