HFOs Address Haircare Industry Sustainability Challenges Without Compromising Performance

HFOs Address Haircare Industry Sustainability Challenges Without Compromising Performance

As environmental regulations influence the phase-down of traditional propellants such as hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), Honeywell’s Solstice® Propellant (HFO-1234ze) is an ultra-low global warming potential alternative helping manufacturers and brands meet their company commitments.

With an ultra-low global warming potential (GWP), Honeywell’s Solstice® Propellant (HFO-1234ze) is a ready-now hydrofluoroolefin (HFO) solution that offers environmental, safety and regulatory benefits to manufacturers and brands, helping them to meet sustainability commitments without compromising product performance.

Aerosol products are used for a variety of applications across many industries ranging from aviation to haircare. Their formulations contain various substances, including propellants, that help deliver the intended product benefits to end users.

As the global haircare market grows, the presence of aerosols in the haircare industry has also increased as more aerosol-based products are appearing on store shelves.

However, existing government regulations are raising concerns around the environmental impact that aerosol ingredients can have on the environment.  

Over the years, the use of aerosol-based haircare products such as dry shampoos, hairsprays, mousse and others has steadily grown. In 2020, 98.54 million Americans were reported to have used hairspray alone, according to Statista. With the growing popularity of aerosol haircare products, consumers are also more aware and actively engaged in efforts to minimize their individual contribution to emissions.

Based on a 2019 Personal Care Products report, 70% of shoppers were found to consider the environmental impact of the things they’re buying when they’re shopping. This self-awareness is influencing their brand loyalty as consumers are also expecting environmental initiatives and ingredient list transparency from brand and manufacturers.

Many haircare products currently in the market feature traditional propellants, such as hydrocarbons (HCs) and hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). In order for aerosol products to deliver their intended benefits to millions of end users, propellants play a key role as they help release active ingredients within a formulation.

Hydrocarbons are known to have a high-volatile organic compound (VOC) footprint, causing effects on the environment due to their contribution to the formation of ground-level ozone. While hydrofluorocarbons such as the most commonly known HFC-152a, are known to contribute to greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) due to their high-global warming potential.

As a result, global regulations such as the Montreal Protocol and the Kigali Amendment were created in efforts to phase down these substances. These global regulations are also the key focus for the yearly observed United Nations International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer, that focuses on increasing awareness and urgency to phase-out of these types of substances.

Due to government regulations targeting high GWP substances and evolving shopping behaviors, manufacturers and brands are seeking low GWP alternatives, such as Solstice® Propellant, that can help them reduce their environmental impact without compromising end users product expectations and experience.  

Honeywell’s Solstice Propellant is a liquified gas that’s a ready-now, environmentally-preferred alternative to high GWP propellants such as HFCs. It provides a higher degree of versatility to formulators compared to compressed gases – liquified gases are known to provide constant pressure, delivery rate and spray characteristics throughout the lifespan of a can. It also provides safety characteristics as it’s also non-flammable based on UN class 2.2 criteria.

Our ultra-low GWP Solstice Propellant can help reduce carbon equivalent emissions by 99% compared with traditional propellants commonly used in cosmetics. It is also non-ozone depleting and VOC-exempt based on guidelines from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the California Air Resource Board (CARB). This means that when compared to hydrocarbons, it has negligible contribution to ground-level smog formation.


When combining the different characteristics held by Solstice Propellant, it provides the needed safety and reliability that manufacturers and brands are looking for while supporting their progress towards meeting formulation goals and company commitments.

Global brands such as Fekkai have recently announced their use of Solstice Propellant within their Clean Stylers Aerosols Hairsprays and Dry Shampoo. The use of our offering is helping support the brand’s focus on clean and sustainable ingredients to help eliminate the potential harmful effects of beauty products on the environment, while maintaining the salon-quality performance they are known for.

With the continuous popularity and use of aerosol-based haircare products, it doesn’t seem that they will go away anytime soon. However, manufacturers and brands are facing the challenge of finding low GWP alternatives that perform similar to the commonly used traditional propellants that contribute to greenhouse emissions.

Honeywell’s Solstice® Propellant can help meet environmental and regulatory needs that manufacturers and brands are in search of while delivering the similar performance expected for their formulation goals.

Learn more about how Solstice® Propellant can help you meet your safety and environmental objectives while maintaining the formulation performance of your products.