Saturday, 14 June 2014

Hair Botox: Science or Hogwash?

I cannot believe that hair botox is a thing, blog readers really do make me read up on all sorts of things! Reader Laila  used my contact the scientist form to ask why her hair feels dry after a hair botox treatment.  Look at this stuff, marketed with a syringe applicator and some very lab looking serum vials! Here is my investigation:

First things first: There are many products being marketed as hair botox but one of the prominent ones upon which others are based upon is the L'Oreal  Fiberceutic treatment. This post is focusing on this particular product. Oh and let me get it out of my system - it normally is fibre for English folks, but I am using fiber as this is how the product is marketed

Q: What is it?

In plain English: It is probably a humectant type treatment that could possible penetrate into hair and could absorb water.

Q: Why do you say 'probably' a you not know?

 As the fiber filling serum is a professional product, it does not require an ingredients list (I searched!). Also the marketing department is using 'intracylane' as the key ingredient but it is a made up name, not an actual chemical name. Intracylane is what is used on the hair conditioner sold as part of the home-use set.

Q: Ok, but you are a scientist, can you not guess what it is?

Time to get your nerd on! I think that the serum is made up of something a little bit like sweat.......really, but not lol. I am over simplifying here but as the marketing says it is a sol-gel which means a liquid solution (sol) that turns into a gel (gel) I can have a stab at what intracylane may be.  In the lab, you can take lactic acid (yep similar to what you produce in your muscles when you exercise) and link up several individual single units to create a big molecule known as a polymer. Sol-gels are typically based on lactic acid and a related unit called glycolic acid as well as PEG which if you read your ingredients, you must certainly have come across. These type of sol-gels tend to act as humectants as they are hydrophilic (hydro meaning water, philic meaning loving - i.e they love water).

Q: Does it work?

I would guess that it would for some people but some people really cannot stand humectants in general or some types of humectants. For example,

-Some people cannot work with glycerin but can work with aloe vera. Both are humectants.
-Some people have terrible reactions to humectants when the air is very humid or very dry.
-Some people are ok with humectants in a rinse out product but never in a leave in

Q: How long does it last?

According to the marketing, it lasts 10 washes. Therefore if you like Laila hate it, you just have to wait and let it wear off. Consider spritzing your hair often with water to help the humectants work. Mist from the shower and probably steaming hair may also help.

Q: Is it really botox for hair?

Nope that is marketing

Q: So is it science or hogwash?

Hmm, there is a lot of science to the ingredients and even the ingredients effect (e.g humectants really can strengthen natural hair) but a lot of hogwash on the marketing. It is a case of scientific hogwash?

So are you or have you had hair botox.......or would you slap some glycerin/aloevera/honey in it and call it a day?

Image Credit


  1. lol, I guess it's another name for hair "volumizing"? coily hair girls don't need it, we already have BIG hair, even if the individual strands are fine. I don't care much for labels, I just read ingredients instead. But i like my glycerin, aloe vera and honey :)

    1. lol you'd be surprised, some fine haired coily girls do want volumizing products

  2. Thank you for the breakdown. I'll stick to my natural ways of hydrating my hair.


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