Longer shelf life for hair conditioners

10-03-2016

Hair conditioners are based on a dispersion of liquid crystalline phases that work with the flow of water to lubricate and protect hair fibres. The stability of such products is vital for guaranteeing consistent performance. However, it is difficult to understand what and how underlying microstructures influence the bulk properties and any changes that occur over time.

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Company

Unilever

Challenge

Hair conditioners are based on a dispersion of liquid crystalline phases that work with the flow of water to lubricate and protect hair fibres. The stability of such products is vital for guaranteeing consistent performance. The validation of stability can be done with characterisation techniques that measure physical properties of the bulk product, such as rheology, pH, light scattering and calorimetry. However, it is difficult to understand what and how underlying microstructures influence the bulk properties and any changes that occur over time.

Sample

Ingredients of conditioner products and their permutations.

Solution

The team used small angle X-ray scattering at ID02 to monitor the microstructure evolution of the products at critical intervals during a three-month trial.

Benefits

The experiment proved instrumental in providing a mechanistic understanding of how a hair conditioner microstructure evolves with the passage of time, from factory to consumer.