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The Breaking Point: What Makes Hair Weak

Contact Author Jo-El Grossman
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hair breakage

“The biggest concern with consumers about hair care is breakage,” said Trefor A. Evans, Ph.D., institute fellow at TRI Princeton and long-time Cosmetics & Toiletries scientific advisor.

During his presentation on day three of the IFSCC Congress, in the "Hair Care Technology" session, Evans first questioned what the reason for breakage is. “We all know that hair is remarkably strong when we test it,” he said, adding “however, we do recognize that when a material fails, it’s usually at its weakest link.”

"The biggest concern with consumers about hair care is breakage."

Evans described the following factors behind what makes hair weak:

“As groom force on hair increases, that’s when it tends to fail,” Evans offered. “That’s why we offer conditioner, so consumers feel the need to groom less.”

Evans also pointed out some interesting similarities in the damage caused by different factors in different hair types. In African hair, for example, the most damaging treatments are hair relaxers. But the influence of humidity can have the same damaging effects in virgin Caucasian hair as the relaxer treatments have in African hair.

 

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