MadSci Network: Chemistry

Re: What ingredient(s) are in hair gel that make it hold your hair strong?

Date: Tue Dec 7 19:09:34 1999
Posted By: Uncle Al Schwartz, Organic synthetic chemist
Area of science: Chemistry
ID: 944360765.Ch

You voyage to your local supermarket, you tread the hair aisle, you pick up 
each bottle in turn and... read the contents.  Write down the patent 
numbers and use the patent search engines at my Web page 
Patent Search

Typical composition is mostly water, a water-soluble polymer (hydroxypropyl 
cellulose, poly(vinyl pyrrolidinone), poly(vinyl alcohol)), and a sugar 
alcohol (sorbitol) as humectant and plasticizer for the stiff residue that 
remains on your hair.  One is reminded of Cosmos Brand "Kimchi," whose 
label features the big bold sidebar message "it is safe to eat."  I think 
Velveeta is missing an advertsing coup, likewise Dep.

Hair gel is a kissing cousin to wall paper adhesive.

Look in the Merck Index for ingredient technical readout. The various 
manufacturers have Web pages for their products,

Uncle Al!

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