Beautiful hair, so called “SHINAYAKA” hair in Japanese, has a good appearance not only when stationary but also when in motion, and it is a highly desirable hair condition for Japanese consumers. We investigated such SHINAYAKA hair, which was selected by sensory evaluation, for the relationship between physical properties, such as flexibility and elasticity, and hair structure. It has already been reported that human hair cortical cells have two types, similar to wool: the ortho-like cortex and the para-like cortex. Microscopic observation revealed that the ortho-like cortex is distributed in the outer layer of the hair (near the hair surface) and the para-like cortex exists in the inner layer (near the center of the fiber). This cell distribution, a concentric double-layered structure, was deemed to be a characteristic of SHINAYAKA hair. Furthermore, analysis of physical properties showed the difference between the elasticity of the outer layer and inner layer, and that this difference was bigger in SHINAYAKA hair compared to other hair. This phenomenon was observed not only in Japanese hair, but also in Caucasian hair. In addition, we have developed a new technology for creating “SHINAYAKA” hair by treatment with succinic acid. Inflexible and inelastic hair can be changed by this treatment, and its flexibility and elasticity improve by selective reduction of stiffness of the outer layer.
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