Spotlight – Hair Research at TRI-Princeton

photograph of Trefor Evans

Dr. Trefor Evans
Director of Research
Princeton, NJ, United States
Tel: (609) 430-4834

During 16 years of working in R&D departments of large Hair Care consumer goods companies, Dr. Trefor Evans encountered many curiosities, gaps, and opportunities, which now form the foundation of his group’s research interests at TRI-Princeton. These activities are heavily rooted in the Measurement Science functionality, where traditional and novel approaches are used to probe hair’s complex structure, and the ways it may be impacted by various insults and products.

“Measurements are the key to understanding” is a mantra attributed to Lord Kelvin that provides a guiding philosophy. New measurement techniques provide new insight, as can non-traditional uses of established methodologies. By means of illustration, the application of mechanical fatigue testing principles has led to very different thoughts and conclusions pertaining to the tendency for hair breakage. The use of traditional tensile testing methods, in association with adsorption experiments provides clues as to the ability for small molecules to diffuse into hair and change properties in previously unobtainable ways. Further to this point, incursion into hair does not appear to be a trivial occurrence, and seems to differ in hair from different individuals (and as a function of hair’s condition). This seems a likely cause of so-called “resistant hair” which does not respond as well to traditional chemical treatments. From a more fundamental perspective, it also suggests as yet unrecognized differences in hair structure.

TRI’s close working relationship with many hair care companies of all shape, size, and background allows for the group to have their finger on the pulse of the industry and ensure that activities have practical application. Dr. Evans attempts to present at all major Hair and Cosmetic related conferences and publish frequently in the appropriate literature, while also organizing TRI’s semi-annual International Conference on Applied Hair Science.