PERMANENT WAVING OF HUMAN HAIR: COLD PROCESS* THE By RAYMOND E. REED'•, M. DENBESTE, and FRED L. HUMOLLER, PH.D.S Research Division of Raymond Laboratories, oenc., St. Paul, Minn. APPROXIMATELY one-half bil- lion dollars will be spent during the current year by American women for permanent waves, yet the scien- tific literature contains only few and scattered references to chemical and physical studies of the process of permanent waving. To those who are familiar with the subject this is not at all surprising, for it should be realized that permanent waving as an industry is relatively young, and a robustly growing and expanding industry is not particu- larly well suited to provide the equa- nimity and objectivity which are so conducive to fundamental studies. Then, too, in those few laboratories where fundamental studies have been carried out for a number of years, the workers involved are fully aware that they are studying one of the most profound subjects in biological chemistry, the .'chem- istry and physiochemistry of pro- teins. It is, therefore, not at all surprising that they have been quite guarded in publishing and discussing * Presented at the May 13, 1947, Meeting New York City. t Present address, The Toni Company. :1: Present address, University of Nebraska. the results of their studies. Fur- thermore, before much progress can be made in any field of scientific endeavor, tools and quantitative methods for evaluating experimental results must be developed and standardized. In the case of the chemistry of hair waving, few methods have yet found their way into scientific literature, although it can be stated with some degree of confidence that in the near future several will be published. The desire of the human race to alter the natural pattern of the scalp hair is a rather strange phenome- non, for we find that among Euro- peans .and Americans among whom straight hair is the rule, there is a pronounced desire for curly hair, whereas among negroes and others among whom curly hair is prevalent, the desire for straight hair is just as pronounced. It is only since the turn of the century that it has been possible to impart a more or less permanent curl to normally straight hair. Looking back now, we can- not help but admire the courage and ingenuity of Charles Nessler, the pioneer of the process of perma- 109
110 JOURNAL OF THE SOCIETY OF COSMETIC CHEMIffFS nent waving of human hair (1). Since his empirical approach to the problem about 1906 and especially within the last few years, rapid and sound technological progress has been made so that today the process of permanent waving may be termed both an art and a science. The morphology of human hair fibers is adequately treated in text- books of histology and will only be touched upon here. Figure 1 shows a diagrammatic sketch of a section of hair fiber, while Figs. 2 through 5 are photomicrographs of human hair fibers both normal and dam- aged. Since the average scalp may contain either a preponderance of resistant or of damaged hair, it will be appreciated that the chemist in formulating waving lotions must exercise a great deal of judgment. Permanent waving may be broadly subdivided into two Figure l.-Diagrammatic sketch of a section of a hair fiber. (From the qmerica. Hairdresser 3Iagazine) Figure 2.--Photomicrograph of normal hair fiber. 55 X magnification. Basic fuchsin stain Figure &--Hair fiber showing physical damage to the cuticle. Fibers such as this will not "hold" a wave satisfactorily. 55 X magnification. Basic fuchsin stain
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