Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

'Green' hair bleach may become environmentally friendly consumer product

26.03.2009
Scientists from Japan today reported development of what could be the world's first "green" hair bleach, an environmentally friendly preparation for lightening the color of hair on the head and other parts of the body without the unwanted effects of the bleaches used by millions of people each year.

Speaking here at the 237th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society, Kenzo Koike, Ph.D., pointed out that traditional hair bleaches rely on hydrogen peroxide. Peroxide is highly effective in oxidizing, or breaking down, melanin, the black pigment that gives hair a dark color.

However, peroxide bleaches have several disadvantages. "Bleach usually has to be repeated, for example, once every three months, in order to keep the satisfactory level of color because hair grows 1 cm. each month," explained Koike, who is with the Kao Corporation's Beauty Research Center in Tokyo. "In changing from a dark brown to a light blonde color, consumers may have to bleach several times. Repeated bleaching may compound another disadvantage of hydrogen peroxide — hair damage."

He added that hydrogen peroxide is a harsh material. Repeated use can leave hair brittle and lifeless, with almost no attractive sheen. It also can irritate the scalp and other parts of the body.

Those unwanted effects have set scientists on a quest for milder bleaching agents, added Koike, who will discuss ways to improve color removal, including making it more effective and convenient. Koike said that his new "green" hair treatment may be the long-awaited solution.

In the ACS report, he described isolation of an enzyme from a strain of Basidiomycete ceriporiopsis, a type of "white-rot" fungus that has also shown potential to degrade and clean up pollutants in soil. The enzyme naturally degrades melanin. It has the added benefit of combating the effects of free radicals, highly reactive agents produced by hydrogen peroxide that are responsible for its damaging effects in making hair brittle, dull, and difficult-to-manage.

"I think this is the first enzyme found that degrades melanin," he says, adding that it could be added to traditional hair bleaches to prevent hair damage, leading to hair care products that use less hydrogen peroxide.

Laboratory tests show that the enzyme is effective in bleaching synthetic melanin and melanin in human hair. Koike is working on incorporating it into conventional peroxide hair bleaches. Because the enzyme needs hydrogen peroxide to complete a chemical reaction, a small amount of peroxide would be needed for a product to work. So far, researchers are hampered by having access to only small amounts of the enzyme — a problem they expect to solve and move ahead with further tests, including clinical trials on humans.

Koike's short-term goal is pinning down how the enzyme affects melanin. "Although I expect it can degrade melanin by its oxidation, we don't know the mechanism of the reaction. We should examine it and test it more and more."

The American Chemical Society is a nonprofit organization chartered by the U.S. Congress. With more than 154,000 members, ACS is the world's largest scientific society and a global leader in providing access to chemistry-related research through its multiple databases, peer-reviewed journals and scientific conferences. Its main offices are in Washington, D.C., and Columbus, Ohio.

Michael Bernstein | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.acs.org

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Molecular microscopy illuminates molecular motor motion
26.07.2017 | Penn State

nachricht New virus discovered in migratory bird in Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil
26.07.2017 | Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Carbon Nanotubes Turn Electrical Current into Light-emitting Quasi-particles

Strong light-matter coupling in these semiconducting tubes may hold the key to electrically pumped lasers

Light-matter quasi-particles can be generated electrically in semiconducting carbon nanotubes. Material scientists and physicists from Heidelberg University...

Im Focus: Flexible proximity sensor creates smart surfaces

Fraunhofer IPA has developed a proximity sensor made from silicone and carbon nanotubes (CNT) which detects objects and determines their position. The materials and printing process used mean that the sensor is extremely flexible, economical and can be used for large surfaces. Industry and research partners can use and further develop this innovation straight away.

At first glance, the proximity sensor appears to be nothing special: a thin, elastic layer of silicone onto which black square surfaces are printed, but these...

Im Focus: 3-D scanning with water

3-D shape acquisition using water displacement as the shape sensor for the reconstruction of complex objects

A global team of computer scientists and engineers have developed an innovative technique that more completely reconstructs challenging 3D objects. An ancient...

Im Focus: Manipulating Electron Spins Without Loss of Information

Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.

For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...

Im Focus: The proton precisely weighted

What is the mass of a proton? Scientists from Germany and Japan successfully did an important step towards the most exact knowledge of this fundamental constant. By means of precision measurements on a single proton, they could improve the precision by a factor of three and also correct the existing value.

To determine the mass of a single proton still more accurate – a group of physicists led by Klaus Blaum and Sven Sturm of the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

Closing the Sustainability Circle: Protection of Food with Biobased Materials

21.07.2017 | Event News

»We are bringing Additive Manufacturing to SMEs«

19.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Large-Mouthed Fish Was Top Predator After Mass Extinction

26.07.2017 | Earth Sciences

Getting closer to porous, light-responsive materials

26.07.2017 | Materials Sciences

Large, distant comets more common than previously thought

26.07.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>