What do you want to know about bleaching?
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| Hair Bleaching
Hair contains two major and two minor pigments embedded within the protein chains of the hair fibres. The major pigments are melanin, a brown-black polymeric pigment also responsible for skin colouration, and phaeomelanin, an iron-containing red pigment derived from melanin. The two minor pigments are the yellow pigment oxymelanin and the brown pigment brown melanin. The relative proportions of these pigments determined ones hair colour. For example, high melanin content gives black or dark hair, while low melanin and high phaeomelanin content results in blond hair. Oxymelanin is also present in blond hair, this pigment is formed when melanin is oxidised during bleaching.
Hair bleaching is a process of lightening up the colour of the hair, which is determined by the quantity, type and distribution of colour pigment inside the hair. This process radically alters the original proportion of the melanin pigment and the bleached hair that will be more fragile and drier after bleaching as the bleach reacts with the hair proteins and reduces their molecular weight. Other bleaching side reactions crosslink the smaller protein fragments, making them more brittle and weaker. Hence treatment is usually required after the bleaching of hair.
If the colour of their hair is darker than the colour they want to dye their hair with, people will usually bleach their hair before dyeing it.
Hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) can be used to lighten hair into lower-molecular-weight melanin degradation products through a redox process but it does not work well on black hair.
Hair bleaching damages the hair, so instructions must be followed closely.
Colour of hair before bleaching Colour of hair after bleaching
By this time, hopefully, you would have had more insights about the causes and effects of bleaching of the various parts of our body. To bleach or not to bleach? Is it worthwhile to risk the high chances of causing damage to our precious teeth, skin or hair, in exchange for our perceived view of beauty? Some said that Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and Being natural is beauty in itself. What do you think?
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Last modified: 4/7/99