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Pires-Oliveira, Rafael1; Joekes, Ins

State University of Campinas UNICAMP, Brazil

People complain that color changes are observed after swimming for a long time in swimming pools. Hypochlorite is widely used to disinfect swimming pools at concentration of about 5 to 10 mg L1 [1]. Depending on pH, the chlorine solution contains mainly the species Cl2, HOCl or OCl. The lower the pH, the greater the hair damage by chlorine [2]. UV radiation is a well-known hair damager by photooxidation [3, 4]. It causes protein and internal lipids [5] loss, turns all types of hair lighter and makes white hair less yellow [6]. For people who are swimming, the important factors to evaluate are chlorine and UV radiation. To the best of our knowledge, there are no reports in the literature on the simultaneous effect of chlorine and UV radiation on human hair. This work aims to quantify the hair color changes due to chlorine and UV radiation. In this way, we hope to improve knowledge of the physicochemical properties of hair.

Caucasian hair DARK-BROWN VIRGIN BLEACHED BLOND VIRGIN Figure 4: Changes in hair color coordinates as a function of time in a solution at pH = 5 or 10 in the presence of UV radiation and absence of chlorine. Effect on hair color of pH and UV radiation in absence of chlorine (Figure 4): The virgin dark-brown hair became redder. COLOR MEASUREMENTS Macbeth Color-eye 2180 Hair immersed in a solution below pH 5 5 5 5 10 10 10
* [ClO]0 = 0.50 g L1 = presence = absence

The bleached hair became less red. The color change of the bleached hair is more intense in pH = 10 in comparison with pH = 5. Figure 2: Changes in hair color coordinates as a function of time in a chlorinated solution at pH = 5 and absence of UV radiation. Effect of chlorine in the absence of UV radiation in solution at pH = 5 (Figure 2): Lightness (DL*) and yellowness (Db*) increased in all the hair types studied. In the green-red coordinate (Da*), the dark-brown hair became redder. The bleached hair became less red (Da*). No color change was observed in the absence of UV radiation and chlorine, at pH = 5 or 10. At pH = 5, hairs became less yellow than those at pH = 10, indicating different melanin degradation rates or paths, in the presence of UV radiation between acid and basic pH. The change in pH value of the solution in the absence of chlorine does not cause significant variations in hair color.



Chlorine with UV radiation damage not only hair color, but also hair proteins, causing hair dissolution even in mild pH values. Melanin showed different degradation rates or paths in the presence of UV radiation in acid and basic solutions (with or without chlorine). Hair degradation by chlorine only or by UV radiation only did not sum up when these two factors were present simultaneously. The main color changes were observed in the blueyellow color coordinate (b*).

+L* a* +b*

b* L*


[1] J.A. Wojtowicz, in: Kirk-Othmer Encyclopedia of chemical technology, vol. 5, New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1979, pp. 580. A B [2] N.B. Fair, B.S. Gupta, J. Soc. Cosmet. Chem., 1987, 38, 371. [3] C.R. Robbins, Chemical and physical behavior of human hair, Springer, New York, 2002, 163. [4] A.C.S. Nogueira, L.E. Dicelio, I. Joekes, Photochem. Photobiol. Sci., 2006, 5, 165. [5] E. Hoting, M. Zimmermann, J. Soc. Cosmet. Chem., 1996, 47, 201. Acknowledgements: FAPESP, CNPq and PIBIC-UNICAMP. [6] A.C.S. Nogueira, I. Joekes, J. Photochem. Photobiol., B: Biol., 2004, 74, 109.

Figure 1: CIELAB color system.

Effect of chlorine in the presence of UV radiation in solution at pH = 5 or 10, after only 4 h: pH = 5: all the hair samples were partially dissolved; there was almost no difference in hair color (L* = 643, a* = 5.50.7, b* = 37.90.7). pH = 10: the bleached hair became lighter (DL* = 3.2), less red (Da* = 2.8) and less yellow (Db* = 4.1); the virgin blond hair follows the same change (DL* = 2.6, Da* = 0.2, Db* = 1.9); there is no significant difference for the virgin dark-brown hair color.

Figure 3: Hair samples before and after the treatment. Note that in Figure 3-B hair samples were partially dissolved in the chlorine solution at pH = 5 in presence of UV radiation after 4 h.