Livelovelaugh longs to learn…I’ve noticed that the Garnier Fructis Nutri-Repair Ultra-Nourishing Butter Mask has mineral oil fairly high up in its ingredient list, as well as olive oil and avocado oil further down in the list. The Nutri-Repair Conditioner has palm oil near the top of the list, and olive oil and avocado oil further in the list. Do these oils get deposited on our hair and do they have any function in a hair treatment/conditioner?
The Right Brain responds:
Almost any kind of oil that helps lubricate to reduce frictional damage is good for hair. The trick is getting the oil on to the hair! Leave in products do a really good job of this because the oil is left in direct contact but it’s much trickier from rinse off products.
Suspended oils tend to rinse off
As anyone who’s ever tried to make salad dressing knows, oil and water do not mix. That’s why we use ingredients known as emulsifiers (also called surfactants) to help the oils disperse in water. But once these oils are emulsified they tend to rinse away very easily so they’re just lost down the drain. There are some exceptions. Silicone oil, for example, can be delivered by a process called “dilution deposition.” This is where the emulsion is designed to release the silicone when the conditioner is diluted leaving the silicone to deposit on the hair. However, we’ve never seen this approach used successfully with vegetable or mineral oils because their chemistry is different. So, just because these oils are high on the ingredient list doesn’t mean they are the main active ingredient.
So what makes Garnier conditioners work?
Look at the ingredients for both Garnier products:
Garnier Fructis Nutri-Repair Ultra-Nourishing Butter Mask
Aqua / Water, Cetearyl Alcohol, Paraffinum Liquidum / Mineral Oil, Dipalmitoylethyl Hydroxyethylmonium Methosulfate, Cetyl Esters, Ci 19140 / Yellow 5, Ci 15985 / Yellow 6, Niacinamide, Ribes Nigrum Oil / Black Currant Seed Oil, Saccharum Officinarum Extract / Sugar Cane Extract, Olea Europaea Oil / Olive Fruit Oil, Camellia Sinensis Extract / Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Benzyl Alcohol, Linalool, Pyrus Malus Extract / Apple Fruit Extract, Pyridoxine Hcl, Persea Gratissima Oil / Avocado Oil, Cetrimonium Chloride, Methylparaben, Butyrospermum Parkii Butter / Shea Butter, Citric Acid, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Citrus Medica Limonum Peel Extract / Lemon Peel Extract, Prunus Armeniaca Seed Powder / Apricot Seed Powder, Parfum / Fragrance
Note the “methosulfate” ingredient. This is a mild quaternary ammonium compound that is able to stick to hair even after rinsing. It has a nice palm oil based fatty portion which gives the hair a nice slick feel. The formula also contains cetrimonium chloride which, even at low levels, will condition hair.
Garnier Nutri-Repair Conditioner
Aqua / Water, Cetearyl Alcohol, Elaeis Guineensis Oil / Palm Oil, Behentrimonium Chloride, Ci 19140 / Yellow 5, Ci 15985 / Yellow 6, Niacinamide, Saccharum Officinarum Extract / Sugar Cane Extract, Stearamidopropyl Dimethylamine, Olea Europaea Oil / Olive Fruit Oil, Chlorhexidine Dihydrochloride, Limonene, Camellia Sinensis Extract / Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Linalool, Benzyl Salicylate, Isopropyl Alcohol, Pyrus Malus Extract / Apple Fruit Extract, Pyridoxine Hcl, Persea Gratissima Oil / Avocado Oil, Butyrospermum Parkii Butter / Shea Butter, Citric Acid, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Citrus Medica Limonum Peel Extract / Lemon Peel Extract, Hexyl Cinnamal, Glycerin, Parfum / Fragrance
Do the oils do ANYTHING?
Yes they give the product a nice buttery feel during application. But that doesn’t mean they actually stick around long enough to truly condition the hair.
Image credit: http://homepage.mac.com/mikel666/bethesda/news/files/page0_blog_entry29_1.jpg
If you enjoy a transient buttery feeling when you condition your hair, you can buy Garnier Conditioner through our link and help support Beauty Brains.