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Hard Water Research Could Lead to Better Hair Care Products

Fifty percent of consumers bleach their hair. That’s just one of the many things that cause damage.

Fourth-year cosmetic science graduate student Amber Evans studies that damage. Specifically, she examines the effects of hard water on damaged hair.

To do so, Evans treats hair samples with oxidative bleach and then washes the hair with tap or well water (waters with some degree of hardness). She analyzes the surface and structure of hair to determine damage.

Does the damaged hair take up more of the calcium and magnesium ions present in hard water? She’s observed that this could be the case. Hair damage could be driving the hair/hard water interaction.

This kind of data is useful for scientists in the research and development field as they work to create new hair care products.

Evans’s graduate school experience is a bit unique. Her research lab is offsite at Procter & Gamble, an industry leader in beauty care.

Upon graduate in December, 2010, Evans plans to begin a career in the hair care industry in research and development.

Related Info:


  • Ashley Kempher, videographer and editor
  • Travis Estell, website editor
  • Clare Ward, narrator

More Information:

Dama Ewbank
Assistant Director, Public Relations
Academic Health Center