Wade says…I have been wondering about a product by the name of “Groom & Clean” made by Suave. What is this stuff? What is it made for? How do people use it? Based on the manufacturer’s product description, it is said to have a “greaseless formula” (how can this be when mineral oil is an ingredient?) that cleans away grease dirt and dandruff while also providing “the hold you need.” I know that the Cetrimonium Chloride is a cationic surfactant that is used as a cleanser, based on this beauty brains article about WEN Conditioner. This is obviously where the cleaning action comes from, which begs the question: is this just a glorified conditioner in a tube? Maybe a definition of “hairdressing” would be helpful and how it differs from say, pomade.
The Right Brain responds:
No, it’s not a glorified conditioner. It’s a glorified hairdressing. What’s the difference? A conditioner, even one like WEN, is rinsed out. Hairdressings are more of leave in styling aid.
Fuzzy definitions of haircare products
You’ve stumbled onto another of the vagaries of the beauty industry: The terms used to describe products are not necessarily consistent across all brands and companies. In other words, companies are free to name their products pretty much what ever they want. Pomades tend to be water-containing microemulsions that are clear and packaged in jars. Hairdressings tend to be anhydrous (meaning they contain only oils, no water) and are typically packed in tubes. But both products can be used to give your hair a slicked back look. For example here are the ingredients for Suave’s Groom and Clean.
Groom and Clean ingredients
Water (Aqua) , Mineral Oil (Paraffinum Liquidum) , PEG-20 Hydrogenated Lanolin , Oleth-2 , Glycerin , PEG-12 , Dipropylene Glycol , PEG-75 , Fragrance , Cetrimonium Chloride , Propylene Glycol , FD&C Blue No.1 (CI 42090)
What does Groom and Clean do?
This product won’t clean your hair the same way WEN or a dry shampoo will. In the case of WEN you are applying a conditioning cream to hair and then rinsing it out which will remove surface oil and dirt. With dry shampoo you’re applying a powder that absorbs (some) oil and dirt and then is brushed away. But with Groom and Clean you’re applying an emulsion that stays in the hair. So it’s not really removing anything. It could certainly be “rearranging” the oils in your hair to give you a cleaner appearance but it’s doing more “grooming” than “cleaning.”
Greaseless mineral oil?
I can think of at least two ways this claim could be supported in the context of this formula. First, the manufacturer could simply claim that mineral oil is not technically a grease like a fat or wax. Second, they could say the claim actually refers to the product having a greaseless feel. This claim could be supported by sensory data that shows people don’t perceive the product to feel greasy, whatever that means.
Has anyone in the Beauty Brains community tried this product? Leave a comment – we’d love to hear what you think about it.