Steve Shiels, scientific director of global hair care and grooming at Proctor &
Ever wondered exactly what goes into that miracle hair product you’ve read so much about? With so many new and exciting ingredients on the market, it’s easy to be baffled by scientific-sounding products. And while marketing teams want us to believe they’ll all deliver gorgeously glossy locks, some aren’t as good as they sound.

Here, Steve Shiels, scientific director of global hair care and grooming at Proctor & Gamble Beauty and Grooming helps nail down which ingredients are worth your money.

“The most important things to look for are adhesives, ‘the glue’ of the styling products. And they come in different strengths – from superglue to post-it-glue. In styling polymers are the backbone,” said Shiels.

“Silicones are very good at lubricating hair which prevents tangles.” The expert says most brands have polymers in their styling products, besides silicones, look for quaternium or cellulose derivates on the ingredients list.

“We are also seeing hybrid ingredients that both style and care”, Shiels explained. “Fatty alcohols are great at providing conditioning and mouldability.”

He suggests going for hair care with cetyal alcohol or stearyl alcohol in it, which is especially important if you have tresses that are coarse – with a larger circumference – or dry and prone to breakage.

“Asian hair is coarser than other types of hair. For that hair type you need a heavy conditioning product, the same kind you would use for damaged hair.

“Just make sure you use conditioner only in the lengths and not at the scalp,” Shiels advises.

Ingredients to look for: Silicones, Quaternium, Cellulose derivates, Cetyal alcohol and Stearyl alcohol. © Cover Media