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Expert Cosmetologist Grading: The Key to Hair Care Product Testing

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CPT Labs

Walk down the hair care aisle in any store, and you’ll see packaging with claims like “reduces frizz,” “increases shine,” or “color protection.” Every brand wants their product to stand out by advertising enticing claims on their packaging; but if you haven’t done the proper due diligence to substantiate your claims, those unsubstantiated claims can land you in some turbulent legal waters down the road. So before you bring your haircare product to market, it’s more important than ever to work with a product testing company like CPT℠ to substantiate the claims you’d like to make with the help of expert cosmetologist grading and the use of bioinstrumentation.

testing a haircare product to substantiate claims

Bioinstrumentation: The Key to Haircare Product Testing

Your product will need to undergo testing specific to the claim that is being made. At CPT℠, we focus on designing a protocol that will allow us to yield data that will show whether your claim is valid. This is done with the help of expert cosmetologists and the use of bioinstrumentation. Bioinstrumentation is the development of technologies that allow for the measurement of changes within biological systems. In this case, it is the development of tools that test the efficacy of haircare products and measure changes that allow brands to substantiate the claims placed on their packaging. Below is a list of claims we are able to test and how we do it: 


Combability is a common claim that is made by various haircare products, but how do we prove if the product helped? This is a claim where our expert cosmetologists come in. In our salon, they will use the product on half of a panelist’s head and compare it to the other half which is untreated. Then, they comb both the treated and untreated sides to see if it’s easier to comb through and the number of hairs that get caught in the comb. This process is done using both wet and dry combing techniques. 

Hair Color Retention  

From box dyes to professional salon color treatments, consumers are color treating their hair more than ever. Many haircare brands have product lines that claim to protect color-treated hair. While the wording may vary, the retention of the dye over a number of washes is what is being tested. At CPT℠, we’re able to test color retention using a color meter. First, we take a tress of hair and dye it. After dying the hair we use the color meter to receive numerical values representing color. We then apply the product, wash the tress of hair, and use the color meter to see if there is a difference in color. This process is repeated multiple times in order to simulate the number of washes. We can also perform this test as an in-use study with human panelists, through digital photography and image analysis.  


No one wants dull lifeless hair, so a common claim that many products make is to improve the appearance of hair shine. How do we prove it? We use a tool that measures gloss and shine. We take a reading, then treat a panelist’s hair with the product, and take another reading. The data retrieved will allow us to determine if the product made a statistically significant difference.  

Improvement in the Appearance of Hair Loss 

Many cosmetic brands would love to make the claim that their product helps to regrow hair, but that claim classifies a product as a drug, which comes with its own regulations and testing protocols. To avoid this, many haircare products claim to “improve the appearance of” hair loss. In order to substantiate this claim, we use photo documentation. We take images of a volunteer panelist’s forehead and scalp, have them use the product for a period of time, and then retake the images from the exact same position, so the results are not influenced by the camera angle. We then compare the images to measure if there is a statistically significant difference.  

The Importance of Working with an Ethical Product Testing Company 

It is important to work with a reliable, reputable testing company with a history of developing scientific processes to verify claims. Failure to do so will cause hiccups down the line if a claim is challenged. At CPT℠ Labs, we have over 46 years of experience in helping personal care product companies substantiate their claims while navigating complex regulatory pathways. To learn more about our services and how we can help, get in touch with us today!