How to measure and analyse the texture of food, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and adhesives.

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Croda puts hair tresses to the texture analysis test

Combing hairA recent study* has validated the use of a TA.XTplus texture analyser for evaluating objectively the effectiveness of personal care products on the physical characteristics of hair.

The study highlighted how analytical technology can help the industry substantiate ambitious marketing claims about shampoos and conditioners that claim to leave hair soft and manageable.

In the study, carried out by Croda, the bending force of a hair bundle was measured as an indicator of hair softness. The TA.XTplus was used to determine the bending modulus of different types of hair, comparing results before and after the application of various hair treatments.

Hair test illustrations and graphs
For the test, the hair samples were divided into two bundles – one to undergo treatments, the second to be used as a control. The texture analyser was used in a modified three point bend mode, with hair bundle clamped at one end and the remaining length placed on two supports. 

The analyser probe descended vertically on the sample ten times, applying pressure to the central section of the hair bundle and the average bending force was calculated.

Texture analysis enables the determination of the bending force of hair samples under different treatment conditions. Croda’s research revealed that oxidation following hair bleaching, as well as heightened environmental moisture levels, have a significant effect on measurable bending force, an indication of hair softness, in particular where damaged hair is concerned. It also demonstrated the efficacy of conditioner formulations containing new softening ingredients.

We are pleased to know that our customers continue to innovate and discover new applications for our instruments.

The new test will enable manufacturers to carry out quick, objective and repeatable evaluation of hair softness, optimising their products’ performance and substantiating persuasive beauty claims. 

Key to the illustrations above:
1: Set-up for measuring bending force of a hair sample.
2: Clamps for hair bundle preparation.
3: Prepared hair bundles.
4: Results from TA and DMA (dynamic mechanical analysis).
5: Change in average bending forces of hair bundles after different treatments.
6: Bending force vs. time.
7: Change in bending force of different types of hair with RH (from 60% to 75%).

TA.XTplus texture analyser with bloom jar
The TA.XTplus texture analyser is part of a family of texture analysis instruments and equipment from Stable Micro Systems. An extensive portfolio of specialist attachments is available to measure and analyse the textural properties of a huge range of food products. In addition to our wide range of texture analysis attachments, our technical experts can also custom design instrument fixtures according to individual specifications.

*T Gao, J-M Tien, L Peter, 'Evaluation of hair softness –
Texture Analyzer and Dynamic Analyzer', Croda Inc., USA

Watch our video about testing of hair and hair productsDownload a published article covering methods for the testing of hair and hair productsBrowse our range of hair and hair product testing solutions

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