In today’s society, the phrase "beautiful hair" has a multitude of meanings based on ethnicity, regional trends and unique hair styles. However, gorgeous locks are always synonymous with strong and healthy looking hair. New product launches are targeting the concept of anti-aging for hair, which includes concerns such as breakage, volume loss, roughness, dryness and brittleness. Unlike skin, hair is not capable of self-repair. If left untreated, the hair begins to look and feel unhealthy, as damage to both the cuticle and the cortex accumulates.
The cuticle is the outermost layer of the hair and serves to protect the hair fiber from environmental stressors and harsh salon processes. The cortex lies under the cuticle and constitutes approximately 80% of the hair’s mass (comprised mainly of keratin) and is responsible for hair’s strength, elasticity and flexibility. Normal grooming practices can damage the cuticle by lifting and breaking the individual scales, making it difficult to comb and style the hair. Furthermore, damage to the cuticle will also affect shine. Heat can also be very destructive; blow dryers and hot irons cause the inside of the hair fiber to expand quickly, which can crack the hardened cuticle. Chemical treatments and exposure to UV further compromise the cuticle’s integrity by increasing porosity. This can leave the hair susceptible to frizzing or becoming excessively dry and brittle. Chemicals can also penetrate the fibers more easily and weaken the inner structures.
Animal Keratin Alternative
For decades, hydrolyzed keratin has been used to fortify hair and repair damage. Yet, as trends increase for making non-animal claims, the need for a keratin alternative has never been greater. TRI-K's Fision KeraVeg18 (INCI: Water (aqua) (and) Wheat Amino Acids (and) Soy Amino Acids (and) Arginine HCl (and) Serine (and) Threonine) is the vegetable-based alternative to hydrolyzed keratin and consists of a cohesive solution of wheat and soy amino acids with three additional pure amino acids (of fermented vegetable origin) that have been carefully selected to mimic the functional ratios of amino acids in human hair. The amino acid distribution of hydrolyzed animal keratin vs. TRI-K's Fision KeraVeg18 is shown in Figure 1. The pure amino acids chosen for this product are arginine, serine and threonine. Arginine reinforces hair fibers and helps resist hair breakage. Serine acts as a precursor to ceramides and aids in providing intense conditioning properties. Finally, threonine is an essential amino acid that supports the maintenance of protein balance in the body.
Efficacy testing on chemically damaged African and Caucasian hair shows TRI-K's Fision KeraVeg18 addresses the needs of both the cuticle and the cortex. For all studies, performance comparisons were made between TRI-K's Fision KeraVeg18 and hydrolyzed keratin. Prior to testing, African hair was chemically damaged with a no-lye relaxer, while Caucasian hair was bleached (both chemical processes simulate real-life damage). Tests measured improvements in elasticity, strength, wet and dry combability and a sensory evaluation.
Elasticity and Strength
Elasticity is an important attribute of healthy hair and can be defined as the ability of the hair to be stretched without damage. As a result, the more elastic the hair, the less prone it is to damage from styling. TRI-K's Fision KeraVeg18 increased elasticity of African and Caucasian hair fibers by 16% Figure 2 and 18% Figure 3, respectively, proving better results than hydrolyzed keratin.
TRI-K's Fision KeraVeg18 was also shown to increase the strength of African hair by 4% (Figure 4) and Caucasian hair by 21% (Figure 5). In addition to leaving the hair stronger and more resilient, these results also suggest TRI-K's Fision KeraVeg18 may help repair damage caused by chemically processing the hair.
Wet and Dry Combing
When hair is wet, hydrogen and salt bonds break, which reform after hair dries, returning hair to normal temperature. Both bonds contribute to hair’s elasticity and strength, which means hair is weaker and more susceptible to breakage when wet. Extra care needs to be taken when combing wet hair, as the process can be very damaging. When dry, damaged hair is typically more difficult to style and comb. Poor manageability often results in the need to use excess combing force which can further damage and break individual hair fibers.
TRI-K's Fision KeraVeg18 was shown to improve wet combing by 9% and 43%, respectively, after 1 and 5 applications compared to the placebo (Figure 6). Dry combing was improved by 59% and 67%, respectively, after 1 and 5 applications compared to the placebo (see Figure 7). The data indicates TRI-K's Fision KeraVeg18 effectively improves manageability in wet and dry hair by making hair easier to comb. In addition to improving the overall styling experience, TRI-K's Fision KeraVeg18 may help limit further damage. Overall, results confirm that TRI-K's Fision KeraVeg18 is a good alternative to hydrolyzed animal keratin by delivering equal combing benefits to wet hair and superior combing benefits to dry hair. Improvements in combability are also an indication of a smoother, healthier cuticle.
Five women of various descents were asked to evaluate the performance of TRI-K's Fision KeraVeg18 versus hydrolyzed keratin in a half head study on mannequins with Caucasian hair. TRI-K's Fision KeraVeg18 and hydrolyzed keratin were added separately to a commercial shampoo and conditioner. The panelists were asked to evaluate specific characteristics of wet and dry hair after 1 and 4 applications.
In the wet hair evaluation, panelists favored TRI-K's Fision KeraVeg18 for its ability to improve hair flexibility and allow for easier knot removal (see Figure 8). For dry hair, panelists rated TRI-K's Fision KeraVeg18 as delivering equal performance benefits to hydrolyzed keratin (Figure 9). For both ingredients, panelists reported an increase in shine as well as a reduction in frizz and static. In addition to leaving the hair looking and feeling healthier, these results further demonstrate the multiple benefits TRI-K's Fision KeraVeg18 can deliver to fortify and rejuvenate the hair.
Based on the instrumental analysis and sensory evaluations, TRI-K's Fision KeraVeg18 is an excellent sustainable alternative to hydrolyzed keratin to help condition, protect and repair the hair.
To learn more about this product, please visit us at www.tri-k.com.