Ashland brings enduring dimension to hair repair with the introduction of N-DurHance ™ A-1000 conditioning polymer

New polymer chemistry for conditioner formulations helps improve the look of healthy hair over the course of several wash cycles

WILMINGTON, DE - Ashland Specialty Ingredients, a commercial unit of Ashland Inc.(NYSE: ASH), today announced the launch of N-DurHance&#8482 A-1000 conditioning polymer, a new conditioning technology demonstrated to restore and improve the look of healthy hair over the course of several wash cycles. Based on a homopolymer of acrylamido-N-propyltrimethylammonium chloride, N-DurHance A-1000 lends hydrophobic properties to hair in a way that affords an enduring conditioning effect. For the first time, consumers may perceive the benefits of softer, smoother, shinier and more manageable hair over the course of successive shampoo applications.

"A large number of conditioning ingredients in the marketplace address dull, rough, difficult to comb hair, but none revert strands back to a hydrophobic state long enough to provide meaningful value for consumers," said David Popplewell, global marketing manager, Ashland Consumer Specialties. "N-DurHance A-1000 conditioning polymer works differently than other technologies to deliver a uniform hydrophobic layer on the hair surface, resulting in consumer benefits that actually improve through five cleansing cycles."

In developing the N-DurHance A-1000 conditioning polymer, Ashland found a symbiotic relationship between conditioner formulations containing the technology and anionic surfactants typically found in shampoo formulations. With very high cationic charge density, N-DurHance polymer fully binds to the negative charges on hair when delivered from conditioner formulations. A number of cationic polymer charge sites remain, however, to flocculate in situ during next-day cleansing with anionic shampoo components.

"We call this the ISCF&#8482 process, a mechanism of action that will enable consumers to perceive enduring conditioning effects without a need for conditioning agents, such as silicone," Popplewell explained.

Catering to changing market conditions

An aging population in the developed world and increasing use of hair care products and appliances, especially in developing markets, is prompting Ashland to create new conditioning technologies, such as the N-DurHance A-1000 conditioning polymer, that cater to consumer needs for enduring conditioner effects with a minimum of effort. The new offering is designed to restore hydrophobic properties from conditioners and to extend consumer-perceivable benefits by cleansing with shampoo. Contact angle studies that show the surface hydrophobicity of hair treated with 1 percent N-DurHance polymer indicate the technology lends hydrophobic properties close to levels seen in virgin hair.

Consumer-perceivable benefits

Some of the consumer-perceivable benefits of hair restored to a hydrophobic state are seen in the area of manageability and ease of wet comb-through. In tests on bleached Caucasian hair, the energy required to comb through wet is significantly less with an intensive repair conditioner chassis containing 1 percent N-DurHance A-1000 conditioning polymer when compared to a leading commercial formulation, indicating hair is easier to manage.

Moreover, a significant improvement in sensory properties is realized when N-DurHance A-1000 conditioning polymer is included at 0.5 percent in commercial conditioner formulations. In tests on bleached Asian hair, after five washes, instrumentally measured values show an improvement in "slippery feel" compared to a benchmark conditioning formula without N-DurHance A-1000 conditioning polymer.

All of these benefits come without build-up on hair. In tests on dark brown European hair, as measured in liquid flow rate, no build-up of N-DurHance A-1000 conditioning polymer was measured following several treatment and wash cycles.

Starting point formulations

Ashland formulation and technical teams will support a range of conditioner formulation types conceived for long-lasting conditioning effects. Daily use conditioners, intensive conditioning hair masks, conditioning sprays and comb-through conditioning creams all serve as viable applications for the N-DurHance A-1000 conditioning polymer. A series of prototype formulations available to formulators have passed three-month stability and preservative efficacy testing.

"The new polymer chemistry for hair care offers conditioning benefits in a way that connects with consumer needs for healthy-looking hair that remains vibrant for a very long time. It's why we say the N-DurHance A-1000 conditioning polymer is the first technology in hair care to bring enduring confidence to consumers," said Popplewell.

About Ashland Specialty Ingredients

Ashland Specialty Ingredients, a commercial unit of Ashland Inc., offers industry-leading products, technologies and resources for solving formulation and product performance challenges in key markets including personal care, pharmaceutical, food and beverage, coatings and energy. Using natural, synthetic and semi-synthetic polymers derived from plant and seed extract, cellulose ethers and vinyl pyrrolidones, Ashland Specialty Ingredients offers comprehensive and innovative solutions for today's demanding consumer and industrial applications.

About Ashland

In more than 100 countries, the people of Ashland Inc. (NYSE: ASH) provide the specialty chemicals, technologies and insights to help customers create new and improved products for today and sustainable solutions for tomorrow. Our chemistry is at work every day in a wide variety of markets and applications, including architectural coatings, automotive, construction, energy, food and beverage, personal care, pharmaceutical, tissue and towel, and water treatment. Visit to see the innovations we offer through our four commercial units - Ashland Specialty Ingredients, Ashland Water Technologies, Ashland Performance Materials and Valvoline.

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