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Understanding the Language of Shampoo and Conditioner Testing

The translation of consumer terms into technical measures is a key theme running through Dr Trefor Evans’, chapter on shampoo and conditioner testing in ‘Practical Aspects of Cosmetic Testing, 2nd Edition’ ( published just last year by Springer books.

The Tower of Babel by Pieter Bruegel the Elder (1563)
The Tower of Babel by Pieter Bruegel the Elder (1563)

Many people will know about the famous story about the ‘Tower of Babel’. The old testament bible story used to explain the existence of many different languages in the world. In the story, God decided to stop the construction of the tower, by making all the workers suddenly speak different languages. And hence, from that day forth, consumers and scientists forever spoke in different tongues!

The mismatch between consumer and technical languages is just one of the themes running through Dr Evans’ 20-page chapter, titled ‘Practical Aspects of Shampoo and Conditioner Testing’. In this excellent introduction to hair product testing, Dr Evans explains how consumer language can start to be translated into testing methods. The chapter starts with overviews of hair science and hair product technologies. It then gives a review of hair evaluation techniques, both sensory and instrumental. It finishes with some very useful introductions to the most popular hair measurement techniques, for example hair damage, lubrication, strength and colour fade. It is recommended for anyone first entering the world of hair testing and wanting a good overview of the area. It doesn’t translate all consumer language into technical terms, but it is a very good start!


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