Development of a smart, anti-water polyurethane polymer hair coating for style setting

Yan Liu, Y. J. Liu, Jinlian Hu, F. L. Ji, J. Lv, S. J. Chen, Y. Zhu

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Objective The goal of this work was to develop a novel polyurethane polymer coating for the surface of the hair that could be used for style setting via the shape memory effect (SME). The features of the films are in accordance with conventional hair styling methods used in the laboratory. Methods In this study, a new polyurethane polymer was synthesized; the morphology and mechanical behaviour of the coated hair were systematically investigated using a scanning electron microscope (SEM) and an Instron 5566 (with a temperature oven). The SME of the hair was tested using a 35-g weight and over five washing and drying cycles. Results The experimental result shows that the polyurethane polymer has effects on the mechanical behaviour of the hair. It indicates that the fixed shape (at 22°C) and recover rate (at 60°C) of different casted thickness films are similar. And the stress of the film becomes larger with increasing film thickness. Furthermore, the shape memory ability could be endowed with the hair styling using this polymer; the hair fibre could recover to the 65% of its original shape after five cycle deformation by 35 g mass under the heat-treated condition; it could recover its original setting styling even after 5th water washing and drying. The SEM results indicated that the microsurface of the hair is coated with the polymer membrane; it contributes to the shape memory ability of the coated hair to keep and recover to the original setting styling. The styling hair can return to the original hair because the polyurethane polymer can be washed out by water with suitable strength and shampoo totally which does not leave any flake. Conclusion The polyurethane polymer-based hair setting agent has been developed successfully, and it could be coated evenly on the human hair with good hand feeling and SMEs. The SME is highly related to the quantity of polyurethane polymer solution, and the effect could be improved by increasing the solution quantity. The maximum deformation of the coated hair could be recovered 94% at 75°C, once its shape is changed by an external force. The treated hair can withstand warm water rinsing for at least five cycles, and it can keep 65% of its original setting style after water rinsing. The polyurethane polymer could be totally removed by shampooing the hair and hot towel covering for 5-10 min. This research provides an effective way for the development of new intelligent shaping agents.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)305-311
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Cosmetic Science
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2016


  • coating
  • polyurethane polymer
  • recovery
  • smart effect
  • styling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry (miscellaneous)
  • Ageing
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Drug Discovery
  • Dermatology
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry


Dive into the research topics of 'Development of a smart, anti-water polyurethane polymer hair coating for style setting'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this