Hair gels have been used for centuries dating back to the Egyptians. Although the compositions have evolved over the years, they still maintain a single function of styling and keeping hair in place. The big question: is hair gel flammable? Both men and women ask it. Information on this cosmetic product's flammability is vital for proper handling and storage.
Is Hair Gel Flammable?
Hair gel is not flammable. The basic composition doesn't include flammable substances. Therefore, it won't ignite or start a fire. However, check the ingredient list of your hair gel, as some cheaper brands substitute ingredients to reduce cost, and these substitute ingredients are sometimes flammable.
What Is Hair Gel?
Hair gel is a cosmetic product with liquid, gel, or spray forms to help the hair styling process. Hair gels are efficient and compatible with all hair types in men and women. Depending on the amount of product used, hair gels have been used to recreate hairstyles that could last more than a week with proper care.
What Are The Major Components Of Hair Gels?
Hair gels comprise 70% water and other chemicals, including polymers, thickeners, emulsifiers, fragrances, preservatives, and UV protectants. In addition, some manufacturers have additives that nourish the scalp and hair and prevent dried gel's flakiness.
These gels contain polymers that are usually cationic (positively charged ions). They reduce the frizz on our negatively charged hair by forming transparent and glossy films on hair strands and sticking them together. These polymers cannot be absorbed into the hair shaft and thus hold onto the strands tightly.
Is Hair Gel A Fire Hazard?
Hair gel isn't a threat to a fire. In its natural form, hair gel is made up of water, and water can't cause a fire hazard. However, in the case of cheap gels, professional hair stylists don't recommend cheap hair gels that contain alcohol as this ingredient dries out the hair making the strands weaker and unhealthy.
Advice against using alcohol-based gels from stylists has proven beneficial as alcohol is very flammable, and any product containing it would be a fire hazard. Likewise, dried hair gel could be flammable. However, this is hard to verify as hair gel usually dries on human hair. And since hair is flammable, the test results would be misleading.
What Is Hair Gel's Flash Point?
A flash point describes the lowest temperature at which a material, usually liquid, ignites and burns. Since hair gel isn't flammable, it won't have a flash point. Nevertheless, hair gels with substituted ingredients that are flammable would have a flash point.
How Do You Identify Flammable Hair Gels?
All manufacturers must attach warning labels on flammable and hazardous substances packaging for consumer health and safety. So if your hair gel is flammable, it is usually written on the label. If you need more clarification, look up the ingredient list and test the flammability with a product sample.
What Happens When Your Hair Gel Gets Too Hot?
When hair gel is exposed to an open flame, the parts exposed will evaporate thanks to its water content. As a result, it won't light up or burn, and this evaporation will be accompanied by a release of gases from the decomposition of its ingredients. These gases are harmful when inhaled.
How Do I Put Out A Fire From Cheap Hair Gels?
If your hair gel accidentally starts a fire, it can be put out using any extinguishing agent. For example, you could use water, sand, foam, carbon dioxide, and dry chemicals. However, if the fire spreads more than you can handle, contact the fire department closest to you immediately.
Is Hair Gel Corrosive?
The short answer is no. The corrosivity of a product is often determined by its pH. The more acidic it is, the more corrosive it will be. The pH scale runs from 0-14, 0-6 is acidic, 7 is neutral, and 8-14 is alkaline. The closer the pH value is to 0, the more acidic it is. Human hair in a healthy state is acidic, with a pH between 4 and 5.5.
Most hair care products have a pH within that range to maintain this healthy state. Most hair gels are acidic, especially the ones containing alcohols; however, manufacturers add quaternary ammonium phosphate compounds in their formulations, which act as corrosion inhibitors.
Safety Precautions For Handling Hair Gel
Take these steps to ensure your safety, as well as anyone else working with hair gel.
Properly Label And Store Your Hair Gel
In cases where the old product container is compromised, ensure it's appropriately labeled when transferring to a new one. Also, keep the product in air-tight containers away from children and pets to prevent accidents like ingestion, which can lead to health complications.
Keep Your Hair Gel Away From Open Flames Or Fire
Although hair gel isn't flammable, avoid purposely setting it on fire as harmful gases will be released. Also, you could be in danger if your gel brand contains flammable ingredients. Store away from open flames, electrical sparks, acids, and other combustible materials.
Don't Mix Your Hair Gel
Avoid combining different brands of hair gel. As composition and ingredient lists differ from manufacturer to manufacturer, there's no way of telling what ingredient will react with the other. It could make the resulting gel corrosive, reactive, and even flammable.
How To Properly Dispose Of Your Expired Gel
Hair gels can last for a long time, up to three years after production, and are usually packaged in small quantities that can easily be exhausted before the shelf life elapses. However, disposal can be tricky depending on your gel's consistency, especially for thick gels.
A gel's color, smell, or consistency change can indicate that it has expired. Please don't throw it in an incinerator. Instead, you could drop the expired product at the nearest disposal or recycling center to ensure your safety and proper disposal.
I hope this article answers the question: is hair gel flammable? Even if hair gel isn't flammable, avoid burning it, as it is recognized as a health hazard and a source of pollution!