Human hair can be damaged in many different ways. Frequently in everyday life, the natural fibres come into close contact with heat or chemical agents, which attack and damage their structure and can impair their visual appearance. In recent decades, various substances have been identified and developed by the cosmetics industry to minimize such influences. Previously, it has been reported that Silkgel, a breakthrough nature-inspired biopolymer from Givaudan Active Beauty, offers many unique benefits particularly for the use in hair care applications such as anti-pollution, anti-colour-fading and sensorial features.
A completely new application for this highly innovative, vegan and biomimetic raw material presents its use as conditioning agent to protect and repair the hair structure from damages. Due to its defined composition and its ability to self-assembly, the biotechnologically derived vegan silk polypeptides inside the Silkgel are able to form a protective and conditioning film onto the surface of the hair. Therefore, vegan silk molecules can represent a valid alternative to traditional and chemical protective conditioning agents based on hydrolysates such as keratin, wheat protein and wheat starch. According to our latest findings, it has been demonstrated that vegan silk polypeptides used as protective or repair conditioning agents were able to increase the breaking force as well as to decrease the 3D volume fraction of the damage (x-ray nanotomography) of thermally treated and dyed hair. Thus, in contrast to conventional raw materials based on e.g. silicones, which are commonly used for hair conditioning and protection, vegan silk represents a true ecological, natural-inspired and vegan alternative with an excellent protective and repairing performance for both thermal treatment and colouration of hair, thereby meeting the expectations of the highly innovative clean beauty market.