As a cosmetic chemist, I am always looking for novel ways to deliver the best results to my target consumer using techniques and delivery methods that make her regimen more convenient. I often relate this process to be very much like cooking. There are hundreds of ways to make a cake, and even the smallest of changes to the recipe or procedure can change the end result. Similarly, hair and skin products are made up of a number of different types of ingredients that have different functions and purposes, and together they deliver certain results that they couldn’t deliver alone.
It is commonly said that you can’t judge a book by its cover and this also applies to hair products. One misconception that I often hear is the consumer’s correlation between product consistency with overall effectiveness of the product providing moisture and slip to the hair. However, consistency (or viscosity which is the technical term) is only one of many factors that contribute to the effectiveness of a product. The consistency of a product is commonly used to improve the delivery of a product or to help provide weight to the hair mold it into the shape or style that the user is attempting to achieve. Although emulsifiers and thickeners used to thicken products are often great conditioning agents, they are not necessarily the primary conditioning agents in the formula.