Polarization imaging techniques developed to analyze hair shine

By Ameann de John

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Eye Light

California-based Bossa Nova Technologies has created two imaging systems based on polarization to quantitatively measure shine, color and hair fiber alignment.

Said to be increasingly adopted by the cosmetic industry, the Samba technology allows a more precise and detailed measurement of shine and color on hair tresses.


The other technology is called Rumba and allows measurement of hair fiber alignment in-vitro and in-vivo. Likewise, both technologies deliver images as well as numerical data.

Hair shine is one of the most desired attributes for consumers. Because of this, measuring luster attained from hair care products is a vital element of the product development, product improvement and claim substantiation process.

In the past, it has been difficult to objectively measure shine due to mass density, fiber alignment and hair color, but these technologies tackle these problems in a multi-layered fashion.

The naked eye sees one component but the SAMBA analyzes three

The systems are based on the polarization analysis of the light after its interaction with the hair fibers. Where the naked eye only sees one component, the SAMBA analyzes three components, its maker claims.

The first component is the shine band (white reflection), which is caused by the reflection of the light on the surface of the hair fiber.  The second component is the chroma band (color reflection), which is caused by the refraction of the incident light in the hair fiber and the reflection on the back surface. The last component is the diffused light, which is caused by the light that is refracted into the hair fiber and scattered by pigments inside the hair fiber.

The diffused light and the chroma both carry color information, while the chroma band plays an important part on the visual appearance for colored hair.

Feeding the rise in demand for effective hair colorants

As baby boomers lead the way in consumption of hair color, being able to quantify those parameters will play an important role in testing color fading due to repeated shampooing.

Nick Lechocinski, Scientist at Bossa Nova Technologies concludes, “Where conventional methods calculate parameters on single hair fibers, the imaging system imitates the human eye and calculates the shine directly on images and on a full hair tress.”

This innovative technology works well when applied in combination with conclusions from consumer studies. The Bossa Nova Technologies instrumentation conveys numerical data, which is then correlated with assessment of experts and consumer studies.

The combination of this technology with expert image analysis makes analyzing successful shine products clear, concise and applicable.

Related topics Formulation & Science

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