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SCC Annual Scientific Meeting and Technology Showcase Report
By: Katie Schaefer
Posted: December 16, 2008
page 6 of 12
Multicultural Hair Care Technology
The session on multicultural hair care technology was moderated by Colleen M. Rocafort, global business head of polymer systems for the Home and Personal Care Business Line at Ciba Corp. Rocafort welcomed the first speaker, Andrea Keenan, technical service/sales service support of the personal care polymers at Rohm and Haas.
Shine and hold for ethnic hair: Keenan and her team compared a number of polymers in Latin, African, Asian and Caucasian hair for percentage changes in luster and surface roughness. She compared a number of copolymers after finding that polymers are good film-formers and have the ability to spread on hair fibers during evaporation; they optimize viscosity and balance the coverage and thickness of films. In addition, their surface tension allows for increased wetting/spreading. Keenan’s team found that polymers deliver a discernible shine across a variety of ethnic hair types. They are multifunctional by providing superior hold and style. However, it was the acrylates/hydroxyesters acrylates copolymer that delivered not only shine but also strong hold and style control.
Water/sweat-resistant styling: Following Keenan was Duane G. Krzysik, senior research and development associate for hair care applications for Noveon Consumer Specialties of Lubrizol Advanced Materials Inc. Similar to Keenan, Krzysik spoke to attendees about a polymer comparison, namely water-resistant polymers associated with extreme styling. His team tested three polymers: polyacrylate-14, polyacrylate-2 crosspolymer and acrylate copolymer. He addressed the polymers separately and in combination for sweat resistance and style hold and found that polyacrylate-2 crosspolymer provided water/sweat-resistance alone or in combination with acrylate polymers. The researchers deduced that specialized, hydrophobically modified acrylate film-forming polymers improved the water/sweat resistance properties of styling formulations.
Hair moisture content: Michael Davis, lead scientist of the product claims support division of hair care for P&G Beauty, then presented on hair moisture measurement. According to Davis, hair increased in diameter 15% or more when wet. As water content becomes higher, so does the frictional force. “What really is moisturized hair? Why would people want all that moisture in it when it seems to have negative effects?” asked Davis during his his presentation. Davis’s team investigated hair at different levels of humidity. They also asked blindfolded panelists to assess whether they thought their hair felt moisturized.
Researchers determined that there was no correlation between the moisture content of the hair and the sensation of moisturization. Rather, there is a correlation of moisturization and smoothness or softness. The researchers also found that constant environmental fluctuation inhibited hair to reach the equilibrium state. “Everyone’s got their unique humidity pattern. Consumers can have up to 20 mL of water in their hair, and that’s a lot of water. There is no real steady state. How can we achieve moisturization when the consumer’s humidity [in the] environment is always changing?” said Davis, who believes that this work could lead to a middle ground on the true meaning of moisturized hair.