46 | www.CosmeticsandToiletries.com Vol. 130, No. 4 | May 2015
TESTING | C&T
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© 2015 Allured Business Media.
Hair scientists must always remember, while potentially biting their tongues, that hair care products are sold to the general public using “consumer language.” Consumers use a number of descriptors and
terms to communicate their hair’s properties and needs, and a collection of
these expressions has become the lexicon of the beauty industry. However,
scientists should take these descriptors with a pinch of salt and carefully
consider the true causes of issues, as there is danger in taking these consumer expressions literally. By means of illustration, earlier articles in this
series described how the consumer term moisturization has no relationship
to the technical water content of hair,1, 2 while strengthening claims are
relatively common on products that produce no enhancement of tensile
properties. 3, 4 Some consumer terms do have logical scientific counterparts.
For example, conditioning equates relatively well to surface lubrication,1, 5
albeit in an aesthetically pleasing manner.
However, others are distinctly more nebulous. One such imprecise term
is the consumer word frizz. This article begins by crafting a reasonable
definition for this consumer term and subsequently describes methodologies that may be used to demonstrate positive benefits associated with the
product forms in mitigating this occurrence.
The definition of frizz is not straightforward, so it is perhaps easier
to define what frizz is not. Namely, highly aligned, bone-straight hair is
clearly devoid of any frizziness. In this orderly state, hair appears sleek and
smooth, is shiny, and possesses a fluid flowing motion; yet all these desirable attributes arise from the same underlying property—a very high degree
of fiber alignment. Therefore, it seems reasonable to suggest that complaints
relating to frizz involve an inability to reach this sought-after condition, or
some partial loss of this state after an initial degree of success.
In testing this definition, it is necessary to contemplate various reasons
for fiber misalignment. Most obvious is the natural shape of the hair, where
kinky African hair possesses no alignment and is frequently described as
frizzy. With this said, curly hair is not inherently frizzy, with well-defined
curls consisting of highly-aligned fiber arrangements. Brushing or combing
hair in a low-humidity environment will lead to the generation of static
flyaway—another condition commonly termed frizz. Meanwhile, at the
Trefor Evans, PhD
T.A Evans Inc., Princeton, NJ USA
frizz • alignment •
humidity • conditioner •
static flyaway • water-set
There is likely a variety of
causes and contributors
to the nebulous consumer
term “frizz.” This article
attempts to craft a
universal definition and
then progresses to further
examine impacting factors.
These discussions focus
on methods for quantifying
hair properties and
assessing the positive
impact of commercial hair