New approaches correct the cross-sectional shape of hair

By Natasha Spencer

- Last updated on GMT

New approaches correct the cross-sectional shape of hair
Shiseido creates two methods in a bid to restore hair vitality and create manageable shiny and healthy-looking hair.

The Japanese personal care company, which uses innovation and technology to evolve the beauty industry, now turns it attention to hair — and more specifically, its cross-sectional shape.

Overcoming damage

By correcting the cross-sectional shape of the hair, Shiseido has found that this can positively affect the look and feel of the hair.

The company’s findings revealed that the distortion and flattening in the cross-sectional shape of damaged hair will further degrade. This occurs following the consistent and ongoing daily routine of shampooing and drying.

As a result, Shiseido has created two new methods to correct and repair this distortion and flattening that occurs in the cross-section of deteriorated, damaged and frizzy hair.

Specific technology will be used to accelerate hair care products in both the professional and general home use sectors.   

Changes in cross-sectional shape of damaged hair

To date, typical hair care methods for damaged hair have tackled cracked cuticles on the hair surface. It also looks at the inside structure, for example, porous hair, to spot deterioration.  

By analysing the cross-sectional shape of a single hair, Shiseido found that a hair damaged by chemical treatments including perming then enlarges when wet, following treatments such as shampooing. The cross-sectional shape of the hair will then be distorted as it dries and reduces in size.

Two new approaches

Finding of a new function of lauryl trimethylammonium chloride (LTC)

The personal care name has identified how lauryl trimethylammonium chloride (LTC), which is a cationic surfactant, is successful in restoring the distorted cross-sectional shape of hair by enlarging it from the inside of the hair.

Discovery of a new technology using glyoxylic acid (GA)

Glyoxylic acid (GA) has been established as having a straightening effect on hair fibres. This, therefore, modifies hair cross sections when it is used on its own at a strong acidity of below pH2.0. However, there are concerns that it could further damage the hair and scalp.  

Through its research, Shiseido has highlighted that by combining GA with glucono-delta-lactone (GDL) at a certain concentration and implementing thermal treatment, GA shows the same effect at a weak acidity of pH3.0-3.8. GA can also be applied to support the distortion in the cross-sectional shape of the hair, improving the overall texture of damaged hair.

Technology in the future

LTC can be applied for consistent treatment as part of a simple, at-home routine. However, GA needs to receive a professional treatment approach. Once used, its shape restoration effect lasts for approximately a month.

As such, Shiseido aims to apply GA to support the creation of professional salon products, and LTC to hair care products for use at home.

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