Scientists may have found the cure to bad hair
poolparty | August 18, 2008 at 10:51 amby
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A group of German scientists claim they have found the key to ending bad hair days. They conducted a microscopic analysis of individual hair strands interacting with one another.
If ‘bad hair day’ frustration is the bane of your existence and regular shampoo and conditioning products prove largely ineffectual in taming your otherwise uncontrollable mass of hair, then perhaps new scientific research into the ‘root’ cause of your distress will help ease the bedraggled pain.
More pointedly, research chemists this weekend revealed the results of microscopic analysis aimed at establishing what happens to individual hair strands as they interact with one another.
The purpose of the research is to provide important information towards the development of improved shampoos, conditioners, and other related products designed to repair damaged hair.
Presented on Sunday at the American Chemical Society’s 236th National Meeting in Philadelphia, the researchers outline that, while consumers currently inject an annual $60 billion USD into the hair care industry, many products are not able to meet the demands of modern hair treatments.
"Given all the new hair treatments out there, there's a growing need to make hair feel more natural," says study co-author Eva Max, a doctoral student in chemistry at the University of Bayreuth in Germany. She and her colleagues have found a new way to measure the silkiness and softness of individual hairs.
"For the first time, we present an experimental setup that allows measuring the subtle forces, both physical and chemical, that arise when single hairs slide past each other or are pressed against each other," Max says.
The search for shampoos, conditioners and gels that can banish bad hair days for good has been advanced by the development of the first tool that can analyse how individual fibres of hair interact at a microscopic level.
The new approach to hair imaging is starting to reveal the details of how and why hair feels different to the touch, which should assist cosmetics companies to design innovative products that make damaged hair smooth. The system has already been used to highlight two main reasons why hair often feels rough and difficult to comb, providing insights that could be used in haircare product development.
I myself am eager to see if they actually did find the key to revolutionizing shampoos and conditioners. I myself have spent hundreds of dollars on products that claim they will help with frizz, shine, etc...but when it rains forget it...bad hair day here I come!
To solve the problem, positively-charged chain line molecules (polymers) that neutralize the negatively charged surfaces are included in conditioner formula to provide a silky feel to hair.
But finding the right formula for repairing damaged hair is no easy task, notes Dr Claudia Wood, , a senior scientist at the chemical company BASF in Bayreuth, Germany, which funded the work.
In addition to hair interactions, many other factors, such as humidity, water content of hair, and hair stickiness, all affect silkiness, Dr Wood says.
However, the researchers believe that, by formulating the right ratio of beneficial elements in emerging hair care products, hair care developers can create fully optimised shampoos and conditioners to provide consumers with the feel of perfect hair.
What do you think? Will their findings help us all have perfect hair?
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