Evaluating Shine on Hair

June 26, 2009 | Contact Author | By: Randy Schueller and Perry Romanowski, Alberto-Culver Company
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  • Keywords/Abstract

Keywords: hair shine | cuticle | shampoos | conditioners

Abstract: Marketing research studies have shown that shine is one of they key benefits that women expect from hair care products, particularly from shampoos and conditioners. This article defines shine in the context of hair care and discusses ways to measure it.

Webster's 3rd New International Dictionary tells us that shine means "to be bright with the reflection of light, to gleam or glisten." But what Webster doesnt' tell us is that shine is one of the most sought after, yet most elusive, of all hair care benefits.

What Makes Hair Shine?

Physical structure of hair: To understand what makes hair shine, we must first understand its physical structure. The cuticle (the shingle-like outer layer of the hair) is primarily responsible for shine. In  virgin hair these overlapping scales are undisturbed and are stacked tightly one on top of another approximately five to ten layers deep. In this configuation they form a very flat surface that is relatively reflective. They are held tightly in place by intercellularw lipids, including ceramides, and they are protected by a fatty layer consisting of materials such as 18-methyl eicosanoic acid. These materials naturally protect hair from surface damage.