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Lipids & Hair Breakage in Textured Hair Consortium: Call for Sponsors Update

Interest in the Lipids & Hair Breakage in Textured Hair consortium project is growing with some companies already signed-up as sponsors and several more in discussion with TRI. As has been explained previously, the aim of the project is to investigate what lipids and commercial hair oils can do to strengthen Walker Type 4 hair. However, in addition to answering critical technical questions for the industry, the project will also provide sponsors with NEW TEST PROTOCOLS and NEW CLAIMS OPPORTUNITIES.

An example of a new test protocol being used for this project is hair lipid analysis. The analysis of hair lipids using advanced chromatographic techniques such as High-Performance Thin Layer Chromatography (HPTLC) will be key to the project. TRI has developed protocols for the extraction and analysis of hair lipids from tiny samples of hair from various panelists. These methods will look at how hair lipid composition relates to hair strength and how supplementing hair lipids might reduce hair breakage. Sponsors will have open access to these protocols and so will be able to use them to further develop their own claims ideas in relation to lipids and oils.

Another new test protocol will be the analysis of the chemical composition of the fracture planes in broken hair fibers using ToF SIMS. Understanding what structures inside the hair fail when the hair breaks will provide important insights into hair breakage. However, the methods developed to look at the chemical composition of fracture planes will have other potential applications for sponsors, for example studying how hair treatments can repair/coat cracks, fractures and split ends.

A third example of a new test protocol being used in this project is the use of spectroscopic techniques to investigate hair porosity. In this case, the lateral diffusion of chemical markers and water along the length of hair fiber will be used to look at the barrier function of internal CMC lipids. Sponsors will have open access to these protocols and will be able to use them for their own claims focused on hair porosity, a hot new area for claims, particularly in textured hair.

Of course, in addition to the several new protocols that will be used in the consortium project, there will also be many more well-known techniques employed, including single fiber tensile testing, dynamic vapor sorption testing and single fiber fatigue testing. Together, all these approaches will give sponsors an unmatched view of the role of lipids in hair breakage.

For this project on Lipids and Hair Strength for Textured Hair, TRI is looking for 12 sponsors, each providing $45,000 for the study. With investment too from TRI’s own research funds, we aim to build a total project budget of $675,000. Enough to provide the equipment and the several staff needed to complete all the work in 12 months.


If you are interested in working with us on this exciting project, please contact us.

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