Hair Care Clinical Studies

Like all clinical trials, hair care clinical studies need expert planning and implementation to be successful. CPT’s team of licensed cosmetologists specializes in product testing and works closely with our entire staff to assist you in developing and conducting your hair care product trials.

CPT has developed many standard protocols in haircare testing, including studies evaluating attributes, comparing products, and evaluating tolerance and irritation, to name a few. If your testing needs are unique, we can develop a customized study.  Recent special studies in hair care have compared hair styling appliances, evaluated a three-step haircare regimen, and studied effects of a product on curly hair, for just a few examples.

Whether you need specialized testing or expect to choose a standard protocol, here are some important considerations for each step of the hair care clinical testing process:

Step One:  Planning.  Planning is the foundation of the entire trial’s success. This is the time to clarify the study objective, anticipate the need for pre-clinical testing, develop the study protocol, determine appropriate data collection and analysis and statistical techniques for your study, and commit to a study timeline that will support your expected product launch dates. CPT is well prepared to assist you in every aspect of planning your hair care study.

Step Two:  Pre-Clinical Testing.  Hair care products commonly contact the skin and eyes, so they should be tested in the laboratory for dermal and ocular toxicity and irritation before they are tested on human panelists. Pre-clinical testing is done in-house at CPT, including dermal irritation tests on reconstructed human epidermis, dermal sensitization tests at the molecular level, and an array of tests measuring corneal effects and ocular irritation.

Note that pre-clinical testing will lengthen your clinical testing timeline overall, as all of the pre-clinical tests are undertaken by a similar step-by-step process and data must be analyzed in order to determine whether a product is safe for panelists. IRB review, if it is required, must also take place after the pre-clinical testing is completed and before any human trial can begin.

Step Three:  Study Initiation.  Even after a protocol is approved, there still is much to be done before any data is collected. For example, recruiting and educating panelists, scheduling, and myriad other details must be completed before data collection begins.

Step Four:  Data Collection.  Some data consists of subjective comments from panelists collected on surveys; some data consists of exacting measurements collected with sophisticated instruments. Data collection can vary widely in complexity and in timeline.

As an example, a recent hair care clinical study conducted at CPT was executed in two consecutive phases, each including data collection periods of three months. (This is not the norm, but it illustrates the need for getting an early start on planning for clinical studies.) Some common data collection methods for hair care clinical testing are:

  • Trichological analysis to determine changes in hair growth patterns
  • Traction tests to measure hair shedding
  • Hair pluck tests to evaluate changes in hair growth cycles and in hair breakage
  • Regimented combing techniques to assess hair fallout rates
  • Tensile tests to measure hair strength and resilience
  • Performance testing/attribute analysis

Step Five:  Monitoring, Analysis, and Reporting.  Monitoring and data analysis are continuing processes during execution of the protocol. Identifying and resolving gaps early can often allow for adjustments without delays in the overall process. At the conclusion of the trial, our in-house data professionals and statisticians will compile and analyze study results. CPT will help you interpret those results into information you can use to support your product.

To learn more about Hair Care Clinical Studies at CPT or to get started on a clinical study for your product, please contact us.

Our Capabilities

CPT has state-of-the-art analytical, microbiological, clinical, photobiological, and in-vitro toxicology testing laboratories, all of which are at your disposal to determine product safety and efficacy. To make these determinations for hair care products, CPT employs the following methods.

  • Trichological (Hair Count) Analysis
  • Gravimetric “Pull” Analysis
  • “Hair Pluck” Test
  • Regimented Combing Technique
  • Phototrichogram
  • Tensile Strength

Using our specialized departments and modern lab facility, CPT tests a wide range of products. Our in-house experts offer guidance in the determination of the efficacy of your products while ensuring compliance and keeping your budgetary concerns in mind.

Understanding and executing the various hair care study methods is crucial to product success. From the first stages of trichological analysis to understanding the complexities of product success in the marketplace, rigorous testing conducted by an experienced laboratory can provide you with the answers you seek.

Our Departments

Based on the individual needs of our clients, we offer a wide range of support across various departments. Since initial product testing can be fairly complex in terms of a high-quality, safe and trusted product, our clients typically explore the benefits of numerous departments and areas of expertise, including:

  • Clinical —Testing can be performed for safety, consumer perception, and expert perception of hair characteristics and for ancillary support claims, such as ‘dermatologist-tested’ and ‘ophthalmologist-tested.’  In vitro tests on tresses can substantiate performance claims under controlled conditions.
  • In-Vitro Safety — Our in-vitro toxicology department assists clients who are looking to perform in-vitro or ex-vivo toxicology testing.
  • Microbiology — Microbial contamination and preservative testing is key to the safety of hair care products.
  • Photobiology — From efficacy (SPF) testing to safety (photoallergy) testing, CPT is a world leader in photobiological testing.
  • Analytical — From raw materials, batch release, and stability shelf-life testing to “free-of” and low-level detection claims, CPT’s analytical chemistry department ensures that all requirements for hair care products are met based on industry standards.

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