The team reports in the ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces Journal that it has refined the peptide in such a way that it enables the fragrance molecules to stick to the hair follicles for far longer than conventional shampoos.
It is a given that the fragrance 'burst' from freshly shampooed hair is just that, a short-lived whiff of typically floral or fruity perfume that fades within a few minutes of coming out of the shower.
Delivery systems have helped up the game
Formulators have tackled this problem by incorporating delivery systems into the fragrance ingredients that allow for a controlled released.
The journal report highlights 'profragrances' as one example of released fragrance, which have been developed by encapsulating the scent compound using polymers.
Although this method has upped the game for hair fragrance, the researchers report that the technology still does not help the fragrance to stick to the hair follicle for prolonged periods.
Combining delivery systems with peptides
To tackle this problem the group of researchers, which includes Harm-Anton Klok, Andreas Herrmann and colleagues, say they are now working on building on the gains made by profragrance technology in an effort to give formulators more choice and consumers a shampoo that feels fresher for longer.
The group identified a cyclic peptide which they say helps to bond to the hair through a regular shampooing process that included a low pH and the presence of surfactants.
As part of the refinement process the peptide was connected to the two popular delivery systems: a microcapsule and a profragrance model polymer, which both proved to be highly effective.
The research found that incorporating the peptide into both systems means that the fragrance compounds were loaded on to the hair follicles with between 5 and 20 times greater efficiency, compared to systems that were not based on the peptide.
Ultimately the researchers say that a hair fragrance that typically fades within minutes of a shampoo could be extended for up to 24 hours, encouraging the group to publish the findings with the aim of getting the word out to the hair care industry.