I was talking to someone who grew up on the Indian subcontinent and he asked me about something his mother and sister do. They make their own hair conditioner using yoghurt and egg. It’s quite an interesting idea. As a cosmetic chemist I can draw on raw materials from several hundred suppliers and use all sorts of equipment to develop and make highly effective hair treatments. But what if I had to work with only the materials that were to hand in the average country kitchen? Continue reading
Grey hair may not be inevitable in the future
Grey hair is something we can all look forward to. That the genes have something to do with it is pretty clear. Some people go grey in their twenties – a few put it off until their fifties or even later. And it is very rare that someone goes grey and then turns back again. So it is a pretty safe bet that this is not strongly an environmental thing. Continue reading
Has this man overdone the shampoo?
This was a question posed to me by a journalist on the Daily Telegraph. The answer is of course no, but I’ll get onto that later. First this is quite an interesting example of how stories like this originate. Here is the full text of the e-mail I was sent. Continue reading
So how much hair care can you cover in an hour? Quite a lot, but maybe not as much as the producers tried to cram into this one. We had the biology of hair, a run down of the chemistry of both shampoos and conditioners, restorative hair surgery, a new hair strengthening agent, hair evaluation technology, how to shoot hair for adverts, greying hair and the latest gene research. I am out of breath just typing it all. Continue reading
Plantur 39 Phyto-Caffeine Shampoo is being heavily advertised on UK television at the moment. The advert is well made but it made my eyebrow raise a little when I first saw it. Surely they weren’t claiming that their product could promote hair growth? It didn’t take long for the advert to come around again. This time I paid attention, and on second viewing I realised that they didn’t actually make that claim at all. Continue reading
Head lice are a recurrent problem all over the world. The lice are no respecters of income levels, general cleanliness and the degree of diligence of the child’s mother. The only thing they take notice of is effective anti-lice treatments. Even here, the laws of natural selection mean that what is effective one year might well be useless in the face of a new strain the following year. Continue reading
There has been a lot of debate online following a video being run by the Huffington Post about a woman who hasn’t used shampoo for five years. This was picked up by the Beauty Brains and it has generated and continues to generate a lot of debate. As it has already been pretty thoroughly gone over at first I decided not to weigh in. But on a whim I started my camera rolling and just recorded what came out. The question on my mind, should you shampoo your hair? Continue reading
My friends over at the Beauty Brains blog have been talking for a while about using coconut oil as a pre-conditioner. Basically the idea is that the oil soaks into the hair shaft and makes the hair less brittle. It is an interesting idea, and one that has some evidence behind it. So I thought I’d give it a try. Continue reading
When I first started working on cosmetic formulations back in the eighties, every month a list of the best selling shampoos in the UK market would appear. Sadly, I cannot remember who used to compile it. It wasn’t a tremendously exciting list- Head and Shoulders and Vosene were always at numbers one and two. They sometimes switched places, but it was a pretty stable situation.
Cetrimonium Chloride is the mainstay of hair conditioners. It works in a very simple way. Damaged hair has an electric charge. This is why you get flyway hair. The hair shafts are literally repelling one another. Conditioners work by neutralising that charge and replacing it with a lubricious layer of loveliness. Continue reading