Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Garnier Fructis Haircare Fall Fight line of products: The shampoo

What's the deal with Garnier Fructis Haircare Fall Fight Fortifying Shampoo For Falling, Breaking Hair product line? It seems like everyone at the pool is using them (possibly because they got free samples...) Here's the marketing stuff...

Strengthen Hair from The Inside Out to Reduce Breakage
Save up to 1500 strands of hair per month**
Fuller-looking hair after just one use
Noticing hair in your bathroom sink or brush?  Fight back with the new fall fight 3-step system!  Fall fight from Garnier Fructis helps improve hair's resistance to everyday hair-fall.  The formulas with energizing caffeine, fortifying biotin and fruit vitamins, strengthen hair from root to ends, reducing falling, breaking strands.  The result is stronger, fuller-looking hair.
**When using the Fall Fight 3-Step System of Shampoo, Conditioner And Strand Saver Anti-Breakage Spray

Let's look at the ingredients, then break it down into what each brings to the mix. Please click on the link for each ingredient to see a more detailed post.

Water, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Cocamide MEA, Glycol distearate, Sodium Chloride, Fragrance, Dimethicone, Sodium Benzoate, Pyrus Malus Extract/Apple Fruit Extract, Apple Fruit Extract (Pyrus Malus Extract), Salicylic Acid, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Carbomer, Pyridoxene HCl, Menthol, Hexylcinnamal, Citric Acid, Sugar Cane Extract (Saccharum Officinarum Extract), Benzyl Alcohol, Linalool, Amyl Cinnamal, Caffeine, Biotin, Lemon Peel Extract (Medica Limonum Peel Extract), Camellia Sinensis Extract, Sodium Hydroxide

Water: The universal solvent.

Sodium laureth sulfate (SLeS): Has good foam stability in hard water, good skin tolerance (less irritation), and is easily thickened by salt, Crothix, glycol distearate, or cocamidopropyl betaine. It is considered a mild cleanser.

Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS): The dreaded SLS is very poorly tolerated by our skin - is is considered not so mild - and the irritation potential is quite high when compared to just about every other surfactant! It is normally used in combination with other, milder surfactants to make it less irritating to our skin. It is very easy to thicken SLS with salt, but you can use Crothix or glycol distearate (EZ Pearl) as well (and both of these are good moisturizers for your skin, so they will reduce the irritation potential). It is a good foamer and detergent.

Cocamide MEA: Used as foaming agents and cleansers. Non-ionic. Can also behave as an emulsifier.

Glycol distearate: A thickener, pearlizer, and moisturizer that can be used in surfactant based products.

Sodium chloride: Salt, which is used to thicken the product.

Fragrance: Makes it smell pretty!

Dimethicone: A silicone used as a conditioning agent.

Sodium benzoate: A preservative, a salt of benzoic acid. It converts to benzoic acid, which is a good anti-microbial and fungicidal preservative, when it's in an acidic mixture.

Pyrus Malus Extract/Apple Fruit Extract: Contains a ton of vitamins and phenolic acids and can behave as an exfoliating ingredient.

Salicylic acid: Salicylic acid is a keratolytic (exfoliant), anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and anti-itching ingredient we can add as a powder or as part of an extract like willow bark.

Guar hydroxypropyltrimonium chloride: A substantive conditioning agent, cationic guar acts as a film former, anti-irritant and mildness enhancer in surfactant systems, and foam increaser.

Carbomer: A gelling agent included to thicken the shampoo.

Pyridoxene HCl: Vitamin B6. It is used as a skin and hair conditioning agent, but I'm not seeing anything that says it is effective in that capacity.

Menthol: It makes our skin feel cooler and sometimes tingly!

Hexylcinnamal, Linalool, Amyl Cinnamal: Components of fragrance or essential oil.

Citric Acid: Might be used to alter pH, might be used as an adjunct to a preservative.

Sugar Cane Extract (Saccharum Officinarum Extract): A keratolytic.

Benzyl Alcohol: A bacteriostatic preservative (click here for the Wiki entry or here for the CosmeticsInfo entry). It can be safely used at up to 5%.

Caffeine: Supposed to be the active ingredient in this product.

Biotin (Wikipedia link): A water soluble B vitamin. Considered ineffective for hair loss when taken orally (click here). Not a lot of data about it being good when applied topically (click here).

Lemon Peel Extract (Medica Limonum Peel Extract): A keratolytic ingredient.

Camellia Sinensis Extract: Green tea extract - a good anti-oxidant.

Sodium Hydroxide: Probably used to gel the carbomer.

Where does the 1% start? It could be around the sodium benzoate, which should be used at 1% or lower, although it could be where the sodium chloride or fragrance is found. Which means that pretty much all the active ingredients are being used at 1% or lower. That isn't necessarily a bad thing - there are loads of ingredients we can use effectively at 1% or lower, like powdered extracts - and knowing what is used at above 1% and what is used at lower amounts can help us understand what this product contains!

It appears this shampoo is using SLeS and SLS as the surfactants with glycol distearate as the moisturizer and cocamide MEA as a foamer. Dimethicone and the guar offer some conditioning, but there are no humectants or film formers to be found. (Glycol distearate might also be considered a mildness enhancer.) It is thickened by the use of glycol distearate, carbomer and lye, and salt. I think the active ingredients would be the pyridoxene, biotin, and caffeine. I think the fruit vitamins would be the extracts from lemon and sugar, but they also offer some exfoliating features.


As an aside, you can buy these extracts in the form of Vital Hair & Scalp Complex (click for the data bulletin). I bought mine at Voyageur Soap & Candle. INCI: Water, Saccharum officinarum (Sugar Cane) Extract, Citrus medica limonum (Lemon) Fruit Extract, Betaine & Hexylene Glycol & Pyrus malus (Apple) Fruit Extract & Camellia sinensis Leaf Extract & Hexapeptide-11. I've used it at 5% in the cool down phase in shampoo and conditioners. It is supposed to behave as an anti-oxidant and it claims it can reduce hair loss. From the data bulletin about the exfoliants, "This helps clear the follicles of excessive build up of dead cells, allowing more room for thicker hair growth." I really recommend you read the data bulletin for more information. 


Can caffeine, biotin, or pyridoxene help reduce the amount of hair you will shed every day? In this study, "Caffeine was identified as a stimulator of human hair growth in vitro...", which is promising, but it is not clear if this would work on something other than disembodied scalp tissue in a lab. And there is evidence that caffeine can penetrate our hair follicles - but to what end? It can penetrate our hair follicles, but it might not do anything when it's there!

Consider this quote, "There is no shampoo that has shown evidence of hair growth effects simply because shampoo is not absorbed enough into the scalp to offer the ability to have any significant effect on the hair follicles. For the same reason it is very unlikely that a shampoo could have an adverse effect on the hair follicles." (Belgravia Centre.*) Hmm...interesting thought. I wonder if this is why Garnier suggests using their three product to prevent hair falling?

*As an aside, I'm not saying the Belgravia Centre is a trusted source, but their comments definitely put the whole thing in perspective. 

Let's stop for a moment and consider the biology of our hair. You'll see that our hair has three phases - the anagen phase, when the hair grows; the catagen phase, when the hair is squeezed upwards; and the telogen phase, when the hair rests and is shed. We lose somewhere between 10 to 100 hairs a day. How much you lose depends on your hair type, the season, and how much you wash or treat your hair with products or heated appliances. It is normal to find hair on your pillow, on your brush or comb, on your chair at work, on the floor, and so on. If you're like me and don't brush your hair regularly, you might see more hair in the tub after a shower than people who brush regularly.

Normal hair loss is not the same as male pattern baldness. In the latter, the hair follicle actually shrinks and goes away. And normal hair loss isn't the same as losing your hair due to illness, medical treatment, or pregnancy. 

Does this product fight falling hair? I have no idea. It seems like a very basic shampoo that will wash your hair and scalp. It sounds like a great idea to use exfoliants to clear out dead cells and to use caffeine as an anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory. If we think about the idea that shampoo isn't on our hair long enough to make a difference, perhaps the conditioner is a better idea? (I'll take a look at that another day...)

If you wanted to try making something similar to this product, you'd want add some caffeine (click here for a post with information on caffeine for an ingredient called Revital-eyes), biotin (possibly), and this Vital Hair & Scalp complex (5% in the cool down phase). Make a basic shampoo - click here to see the recipes I have on this blog - and add those ingredients.

Join me tomorrow for more formulating fun!

Disclaimer: You better believe I wasn't compensated for this post!

3 comments:

Organa said...

Hello great post Susan, what is the concentration of sulfates in shampoo?
Because marketing is big business walk forward, did not see anything very different about this shampoo, not only saw cocoamidopropylbetaine.
Dimethicona and guar gum are the ingredients that work?
Caffeine had only seen in cremes.Acido salicylic've seen in some shampoos for treatment of scalp queratosis, but I think in a much higher proportion than exists in this shampoo.

melian1 said...

thank you for the many clickable links for the various things you mention. i very much appreciate this. i click and review the info (if i already know it), and read and learn (if i haven't). the extra effort you go to for this is a wonderful bonus to your blog.

Lisa "N" Texas said...

GREAT post Thank You! I wouldn't have purchased this item because of the Sodium lauryl sulfate (My scalp had issues for YEARS due to sulfates) but I LOVE how you broke out each ingredient and the purpose.

Thank You!!