Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Summer Fun Day 31 - Barbie Salon Science - Part 2

We followed up on our Barbie salon experiment by pulling our out our hand held microscopes, and taking a closer look at Barbie's hair...


...which is clear and synthetic looking (sort of like fishing line)...


...and stuck into Barbie's head in clumps...


...held in place by strips of glue or some sort of fabric.


...and not at all like our hair...


...which grows in single strands from our scalps...


...from follicles...


...with a thicker texture, not clear, and not so much like fishing line.


I read the girls a quick paragraph from Wikipedia about how fabric softeners, and vinegar, work on clothing, and why they might also help synthetic Barbie hair.
"Fabric softeners work by coating the surface of the cloth fibers with a thin layer of chemicals; these chemicals have lubricant properties and are electrically conductive, thus making the fibers feel smoother and preventing buildup of static electricity.
Cationic softeners bind by electrostatic attraction to the negatively charged groups on the surface of the fibers and neutralize their charge; the long aliphatic chains are then oriented towards the outside of the fiber, imparting lubricityVinegar works on some materials in a similar way, as the hydrogen ions bind to the anionic groups on the fibers."
Then, we read the back of a conditioner bottle, to learn how conditioners work on real hair.  I would have loved to have brought up a commercial or two, that showed how conditioners work on a microscopic level.  I know I've seen some before, but I couldn't find any when I went to look for them.

I couldn't find a single non-fiction book about hair, for children, in our library's catalog, either.  It's the first time the library has let me down - they always have books to match our topics.  But, they did have quite a few fun picture books about hair in the fiction section.  So, we watched a quick hair clip from BrainPop (one that needs a subscription to view - and does mention some evolutionary theories, which we chose to ignore). Then, we gave up on science for the day, and switched back to plain old summer fun.


It's great to be a homeschooler.

3 comments:

Raising a Happy Child said...

How fun! I think I recall the book from Let's Read and Find Out series that was called My Skin and Me but also dealt with hair and nails briefly. I remember reading Ella Kazoo with Anna when she was about 4 - it's a good book!

An Almost Unschooling Mom said...

I thought Ella Kazoo would be too young for the children, but I liked the pictures, so I picked it up anyway. When I started reading it out loud to C though, all the kids - except T - came running.

Ticia said...

It looks like a cute book. I think "Care and Cleaning of You" deals with hair, it's a Klutz book, I think.....