Francine’s frustrated… I’m a Black woman and sometimes I like my hair to be naturally coarse and kinky. Sometimes I like to iron it straight with Beyond the Zone Turn Up The Heat. Now I’d like to try the Alterna Hemp Styling Mud product for frizzy hair but I’m worried it won’t provide good heat protection. I’d ask a hairdresser, but it seems they know how to style hair but have no real understanding about what the products do. What do the Brains think?
The Right Brain responds:
Francine, it’s true that hairdressers are experts when it comes to styling, but they receive very little training in the chemistry of beauty products. For the most part they only know the marketing hype that is told to them by the manufacturers of the products. And while it’s very hard for the average person to tell much about a product just from reading the ingredient list, chemists like The Beauty Brains can help you understand how key chemicals in the formula might behave on your hair. Let’s look at the two products you mentioned and we’ll explain how they appear to be fundamentally different.
Alterna is based on PVP/VA copolymer, which is a resin that will help hold your hair in place. It also contains Propylene glycol that could provide a little protection from the heat of a flat iron. We’d expect this formula to be good at fighting frizzies because it would hold your hair in place like a styling gel but we doubt it would be that great against high temperatures.
Beyond the Zone, on the other hand, is based on cyclopentasiloxane, a water thin silicone that provide good lubrication. It also contains esters such as hexanoates and sebacates which are also good at providing slip. This product doesn`t have any materials that will hold your hair in place, but it should be good at helping the flat iron glide across your hair without burning it.
The Brains bottom line
Of course, unless you try a product yourself you really can’t tell you how you’ll like it. But based on our ingredient review, we’d predict that the Beyond the Zone product is better for heat protection.
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