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© 1995 Society of Cosmetic Chemists
Journal of the Society of Cosmetic Chemists, Vol. 46, No. 2, 85-99

Photochemical alterations in human hair. I. Artificial irradiation and investigations of hair proteins
Edo Hoting , Monika Zimmermann , Sabine Hilterhaus-Bong



Using a combination of special lamps and optical filters, equipment was constructed permitting irradiation of hair with artificial sunlight whose spectral distribution as well as its intensity corresponds to that of natural sunlight in summer months at central European latitudes. Furthermore, irradiation can be carried out selectively with the UV-B, UV-A, visible light, and IR parts of global sunlight.

Black and light-brown human hair was irradiated with defined segments of the sunlight spectrum, and the extent of photodamage to hair proteins was related to the radiation spectrum, to the degree of pigmentation (black or light-brown), and to the morphological region of the hair fiber (cortex or cuticle). The melanin pigment exerts a photoprotective effect, and thus its higher concentration in the cortex of black hair markedly retards its photodamage. On the other hand, as cuticle layers are devoid of pigment, photodegradation is similar for both the black and the light-brown hair.

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© 1995 Society of Cosmetic Chemists
Journal of the Society of Cosmetic Chemists