How does Osis Dust-It Texture Powder work?

Hamfan asks…I just inherited some kind of cool stuff called Osis Dust-it Texture Powder from a friend. Once it’s on the hair it gets a kind of unusual tacky consistency and puffs everything up; the effect is visually similar to backcombing. The packaging says the effect is coming from silica silylate, which I’m not familiar with and haven’t been able to find much about.  Just wondering what it is that activates the powder (it stays powdery in my hand, so I guess it’s not skin or heat but something particular about hair?), why that type of stickiness would create volume rather than weighing everything down (which is my usual experience with, say, gel or hair wax), and if there’s any potential for it to be damaging?

The Beauty Brains respond: 

Believe it or not, this “Dust-it” product is actually powdered water!

The power of powder

We worked on this technology a few years ago: if you put water and silica silylate in a blender and pulverize it, the silica encapsulates the water. It feels like a dry powder even though it consists primarily of water! As the “capsules” are ruptured and become dried out the silica particles remain on the hair. The Osis formulators have also added Octylacrylamide/Acrylates/Butylaminoethyl Methacrylate Copolymer, a styling resin, increases the tacky feel.

The combination of the tiny silica particles and the resin create sticky little ball bearings that push the hair fibers apart to create volume. Most styling gels and waxes work by coating the entire hair shaft instead of creating these little spot welds, which is why you get increased volume instead of flat, weighed down hair.


Water, Silica Silylate, Sodium Benzoate, Octylacrylamide/Acrylates/Butylaminoethyl Methacrylate Copolymer, Citric Acid