• TRI Princeton

Marcella Gabarra Completes her Summer Internship



We said goodbye to Marcella Gabarra in September and miss her bubbly character and especially her homemade Brigadeiros. Her strong work ethic allowed her to achieve an incredible amount of work in just two months at TRI. Marcella, an MSc student from the University of Sao Paulo, interned over the summer working with Director of Research, Trefor Evans. Given her nationality it seemed only right that she study the effects of Brazilian Keratin treatments on hair – in addition to some alternatives to this controversial treatment. Specifically, glyoxylic acid treatments are being promoted as means of straightening hair – with a presumption that functionality occurs by a comparable mechanism (i.e. creating new cross-links in the hair). There is debate as to the exact nature of the interaction between formaldehyde and hair (or wool) – but notwithstanding, treatment produces a dramatic loss of tensile properties. Interestingly, this treatment produces rather unique changes in hair properties that differ quite strikingly from other harbingers of hair damage. Notably, tensile experiments demonstrate a surprisingly low break extension; while water-hair adsorption isotherms indicate diminished moisture content. The influence of carboxylic acids on the properties of hair has been an ongoing area of research interest at TRI for many years – where a selection of acids have been found to impact various properties. Glyoxylic acid produces comparable effects – and might then be considered to have no uniqueness. This said, it appears reasonably effective in its ability to straighten hair. Look for more information on this area in future TRI Notes on Research, conference presentations and literature articles. For more information, on our Hair Research Program, click here. Marcella has our very best wishes and hopes for a continuing successful future.

#hairresearch #interns

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