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Studies of light scattering from ethnic hair fibers

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One of the most desirable hair attributes to consumers, irrespective of ethnic background, is hair shine. The light reflected from a fiber has two components, specular and diffuse. The specular fraction of reflected light from the front surface of the fiber is generally recognized as a contributor to high luster. The distinction between specular and diffuse reflection is, however, not always clearly defined. In this study an attempt has been made to differentiate between specular and diffuse reflectance by analyzing mathematically goniophotometric curves of light reflected from unaltered single hair fibers from European, African, and Asian ethnic groups. The effect of macroscopic characteristics of the hair fibers, such as fiber diameter, cross-sectional shape, and curvature on luster is demonstrated. Results indicate that broadening of the specular peak reduces luster values, and is related to these characteristics. Thus, specular peak broadening is one of the important features to take into account when evaluating luster. Therefore, a new method for luster evaluation from goniophotometric curves is proposed. Additionally, we present the general model for light scattering, showing how scattering by surface roughness of different origin and magnitudes, and the scattering and absorption processes by the hair's interior, affect the position of the specular reflectance peak and its broadening.
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Document Type: Abstract

Publication date: August 1, 2004

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