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Reduction-induced surface modification of human hair

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pp. 1–12

A microfluorometric method has been developed to characterize lipid removal or ‘delipidation’ of the human hair cuticula during light exposure and chemical grooming processes such as oxidation (bleaching) and reduction. In the case of photochemical and chemical oxidation, lipid removal (‘delipidation’ of the F-layer or lipid-layer) from the outer-layer of the exposed scale faces and generation of cysteic acid groups occurs. This ‘delipidation,’ which ultimately results in ‘acidification’ of the scale faces, leading to a change in surface chemistry from hydrophobic to hydrophilic, can be detected and quantified by microfluorometry by tagging, e.g. with the cationic fluorochrome Rhodamine B. In the case of reduction, similar tagging of the acid sites on the scale faces is possible, but this time, Rhodamine B reacts with the mixed disulfide containing a carboxyl group that will be ionized above a pH of about 4. In addition to this, we have shown by microfluorometric scanning that the negative charges generated in the cuticle surface can be used to bind low-molecular-weight quaternary conditioners. This process can be considered as ‘relipidation’ or ‘refatting of the scale faces. We have shown in earlier studies (1) that this entire process of oxidation-induced ‘delipidation’ and subsequent ‘relipidation’ of the acidic scale faces with a cationic conditioning molecule can also be reliably quantified by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). Furthermore, single-fiber wettability scanning using the Wilhelmy technique, which is highly sensitive to any changes in surface chemistry, is well-suited to detect and characterize treatment-induced changes in the chemical nature of the hair surface from hydrophobic to hydrophilic.
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Document Type: Abstract

Publication date: October 1, 2010

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