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Anti-Breakage testing by Repeated Grooming


Dramatic illustration of the effect conditioning products have against breakage is provided by repeated grooming experiments – where the number of broken fibers is recorded as a function of repeated brushing strokes. It is believed that surface lubrication reduces snags, entanglements, abrasion and fatiguing forces which greatly help in substantially lowering the number of broken fibers.


These experiments are frequently performed as a means to substantiate “anti-breakage” claims. In some instances experimental findings are further extrapolated into “strengthening” claims – where this wording specifically pertains to the consumer perception of strength (i.e. encountering broken fibers during grooming) as opposed to the strict technical definition. It also appears likely that this technique is behind quantitative “split-end prevention” claims – whereby a major pathway for split end creation involves fraying of broken fibers.


Our methodology utilizes custom-designed equipment to reproducibly brush hair tresses in a highly controlled manner.  Replicate hair tresses are used for each sample to ensure statistical relevance. Broken fibers are counted after regular cycle intervals.


A detailed discussion of the theory behind this occurrence can be found in Chapter 8 – Hair breakage, Practical Modern Hair Science, Allured Publishing, 2012.

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