Sophie’s Icy Inquiry:
Hey Brains, thanks for answering my question on Pantene a few months ago. Now I’m hearing about their new line of ‘Ice Shine’ which claims to make hair shinier than normal shampoo. I’m suspicious about whether these claims are truly scientific or just made-up marketing gimmicks.
The Left Brain’s Thaw-ful Thoughts:
Is this a gimmick? You ask that like it’s a bad thing. The beauty industry THRIVES on gimmicks. It couldn’t live without out it. (So does most of capitalism for that matter, but that’s a story for another blog…) Anyway, there’s nothing wrong with a company using a “gimmick” to get your attention. But you need to be a smart shopper so you can tell when a gimmick is being used to catch your attention and when it’s being used to mislead and trick you. That’s why you need The Beauty Brains!
P&G, the marketers of Pantene, are very good at coming up with clever gimmicks to catch your attention and Ice Shine is no exception. What’s the fuss all about? Here’s what Pantene tells us about these frigid formulas: (according to their UK website, where Ice Shine originated):
“Light dances and sparkles across their surface to glitter and hypnotise the world around. Just think about the way that light bounces off ice on a sunny winter’s day. To truly understand great shine and how it is achieved through a hair care regime, Pantene Pro-V scientists needed to understand the properties of ice. During product development, four key characteristics of ice-like shine were identified:
The surface shine of a sheet of ice comes directly from its smoothness, any imperfections will severely diminish its sparkle. When it comes to hair, products need to almost polish the surface of the hair follicle to generate true ice-like shine.
On fresh, unsullied ice, light simply bounces off the surface. But just the merest finger-print can impact the depth of shine observed. When it comes to hair, products must not impede how the light bounces off. Too much dulling residue will quickly kill hopes of achieving an ice-like shine result.
The aligned crystal structure of ice regulates how light interacts with it and is the key to its amazing shine qualities. Hair is no different. To give hair a strong shine the individual hair fibres should be aligned.
This is the final secret to an ice-like shine, and is critical in achieving the appearance of a ‘glow from within’. In ice, the light passes through the surface and is then reflected from within. In the case of hair, the light which penetrates through the surface can then be reflected back by the pigment inside the hair, giving the appearance of inner glow. To do this, the surface of the hair needs to be well hydrated because a dry surface will not allow the light to penetrate through its outer layer .
Through discovering distinctive attributes found in ice and spending many hours talking to consumers about what ideal shine really looks like, Pantene Pro-V have developed a complete range of products designed to allow anyone to achieve an ice-like shine, whatever the hair type or style.”
What does all this mean? Not a whole lot, really. But, damn, it sounds good. Basically they’re telling you that ice is shiny (which it is) and that their products will make your hair shiny (which they will). A few science facts, a few basic product attributes and – Voila! The magic of “Ice Shine!”
But what about the formulas? Surely they must have come up with some new and something different technology to justify this bold new marketing campaign, right? Let’s take a look. Here are the ingredients for the new Ice Shine conditioner and one of Pantene’s “regular” conditioners:
Pantene Ice Shine Conditioner:
Water, Stearyl Alcohol, Cyclopentasiloxane, Cetyl Alcohol, Stearamidopropyl Dimethylamine, Glutamic Acid, Panthenol, Panthenyl Ethyl Ether, Lysine HCL, Methyl Tyrosinate HCl, Histidine, Dimethicone, Benzyl Alcohol, Fragrance, EDTA, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone
Pantene Daily Moisture Renewal Conditioner:
Water, Stearyl Alcohol, Cyclopentasiloxane, Cetyl Alcohol, Stearamidopropyl Dimethylamine, Glutamic Acid, Panthenol, Panthenyl Ethyl Ether, Lysine HCL, Methyl Tyrosinate HCl, Histidine, Dimethicone, Benzyl Alcohol, Fragrance, EDTA, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone .
As you can see, these two products use vastly different technologies. Wait, we’re being sarcastic – the ingredients are EXACTLY the same!! P&G doesn’t even PRETEND the products are different. At least we would have added some “icy” sounding ingredients just to make the new formula look different. But for whatever reason, P&G didn’t even think that was necessary. Oh well.
The Brain’s Bottom Line:
Yes, it looks like ice shine is a gimmick, but it’s kind of a cute gimmick when you see what they have to say. And it’s not like they’re telling you any outrageous lies or anything like that. So, if you like the way Pantene’s other products work give this a try, you’ll probably like it too. Ice Ice Baby!