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The Secrets of Beautiful Hair: Why is it Flexible and Elastic?

R&D-Hair Care Products Research, Kao Corporation, 2-1-3, Bunka, Sumida-ku, Tokyo 131-8501, Japan
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Cosmetics 2019, 6(3), 40; https://doi.org/10.3390/cosmetics6030040
Received: 4 June 2019 / Revised: 21 June 2019 / Accepted: 23 June 2019 / Published: 6 July 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advance in Hair Science and Hair Care Technologies)
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Abstract

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. View Full-Text
Keywords: hair; flexible; elastic; dynamic; motion; ortho-like; para-like; cortex; bending; mechanical; succinic acid; concentric double-layered hair; flexible; elastic; dynamic; motion; ortho-like; para-like; cortex; bending; mechanical; succinic acid; concentric double-layered
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Ezure, M.; Tanji, N.; Nishita, Y.; Mizooku, T.; Nagase, S.; Osumi, T. The Secrets of Beautiful Hair: Why is it Flexible and Elastic? Cosmetics 2019, 6, 40.

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