Ahhh, good 'ol Cornstarch...been around for generations and has found it's way into haircare (and even skincare) time and time again. Once used as a (pre-historic?) dry shampoo, it absorbed oil but left the hair feeling dirty, stiff and let's not get started on the white residue it left behind!
I never fully grasped the amazing ability that cornstarch had until I volunteered for my son's 6th grade 'Science-Day'. Apparently I missed out on this as a kid, because this was amazing! We (fellow parent volunteers, generally having no clue what we were doing, but wanted to participate to catch of a glimpse of our child in action at school) were instructed to add cornstarch to a bucket of water and then let the kids swim their hands around in the bucket, working through the cornstarch as if it was sand. OHHHEMMMGEEE, it was awesome. The cornstarch turned instantly hard in the bottom of the bucket - as if it was concrete, but when you shoveled out a handful above the water, it turned back into a soupy liquid. So cool!
After this Science Day experiment, cornstarch that shows up in haircare made so much more sense to me! The evolution of cornstarch in haircare has evolved immensely and can be in very basic terms be broken down into two ways:
1) Cornstarch when mixed with a liquid provides hold without a white residue. Increase the amount of cornstarch, (if it's listed higher on the ingredient list, it has more. Lower equal less.) Think of the concrete feeling at the bottom of the bucket, but it was still workable and soft.
2) Cornstarch when not mixed with water or liquids, gives you a powdery hot mess. Instead, look for rice starch or tapioca starch, which we can talk about at a later date.
So, when do we see the ever amazing Cornstarch? (yes, I capitalize it, because it is so deserving!) AG Hair utilizes cornstarch in a number of products. Rather than using alcohol in their root volumizer, BigWigg, they choose cornstarch. Cornstarch absorbs oil, which naturally lifts the root and provides volume. Compare to an alcohol based root volumizer, which dries out the oil/sebum, leaving the scalp feeling dry, itchy and often flaky. Cornstarch makes an appearance in so many AG products, and each time, it's providing a natural and effective hold to the hair!