Ending the Cycle of Split Ends

Nov 1, 2011 | Contact Author | By: Michael Wright and Margaret Szerszen, Alberto Culver Co., now a part of Unilever N.V.
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Title: Ending the Cycle of Split Ends
hair damagex hair repairx split endsx trichoptilosisx polyelectrolyte complexx
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Keywords: hair damage | hair repair | split ends | trichoptilosis | polyelectrolyte complex

Abstract: Split end maintenance is a significant consumer need in the hair care market. New research shows additional discoveries in the formation of split ends, compositions containing polyelectrolyte complexes used to repair them and microscopy techniques to communicate the breakthrough benefit to the consumer.

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M Wright and M Szerszen, Michael Wright and Margaret Szerszen, Alberto Culver Co., now a part of Unilever N.V., Cosm & Toil 126(11) 804 (2011)

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Split ends are a concern for many consumers. The hair care market abounds with products that claim to address hair damage. According to Mintel, nearly 950 products have been launched within the past three years, comprising 25% of all new hair care launches in the United States. Upon further analysis, one will find that the vast majority of these products have technology and claims aimed at preventing damage, not repairing it, which leaves many consumers disappointed with the performance of their current products designed to solve a highly important consumer need.

In 2011, Alberto-Culver Co., now a part of the Unilever Group, launched a split end repairing linea to its Nexxus Salon Hair Care brand that is believed to be the first line of products fully dedicated to split end repair. This article reviews new discoveries around the formation of split ends, compositions designed to repair them and advanced microscopy techniques for claims communication as discovered by the R&D team behind the line.

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Figure 1. 10 categories of split ends

Figure 1. 10 categories of split ends

Figure 1 displays this diversity, and further categorizes split ends into 10 different sub-types including: baby, primary, deep, incomplete, double Y, triple, tree, feather, long and taper.

Figure 2. A theoretical life cycle of a split end

 Figure 2. A theoretical life cycle of a split end

Figure 2 proposes such a life cycle. The life cycle starts with a healthy end.

Figure 3. PEC comprised of PVM/MA Copolymer and Polyquaternium-28. The diameter of these microgels averages approximately 5 microns.9, 10

Figure 3. PEC comprised of PVM/MA Copolymer and Polyquaternium-28. The diameter of these microgels averages approximately 5 microns.<sup>9, 10</sup>

Figure 3 shows a visual representation of such a complex.

Figure 4. A theoretical mechanism for split end binding using PECs9, 10

Figure 4. A theoretical mechanism for split end binding using PECs<em>9, 10</em>

Figure 4 shows a theoretical mechanism of the PEC technology binding split ends.

Figure 5. Before-and-after pictures of the 10 categories of split ends after treatment with a hair care composition containing PEC

Figure 5. Before-and-after pictures of the 10 categories of split ends after treatment with a hair care composition containing PEC

Figure 5 shows before-and-after pictures of the 10 categories of split ends when treated with compositions containing the PEC.

Footnotes (CT1111 Wright)

a ProMend, a patent-pending line under the Nexxus Salon Hair Care brand, is manufactured by Alberto Culver Co., now part of Unilever N.V., Rotterdam, the Netherlands.
b Platinum Bleach is a hair supplied by International Hair Importers.
c Axiovert 200 microscope is a device manufactured by Carl Zeiss MicroImaging LLC, Thornwood, N.J., USA.
d Epiplan 5X is a device manufactured by Zeiss, Carl Zeiss MicroImaging LLC, Thornwood, N.J., USA. e AxioCam HRc is a camera manufactured by Zeiss, Carl Zeiss MicroImaging LLC, Thornwood, N.J., USA.
f Gantrex S-97 BF (INCI: PVM/MA Copolymer) is a product of International Specialty Products, Wayne, N.J., USA.
g Conditioneze NT-20 (INCI: Polyquaternium-28) is a product of International Specialty Products, Wayne, N.J., USA.
h AxioVision is a software package from Carl Zeiss MicroImaging LLC, Thornwood, N.J., USA.

Video 1. Microscopy video of a split end binding in real time

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