Hair Testing

Laboratory Testing

TRI offers a wide variety of measurement techniques to assess the effects of raw materials, finished products and appliances on hair. This technical verification is commonly at the heart of constructing attractive marketing claims. TRI Princeton’s technical reports are recognized by regulators and advertising authorities around the world as being unbiased and of high quality. 

Consumer-Related
End-Benefit Techniques
These methods are used to show how products or devices deliver end-benefits to the whole hair array that are directly consumer relevant (e.g. softness, smoothness, shine etc).  These types of techniques also often help support marketing propositions (e.g. “twice as smooth”, “10x less breakage”).

Hair Breakage from Repeated Grooming

Automated Repeated Grooming Device

If you are interested in how well your hair conditioning product, or styling device, is preventing hair breakage from repeated brushing or combing, then you may consider performing a repeated grooming test. 

Ease-of-Combing

Automated Combing Apparatus

The ability to pass a brush or comb through hair with minimal snagging, tangling and friction is key to the perception of hair conditioning.  If you want to know how well your products condition the hair and reduce dry or wet grooming forces, then you may want to consider performing ease-of-combing experiments. 

Hair Color Fade

Colorimeter

Hair that has been colored by dye products can fade as a result of various external influences (e.g. washing, heat styling, sun exposure).  If you are interested in measuring how your products, or devices, affect these color changes, then you might consider performing hair color fade measurements.  

Control of Hair Static

Hair Static Apparatus

The build-up of static electricity in the hair, and hence flyaway, can be an issue in dry air-conditioned buildings, during low humidity winter months and is often problematic during heat styling.  If you want to show how your product, or hair styling device, reduces flyaway it might be interesting to measure hair static levels.

Split-Ends Prevention

Automated Repeated Grooming Device

For many consumers, split ends are an important indicator of hair damage. They are formed as the result of chemical processing, heat styling and combing, and arise from the loss of hair cuticle, the external ‘jacket’ that keeps the hair intact.

Speed of Drying

Custom-Built Test Apparatus

If you want to show how your product reduces hair drying times, or how fast your blow-drying device dries the hair versus others, then you might want to consider the speed of drying test.

Style Retention

Curl Drop Test

Image analysis is used to assess the longevity of hair curls in the presence of elevated humidity conditions. High quality photographs show the curl integrity as a function of time.

Frizz Control

Image Analysis

Image analysis is used to assess the shape of heat straightened hair in the presence of elevated humidity conditions. High quality photographs show the progressive reversion of the hair shape as a result of the external stimulus.

Hair Volume

Image Analysis

If you want to show how your products deliver volume and body, then you might want to consider performing a tress volume test.

Hair Shine

Image Analysis

If you want to show how well your product improves hair shine or lustre, then you might consider performing a hair shine test.  

Pollution Protection

Particulate Pollution Chamber 

This test uses a custom-built pollution chamber that is able to deposit pollutant particles evenly, accurately and reproducibly over the surface of a number of tresses.

Pollution Protection

Gaseous Pollution Test Apparatus

Our anti-pollution test for gaseous pollution uses a custom-built chamber that is able to pass an exaggerated levels of ozone pollution over the surface of the hair.

Sun (UV) Protection

Solar Simulator

Our UV protection studies use an instrument to artificially expose hair to high levels of simulated sunlight.

Mode-of-Action Techniques
These methods are used to show how products or devices affect the properties of hair fibers and hair arrays. Data from such studies provides technical verification of product efficacy and are often used in crafting attractive marketing claims.

Hair Strength and Damage

Single Fibre Tensile Experiments

In these studies, hair fibers are extended until they break.  The forces required to stretch and break the hair are good indicators of internal hair properties and overall hair strength.

Hair Strength and Damage

Fatigue Experiments

Fatigue experiments assess the tendency for hair breakage under the repeated application of small deformations. On the one-hand, the approach can be considered a more realistic simulation of consumer practices where grooming represents such a stimulus. But, in addition, these experiments almost always show bigger differences between samples than the traditional tensile testing approach.

Hair Flexibility and Softness

Torsion Experiments

The extensional properties of hair are widely believed to be indicative of the fibers’ internal structure (the cortex) with no meaningful contribution from the outer protective cuticle structure. Conversely, twisting and bending properties are thought to be impacted by the cuticle and their measurement is considered reflective of alterations to this region of hair’s structure. This approach may pick up effects of materials penetration into hair’s outer regions, but which do not reach the inside.

Single-Fiber Hair Thickness and Swelling

Laser Scanning Micrometer

Technical evaluation of hair fiber dimensions is accurately and precisely quantified via use of a laser micrometer. The automated nature of this approach easily allows for screening sufficient fibers for appropriate statistical analysis. 

Images of the Hair Surface and Damaged Fibers

Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM)

Extremely high magnification SEM experiments provide visualization of hair’s outer cuticle structure. Images show the way by which this structure degrades as a result of external wear and tear (e.g. grooming damage, heat styling damage, chemical treatments, etc.).

Internal Hair Protein Damage and Repair

Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC)

The temperature at which hair’s protein structure denatures is widely used as one indication of its health. Insults that compromise hair’s internal structure lead to a decrease in the magnitude of this temperature.

Hair Damage and Repair

Spectroscopy

FTIR and Raman spectroscopy techniques are able to detect changes in the chemical composition and internal structures of hair.

Active Deposition and Absorption Techniques
These methods are used to measure the delivery of actives onto and into the hair.  Data are used by our clients to support penetration claims (e.g. “containing coconut oil that penetrates deep into the hair”).
These methods are used to measure the delivery of actives onto and into the hair (e.g. “containing coconut oil that penetrates deep into the hair”)

Active Delivery Studies

Spectroscopy

If you want to show that your actives deposit onto the hair surface or penetrate deeper into the fiber you may consider doing some active delivery studies.

Active Delivery Studies

Fluorescence Microscopy

Fluorescence microscopy is ideal for actives that are difficult to visualize directly with spectroscopy imaging, such as peptides and proteins.

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