The visible part of the hair, the hair fiber, is not living tissue. The living hair roots are anchored deeply in the skin of the scalp and form complex "mini-organs" that are composed of different cell types to produce the visible hair fibers. By studying the biological processes in the roots we are able to develop specific hair care products which not only nourish the hair fiber but also support the living part of the hair – the hair root – in its distinctive functions. The use of a recently developed reconstructed tissue model of the hair root offers us the chance to evaluate the optimal combinations of bioactives.
RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT
Henkel has brought numerous product innovations to the market that have shaped the lives of millions of people, including the first self-acting laundry detergent, first liquid hair shampoo, and first hair spray in the world. Henkel looks back on a great history of innovations that have revolutionized markets multiple times, and this tradition continues today. We are well-known for our iconic brands such as Persil® or Schwarzkopf® that were – and still are – developed with leading technologies
We build on strong consumer insights and knowledge around changing consumer behavior and trends. Continuous investments in research and development over generations have created a wealth of knowledge and patents. Together with universities and other research institutes, the international research team at Consumer Brands is constantly developing innovative products to delight our customers and consumers and exceed their expectations.
OUR R&D FOCUS AREAS
Our research and development activities benefit from our special approach as a multi-category platform. It creates unique research synergies through similarities in the R&D focus for hair and textiles. Solving common issues and technology challenges in the fields of raw materials, formulations, packaging concepts and production methods helps us to develop new technologies and formulations that form the basis for product innovations in our markets across all regions.
Hair – a very special fiber
Biophysics of hair and color screening
The efficacy of our hair cosmetic products can be verified on real hair through biophysical test methods and can be substantiated statistically. We can assess for standard measurements such as hair gloss, volume and ease of combing, as well as analysis of the inner strength and thickness of the hair. Environmental influences and styling procedures like repeated combing, blow-drying or straightening can be scrutinized to specifically develop products that prevent hair damage such as split ends or hair breakage.
Our tests with real hair strands give us information on the durability of hair colorations, and obtaining data following the use of advanced weathering equipment can be used to examine the resistance of color-treated hair against fading due to light, washing, or rubbing. This helps us to formulate products with the ability to color dark hair while minimizing damage and investigate the effect of care and styling products on colored hair.
Sustainable packaging concepts – towards a circular economy
Packaging plays a key role in our modern way of life. Without it, most products would expire or get damaged before arriving in a store. When it comes to tackling the challenges of sustainable packaging, packaging designers are the key players. From integrating more recycled material in new packaging to making packaging easier to recycle after use, these experts create packaging that protects the products while also offering a better contribution to the planet.
Recent examples in our portfolio in this area are all free clear eco in North America – an ultra-concentrated liquid detergent with packaging made of 100 percent recycled plastic, Pril Strong & Natural, through the use of recyclable refill bags, or the solid shampoo bars in a recyclable folded paper box under the Schauma brand.
Our global R&D Network
innovation centers around the world
highly specialized scientists & researchers
biodegradable ingredients in our formulas