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Int J Trichology. 2009 Jul;1(2):94-9. doi: 10.4103/0974-7753.58551.

Photoaggravation of hair aging.

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1
Department of Dermatology, Institute of Hair and Cosmetic Medicine, Yonsei University Wonju College of Medicine, Wonju, Kangwon-Do, Republic of Korea.

Abstract

Photoaggravation of hair aging includes various chemical and physical changes in fiber properties which lead to an increase in fiber porosity, loss of mechanical strength and an increase in surface roughness. These changes come from lipid oxidation, disulfide bond cleavage, tryptophan degradation and cysteic acid formation. Hair exposed to sunlight is claimed to be more brittle, stiffer and drier than before irradiation and exhibits a reduced water-absorption capacity. Hair pigments function to provide photochemical protection to hair proteins. Hair pigments accomplish this protection by absorbing and filtering the impinging radiation and subsequently dissipating this energy as heat. However, in the process of protecting the hair proteins from light, the pigments are degraded or bleached. Dark hair is more resistant to photodegradation than light hair, because of the higher photostability of eumelanin compared to pheomelanin. Integral lipids of hair fibers are degraded by ultraviolet light, as well as by visible light, helping to explain the weakening of the cell membrane complex exposed to light radiation.

KEYWORDS:

Hair aging; integral hair lipid; melanin; photoaggravation; photoaging; protein; ultraviolet light

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