So, last year the owner of Goosefootprints on Etsy needed some fine porous hair to experiment on. She tests hair in her spare time when she is not working as a scientist. (Some people crochet...) Hey! I have fine, porous hair! So I sent her some. Since she had my hair, she analyzed it for me and took some cool pictures under a microscope (see below) and she sent me a report about my hair. (Some people collect stamps...) I also had my mom send her some hair, so she could experiment on medium-coarse hair with low porosity. Well, if I did hair analysis, I’d be fired. My mom’s hair is fine-medium and porous, so I was way off in my “analysis”. Since then, I stopped giving my mom “helpful” advice on how to treat her “coarse, non porous” hair. *smacks head*
Fast forward to last week. People on the Wavy Hair Community were discussing a place that does hair analysis for $85. I was joking that I think I owed her some money. Well...yada, yada, yada...no, no,you should totally do it...messages back and forth...she decided to start a hair analysis business on ETSY. Woo-hoo! The report below is a report on my hair, and you can get a similar one about your hair if you order from Goosefootprints on Etsy. The best part? Only $22. No, I think the actual best part is having cool pictures of your hair under a microscope. That is pretty darned awesome! But wait, there’s more. Not only do you get this uber cool report with pictures, you also get a 9 page document that explains the science behind your hair, why certain things work for certain hair types, and all about hair product ingredients. Plus, you get a chart that shows you which product ingredients will work for your hair type. That’s 10 whole pages of solid hair info, people!
Seriously though, I think this is a great service that gives you the information you need to know about your hair and hair in general. I highly recommend it. My sister's reaction was that if this existed when she started Curly Girl, she could have saved 3 years of experimenting with all the wrong products -- which cost far more than $22! The documents that come with this report helps you to apply the results of the analysis to your haircare. I have fine hair, so I just check the section with fine hair to learn how to treat it. There are similar sections about kinking, pH, etc. The hair analysis below is just the icing. The cake is the accompanying documents from GoosefootPrints.
Hair Analysis Results For:
Hair strand thickness: Fine
25% is very fine, 35% is fine, the remaining 40% is medium - but most hairs are at the finer end of the medium range.
Key for strand thickness:
Very fine hair: Less than or equal to 40 microns
Fine hair: 40-60 microns
Medium hair: 60-80 microns
Coarse hair Greater than 80 microns
1 micron = 0.001 millimeters
Hair elasticity dry: Normal
Hairs stretched between 20% to 35%
Hair elasticity wet: Normal to low
Your hairs stretched between 28% to 40% of original length, so there is quite a bit of variability - you have a mixture of normal elasticity and low elasticity hairs.
"Normal" dry elasticity is the ability to stretch 20-30% of original length
"Normal" wet elasticity is the ability to stretch 50% of original length
Porosity: Normal to porous
Your hairs vary from normal porosity to porous, with only slightly increasing porosity from root to ends. Kinking adds increased porosity. In some cases, there is normal-porosity hair immediately next to a microscopic kink upon which there are many more broken cuticles. The kinking on your hairs, where it occurred, is microscopic and can occur as frequently as 0.4 mm apart (0.015 inches apart). Those hairs feel bumpy. When it occurred less frequently (and in finer hairs) the hair feels mostly smooth and slippery with just a few bumpy places.
Porosity is determined visually.
Low porosity: Hair with cuticles intact when viewed face-on and with cuticles overlapping snugly when viewed on the edge of the hair.
Normal porosity: Takes into account normal wear and tear. Viewed face-on there are chipped cuticles with rare small gaps, rare cracks. Viewed from the edge, cuticles look like shingles on a roof with few flaring or jagged ("raised") looking cuticle scales.
Porous: Many chipped, broken or missing cuticle scales. Cracks may be present and frequent. Viewed on the edge, cuticles can be seen flaring out at the ends or standing away from the hair.
Kinking: Kinking is present. 40% of the hairs examined had microscopic and some macroscopic (visible to the naked eye) kinks of the narrowing and also twisting type. This kinking is significant enough to add porosity to your otherwise healthy hair.
pH: Because you said you occasionally use citric acid rinses, I tested your hairs in a citric acid and distilled water solution at 2 concentrations: 1/4 teaspoon citric acid in 1 cup of water
(pH 2-2.5) and 1/8 teaspoon citric acid in 1 cup of water (pH 3). At the higher concentration, the hair began to show signs of acid moving into the hair (see photo) and more swelling than in water alone. The lesser concentration had a lesser effect.
You might consider reducing the amount of citric acid in your rinses if it will still give you the desired result.
I also tested your hair in a solution of 1 tablespoon baking soda per cup of water, pH 8. Your hair responded dramatically to this! Swelling was pronounced, cuticles were clearly lifted away as a result and bubbles were evolving from the hair, which is common when hair is placed in too-high pH - that high pH solution is diffusing in and proteins and lipids are going out into the baking soda solution.
|The above 2 photos are the same hair with a different focus to show the details.|
Disclaimer: This analysis is based on physical measurements and visual examination. There is
no guarantee that the suggested ingredients will work for your hair. Recommendations are based on ingredient manufacturer’s specifications and testing, articles published in peer reviewed journals, and hair science texts.