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Characterization of the lipid composition at the proximal root regions of human hair

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The hair lipid composition collected from 44 Japanese females between 1 and 81 years of age was examined for eight lipids including hydrocarbons (HCs), squalene (SQ), wax esters (WEs), triglycerides (TGs), fatty acids (FAs), cholesterol (CH), ceramides (CERs), and 18-methyl eicosanoic acid (MEA). In this study, the 5-cm length from the proximal root end of hair fibers, which had never been exposed to any chemical treatment, was used after 5-min incubation with hexane following shampooing. Hair lipids were extracted with solvent and subsequent alkali-solvent and were then analyzed by a combination of chromatography. Although the average contents of the lipids showed great fluctuations among individuals, there were significant correlations between the levels of each lipid, which allowed for the classification of the hair lipids into four groups: group A: SQ, WEs, TGs, and FAs (designated as endogenous lipids based upon their sebum origin); group B: CH and CERs (designated as endogenous lipids); group C: HC (unknown origin); and group D: MEA (the other endogenous lipid). A principal component analysis for eight lipids revealed that the hair lipid composition was characterized by a predominant negative correlation between each lipid for groups A and B. This negative correlation suggests that the endogenous lipids in group B serve as a barrier against the penetration of predominantly sebum-derived exogenous lipids (group A). Endogenous lipids consisting of CH and CERs (group B) and MEA (group D) should be designated as intrinsic internal lipids of human hair.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2005-06-01

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