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The effect of grooming on the hair cuticle

  • ETP Semra Pty Ltd


A study has been carried out on the effects of normal grooming on the cuticle of human hair. The grooming processes studied included shampooing, wet combing, wet brushing, and towel drying.The experiments were carried out on tresses of hair and and also included "on-head" studies. The results were examined using scanning electron microscopy techniques. The data indicate that all the damage normally observed can be entirely due to the grooming process. Shampooing and towel drying were shown to inflict some damage, but the process of wet combing or brushing greatly increased the damage. Brushing was shown to be more damaging than combing. The use of conditioner was shown to significantly decrease the damage by reducing the friction forces generated in the hair during combing.
... This swelling of the non keratin proteins is probably because of the absence of significant covalent linking and the presence of hydrophilic amino acid chain groups in the inner cuticle (Swift, 1991). The swelling has also been noticed as an increase in outer cuticle average height immediately after soaking (O'Connor et al., 1995) and consequently high localized cuticle loss during wet combing as compared to dry combing (Kelly and Robinson, 1982). The outer cuticle, which is extensively cross linked, remains rigid and does not swell in water. ...
... The cuticle governs the frictional properties of hair fibers and is also largely responsible for maintaining the structural integrity of hair. Many investigators have shown that the cuticle is gradually chipped, fragmented, and worn away by the abrasive action of combing, brushing, shampooing, and teasing of human hair (1)(2)(3)(4). It is also known that gradual loss of cuticle layers can eventually lead to complete fibrillation of the fiber (4,5). ...
A simple method to quantify hair damage during combing or brushing has been developed. The method involves collecting hair fragments that are chipped from hair during combing and quantitatively measuring the amount of protein using a colorimetric procedure capable of detecting as little as 5 Ixg of protein per mi. Using this procedure on hair tresses in the laboratory and on live heads (half-head tests), we were able to demonstrate significant differences in protein loss during post-shampoo combing of undamaged and chemically damaged hair previously treated with various shampoos/conditioners. The method is applicable to different types of hair tested, namely, Caucasian, Asian, Oriental and Negroid.
Hair and nails have obvious advantages as well as disadvantages as tissues for biological monitoring, which have been discussed repeatedly by many authors from different viewpoints such as environmental and occupational health, nutritional sciences and forensic medicine (Hambidge, 1982; Jenkins, 1979; Katz, 1979; Klevay, 1978; Laker, 1982; Maugh, 1978; Pankhurst and Pate, 1979; Rivlin, 1983; Schroeder and Nason, 1969; Toribara and Muhs, 1984). Problems of analysis using hair and nails will be reviewed in this chapter. However, it must be mentioned that the use of hair and nails has not been studied fully for correlation with environmental and occupational exposure and for representing the critical organ concentration. If we follow the critical organ concept, as accepted by the Subcommittee of Toxicology of Metals (Nordberg, 1976), it would be necessary to determine the concentration of specific metals in critical organs and to relate that concentration to the level in hair and nails. In this sense, our knowledge of many toxic metals is still very limited.
Shampoos and hair conditioners function primarily at or near the fiber surface. The primary function of shampoos is to remove soils or dirt from the hair surface, however, hair soils are highly varied from oily to particulate and the mechanisms for removal of these different soils also differ. Secondary functions of shampoos are also varied from conditioning the hair to dandruff control. With increasing damage to hair whether by chemical or photochemical reactions or even by abrasion, the hair surface becomes more hydrophilic and more acidic or anionic in character thus changing the affinity for different ingredients. Shampoos are often perceived as products that do not damage the hair; however damage can occur from some shampoos and such damage is described in detail. Different types of tests from laboratory to half head to tests on consumers are employed to evaluate the functionality of shampoos. These tests are described in detail with contrasts and some useful conclusions and insights. The sorption of shampoo and conditioning ingredients to hair including theories of sorption and diffusion are described in detail. Dandruff including scalp flaking, and skin irritation by surfactants is described in the last part of this chapter.
Synopsis Some previously unreported fine variations in the form of normal hairs are described as they are observed in the scanning electron microscope (SEM). They all arise in the course of surface frictional wear and the chipping away of the hair surface scale edges and include remanent surface impressions of cuticle scale edges, ‘false’ scale edges, granular surface remnants and highly irregular (chevron) scale patterns. Mechanisms are proposed for the way in which each of these different fine features arise. The paper also contains deliberations on the conditions for operating the SEM consistent with obtaining the best information about the architecture of hair surfaces. The correctness of viewing orientation of scanning electron micrographs is also emphasized to avoid misinterpretation of features on the hair surface.
Transcultural health care involves a sensitivity by the health professional to cultural values, beliefs, and practices of patients. Leininger's theory of transcultural care diversity and universality provides a framework in which cultural understanding can enhance the patient-provider relationship. Hair care practices among black patients are deeply embedded in the cultural beliefs and practices of black people. Practices such as braiding or plaiting the hair and the use of heat and chemicals to straighten the hair are popular. Folk culture and recent advances in cosmetic chemistry also play an important role. Incorporating the patients' cultural beliefs into practices enhances a holistic approach to health care for black patients.
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