Texture analysis plays an important role in designing the best possible hair care products. It’s also useful in assessing the suitability of proposed packaging materials.
In a white paper entitled Using Texture Analysis in Hair Care Formulation and Packaging Selection, Janusz Jachowicz, science fellow at ISP, and Jo Smewing, applications manager at Stable Micro Systems, delve into the science of texture analysis and its numerous applications in the manufacture of hair care products.
Texture analysis techniques allow for the accurate and repeatable measurements of characteristics that are central to product performance and acceptance. They can be used right from concept development through to quality control and testing of finished, commercialised products, ranging from shampoos and conditioners to fixatives such as waxes, gels and sprays.
One example is extrusion. ‘A product developer may wish to create a product that squeezes out of a tube and breaks sharply after squeezing. One of the most common methods for testing the effect of changes in formulation on product consistency is extrusion,’ explain Jachowicz and Smewing in the white paper. ‘Stable Micro Systems’ back extrusion rig and forward extrusion rig – which simulate the force required to extrude the sample by the consumer – provide simple and objective analysis of the formulation of viscous liquids like shampoos and conditioners.’
The company’s texture analysis techniques are also valuable in assessing the hardness or firmness of waxes used in hair fixatives, particularly in ascertaining the contribution of the wax to the final product’s texture.
‘Firmness can be assessed by a simple penetration test, using a cylinder probe or, if the product’s surface is uneven, a spherical probe,’ they say in the white paper. ‘The adhesive properties of waxes and softer, more malleable hair styling gels and putties can also be measured using a range of adhesive tests.’