"Hair brained" scientists from the University of Bayreuth in Germany have found a way to observe hair follicles at the microscopic level while it moves and reacts to chemicals.
Hair follicles were mounted on the cantilever tip of an atomic force microscope, allowing the scientists to closely observe for the first time how hair follicles react while they rub against each other--and respond to environmental forces like "humidity, water content of hair, and hair stickiness," Eva Max said in a study presented by herself and Claudia Wood at the American Chemical Society's 236th National Meeting on Sunday in Philadelphia.
The observations are helping the team determine what chemical cocktail can be applied to make your hair healthier.
As you probably already knew from the dozens of hair commercials with graphics, rough hair follicles have scales that project out from their shafts, whereas conditioned hair follicles have scales that lay flatter against the shaft, making it feel smoother.
These scientists have been able to observe these rough hair follicle scales rubbing against each other and exacerbating problems of frizz and entanglement. Their friction creates a negative charge that makes individual hairs repel each other like magnets.… Read more