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Int J Cosmet Sci. 2001 Jun;23(3):139-45. doi: 10.1046/j.1467-2494.2001.00056.x.

A study on the conditioning effects of natural shampoos using the scanning electron microscope.

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Department of Chemical Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay, Powai, Mumbai-400 076, India.


The scanning electron microscope (SEM) was successfully used to study the effects of toiletry treatment with shampoo on the microstructure of hair. This paper describes the use of SEM for comparing the conditioning effects of herbal shampoos. Commercially available herbal shampoos are not completely natural, but contain herbal extracts in a synthetic detergent base, along with other chemical additives. Completely natural shampoos were formulated in the laboratory and their conditioning effects were evaluated by comparing with a commercially available herbal shampoo. The micrographs were studied quantitatively using 'Image Analyser Software' and the extent to which the hair scales were uplifted was measured. The results obtained from the quantitative comparison were in agreement with those obtained from other tests, such as protein loss determination. The damage caused to the hair due to sodium lauryl sulphate was visible in the micrographs. The laboratory formulations were found to be better than the commercially available product. Thus, quantitative measurements from SEM micrographs are a valuable tool to compare the conditioning effects of hair care products.

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