Beauty is Universal: Multicultural Conditioning of Damaged Hair


Denise Costrini, Marketing Manager – Hair Care, Croda, North America

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the United States is expected to become a majority-minority nation within the next 30 years. From a population growth perspective, non-Caucasian populations are projected to grow at a faster rate than the Caucasian population. The multicultural beauty products market slightly outpaced growth of the overall cosmetics and toiletries market with a growth rate of 3.7% in 2014.1

Understanding the consumer hair care needs of diverse populations is increasingly critical. As consumers around the world continue to damage their hair by using thermal styling tools, chemical processes or colorants, restoring hair to a healthy state is a primary consumer need that appears to be universal. Supporting this need globally, 26% of global hair care products launched in 2010 through the first half of 2015 used claims for damaged hair.2 Moreover, use of claims for damaged hair globally rank in the top five hair claims for products launched in 2015.3

Although there is a demonstrated need for damaged hair products around the world, it can be challenging to formulate for hair of different ethnic origins as each displays unique hair characteristics. These variations include style (e.g., straight, wavy, curly), shape (oval, flat, round), cuticle size distribution and oiliness. These variations result in different hair needs and can cause performance differences in ingredients used in hair care products, so testing on different ethnic hair types to show efficacy is important. Crodazoquat™ MCC is a versatile conditioning ingredient that has been proven to be effective on Caucasian, Asian and Brazilian hair types and new data proves efficacy on African hair as well, further broadening its multicultural performance.

Improving Hydrophobicity, Conditioning and Detangling

Healthy, undamaged hair is hydrophobic (water repelling). Hair becomes more hydrophilic (water loving) when damaged through chemical, mechanical or environmental sources. If hair can be restored to a more hydrophobic state, it can be considered to be healthier. The dynamic advancing contact angle is a measurement used to determine the hydrophobicity of hair. If this measurement increases, it can be concluded that hydrophobicity has increased and hair has become healthier. In this study, the dynamic advancing contact angles of hair fibers of four different ethnic origins were measured before and after treatment with 1.5% active Crodazoquat MCC in a conditioner. The average dynamic advancing contact angle before and after treatment is represented in Figure 1.

Crodazoquat MCC Increases Hydrophobicity

Figure 1: Increases in average advancing contact angle indicate hair has become more hydrophobic with Crodazoquat MCC, restoring hair to a healthier state

An increase in the average advancing dynamic contact angle was observed on colored Asian hair, bleached Caucasian hair, relaxed Brazilian hair and relaxed African hair. From these results, it can be concluded that Crodazoquat MCC has improved the surface hydrophobicity of hair that had been damaged by the coloring, bleaching or relaxing process, resulting in hair that has been restored to a healthier state. Combing studies were also conducted on bleached Caucasian, colored Asian and relaxed Brazilian hair to assess the conditioning ability of Crodazoquat MCC. Wet and dry combing study results revealed excellent detangling and conditioning from Crodazoquat MCC, measured by up to a 95% reduction in combing force on colored Asian, bleached Caucasian and relaxed Brazilian hair.

Salon Tests

Salon tests are a valuable process to evaluate consumer-perceivable results to assess sensory attributes that cannot be detected through instrumental testing but can be easily identified by consumers, especially on African hair. The traditional wet and dry combing studies on African hair are not currently practical because it is challenging to source African hair that is long enough to conduct testing; therefore, salon testing is a commonly used industry process to evaluate ingredients in formulations for performance on African hair. Croda included additional attributes to its standard salon tests, including breakage, density, and ease of styling to assess performance on specific needs for African hair.

Crodazoquat MCC Conditioner Outperformed Commercial Conditioner on Natural African Hair for Dry Attributes in a Salon Study

The conditioner containing Crodazoquat MCC outperformed the Commercial African Hair Conditioner on all dry attributes on natural African hair, significantly outperforming on Breakage, Mass Volume and Styling attributes.

Enhancing Shine

Consumers often associate shiny hair with healthy hair. Accordingly, hair shine is a desired consumer attribute, particularly when the hair has been damaged.

The measurement of shine on the surface of hair is complex. Croda adapted a methodology to measure shine on the hair’s surface that utilizes the Hair Shine Imaging System (SAMBA) equipment from Bossa Nova Technologies.4 This methodology determines the apparent cuticle angle calculated from angle differences obtained from root to tip and tip to root measurements. The smaller the angle differences, the lower the apparent cuticle angle and the smoother the hair’s surface. The smoother the hair’s surface, the stronger the reflected light intensity and the better the shine or luster. The SAMBA hair imaging system allows calculation of the Luster (L) index of the hair.

Colored Asian and relaxed Brazilian hair tresses were treated with Crodazoquat MCC and analyzed to evaluate shine utilizing the SAMBA. Results reveal that Crodazoquat MCC enhances shine on both hair types: Luster was increased by 10.5% on colored Asian hair and by 75.4% on relaxed Brazilian hair (see Figure 2).

The shine enhancement of hair treated with Crodazoquat MCC is visually perceptible. The relaxed Brazilian hair tress treated with Crodazoquat MCC has a tighter shine band, indicating more luster than the untreated tress.

Crodazoquat MCC Shine Increase on Relaxed Brazilian Hair

Figure 2: Crodazoquat MCC increases shine on relaxed Brazilian hair by 75%

A Versatile Multicultural Solution with Global Regulatory Acceptance

Brand owners are increasingly seeking to market and manufacture their products in the global market space, so ingredients with broad regulatory acceptance provide formulating flexibility. Crodazoquat MCC has broad regulatory acceptance (EINECS, REACH, and DSL compliant; IECIC and IECSC listed), which combined with its multicultural hair effectiveness makes it an excellent choice for conditioning hair regardless of ethnic origin.


1. Kline Multicultural Beauty & Grooming report
2. Mintel GNPD, 2014-June 2015.
3. Mintel GNPD, 2015
4. Journal of Cosmetic Science. Study of hair shine and hair surface smoothness, Gao T., Pereira A., Zhu S. , 2009 Mar-Apr; 60(2):187-97

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