Hairspray

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Hairspray belongs to a class of personal care product that holds hair in a desired style. The number of people using hairsprays has multiplied since the product was introduced. The growth in global consumption, the varieties and the type of hair spray available have shown significant increase in the past few decades.

The desire to hold a hairstyle in place has been there for centuries. In ancient cultures, women used natural compounds (such as clays and gums) to hold their hair in place.

The modern hairspray was not born until aerosol spray containers were developed by the United States Army during World War II to spray insecticides over large areas. The aerosol technology (spray cans) soon spread to other industries such as paints and coatings and personal care. The first commercial hairsprays were marketed in the late 1940s.

Contents

[edit] Why should I be aware of this?

  • Styling products are to enhance the style, make the most of your natural asset and not to ruin it.
  • Requiring too much of a setting aid at one time means a bad cut or the need for a new cut.
  • If you are using several hair care products such as shampoos, hair conditioner, hair spray and at times even hair gel, do stop at once. These make your hair dull and lifeless as the residue of these styling products and two-in-one shampoo formulation (shampoo with conditioner) left on the hair shaft combine with mineral deposits in the water to form a build-up.
  • Give your hair off days - days when you do not apply anything on your hair. Let your hair breathe.

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[edit] All about hairspray

Hairspray usage has become a part of the daily routine of millions of women all over the world. They appreciate the effect that this hair styling product is capable of producing.

Hairsprays contain film forming ingredients that are applied as a fine mist on the surface of the hair. When these chemicals dry, they form tiny glue-like spots that hold the hair shafts together. This makes the hair stiff, and holds the style in place.

Hairsprays are either formulated as aerosols that are powered by pressurized gasses or non-aerosols that are dispensed by manually depressing a pump.

[edit] How does a hairspray work?

Once hair spray is applied to the hair, the liquid drops run down the hair shaft until they reach the intersection of two hair fibers. When the drops dry at this fiber intersection, they create an invisible film that bonds hairs together.

It actually depends on what type of hair the person has for the hair spray to work. If the person's hair is too thick the hair spray may work for a short period of time but then it would go back to its regular shape.

[edit] Ingredients of hairspray

The common ingredients of a hairspray include holding agents, solvents, additives and propellants.

  • Holding agents -- These are the primary ingredients of all hairsprays. Almost all hairsprays use polymers as holding agents because polymers have the ability to form films upon drying. Polymers are long chain chemical compounds. Chemists may choose from many different polymers when developing hair styling products!
    • Polyvinylpyrrolidone vinyl acetate (PVPVA)-- Polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP) are commonly used in hair styling products. However PVP dos not provide a strong hold and it tends to pick up moisture from the air. To remedy this situation chemists combine PVP with another polymer, vinyl acetate (VA). The resulting mixture, PVPVA, is a copolymer that has improved humidity resistance and therefore holds curls better. However, if not properly formulated PVPVA copolymers can be so waterproof that they become difficult to wash out of the hair.
    • Vinyl acetate and crotonic acid -- Another common copolymer is made from vinyl acetate and crotonic acid. This ingredient is popular because it provides the proper balance of hardness, solubility, and moisture susceptibility.
  • Solvents --Solvents make up the largest portion by weight of an aerosol hairspray. They are used as a carrier for the active ingredients in the formulation and are selected based on their compatibility with the other chemical ingredients. Water is a popular solvent due to its low cost. Unfortunately, formulations that contain water take longer to dry and are less soluble in many propellant systems. Water also increases the chance of corrosion inside the can. Ethanol, although somewhat more expensive, is another popular solvent. However, ethanol belongs to the class of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) whose use in aerosols have been restricted because they contribute to air pollution. To date, no acceptable replacement solvents have been approved.
  • Additives --Hairsprays contain a number of chemical additives. Plasticizers are added to modify the effects of polymers. These include chemicals such as isopropyl myristate, diethyl phthalate, and silicones that can make hairspray films more flexible and less brittle. Neutralizing and anti-corrosion agents, like aminomethyl propanol (AMP), ammonium hydroxide, morpholine, cyclohexylamine, and borate esters are added to control resin solubility and help prevent the inside of the can from rusting.
  • Propellants --Propellants are gasses that can be stored under low pressure in the can. These are responsible for propelling the hairspray out of the can. Originally chlorofluorocarbon gasses (CFCs) were used, but they have been banned due to their suspected complicity in the depletion of the ozone layer in the upper atmosphere. Hydrocarbon propellants like butane and propane were used as replacements for CFCs. Hydrocarbon propellants were extremely popular until the 1980s when California and a few other American states began to legislate how much of these gasses could be used in hairsprays because they were shown to contribute to air pollution. This legislation led to decreased use of hydrocarbons. A new class of propellants, known as hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), has many of the properties of CFCs but are not as polluting. Popular HFCs are 1,1,-difluoroethane (Propellant 152A) and 1, 1, 1, 2,-tetrafluoromethane (Propellant 134A). While they are relatively expensive, they are used to formulate fast drying hairsprays.

[edit] Design

Because the ingredients used in hairsprays may be in contact with the skin for an extended period of time, they are designed to be non-irritating and non-sensitizing. To make sure they are not hazardous when inhaled, their medical safety is usually determined through animal testing. In the past few years, an increasing number of non-animal alternative tests are becoming available.

It is also important to note that hairsprays are designed to have a minimum shelf life of three years but have been known to last five years and longer.

[edit] Hairspray and environment

  • Ethanol --Ethanol, the popular solvent used in most hair sprays belongs to the class of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) whose use in aerosols have been restricted because they contribute to air pollution.
  • CFC -- Originally chlorofluorocarbon gasses (CFCs) were used, but they have been banned due to their suspected complicity in the depletion of the ozone layer in the upper atmosphere.
  • Butane and propane -- Hydrocarbon propellants like butane and propane were used as replacements for CFCs but they were banned as they were found to be polluting.

[edit] What can I do?

  • If you are using several hair care products such as shampoos, conditioner, hairspray, do stop at once. These make your hair dull and lifeless as the residue of these styling products and two-in-one shampoo formulation (shampoo with conditioner) left on the hair shaft combines with mineral deposits in the water to form a build-up.
  • Give your hair off days - days when you do not apply anything on your hair. Let your hair breathe.

[edit] References

  • Active Hair Spray Ingredients - Super Polymers That get Your Hair Standing on End
  • Let your hair breathe