POLYMERS AND COMPOSTIONS
Publication Date: 2010-Nov-05
The IP.com Prior Art Database
The present invention relates to hair care and personal care compositions which contain an acrylic copolymer which is polymerized in the presence of at least two different classes of crosslinking monomers. The polymer functions both as a fixative/film former and a thickening agent for hair styling and personal care compositions in which it is contained. The copolymer exhibits advantageous fixative, film forming and rheological gel properties.
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POLYMERS AND COMPOSTIONS
 In one aspect, the present invention relates to an acrylic copolymer wherein the copolymer is suitable both as a hair fixative/film former and a thickening agent in hair styling and personal care compositions. In another aspect, the invention relates to a hair styling gel composition comprising an acrylic copolymer, water and a neutralizing agent. The acrylic copolymer is polymerized in the presence of at least two different classes of crosslinking monomers. A further aspect of the invention relates to the formation of clear, rheologically stable, aqueous fixative gel compositions containing an acrylic based crosslinked copolymer, and optionally various components that are substantially insoluble materials requiring suspension.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
 Most commercial, hair setting compositions include film forming polymers (fixatives), viscosity increasing polymers, and polymer modifiers, in addition to solvents, co-solvents, and cosmetic adjuvants, such as preservatives, color, fragrance, and the like. The amount of fixative polymer present in a particular hair setting composition can vary in the range of about 0.2 to about 10 weight percent, depending on the attributes desired during application and the function of the product. See, for example, Ch. 30, Harry's Cosmeticology, 8th Ed., M. J. Rieger, Ph.D. (ed.), 666-667, Chemical Publishing Co., Inc., New York, NY (2000).
 A common type of hair setting composition contains an aqueous based gel containing the fixative polymer which when applied to the hair "fixes" the hair in a desired configuration upon drying. The fixative polymer is deposited on the individual hair filaments as a thin film which encases the hair filaments tending to keep the hair in the configuration in which it has been set. In addition, in places where hair filaments overlap and touch the fixative acts as an adhesive to bind the hair filaments together, helping to hold the desired set.
 In order to be effective, the fixative polymer must meet a number of rigid requirements. The films derived from these polymers should be flexible and
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yet possess strength and elasticity. They should display good adhesion to the hair so as to avoid dusting or flaking off over extended periods of time or when the hair is subjected to stresses such as brushing or combing. Moreover, polymeric fixative films should not interfere with the brushing or combing of the hair, and should remain free of tack or stickiness under humid conditions. Applied fixative films should also be transparent, glossy, maintain clarity upon aging, and be easily removable when washing with a hair cleanser and water.
 Also of importance are the aesthetic characteristics and appearance of hair setting compositions before, during, and after application to hair. In addition, the product viscosity should be non-runny to avoid dripping from opened and inverted pr...