Alcohol: Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow

Recent environmental legislation required that the volatile organic compound (VOC) concentration in hairspray not exceed 55%, and the hairspray industry fears that this reduction (from commonly 80% VOC) will also mean a significant reduction in the effectiveness of hairspray hold. Humbach and Nassar attempted to investigate just how the concentration of VOCs in hairspray formulations containing the copolymer Balance- 47® and in those containing the copolymer Amphomer 28-4910® affected the holding properties of the sprays, as both of these polymers had been shown in previous research to be somewhat successful in low-VOC systems. Using industry methods, we observed over time the droop of hair curls which had been sprayed with hairspray formulations of 0%, 55%, and 80% VOC and analysed this data as an indication of the effectiveness of hairspray hold. Sadly, after conducting a t-test of the significance of our data, we discovered that we could not state that any variance between the drop of a sample of curls that had been sprayed with a formulation and one which had not (the control) was not due to essentially random chance. Therefore, trends in the data could not be attributed to the application of these hairsprays, and we could not make any significant conclusions. Though our research method had been based on that used in professional hairspray research, our implementation of it may have been less than perfect, causing our results to be insignificant.

Research Done By:

Richard Humbach
Warren Mott

Adrienne Nassar