Film Forming Humectants

Author: Belinda O'Flynn  

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Film Forming Humectants

We selected specific ingredients with specific properties for curly hair.

We love and use film-forming humectants. 

Film-forming humectants form a film over your hair that helps your hair resist dehydration. These are large, molecules which dry to form a clear, flexible film over your hair. They not only trap water in themselves, they also trap water in and around the curls. The film forming humectants actively grab water and they keep a tight grip on the moisture.

Film-forming humectants are often what your hair is needing when it seems dry, even though you use oil or lots of conditioners and leave-in conditioners.

Where are film-forming humectants found?

Plant gels

Plants are experts at being able to store and move water. These particular plants all have a gel-like quality, they tend to be slippery and dry clear and smooth.

  • flax seed gel (linseed)

  • okra gel (made from okra seed pods)

  • aloe vera

  • hydroxyethylcellulose

  • pectin

  • xanthan gum

  • guar gum

  • marshmallow root

  • slippery elm

  • carrageenan (Irish moss or seaweed extract)

  • nettle leaf tea or nettle extract

  • panthenol

Hydrolyzed proteins

Hydrolyzed means that the compound has been split into smaller units through the process of hydrolysis. Due to the low molecular weight of the hydrolyzed protein, it can be easily absorbed by the hair shaft helping your hair maintain more moisture and help slow water loss from the hair over the day.

Hydrolyzed Soy Protein: Water-soluble protein derived from soy. Strengthens and mends hair fibre. Increases the ability for hair to hold moisture. Adds shine and smoothes hair.

Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein: Water-soluble protein derived from wheat, it penetrates the cortex of each strand. It strengthens and moisturises hair, increases its ability to receive and maintain moisture.

Hydrolyzed proteins will stay with your hair even after they were rinsed-out.

What products have film-forming humectants?

Hydrating Mousse

Conditioning Cleanser

Can you use film-forming humectants with the conditioning oil?

Most definitely! They compliment each other. Oils act as sealants on wet hair to give you a waterproof barrier, preventing water from escaping from your hair. However, oils can be oily whereas film-forming humectants are more luscious and give you a water-soluble and water-attracting layer. If you use both, you increase the likelihood that your hair will stay hydrated longer.

For example, you could use the moisturising mousse (that has film-forming humectants) over or under a layer of conditioning oil for sealing.


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