xylose bark

I enjoy sharing nature’s bountiful wealth of ingredients for our skin and hair. No, I am not capturing rainwater to wash my mane, but I do like to see what nature can do for me before purchasing hair care products. When hair care companies start with nature to address our needs I applaud them. Despite my tendency to find natural methods and products I do look for what works and sometimes that means taking a step towards technology for the better creation. Curly-haired women love variety and sometimes that includes straightening, so many use heat protectants to avoid compromising the health of their hair from too high or excessive heat. Most heat protectants contain silicones but did you know that some are also formulated with sugar?

What is Xylose?

Simply, xylose is a sugar substitute that was discovered in 1891 by a Finnish scientist named Koch. It did not become popular until there was a sugar shortage during World War II and scientist learned how to stabilize xylose and created xylitol which is the sugar alcohol produced by xylose. Xylose is a form of sugar that comes from woody substances like straw or pecan shells. It can be used in several variations like liquid or crystallized and it provides a healthier alternative to regular sugar.

Benefits of xylose on hair

Sugar on hair? Yes! Believe it or not but sugar is great as a heat-protectant to coat the strand and seal it. Many heat protectants use silicones to shield the hair from heat styling tools, as they also help to reduce damage to the cuticle. Xylose is just another asset for curlies who choose to use heat but want maximum protection. Matrix celebrity colorist George Papanikolas has this to say about the hair protecting benefits of xylose: “Xylose sugar protects and coats hair to disperse heat evenly and hydra-sugar binds to hair fiber to trap in moisture.” Basically, xylose has water-binding properties for skin and does wonders for protecting strands from the high temperatures of heat styling tools.

There are several heat protectants on the market now that use the powerful protection of xylose to not only protect the hair from heat styling but it also seals in the moisture to stave off dryness. Here are a few that use xylose in their ingredients. Silicones are not the only ingredient that will put heat in its place and help fight heat damage.

Products with xylose

Read more: This Buildup Actually Saves Your Hair


Sabrina Perkins


Sabrina, founder of seriouslynatural.org and contributor to several online publications, is a freelance writer who engages her audiences on the relevance of natural hair, beauty, and style.

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