Micellar water is a wildly talked-about skincare category. Cliffs Notes: it's essentially a water-based makeup remover and face cleanser that requires no rinsing off. So it's optimal for those of us who are a bit lazy with our routines or just looking for a gentle product. Oh yeah, and it's a "French girl" beauty secret, since the French brand Bioderma put it on the map.
Now, the category has grown beyond skin cleansing to hair care. In 2018, we predict it will be a buzzy ingredient for hair. But is the micellar water you use on your hair similar to what goes on your face?
"From a gentle cleaning standpoint, they are similar," said Herbal Essences R&D Expert Rachel Zipperian (Herbal Essences has a micellar water shampoo line hitting stores in January). "Micelles are tiny cleaning ingredients that are designed to gently remove dirt and oil and easily rinse away in water. The main difference is how you use the products. You don't need to rinse micellar water products in skin care because the micelles are already activated in the product so they can effectively work on a cotton ball or wipe. In hair care, you do have to rinse micellar shampoo out when you're done lathering. The rinse water is needed to activate the micelles to carry the trapped dirt and oils from hair."
Hair pro Philip Berkovitz's Philip B. products have a Conditioning Water Spray. He breaks down the science of why the ingredient works for both skin and hair: "Much like micellar water for the skin — that are tiny spheres of oil suspended in water — for the hair, it is also the same principle. But it is more refined nanospheres of plant extracts." He noted that when micellar water is combined with glycerin, the formula can act as a natural humectant. This attracts moisture to the hair for a more rejuvenating effect. I often use his spray as I would a dry shampoo (from midlength to ends) to fix limp or second-day hair.
Though it is called water, it won't make your hair greasy. In fact, it should have the opposite effect. "Want to know the magic behind the micelles?" Zipperian questioned. "It can be tough to wash away oil because oil repels water. The tiny but powerful cleaning micelles work so well because they are essentially bipolar. One side of the micelle is attracted to oil, the other end is attracted to water. During use, the micelle is activated so it can trap the oil and suspend it in water that is then rinsed away."
Convinced and ready to start using micellar water on your hair? Keep reading to discover five unique haircare products that all contain it!