ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Childhood Food Allergies on the Rise
Keep Asthma, Allergies at Bay for the Holidays
'Safe' Ozone Levels May Not Be for Some
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Holistic Treatment for Candida Infection
Yoga May Bring Calm to Breast Cancer Treatment
Maggots as Good as Gel in Leg Ulcer Treatments
ANIMAL CARE
Safe Toys for Dogs
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
BONES & JOINTS
Low Vitamin D Raises Women's Hip Fracture Risk
Vitamin D Plus Calcium Guards Against Fractures
Stem Cells Might Treat Tough Fractures
CANCER
Smoking Exposure Now Linked to Colon, Breast Cancers
Wristbands May Lessen Nausea After Radiation
Asthmatics Who Quit Smoking May Reverse Lung Damage
CAREGIVING
Children's Bath Products Contain Contaminants
For Dialysis Patients, More Pills = Lower Quality of Life
Late-Life Fatherhood May Lower Child's Intelligence
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
High Blood Fat Levels Common in Americans
Years of Exposure to Traffic Pollution Raises Blood Pressure
Firefighters Have Narrower-Than-Normal Arteries, Study Finds
COSMETIC
Gum Chewing May Cut Craving for Snacks
Study Evaluates Laser Therapies for Hair Removal
Get Sugared!.... Its a sweet choice for hair removal
DENTAL, ORAL
Hormones May Be to Blame for Women's Cavity Rates
Gummy Bears Join Cavity Fight
Laser Technology Spots Cavities Before They Start
DIABETES
Out-of-Control Blood Sugar May Affect Memory
Strict Blood Sugar Lowering Won't Ease Diabetes Heart Risk
24 Million Americans Had Diabetes in 2007
DIET, NUTRITION
Antioxidant-Rich Foods Lose Nutritional Luster Over Time
HELP TO LOSE WEIGHT ON A LOW CAL BUDGET
Vitamin D Vital for the Heart
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Household Chemicals May Affect Cholesterol Levels
Hairspray Exposure Ups Risk for Birth Defect in Sons
Researchers ID Genetic Markers for Esophageal Cancer
EYE CARE, VISION
Eye Problems, Hearing Loss May Be Linked
Eye Care Checkups Tied to Insurance Status
Ordinary Chores Cause Half of All Eye Injuries
FITNESS
Exercise Extends Life of Kidney Patients
Vigorous Treadmill Workout Curbs Appetite Hormones
Exercise May Prevent Prostate Cancer: Study Shows
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
HRT Use Raises Risk of Stomach Trouble
New Yogurt May Ease Stomach Ulcers
Traditional Nonsurgical GERD Treatments Not Impressive
GENERAL HEALTH
Spot light on Dani Antman New Lionheart teacher
Swine Flu Fatality Rate a 'Little Bit' Higher Than That of Seasonal Flu
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
HEAD & NECK
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Airport Full Body Scanners Pose No Health Threat: Experts
The Internet Is Becoming One-Stop Shopping for Health Help
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Whole Grains Lower Risk of Heart Failure
Toothbrushing May Stave Off Heart Woes
More Steps a Day Lead to Better Health
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Bacterial Infections May Succumb to Honey
Surgical Masks Could Prevent Flu, Maybe
Swine Flu Is Now a Pandemic Says W.H.O.
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Should Your Child Be Seeing a Chiropractor?
Babies Cared For In Others Homes Might Become Heavy Toddlers
Heart Defects in Newborns Linked to Antidepressants
MEN'S HEALTH
Exercise May Prevent Prostate Cancer: Study Shows
Could Chinese Herb Be a Natural Viagra?
Eating Fast Until Full Triples Overweight Risk
MENTAL HEALTH
Green Spaces Boost the Body and the Mind
A Little Alcohol May Stave Off Alzheimer's
Brain Scans Show How Humans 'Hear' Emotion
PAIN
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Exercise As Well As Acupuncture, May Ease Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
Alternative Treatments May Boost IVF Success
Acupuncture May Relieve Acid Indigestation In Pregnancy
SENIORS
Memory Loss Help from Brain Supplement Prevagen
For a Healthier Retirement, Work a Little
High-Impact Activity May Be Good for Old Bones
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Moderate Aerobics May Ease Insomnia Symptoms
6 to 8 Hours of Shut-Eye Is Optimal for Health
Better Sleep, Grades Seem to Go Up
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Rheumatoid Arthritis Rising Among U.S. Women
Prenatal Stress May Boost Baby's Asthma Risk
Flame-Retardant Chemical Linked to Conception Problems
Add your Article

Science May Banish Bad Hair Days

MONDAY, Aug. 18 (HealthDay News) -- Whether it's frizzy or flyaway, nearly everyone puts up with an unruly head of hair from time to time. Now scientists have trained their microscopes on hair to find out why it misbehaves -- and how to tame it.

In a new study, said to be the first of its kind, German researchers say they've gotten extreme-close-up views of how hair fibers interact. Their insights could lead to products that banish bad hair days for good, they say.

"At the moment, it is not known why hair feels good," explained study co-author Eva Max, a doctoral student in chemistry at the University of Bayreuth in Germany. That, in turn, makes it difficult to scientifically study hair care products, which make up a $60 billion industry worldwide.

In the new study, Max and colleagues explored the workings of hair with an atomic-force microscope and samples of Caucasian female hair. The study authors were scheduled to present their findings Aug. 17 at the American Chemical Society's national meeting, in Philadelphia.

According to the team, damage to hair causes scaly projections to protrude from hair fibers. These projections create friction with other fibers and make hair feel rough to the touch and hard to comb.

The researchers also found that electrical charges build up on hair, causing friction.

The next step is to figure out what happens to the hair when it's exposed to hair-care products such as shampoo and conditioner.

"There are several changes that take place at the same time when hair is exposed to hair care products, and it will help greatly to understand which of those changes is crucial for optimizing hair care," Max said. "If, for example, it would turn out that there is an optimum friction between single hairs for pleasant (touch), the molecular composition of hair-care products can be optimized to achieve this friction."

Steven Shiel, who studies hair at Proctor & Gamble, said the German research could help shed more light on how hair fibers interact and lead to better hair care products. "Those invisible-to-the-eye changes have a great impact on how the ingredients in the products affect the hair," he said.

Hair styling products have become more sophisticated in recent years, and this has much to do with science, said Shiel, an associate director with P&G Beauty.

"A lot of this is based on this fundamental understanding of hair's underlying structure and properties," he said. "Fundamentally understanding the hair structure is really important in terms of developing products that really deliver."

-Randy Dotinga

More information

Learn about hair loss and disease from the National Institutes of Health.



SOURCES: Eva Max, doctoral student, University of Bayreuth, Germany; Steven Shiel, Ph.D., associate director, Proctor & Gamble Beauty, Cincinnati; Aug. 17, 2008, American Chemical Society National Meeting, Philadelphia

Last Updated: Aug. 18, 2008

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