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J Cosmet Dermatol. 2015 Sep;14(3):204-8. doi: 10.1111/jocd.12151. Epub 2015 Jul 14.

Protein loss in human hair from combination straightening and coloring treatments.

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Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences of University of São Paulo, São Paulo, SP, Brazil.
Healthy Skin Foundation and Hair and Skin Research and Treatment Institute, São Paulo, SP, Brazil.



Hair chemical treatments, such as dyeing and straightening products, are known to cause damage that can be assessed by protein loss.


The aim of this study was to evaluate the hair protein loss caused by combined chemical treatments (dye and relaxer) using the validated bicinchoninic acid (BCA) method. Three kinds of straighteners, based on ammonium thioglycolate, guanidine hydroxide and sodium hydroxide, were evaluated and the least harmful combination indicated.


Caucasian virgin dark brown hair tresses were treated with developed natural brown color oxidative hair dyeing and/or straightening commercial products based on ammonium thioglycolate, sodium hydroxide, or guanidine hydroxide. Protein loss quantification was assessed by the validated BCA method which has several advantages for quantifying protein loss in chemically treated hair.


When both treatments (straightening and dyeing) were combined, a higher negative effect was observed, particularly for dyed hair treated with sodium hydroxide. In this case, a 356% increase in protein loss relative to virgin hair was observed and 208% in relation to only dyed hair. The combination of dying and relaxers based on ammonium thioglycolate or guanidine hydroxide caused a small increase in protein loss, suggesting that these straightening products could be the best alternatives for individuals wishing to combine both treatments.


These results indicated that when application of both types of products is desired, ammonium thioglycolate or guanidine hydroxide should be chosen for the straightening process.


bicinchoninic acid; dyeing; hair; protein loss; straightening

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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