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 Could this protein protect people against coronary artery disease?
17.11.2017 | University of North Carolina Health Care

nachricht Microbial resident enables beetles to feed on a leafy diet
17.11.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für chemische Ökologie

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

Im Focus: Novel Nano-CT device creates high-resolution 3D-X-rays of tiny velvet worm legs

Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.

During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....

Im Focus: Researchers Develop Data Bus for Quantum Computer

The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.

Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...

Im Focus: Wrinkles give heat a jolt in pillared graphene

Rice University researchers test 3-D carbon nanostructures' thermal transport abilities

Pillared graphene would transfer heat better if the theoretical material had a few asymmetric junctions that caused wrinkles, according to Rice University...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Ecology Across Borders: International conference brings together 1,500 ecologists

15.11.2017 | Event News

Road into laboratory: Users discuss biaxial fatigue-testing for car and truck wheel

15.11.2017 | Event News

#Berlin5GWeek: The right network for Industry 4.0

30.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA detects solar flare pulses at Sun and Earth

17.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

NIST scientists discover how to switch liver cancer cell growth from 2-D to 3-D structures

17.11.2017 | Health and Medicine

The importance of biodiversity in forests could increase due to climate change

17.11.2017 | Studies and Analyses

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>