Hair Beautifying Technology for People from All Over the World
In Search of Beautiful Skin and Hair

People have many kinds of hair color, ranging from blond to brown and black. Also, from the mid-1990s, many people throughout the world have taken to dying their hair, so that today, for example, not all Japanese people necessarily have black hair. To discover what conditions must be met in order to maintain different kinds of beautiful hair, Kao has conducted extensive research on the hair of consumers worldwide. This work has revealed that the mechanisms behind beautiful hair differ depending on hair color.

For black hair, only the light reflected from the hair surface is perceived. In this case, the most important factor is to ensure that the cuticle surfaces are aligned in an orderly way. Lighter colored hair, on the other hand, is penetrated by light, which reflects a colored light from the back surface of the hair. This makes the internal condition of the hair more important than the surface. For blond hair, total reflection similar to that of optical fiber plays an important role.

Through our research, we discovered that no matter what the color, hair that is damaged develops microscopic holes both on the surface and internally that scatter the reflected light, causing the hair to lose its shine. In working on an approach to repair these holes, we developed a new hair beautifying technology that does more than simply fill them; it actually acts directly on the protein fibers that form the structure of the hair. This technology is now being applied in hair care products we sell in Japan and the rest of Asia, as well as in Europe and North America. The results of our research on beautiful hair were written up in a scientific paper that won an award of the American Society of Cosmetic Chemists in 2003. The changing of hair condition with age has also been intensively studied by Kao.