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Xanthan gum has many advantages when used as a thickener due to its unique structure.
Formula designers must consider many factors when developing cosmetics, which should apply to hair care-related products as well. There is a delicate balance between performance formulas and awareness of market trends from shampoos and conditioners to styling products. The growing demands for specific claims and the need for more biologically-based ingredients have created challenges for product development and marketing.
Xanthan gum is a polymer of repeating sugar units, which is similar to cellulose to some extent. However, the difference with cellulose is that xanthan gum has trisaccharide moieties that exist along the molecular backbone and is repeated at every other glycosyl residue. Xanthan gum has many advantages when used as a thickener due to its unique structure. It can provide an excellent thickening effect even at low concentrations. It is stable under both alkaline and acidic conditions because it is resilient to PH changes. It also has excellent thermal stability so that it can be easily added to hot or cold processes and is compatible with a variety of other ingredients. In xanthan gum shampoo, xanthan gum has good compatibility with surfactants, and it has a positive effect on the formation, height and stability of the foam.
Although most thickeners may work well in combination with surfactants such as SLS and SLES in shampoo formulations, new regulations and the development of more biologically-based surfactants may bring huge challenges.
Based on stability studies, rheological measurements and sensory evaluations, it is clear that xanthan gum shampoo can effectively thicken products without damaging the texture when using biologically-based and sulfate-free surfactants. In addition, xanthan gum hair benefits are known to all. Besides, xanthan gum is suitable for natural preparations. Therefore, xanthan gum is a powerful tool for formula designers seeking to clean up labels.
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