Expert Advice

Hair Care Launches Into Space Today!

Lauren Salapatek | July 11, 2011 | 12:28 AM
At approximately 11:26 ET today, if weather permits, space Shuttle Atlantis will embark on the final mission of NASA’s space shuttle program. As the 135th launch, Shuttle Atlantis will blast off from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida ready to perform several experiments in space. The final mission will include testing technology to refuel satellites robotically and trying out out a new method for recycling wastewater in space.

(Showers and thunderstorms could be present in the launch area, and NASA says there’s a 70% chance of delay. If that happens, NASA will have another opportunity for launch on Saturday and Sunday, when the weather forecast is slightly better.) —According to

But that's not all.

NASA and Farouk Systems have aligned together to do hair care experiments on the shuttle as well. "Environmental safety has been the cornerstone of the manned space program and aligns with the mission statement of Farouk Systems: Environment, Education and Ethics," says Dr. Dennis Morrison, former NAHA researcher and current Senior Vice President of Technology at Farouk Systems. "NASA has searched for safer disinfectants to control microbial growth inside the manned spacecraft since we cannot use bleach, ammonia, nor other noxious chemicals within a closed space cabin atmosphere. Farouk’s main objective for many product lines has been to make new hair and beauty products that are safer for the cosmetologist and for the client.”

Previously Farouk Systems has studied the mechanisms of skin sensitivity, inflammation, and wound healing. Now many of those concepts have been incorporated into the design of their new beauty products that reduce irritation and promote tissue repair.

In this final shuttle mission, Dr. Morrison will be the co-investigator with Farouk Shami, founder and chairman of Farouk Systems, and their science team to design, prepare and load the Farouk Systems experiments at the Kennedy Space Center. They will be the mentors for the development of the “CHI Stars” Student experiments (a co-op between Lone Star College-North Harris, CHI School of Cosmetology in Houston, TX and Farouk Systems) and will take the student to KSC for the experiment/payload operations and launch of Atlantis.

After landing, they will be responsible for the unloading and post-flight analysis of the experiment samples and helping the CHI Stars Student Investigator decipher the results. The top three essayists and "CHI Stars" are: third place winner, Alyssa Martinez, second place winner, Sugey Perez; and first place winner, Meagan Flesch.

Modern caught up with Meagan and asked her a few questions about her CHI Stars program experience and what she expects for today's launch:

Q. What made you get involved with the CHI Stars program?
I became involved with the CHI Stars program excuse of the wonderful opportunity that it presented. How many people get to be a part of history? I'm glad to say that I will not only witness the last launch but I will get to participate with NASA an the launch. That is such a huge chance of a lifetime and im so grateful for it.

Q. What was your essay about?
My essay discussed how sanitation in the salon was cohesive with sanitation in the shuttle. Many people don't know how much sanitation is involved with the cosmetology industry and it baffles me.

Q. How are you contributing to the experiments and helping Dr. Morrison?
As of right now I don't know what all I will be doing at NASA. I do know some of the experiments are regarding hair color.

Q.What do you hope the results to the experiments will be?
I hope that we receive positive feedback. Technology is growing and changing, who knows how these results will aid us and change the future of the cosmetology industry.

Q. What are you excited about the most with this opportunity?
A. I'm excited about the opportunity itself. But what I'm most excited about is witnessing the last shuttle launch. Not a lot of people come across chances like this and I am so blessed.

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