have great expectations of hair conditioners. When using a hair conditioner we assume that our hair will
be as good as new. Is this really possible? Lets have a more
scientific look at hair conditioners and find out how effective
they really are.
Many people are very concerned about
the health of their hair. There really is
no need to worry so much because the human hair is a very
strong fiber - much stronger than most of us realize. It can
take a lot of abuse. Its physical and chemical make-up makes
it possible for us to constantly wash, dry, perm, straighten
and color it.
as hair grows longer and with continual washing, drying
and coloring etc. the scales
of the cuticle that lie flat to protect the inside
of the hair start lifting up. You
can see this when hair tangles and is difficult to
comb through after a shampoo. When the cuticle rises
such an extent that the cortex (the layer underneath
the cuticle) becomes exposed, then you have what we
call "damaged" hair.
Besides tangling, damaged hair is characterized by
an increase in negative charges which is the reason
why it is
flyaway and difficult to manage.
you apply the best conditioner to your hair you
expect it to make those protruding cuticles to lie
flat and to prevent the
hair from being
Hair conditioners are anti static.
Secret of a Hair Conditioner
years ago the crème
rinse was invented which made it possible to tame flyaway
hair in other words to make it anti static.
Today it is called
a conditioner. The chemical make-up of this conditioner
is such that its positive charges neutralize the negative
in the hair.
are called cationic compounds which are charged positively. They
are attracted by opposite charges on the hair and
neutralize them. The more porous the hair
the more intense negative charges build up in the hair. This
serves to attract the positively charged cationic compounds.
In other words the effect of the conditioner is greatest
the hair is damaged or porous. When the conditioner is applied
it attaches to the hair on contact. The positive charged
combines with the negative charges of the hair. This is known
as an electrophyllic attraction.
you can see how a hair conditioner can reduce
the extent to which hair is static. But
is it capable of restoring your hair to such a degree that
the cuticle around your hair lies flat again? Not quite.
It lubricates the hair making it easy to comb by depositing
a fatty substance on the hair.
hair conditioners contain hydrolyzed protein. Since
hair consists of 97% protein (keratin)
it is the only substance that has any positive effect on
its structure. The molecules of the protein have to
be small enough
to be of use to the hair. The protein is also positively
and negatively charged and will be attracted by the
the days when the technology of putting amino acids
in the hair was unknown and cationic compounds were
on hair, people used lanolin, mayonnaise and hot oil
on their hair (actually they are still used today)
the hope of improving
the condition of their hair. But we now know that these
types of conditioners are totally ineffective.
you shampoo your hair the
effects of the conditioner will have disappeared
and you therefore need to apply the conditioner
after every shampoo.