WorkshopJanuary 1, 2008 By: American Salon Staff American Salon
NUTS ABOUT NUTS
Many companies are seeking out unusual nut-derived oils previously not used in haircare products in the United States, although indigenous groups around the world have often used them for centuries. Denis Simioni founded Ojon after he stumbled upon the nourishing oil of the Ojon tree, unique to the rainforest of Central America's Mosquitia region. Ojon recently introduced a collection of products for both hair and skin made with an ingredient so rare—called tawaka—that it can only be harvested in limited quantities.
Aveda initiated a partnership with the Maranhão tribe of Northern Brazil, who harvest babassu nuts from Amazonian palm trees. Aveda uses the oil derived from the nuts as a starting point to create a unique cleansing ingredient that doesn't strip the hair. According to Peter Matravers, Aveda's vice president of research and development, the company's recent product breakthroughs using babassu include the Damage Remedy and Smooth Infusion lines.
A COMPLEX ISSUE
Many manufacturers develop proprietary ingredients or signature complexes to include in their products to make them more effective. PureOlogy incorporates its AntiFade Complex into all the items in its styling line. It's made of heliogenol, a sunflower extract and a potent antioxidant; plant-derived melanin to protect hair from UV damage; and superoxide dismutase, a powerful enzyme and free-radical scavenger. "We call it a 'complex' because all of the ingredients are blended together—none of them would be as effective on their own," says Stephanie Sprankle, PureOlogy's senior manager of education development.
Redken also has several complexes it utilizes, including the innovative Crystal Shine Complex, found in its Blonde Glam collection. That complex contains crystal mica, grapefruit extract and the antioxidant polyphenol. Paul Mitchell Modern Elixirs Refining Shampoo & Conditioner are enriched with a special Activated Botanical Carbohydrate Blend, made of chamomile, yarrow, slippery elm bark and cherry bark to improve the hair's elasticity.
SEA WHAT'S NEXT
Just what kinds of novel ingredients will you be treating your hair to in the future? Look for additional crossovers from skincare, such as collagen and bee propolis, maybe even coffeeberry and cacao, as well as greater use of nanotechnology and ceramides, already found in L'Anza's Trauma Treatment.
Alterna's Johnson says the sea has many nutrient-rich ingredients that beauty companies are just starting to utilize. Alterna touts an ingredient called SeasilkR, a combination of marine botanicals that increases follicle hydration. "Our labs are constantly testing new ingredients and researching what improves hair quality," Johnson says. "The better the quality of the ingredients, the better the quality of the hair that is produced." —CARRIE WATSON
INGREDIENTS OF THE MOMENT
The breakthrough formulas in these five products help set them apart.