Adhesion and interactions with hair biomolecules

A cosmetic perspective on how hair biomolecules interact

The project is designed to study adsorption to the lipid palisade that forms the boundary of hair. Strategies for robust, hierarchical adsorption are limited by lack of understanding of how the lipid density and the amount of methyl branching affect the attachment, and by the difficulty of direct study of hair. Such knowledge is crucial for the design of protective and restorative coatings and is thus vital for the industry partner.

Neutron reflectance provides the ideal experimental window to understand how the unique branching of hair lipids affects self-assembly and adsorption in water. It is ideal for understanding hierarchical adsorption, where deuteration will provide the contrast. This is particularly crucial in the current climate where there is an urgent need for new, sustainable materials to replace conventional additives which had years of optimisation. The studies will be supported by AFM and in-situ adsorption studies in Sweden.

L’Oréal have developed adsorption models for coadsorbing polymers and surfactant to lipid surfaces based on Self-Consistent Field Theory, but these models require experimental verification and refinement. The PI has extensive experience of NR at both FIGARO and SUPERADAM and some experience with BM28 at ESRF. The student will be well placed to continue either an academic or industrial career.

        L’Oréal Research and Innovation