Sustainable silicone oil alternatives in hair care: emollients part 2

  • January 27, 2023
  • 5 minutes of read time

Sustainable silicone oil alternatives in hair care: emollients part 2

Naturalness and sustainability have been on the rise for many years and have become inevitable in new developments. 

One of the big challenges in hair care is to replace silicones with more environmentally friendly products without sacrificing performance. Silicones are known for their conditioning properties, e.g. to improve combability or shine. However, they are criticised for their poor biodegradability.1 A new generation of emollients offers new possibilities.

The Emogreen™ line offers two solutions: EMOGREEN™ L15 is a Cosmos certified alternative to lightweight silicones such as dimethicone or cyclopentasiloxane. Emogreen™ HP 40 is based on Hydrogenated Polyfarnesene, an innovative naturally based molecule with high viscosity that offers very interesting properties to replace dimethiconol-based blends. It creates the ideal sustainable and 100% natural alternative to viscous silicones.

Below we take a closer look at the properties of these two oils for hair care.

EMOGREEN™ L15 - versatile proven silicone oil alternative

For years, one of the three most commonly used claims for shampoos, hair treatments and conditioners has been hair shine. Regardless of hair type, ethnicity, culture and region, all consumers are looking for shiny hair, a synonym for healthy hair.

EMOGREEN™ L15 is proven to make hair shinier. The shine was measured after only one application. The test consists of a classic conditioner containing only 1% EMOGREEN™ L15 or 1% phenyl trimethicone (hair shine reference). EMOGREEN™ L15 provides significant hair shine compared to the untreated hair strand, Phenyl Trimethicone does not significantly increase hair shine.

Hair shine measurement

Figure 1 Hair Gloss Measurement (Caucasian Hair - Rinse-off)

Combability in wet hair was also tested using an in vitro method (with the Diastron MTT device) and showed that the tested oils EMOGREEN™L15, Dimethicone 350cps and Mineral Oil all reduce the required combing force by approximately 90%. This test was conducted on damaged Caucasian hair strands treated with a rinse-off formulation containing 2% oil.

Mean combing force

Figure 2 Wet combability (Caucasian Hair - Rinse-off)

EMOGREEN™ L15 shows besides shine and improved combability many other positive hair care properties that we have proven in-vivo tests in comparison with silicone oils e.g. for repair effect, volume & frizz control and thermal protection at 220°C.

Emogreen™ HP 40 - keratin protection at 210°C

Emogreen™ HP40 completes the range of alternatives to silicones that Seppic has offered so far. It is a versatile, textured ingredient that is both sensory-pleasing but also high-performing thanks to its film-forming properties, making it interesting for various applications such as hair care, make-up, sun protection and skin care.

In tests on damaged Caucasian hair, it showed similar film-forming properties to dimethicone/dimethiconol (DMD).

Hair treated with c15-19

Figure 3 Film-forming properties of Emogreen™ HP40 on hair

Heat protection tests on healthy hair with the pure raw material and with a hair serum containing 3% Emogreen™ HP 40 compared to DMD showed a significant increase in protection for the internal structure of the hair keratin of +38% and +22% respectively. The performance of Emogreen™ HP 40 and DMD is thus comparable and both protect the hair keratin.

A triangle test also revealed a similar sensory profile. The experts were unable to differentiate hair treated with Emogreen™ HP 40 or DMD in a rinseable hair mask according to criteria such as ease of combing, shine and slip. When testing volume control and curl definition in Brazilian natural hair in a hair serum, Emogreen™ HP 40 showed even better results than cyclopentasiloxane/dimethiconol and placebo this time.

Abbildung 4 - Volumenkontrolle und Lockenbildung

Figure 4- Volume control and curling

(A = untreated, B = treated with a placebo hair serum, C = treated with a hair serum containing 3% Emogreen™ HP 40, D = treated with a hair serum containing 3% cyclopentasiloxane/dimethiconol)

Emogreen™ HP 40 is inherently biodegradable and a relevant, 100% bio-based alternative to dimethiconol blends, offering the same and in some cases even better performance.

Natural formulations for perfectly groomed hair

The EMOGREEN™ oils are highly pure (unique patented purification process), inert, non-oxidisable and stable... They are versatile oils. Not only are these emollients easy to incorporate into formulas because they are liquid and transparent, but they are also compatible with all types of oil phases (vegetable oils, esters, silicone oils, mineral oils...).

The nourishing leave-on conditioner has been formulated according to COSMOS Natural rules. It nourishes your hair without weighing it down. This formulation can be applied to wet, well-wrung or dry hair and ensures that your hair remains shiny and silky. EMOGREEN™ L15 makes it easy to apply the product to the strands and protects them from external influences.

Cosmos Leave-on Conditioner

This conditioning oil is a refined blend of marine-based active ingredients and natural oils to protect and enhance your hair! EMOGREEN™ L15 strengthens the hair fibre and brings shine.

Natural hair care oil

This non-greasy oil improves the look and manageability with a velvety finish. EMOGREEN™ HP 40 gives hair comfort and a defined curl texture.

Precious Hair Oil

A silky, lightweight highlighting powder for hair: use this dry shampoo and reduce water consumption.

SEPIFINE™ BB absorbs sebum in the process and gives your formula an extra silky touch, leaving hair soft and fresh for a day longer! EMOGREEN™ L15, makes hair shine without weighing it down. The hair fibre is strengthened and AQUAXYL™ hydrates the hair for a deep conditioning result.

Highlighting powder for hair


EMOGREEN™ is a range of natural, non-polar & liquid emollients manufactured using a patented production process for the highest purity. 

In hair care, EMOGREEN™ oils can replace silicones to increase naturalness and biodegradability without sacrificing performance.

Whether it's skin or hair care, make-up or sun protection products: EMOGREEN™ provides a light, soft touch and a "silicone free" experience without compromising performance.