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  5. Guar Gum For Hair Care: Why You Should Use It?

Does your hair look thin and flat despite all your efforts? Do you want to avoid using chemicals on your hair? If yes, you should look at guar gum, derived from the guar or cluster bean. It can work wonders for your hair if used the right way.

This natural ingredient derived from the guar plant is extensively used across the food, pharma, and cosmetic industries. It gives you thicker hair and prevents breakage. SkinKraft tells you how to use it and why you should look at this natural eco-friendly plant source. Read on to learn more.

What Is Guar Gum?

Guar gum is a substance that is derived naturally from the guar or cluster bean. The tissue of cluster beans' seeds are grounded, and the result is a natural gum [1]. It is a polysaccharide and is odorless. It can be dissolved in hot and cold water to form a highly viscous paste.

This paste, similar to jelly, can have different viscosity levels based on factors like the temperature of the water, the amount used, etc. The powder formed after grinding is usually white or yellow.

Guar gum powder has various cosmetic applications [2]. It is used to make formulations stable or provide emulsification. It is also used to increase their thickness to fine-tune the texture of the formulation or for suspension purposes.

Guar gum is an elongated chain of carbohydrate molecules that are bonded and are composed of two kinds of sugars -- galactose and mannose. It is predominantly made of fiber and is low in calorific value. Its protein content [3] is approximately 5% to 6%.

What Does Guar Gum Do To Your Hair?

Guar gum powder contains an ingredient that can absorb water and thicken the mixture. When applied to your hair, this mixture coats it with a transparent layer that thickens your hair strands.

This layer then protects the hair from breakage. Guar gum also has properties that give your hair a sheen and makes it more manageable.

Benefits Of Guar Gum For Your Hair

Guar gum has many benefits for the hair. When used in a formulation with the right proportion of water and guar gum, you can use it to improve your hair in the following ways:

  • Guar gum hydrates the hair by sealing in the moisture.
  • It acts as a conditioner and makes hair smooth and shiny.
  • It prevents breakage.
  • It reduces frizz in the hair, protects the hair strands from pollution, and prevents static.
  • It reduces product buildup in the hair.
  • It makes hair more manageable as it performs the role of a detangling agent.

How To Use Guar Gum?

Guar gum can be used as a conditioner for hair where it prevents the buildup of polymers due to the use of hair care products. When used in skincare, it increases the skin's natural moisture and works as a positive charge to help the damaged cells of the skin and hair bond better.

Guar gum can be mixed with water at room temperature. It should not be heated if you are using it as a DIY conditioner at home. A thinner solution prepared the same way can be an effective detangler for wet or dry hair.

How To Use Guar Gum Powder In Hair Treatments?

You can make a mixture of guar gum and water. Take half teaspoon of guar gum and mix it with one cup of water. It should dissolve entirely and must be free of any small lumps. Ensure to keep stirring until it is fully dissolved.

After mixing the guar gum into the water, cover it, and keep it aside for an hour. The guar gum would have absorbed water, and it will have formed a jelly-like paste. It is now ready to be used on the hair.

If you are unsure about lumps, you can even mix the guar gum with a little glycerine first till it is completely dissolved and then mix it with water.

Blend this paste with your conditioner and apply it to your scalp and hair by dividing your hair into smaller sections. Leave it on for 15 minutes. Rinse off with warm water for thicker, shinier hair.

Typically, guar gum should be used at levels between 0.2% to a maximum of 2%. Since guar gum has a high pH level that is more than 9, the solution's pH level should be less than 7.

You can add one or two drops of concentrated lemon juice or a tiny pinch of citric acid to lower the pH level.

What Are The Attributes To Watch Out For?

Though guar gum prevents the buildup of other hair care products, using it can cause a buildup of the jelly-like mix itself. Use a clarifying shampoo at least once a month to remove all traces of buildup, natural or chemical.

When mixing the guar gum with water, do not pour the entire guar gum into the water. You can tap the teaspoon lightly so that small quantities of it fall into the water. You can even use an electric blender once all of the powder is added to ensure that no lumps remain.

When you make your guar gum mixture, it has to blend entirely and only in the recommended dosage, or the mixture becomes too thick for use. If you want to use it as a detangler, you can add less than 1% of it to rose water, tea or water.

Side Effects

If guar gum is used in more than recommended quantities, it can cause flaking in the hair. This can happen if you use it on its own or mixed with an oil-free gel. It is best to use it combined with some products that contain plant or other herbal oil extracts.

Guar gum should be used only on the skin and hair and not consumed orally. It is not advisable to use it if you have sensitive skin, are pregnant or nursing your newborn baby, or are allergic to soybean.

If you have undergone surgery recently or are currently scheduled to have one and have issues with your GI tract, avoid using guar gum.

Side effects of guar gum can include irritated skin, and if consumed in an edible product, it can cause cramps in the stomach, bloating [4], flatulence, and diarrhea [5]. It is advisable to use guar gum after consulting a doctor.

Interactions

Guar Gum powder is used across several formulations in the textile, ceramic, food [6], and pharma [7] industries. In the cosmetic industry, it is used as an emulsifier, stabilizer, thickener and conditioning agent in skin and hair care formulations.

It is popular in the cosmetic industry because it can thicken a solution without having to heat it. It is also used to make lotions and creams more viscous. Due to its stabilizing qualities, it reduces the chances of some ingredients from solidifying inside the formulation.

Studies have shown that guar gum is a naturally derived ingredient and is safe to use. It is increasingly popular as an organic emulsifier in skin and hair care products. Due to its nutrient and medicinal properties, it is frequently used in the food industry as well.

Facts About Guar Gum

  • Other names of Guar gum include gomme guar, goma guar, galactomannan, guaran, and guarkernmehl.
  • Guar gum is derived from a legume and is cultivated extensively in India.
  • It is derived from the guar or cluster bean's endosperm and contains moisture, fiber, and proteins.
  • Guar gum is one of the three polysaccharides besides cellulose and starch that can absorb water when introduced to it without requiring any chemical or heat-related alterations.
  • It is natural and extracted from a plant that is a renewable source making it eco-friendly.
  • It is biodegradable and toxin-free.
  • It is cheaper than other cellulose products.
  • Guar gum powder has properties that enable it to bond with hydrogen.
  • It is a plant that is resistant to drought and can survive in less water.
  • It is a more effective thickening agent than starch derived from corn.

Wrapping Up

Guar gum, made from the guar bean, is a natural agent that gives you thicker and shinier hair. If used correctly, it can provide your hair with immense benefits. Remember, the key is to apply the right amounts and use a clarifying shampoo to prevent buildup.

Begin By Knowing Your Skin