Low poo with high potential

  • January 1, 2019
  • 5 minutes of read time

Low poo with high potential

Hair care

Called Low Poo, Cleansing Cream, Cleansing Conditioner or even Co-Wash, these hair care hybrid products between a shampoo and conditioner are gaining more space on the shelves to answer a new trend willing to be adapted to hair diversity and to be more respectful of hair and scalp.

In the consumer spotlight: bad press around basic ingredients used in hair care (sulphates, silicones…) and a real demand for textured hair nourishment. Born in the USA, the trend is breaking the codes of classic hair cleansing thanks to a new format without or with low foam but also thanks to a new routine which cares about hair from roots to ends. And it’s growing worldwide as Asia is also talking about it!

A textured hair, meaning hair which demonstrates a patterned shape (wavy, curly, coily…), has real nutritive needs and consumers were becoming frustrated of not being able to find products which suit them. With a curly shape, the nutritive sebum from the scalp has difficulties to reach the hair ends. Also covered with less cuticles, the fragile hair needs hydration and less frequent shampoos. 
Cleansing cream formulas containing emollients, emulsifiers and gentle surfactants are bringing a real dose of hydration while having a non drying effect, leaving the hair shiny and manageable.

Being more respectful of scalp and hair

The scalp recently appeared as a new concern on the hair care market and numerous products have been launched around this theme which brings a new gesture closer to a skincare one but also a new routine for the consumer. Linked to hair shaft health, the scalp is often pictured as “the soil” which needs to be taken care of in order to grow good “plants” (the hair).

In this spirit of “healthy scalp = healthy hair”, FLUIDIPURE™ 8G is the perfect multi-purifying & biomimicking active that helps to maintain the good balance of the microbiota. Working on micro-organism feedstocks, it acts like a fertilizer to offer a complete protection for scalp cutaneous cocoon. Tested on 46 Asian volunteers, it reduces dandruff, soothes and eliminates unpleasant odors from 5 shampoos. Scalp is purified and hair is blooming!


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Consumers are becoming more and more conscious about the ingredients impact on their skin and hair as shown by the growing number of application downloads helping to understand the INCI lists on product labels. Sulphate based surfactants have a bad reputation in the public eye and milder surfactants are taking over.

In order to replace these widely used ingredients in shampoos, gentle surfactants based on sugar like ORAMIX™ NS 10, obtained from renewable raw materials, are becoming more popular. This readily biodegradable and non-sensitizing surfactant has a greater foaming power than SLS and its non ionic profile makes it perfect to blend with conditioning agents.


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A cocooning texture for a soft touch and hair nourishment

Inspired from skincare, Low Poo and No Poo formulas are often emulsions containing a small amount or no surfactants. The cleansing power is coming from very mild surfactants but also contains emollients and emulsifiers to bring nutrition to weakened hair.

In order to translate softness and respect for hair and scalp, the formula must be very caring and sensorial. The EMOGREEN™ range brings an emollient touch without weighing down the hair. These biodegradable and natural emollients are an alternative to silicone oils and are matching their performance in terms of shine and hair shaft reparation (Test on Caucasian Bleached Hair - 2% in rinse off application).

Tested at 2% in rinse-off application on Brazilian hair, EMOGREEN™ L15 shows the same benefits as Dimethicone for Volume and Frizz control.

What if you could replace silicones

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With a good resistance to electrolytes and good emulsifying properties, MONTANOV™ 82 creates a rich texture and is compatible with both cationic and anionic charges. Readily biodegradable and 100% Naturally derived (According to ISO 16128) , it also helps to create a creamy, stable and ultra-mild foam.

For a real conditioning effect and a soft touch, SIMULQUATTM HC 305 is your new ally ! An easy-to-use liquid dispersion polymer, this cationic polymer is compatible with the cationic actives traditionally used in conditioners. Cold processable, it brings stability to sprays and creams that can be historically difficult to formulate. The additional benefit of texturizing makes it a perfect base for low poo formulas.

Natural but performant

The Haircare market is a category where product performance is key: consumers won’t buy again a product which doesn’t deliver on its hair whereas they might buy a face cream with a fragrance or a sensorial experience they enjoyed.

With this huge natural trend, the biggest challenge for the formulator is to find naturally sourced ingredients with an equivalent performance to synthetic ingredients.

XYLISHINE™ - Hydration & Shine for frizzy hair

To answer the needs of Low Poo’s fans with frizzy hair, wesource™ designed a hair moisturizer: XYLISHINE™. This active is a bio-inspired association of natural sugars mainly from wood and from the brown algae Pelvetia canaliculata. Tested in a leave-on formula on Brazilian volunteers, it significantly boosts hair shine and helps define curls of frizzy hair. Ex vivo studies show that in rinse-off and leave-on applications, it repairs the hair fiber and restores the deep moisture of damaged hair (up to + 30% hydration in the fiber core) to take care of the Low Poo’s addicts!

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The Low Poo concept developed by SEPPIC through the formula EU07357 CLEANSING CREAM CARE is ticking all the boxes: to gently cleanse weakened or textured hair thanks to ORAMIX™ NS 10 while respecting and caring for the scalp and hair thanks to EMOSMART™ V21SIMULQUAT™ HC 305 and XYLISHINE™. As textured hair is fragile and very sensitive to heat SEPICAP™ MP will protect it thanks to its thermal-protective properties.

Cleansing cream care low poo concept

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The Low Poo trend is answering two main consumer demands : product focus on textured hair but also formulas which are more respectful for hair and scalp containing more natural ingredients while keeping the performance high.

A new emerging haircare trend looking at the full product life cycle is now growing in consumer hearts : from saving resources and energy through water usage reduction (but also electricity saving on hair styling tools like blow dryer) to rinse-off product biodegradability in sewages.

These new challenges are promising some disruptive innovations in the near future around product formulation  but also in terms of consumer routines and gestures.