Hair Care Product Testing Instruments – Dia-Stron, UK & Bossa Nova Vision, USA

The personal care industry is largely subdivided into two categories: hair and skin. In our everyday lives, most of us use hair care products. They could be in the form of hair oils, styling gels, shampoos, or conditioners. Companies producing such consumer hair care products have the need to test their products and evaluate the effects these products have on hair.These are referred to as efficacy tests, based on which companies produce a list of claims that their products can satisfy. These claims can be used effectively in their marketing messages. For example, hair hold is a common claim for styling gels and smoothness is for shampoos and conditioners.

Some of the common parameters evaluated by R&D labs of hair care product companies are:

  • Tensile strength
  • Dimensions
  • Torsional strength
  • Bending force
  • Friction
  • Shine / Gloss
  • Frizz & Volume
  • Straightness &Alignment
  • Colour

Hair Tensile Strength

To accurately evaluate the tensile strength of hair, it is recommended that tests are performed on single hair fibers. This avoids overlapping of hair strands and provides a precise estimate of how strong the hair is.

Dia-Stron is a world leader in instruments for hair analysis. For tensile strength of hair fibers, they offer two options: MTT690 and While the MTT690 is more suitable for experiments involving successive testing of multiple hair samples one after the other, the is a more versatile instrument that can also perform other tests such as 3-point bend test and combing.

Torsional Strength

Torsional strength is an important parameter in determining cuticle integrity and hair damage. The cuticle layers of hair contribute more to torsional strength than tensile strength. Hence, evaluating torsional strength is a good means to study cuticle damage.

Dia-Stron’s FTT950 is a specialised instrument to measure torsional properties of single hair fibers.To get a comprehensive idea of the torsional properties of hair, you can use the FTT950 and measure torsion force, torsion/shear modulus (with dimensional data), and torsion stress relaxation.

Bending Force

For certain applications, there is a need for evaluating the bending force of hair. Bending force is commonly used to assess eyelashes which are also one form of hair. Companies producing cosmetic products for eyes find the need to analyse the bending properties of those short hair fibers.

The FBS900 from Dia-Stron is a handy instrument for such applications. With the FBS900, you can measure properties such as bending force and bending stress relaxation. In the FBS990, fibre samples can be rotated to enable bending measurements to be taken over a range of orientations. If the system is combined with the FDAS770, you can also measure the bending modulus.


For accurate analysis of tensile strength and bending force of hair fibers, it is important to factor in the variance that can be caused by the dimensions of the filaments. Hence, a dimensional analysis instrument is a useful addition to research on hair fibers. Since each hair fiber tends to have a different cross-sectional profile, it is particularly difficult to analyse their dimensions.

The FDAS770 is a dimensional analysis system from Dia-Stron that is best suited for hair fibers. It uses a laser scanning micrometer for accurate cross-sectional area calculation.


The friction in hair determines properties such as smoothness and surface damage, which can be caused by heat, environmental factors, bleaching, or frequent styling. Hair friction can be determined by the kind of products applied on the hair. Hence, companies show a lot of interest in evaluating hair friction.

The from Dia-Stron is a versatile instrument which can be used to test numerous parameters including friction. Its friction accessory combines a rubber probe that mimics hand/skin compliance and texture properties. It has a base plate with a mechanism for quick hair tress clamping that reduces the time interval in-between two tests.

Shine / Gloss

The shine or gloss of hair can be used to assess the effect of hair care products such as shampoos, conditioners, or hair sprays. Since gloss is a visual property, it is subjective and presents a challenge when it comes to objective assessment.

The SAMBA Hair from Bossa Nova Vision is a complete solution to perform in-vivo and in-vitro measurements of hair gloss. For accurate in-vitro measurement of hair gloss, it is advisable to perform the tests on hair swatches. The powerful software accompanying this system provides numeric values for evaluation of hair gloss.


Hair colouring is a common styling procedure done with colouring products meant for hair. It is vital for companies producing such consumer products to substantiate their colouring claims with objective results.

Bossa Nova Vision’s MAMBO is an imaging instrument meant just for that. It can perform both in-vivo and in-vitro tests and produce CIEL*a*b* values that provide a standardized assessment of hair colour.

Frizz & Volume

Hair volume is amuch talked about subject. This is especially true in the case of hair care products and their claims. To prove the efficacy of such products, manufacturers of these products find the need for instruments to evaluate how voluminous a lock of hair is.

Bossa Nova Vision’s BOLERO is an imaging system specially dedicated for volume reconstruction and frizz analysis of hair swatches. It works by capturing a sequence of contour images of a sample swatch and constructing a 3D model of it.

Straightness & Alignment

Products such as hair conditioners and hair sprays often mention straightness as one of their claims. Apart from such cosmetic products, this is also a common claim by manufacturers of electrical appliances such as straightening irons. For such companies to substantiate their claims, they require a testing instrument that can objectively analyse how straight a swatch of hair is.

The RUMBA from Bossa Nova Vision is an imaging instrument specially meant for assessing the straightness and alignment coefficient of hair swatches. In addition to the imaging sensor, the product is accompanied by a powerful software which extracts precise numerical data from the images.

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