Background: Although it is well known that chemical oxidation with alkaline hydrogen peroxide damages human hair, little is known about the effects of bleaching during daily life activities which may alter hair components. Objective: To determine the effects of bleaching combined with daily weathering on lipids and amino acids in hair. Methods: Levels of lipids and amino acids were analyzed by chromatography in scalp hair fibers collected from three different females and in experimentally treated hair. Results: Bleaching combined with daily weathering induced the loss of 18-methyleicosanoic acid (18-MEA) and the conversion of half-cystine (H-CYS) to cysteic acid (CYS-A), which were the most remarkable changes among all lipids and amino acids tested. Although a single bleaching had no effect, repeated bleaching combined with daily weathering elicited significant decreases in other intrinsic endogenous lipids and alterations in amino acids that are characteristic for the cuticle. Conclusion: Hair damage, eventually leading to the worst damage such as splitting, is caused by bleaching during daily life activities and is mainly attributable to the loss of 18-MEA as well as the conversion of H-CYS to CYS-A.

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