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Glypure™ glycolic acid

Hair Care Products Use

For years, glycolic acid has been proven to deliver positive effects in skin care by penetrating the skin effectively and stimulating cellular activity.  Now, research has shown that glycolic acid also offers many benefits as a hair care ingredient. As the simplest alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) and smallest of the fruit acids, glycolic acid has an excellent profile for penetrating the cuticle layer of the hair shaft. This enables the glycolic acid to attach itself to the keratin, which can help make hair more manageable and give a healthy appearance.

Hair Care products use Glypure(r)A series of experiments were conducted on both healthy and chemically damaged (bleached or relaxed) African, Asian, Caucasian and Latino hair samples to investigate the role glycolic acid could play in the formulation of hair care products.


Studies have shown that Glypure™ penetrates throughout the hair shaft, an effect that persists even after the hair dries. That’s why adding Glypure™ to products as a hair care ingredient enables these products to provide important benefits that deliver the attributes consumers desire:

  • Helps make hair better able to withstand heat. Hair treated with hair care ingredient Glypure™ delivers a  moisturizing effect, making it ideal for hair that is styled with high-wattage blow driers, hot curlers, curling irons and straightening irons—without concerns about damaging the hair.

  • Makes hair more manageable, easier to style. Glypure™  as a hair care ingredient in a conditioning formulation provides hair with superior lubricity, which results in less friction and entanglement during combing and brushing, making hair less prone to breakage.

  • Helps make hair feel softer and smoother. Glypure™ in a hair conditioning formulation causes a significant decrease in elastic modulus, which is consistent with the effect of moisture on hair.

  • Moisturizes and exfoliates the scalp, resulting in less flaking to give the scalp a healthy look and feel. With a long-proven reputation as an effective exfoliant and moisturizer for the skin, Glypure™ provides this important added benefit to the scalp when used in hair care products.

  • We offer a wide variety of starting point formulations using Glypure™ for skin, hair, nails and men’s personal care products. These formulations are for products ranging from face creams and revitalizing peels to shampoos, conditioners, razor bump treatments and much more. To meet evolving marketplace needs, we also regularly introduce new starting point formulations.

How it Works

Hair is a complex structure that can be broken down into four parts: the follicle, hair bulb, hair root and hair shaft. The hair shaft consists of the cuticle, cortex and medulla. The cuticle layer is responsible for visual attributes of hair such as shine and smoothness. It is also responsible for the friction effect of hair, which determines manageability (i.e., how easy it is to comb or brush hair). The cuticle layer can be damaged by daily grooming, such as combing and brushing, as well as by hair care ingredients in chemical treatments, such as bleaching or relaxing.  The cortex contains pigment and is responsible for structural integrity, strength, swelling and stretching of the hair.

Hair Care cross-section

Proven Results

For years, glycolic acid has been among the most popular actives in anti-aging formulations and has gained strong consumer recognition as an ingredient in many skin care products. Now, research has shown that glycolic acid also offers many benefits as a hair care ingredient.

Five classes of experiments were conducted that showed glycolic acid, as a hair care ingredient, serves several functions in hair care products. Specifically, the addition of glycolic acid in a conditioning formulation can aid in conditioning hair and moisturizing both hair and scalp by penetrating the hair shaft and skin.  Also, glycolic acid in a conditioning formulation provides moisturizing-like effects such as softness, and helps prevent hair breakage, giving hair overall better manageability.