View Full Version : The SCIENCE behind taking care of hair

January 7th, 2011, 01:17 PM
Iím personally interested in what scientific research actually says about hair care routines and nutrition, instead of just reading about personal anecdotes. What actually works? So I thought that in this thread we could share the results of scientific articles about hair. Here are a couple of articles I have found.

- Effect of mineral oil, sunflower oil, and coconut oil on prevention of hair damage, link (http://journal.scconline.org/pdf/cc2003/cc054n02/p00175-p00192.pdf)
Coconut oil is superior to mineral oil or sunflower oil as a pre-wash conditioner. It has a preventative effect on damage from washing and combing.

- Quantification and prevention of hair damage: link (http://journal.scconline.org/pdf/cc1993/cc044n06/p00347-p00371.pdf)
The use of conditioner reduces or prevents damaging effects of combing.

- Micronutrients for Hair and Nails, link (http://www.springerlink.com/content/v7u265751704j577/)
If you have a vitamin or mineral deficiency it can result in loss of hair or slower growth. BUT if you do not have any deficiencies, thereís unfortunately not any evidence that more vitamins or minerals have any effect.

- About photo-damage of human hair, link (http://www.rsc.org/delivery/_ArticleLinking/DisplayArticleForFree.cfm?doi=b504574f&JournalCode=PP)
Exposure to sun radiation for a prolonged time can cause damage to hair, resulting in split ends.

A simple way to find scientific research is to use Google Scholar (link (http://scholar.google.se/)). Unfortunately a lot of times you have to be a student or researcher to get full access to scientific articles, but you can always read the abstracts.

January 7th, 2011, 01:28 PM
If in doubt, ask Ktani (http://ktanihairsense.blogspot.com/). :D

Athena's Owl
January 7th, 2011, 01:33 PM
you can have access to the back issues of the journal of cosmetic science. I do a bit of this sort of reading as well because I think it helps to cut away the marketing and promotion. Ktani does tireless work on this site with exactly the same kind of approach. You're not alone here, and those articles are are previous favorites of mine.

January 7th, 2011, 01:37 PM
There is a thread with many links to research papers & the like (^(oo)~)

Articles about the science of hair (http://forums.longhaircommunity.com/showthread.php?t=60257&highlight=articles)

January 7th, 2011, 01:48 PM
Oh thanks! I should have searched the forum for a similar thread.
Seems like a lot of useful information!

January 7th, 2011, 03:05 PM
I like to go to a site called Beauty Brains with my questions.

January 7th, 2011, 07:52 PM
I like to go to a site called Beauty Brains with my questions.

(aside: your new picture is lovely, your hair looks great!):)

January 7th, 2011, 08:11 PM
Can I just say Iím impressed with your post? :wink:

January 7th, 2011, 09:12 PM
The only issue I have with internet research is that very often, you don't know how a study was done, over what time--there is so much that goes into research. I love reading the science behind things, but I also take them with a grain of salt. Not to discredit what you've found, but for every article saying something is good, you can find another four saying it's bad and vice versa.

To me? I like reading information, but I also put to practice and see what works for my needs

January 8th, 2011, 12:56 AM
Thank you so much for this post, and for introducing me to Google Scholar. :)

January 8th, 2011, 02:58 AM
Darkhorse1: Of course! A single study is often contradicted by another. That's why meta-analysis is great. It takes the effects from several studies and add them together. Then you can see if the main results are positive or negative and how big the effect is etc. So you are absolutely right to be critical of single studies. But they are still better then personal anecdotes though. If youíre a student like me, you can read about the method used in the full article. It's too bad that most scientific articles aren't free for everyone.

Here's examples of meta-analysis in the field of hair:

Personal Use of Hair Dyes and Risk of Cancer, link (http://jama.ama-assn.org/content/293/20/2516.abstract)
They could not find any strong evidence for an increase in the risk of cancer among personal hair dye users. Phew!

Risk of cancer among hairdressers and related workers: a meta-analysis, link (http://ije.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2009/09/14/ije.dyp283.abstract).
Unfortunately they did find that hairdressers seem to have an increased risk of cancer, compared to the general population.

There doesn't seem to be that many meta-analyses when it comes to hair products yet. Hopefully there will be more in the future.

Rhosyn_du: Yeah Google Scholar is great :)

January 8th, 2011, 09:56 PM
glad to see this post!

i agree w/ you Varney, i think actual RESEARCH is much more helpful than a person's individual experience, since studies are much more controlled, over a larger amount of people :)