Expectation and reality

Dow Corning announced a new score to measure frizz in hair. The website Accuweather offers a hair daily frizz forecast. If most hair care products claim to finish or to control hair frizz, we may assume every Brazilian consumer is interested in total control over frizz.

Besides, if it is a constantly recurring need it may signal that the hair products currently available are not accomplishing their own claims. The questions to then ask become “why not?” and “how can we solve this?” 

At this point, leading actions such as that of the aforementioned silicon company and the weather forecast website are significant. It is common for Brazilian consumers to humanize their own hair and confer to it human characteristics such as free will and even some grudge against its owner. Whilst English speakers just say, they happen to be having a “bad hair day”, in Brazil it is common to say “my hair woke up in a bad mood”, “my hair is angry today” or “my hair just doesn’t want to stay in place today”. These kinds of comments are commonly made in everyday conversations, especially between women. 

This free will possessed by Brazilian hair appears to have more of a physical rather than a supernatural explanation. When relative humidity increases, hair shafts tend to swell up and then they will not occupy the same space in the universe as they used to. There would be no big issue if that space was anywhere other than the top and sides of the head. This also seems to happen more frequently on special occasions. Strange but true. In a society so attached to aesthetics as the Brazilian one is, you are not allowed to walk on the street with one single hair fiber out of place. No volume. No frizz. It is not a coincidence Brazilians have brought to the world the invention of combing cream and the aptly named Brazilian Blowout. 

Thus, to control frizz it is necessary to provide some weight to the hair fibers and to protect them from humidity interference. It appears simple enough. In fact, some raw materials have already been developed to aid frizz control. Furthermore, Brazilians have another peculiar need that springs to mind: hair must look natural, as if you wake up with it looking perfect every morning. It is a beauty crime for it to look like any product was used on it or for it to have a “synthetic feel”. 

In fact, almost all hair care products in Brazil claim some frizz control benefit. Every company supports their claims through instrumental and quantitative efficacy tests. The greatest barrier is that consumers will evaluate products subjectively and qualitatively – in an exquisitely individual manner. Consequently cosmetic chemists will continue to look for a solution to frizz and consumers will still test every available product on the market in pursuit of the perfect anti-frizz solution. This is the reality, but life would be no fun without challenges. And it is even better when those challenges are big! 

Gustavo Boaventura is the editor of the blog Cosmética em Foco.

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