18-MEA and hair appearance

J Cosmet Sci. Mar-Apr 2010;61(2):147-60.


The effects of the removal of 18-MEA on the dynamic contact angle (advancing contact angle and receding contact angle) and friction force (friction force microscopy (FFM)) were examined in the present study. Chemically untreated hair tresses formed more finely ordered bundles, with the fibers aligned more parallel to each other, in the wet state, and lying flat and aligned parallel to each other in the dry state. Hair tresses in which 18-MEA had been removed by potassium t-butoxide treatment formed coarser tangled bundles and were aligned in a disorderly manner in the wet state, causing the hair to become entangled and disorderly in the dry state. This was because the 18-MEA-removed hair fibers adhered to each other and were not easy to realign in the wet state. The distorted part of the bundle dried faster and the tress shape was eventually fixed in the entangled shape. One role of 18-MEA is to allow hair fibers to lie flat and parallel with respect to each other in the wet state by providing relatively high receding contact angles and low surface friction. Hair alignment in the dry state is directly affected by hair alignment in the wet environment, particularly in the case of damaged hair.

MeSH terms

  • Eicosanoic Acids / administration & dosage*
  • Female
  • Hair*
  • Humans
  • Microscopy / methods
  • Surface Properties
  • Wettability


  • Eicosanoic Acids
  • 18-methyleicosanoic acid