Save the date for SCC78!


Fundamentals of Hair Science

Course Overview

This course offers a broad overview of current hair science and hair care technology as it relates to the cosmetics and personal care industry. The fundamentals of hair biology and structure will be reviewed, along with the optical properties of hair and hair volume. In addition, effective hair measurement technologies will be discussed, as well as formulation strategies and challenges related to the development of effective hair care products.

The course is ideal for anyone interested in learning more about hair science and hair care technology used to develop quality products in the cosmetics and personal care industry.

Instructor: Roger McMullen, PhD

Format: Online


  • Wednesday, October 11, 2023
    (11:00am - 2:30pm ET)
  • Thursday, October 12, 2023 
    (11:00am - 2:30pm ET)

Course Outline

  • Hair biology
    • Hair follicle structure
    • Hair growth
    • Hair loss
    • Hair aging (graying)
  • Hair morphology and fine structure
    • Cuticle structure
      • A-layer, exocuticle, endocuticle, 18-methyleicosanoic acid (18-MEA)
      • Importance of 18-MEA in human hair health
    • Cortex
      • Cortical cells, alpha-keratin, intermediate filaments, keratin associated proteins, cell membrane complex
      • Melanin structure
    • The fine structure of hair and how it relates to its mechanical and surface properties
  • Technologies to measure physical and chemical phenomena in hair
    • Microscopy techniques
      • Reflected light microscopy
      • Scanning electron microscopy
      • Atomic force microscopy
    • Dynamic scanning calorimetry
    • Dynamic vapor sorption
    • Contact angle measurements
    • Spectroscopic imaging techniques (Raman and FT-IR)
    • Mechanical measurements (tensile strength, cyclic fatigue testing)
  • Optical properties of hair
    • Specular and diffuse reflection
    • Effect of treatments on luster as quantified by image analysis
    • High-resolution images of light reflected from hair
    • Analysis of various ethnic hair types
  • Hair volume and its relation to hair body
    • Measurement of hair volume
    • Hair fiber assemblies of various geometries
    • Treatment with hair fixatives
    • Anti-frizz, volume reduction
    • Future prospects for hair body and volume measurements
  • Hair conditioning
    • Formulation ingredients
    • Delivery of conditioning agents from shampoo
    • Mechanical combing measurements
    • Streaming potential analysis
  • Hair fixative and styling
    • Hairspray, gel, and mouse ingredients
    • Advanced technologies for measuring hair styling performance
  • Changes in hair structure caused by chemical treatments
    • Bleaching
    • Relaxing
    • Permanent waving
  • Color chemistry and dyeing of hair
    • Hair color fastness (dye fading)
    • Hair color measurements (Hunter colorimetry)
    • Monitoring changes in hair fine structure
  • Hair photo-damage
    • Damage to proteins and other key biological entities in hair
    • Changes in the surface and mechanical properties
    • UV solar protectants
  • Investigation of physicochemical changes in hair as a result of treatment with thermal styling devices
    • Introduction to Brazilian straightening techniques
    • Historical background on the use of Brazilian straightening products
    • Investigation of the influence of thermal-formaldehyde treatments on hair
      • Hair fine surface structure
      • Chemical modification of the hair
      • Cortical cell health
    • Tensile properties of heat-treated hair


  • $299 - SCC Member
  • $399 - Non-Member
  • $179 – SCC Junior or Student Member

In addition to the live instructions, course registrants will also receive a PDF copy of the course slides, as well as access to course replay recordings for 3 weeks following the live course dates.

Those completing the course will receive a course completion certificate from the SCC.

Note: companies registering 5+ SCC members for this course receive $25 off per registration. Companies registering 10+ SCC members for this course receive $50 off per registration. Discounted group registrations need to occur during the same online transaction. If you would like to submit a group registration of 5+ or 10+, or have any other questions about this event, please contact SCC Headquarters Staff.

If also applying for SCC membership, please allow up to five business days for application processing. Member pricing will not be in effect for CEP registrations until after the membership application is approved. 

 View our CEP Course Pricing and Refund Policy.


About the Instructor

Roger McMullen, PhD

Principal Scientist - Ashland

Dr. Roger McMullen has over 20 years of experience in the personal care industry with specialties in optics, imaging, and spectroscopy of hair and skin. Currently, he is Principal Scientist in the Material Science department at Ashland Specialty Ingredients G.P. Dr. McMullen received a B.S. in Chemistry from Saint Vincent College and completed his Ph.D. in Biophysical Chemistry at Seton Hall University with Professor Stephen P. Kelty. In addition, Roger worked under the mentorship of Dr. Janusz Jachowicz at International Specialty Products for approximately 10 years. Roger actively engages and participates in educational activities in the personal care industry. Every year he instructs courses in Hair Science at TRI-Princeton and every two years he teaches a course that he designed on Imaging Technologies and Image Analysis Techniques for Personal Care at the SCC national office. He also teaches the Fundamentals of Hair Science course in the continuing education program of the SCC.