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What Is Xanthan Gum And What Are Its Hair Benefits And Uses?

You’ll likely encounter xanthan gum if you pay attention to your beauty and haircare product labels. It can be found in various product lines, appearing in personal care products like shampoos, conditioners, creams and other styling agents. However, despite this strong presence in the beauty world, xanthan gum doesn’t get much attention compared to other haircare ingredients.

This article will give you a closer look at this relatively unknown component in your shampoo and styling formulas. Chances are, most of the things you’re using, and even eating every day, contain xanthan gum. That’s why it makes sense to understand this ingredient, its benefits and its uses.

Everything You Need To Know About Xanthan Gum

Xanthan gum is a naturally derived polysaccharide, the most abundant carbohydrate in food obtained through fermentation using the bacterium Xanthomonas campestris. It’s a potent component in food production, especially if you’re aiming for a gluten-free diet. It typically comes from dairy, wheat, soy or dairy, which is why you may find it in products advertised as “all-natural.”

When it comes to haircare, xanthan gum is helpful in conditioners, shampoos, creams and other haircare formulas. It acts as a stabiliser made from sugar, causing formulations to stick together and not break apart. It is also an excellent viscosity modifier with thickening capabilities that deliver repair benefits and protection to hair fibres.

Three Benefits Of Xanthan Gum For Your Hair

Although xanthan gum is a common natural haircare ingredient, it doesn’t directly provide many benefits to the hair. Instead, it plays a critical role in creating effective formulations to help you achieve silky and shiny hair. In other words, it’s an essential part of the process that holds everything together.

Stabilises Hair Formula

One of the primary purposes of xanthan gum is to stabilise and bind moisture to prevent ingredients from separating. Even a tiny amount of this gum can produce a significant increase in a liquid’s viscosity, ensuring that formulations stay together.

Thickens The Consistency Of Hair Products

Xanthan gum works as a food thickener and an emulsifier, preventing water-oil separation and boosting protein stability. It does the same in hair products, serving as a thickener and emulsifier. This means it holds all of the product’s necessary ingredients together, creating a cohesive liquid and ensuring that they work together.

With this benefit, brands can produce a haircare formula with the correct consistency for its intended use. Xanthan gum is a brilliant source of natural thickener for shampoos, creams, conditioners and other treatment products.

Binds Moisture

You probably know by now that a well-conditioned scalp is crucial for your hair’s health and appearance. While the skin on your head produces sufficient natural oils, there are times when your hair feels dry and some extra nourishment or conditioning is needed. Some experts maintain that xanthan gum can help you with that by moisturising your skin. It does this by keeping oils locked in and binding moisture together to provide conditioning benefits.

Who Should Use Xanthan Gum Hair?

Xanthan gum is safe for every hair type and texture, but it is especially beneficial for dry, thin hair or dry scalp. Its conditioning factors also make it a fantastic ingredient for curly and wavy hair types.

However, caution is required if you are allergic to soy, wheat, corn or dairy since xanthan gum usually comes from these sources. It’s always advisable to perform a skin patch test first to see if you experience any reaction or sensitivity to this ingredient. Check with your doctor if irritation occurs after using any product containing xanthan gum.

How Do You Use Xanthan Gum For Hair?

Xanthan gum remains a vital component in many personal care products. Nevertheless, it’s not an ingredient you should use in your hair on its own. Although you can find regular xanthan gum in stores, you don’t want to apply it directly to your hair.

Instead, you’ll likely find it as a component in many of your beauty products and cosmetics. Its uses include moisturisers, cleansers, hair creams, gel, shampoos, conditioners and more.


Xanthan gum may not be the primary ingredient in a formula, but its use in haircare is crucial for product formulation and texture. Xanthan gum offers many benefits for the hair and skin and doesn’t have harmful or toxic side effects. What’s more, it appears in so many products, from hair creams and masks to serums and conditioning agents, providing an excellent source of organic and natural haircare.

Whether you’re concerned about the effects of hair products on your hair or experiencing some form of hair loss, Vinci Hair Clinic can help. Take advantage of our complimentary, no-obligation consultation and book your appointment today!