How much damage have you done to your hair? Let’s face it; we all take our hair through the wringer. Conditioners are supposed to protect our hair and reverse some of the damage. Now, however, new research has found a better way for conditioners to do the job.
Americans spend more than 1 billion dollars a year on conditioners. How do you know which one really works for you? Bharat Bhushan is a mechanical engineering professor at The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio. He has just completed a comprehensive study of hair on the nanometer level — that’s looking at hair one-billionth of a meter at a time.
Bharat says for the study they brought the tip of the hair in contact with the conditioner and then scanned the hair surface. Using an atomic force microscope, he measured the softness of the inner hair layers. He experimented with adhesion, friction, weight and crashing and found some conditioners are not working for us at all.
“It does not uniformly coat the hair surface. It sits in pockets at the bottom of the cuticles,” Bharat says.
Experts say conditioners are needed because everything we do to our hair, even shampooing, strips away natural oils that need to be replaced. Bharat says: “You use a conditioner basically to lubricate. You’re looking for a good feel.” He believes the best conditioners chemically attach to the hair.”If it does not chemically attach to hair, does not interact with hair, then it’s not doing much of protection.”
Bharat says his work isn’t complete. He wants to do more studies on hair, humidity and other elements.
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Dr. Bharat Bhushan