The Science of Beauty
Nanotechnology breathes new life into the mature hair care category.
By Lindsay Elkins
Wash, rinse, repeat. While shampoo and conditioner are shower staples, the hair care market overall is lagging, with just a 2% gain in sales for 2005 according to Euromonitor International, Chicago, IL. In order to make a substantial gain, hair care companies need to delve into new technology that allows consumers to get the most out of their hair care products.
One of the newest and perhaps most controversial technologies in personal care is nanotechnology, which is using microscopic material to deliver ingredients. Nanotechnology has been making waves in skin care and was first commercialized with the introduction of nano-sized sunblocks, but two high-end hair care companies are using the science to pump new life into an aging category.
Skin Care Science Meets Hair Care
Joel Warren and Edward Tricomi, co-owners of Warren-Tricomi, an upscale salon with locations in New York, Los Angeles and Greenwich are launching a collection of formulas that restore, renew and revitalize weak, damaged strands via nanotechnology this spring. The Repair Collection, a line of shampoo, conditioner and treatment products help bring back moisture, softness and shine that chemical processes and everyday abuse steals away.
|The benefits of nanotechnology.|
“Nanotechnology is so great in skin care, which is why we decided to incorporate it into the hair care line,” said Mr. Warren. “The molecules are so small so they are able to go deeper into the hair shaft and repair the hair in a much better way.”
Through the nanotechnology delivery system the natural ingredients in the products, which include sunflower, sea algae, aloe and green walnut, are delivered directly to the most damaged parts of hair, so they go to work where each individual needs them the most.
The basic products in the collection include Restoring shampoo which deeply, gently cleanses and repairs, removes impurities and product build-up and prepares hair for further treatment while nanotechnology transports restorative ingredients such as provitamin B5 and extracts of sunflower and grapefruit directly to damage; Restoring conditioner, which conditions hair traumatized by the effects of daily styling and the environment and natural, healing ingredients such as aloe, chamomile extract and hydrolyzed wheat protein are delivered to damaged sites; and Daily Hair masque, which deeply reconditions and repairs, with an enriched butter-crème formula that leaves hair silky smooth and soft with extracts of organic cactus, sea algae, chamomile, comfrey, nettle and lavender to help restore hair’s natural luster.
|The Repair System helps restore health to every hair shaft.|
“Nanotechnology allows the product to repair the hair more thoroughly because of the size of the molecules,” explained Mr. Warren. “The nanotechnology transports the ingredients directly to the most damaged areas of the hair, bringing it back to a healthy state.”
While the products have yet to hit the market, they have been used on models and have achieved significant results according to Mr. Warren, who speculates that nanotechnology is on the cusp of becoming more widely used.
“We are one of the first companies to utilize this technology in hair care and I think we are going to be seeing a lot of it in the future.”
Brighter Color, Stronger Hair
PureOlogy is a pioneer in the use of nanotechnology, having incorporated the science into all of its hair care collections, including Volume, Hydrate and Essentials since 2001. The NanoWorks collection of products is a high performance line for color treated hair that strengthens, moisturizes and improves hair’s condition while brightening and boosting color radiance and shine. Nanometer particles deliver ingredients such as green tea, vegetable proteins and antioxidants to the parts of hair that need them the most.
|Pureology believes in tnanotechnology.|
And like Mr. Warren, Jim Markham, PureOlogy’s founder and chief executive officer believes that new technology is on the horizon in hair care.
“I believe you are going to see a lot of new technology; very specialized for special needs. For example PureOLogy uses nanotechnology. You will see a lot of other great and innovative technologies in the future.”