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Temporal and spatial visualization of water uptake into human hair studied by infrared microscopy


Real-time examination of water behavior in cuticle, cortex, and medulla of untreated and bleached hair was performed by Fourier-transform infrared (FT-IR) microscopy. Penetration of heavy water from the cuticle to the medulla was visualized and quantified by monitoring the O–D stretching band located at 2500 cm−1. The medulla of untreated hair had a significantly higher peak O–D intensity from 20 min after the heavy water penetration to 20 min after drying than that of bleached hair. Furthermore, heavy water evaporated 1 h slower in untreated hair than in bleached hair in any part. These differences may be due to the increase of S=O stretching of sulfonic acid caused to breaking of the disulfide and thioester bonds by bleach treatment. The method proposed in this study revealed potential application in visualizing and quantifying real-time water behavior in hair.

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The authors acknowledge Mr. Masakatsu Ota for encouragement and invaluable advice during the whole study. The authors are very grateful to Professor Shigeaki Morita, Department of Engineering Science, Osaka Electro-Communication University, for their helpful advice and valuable suggestions.

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Correspondence to Naoya Fuse.

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Fuse, N., Matsui, M. & Matsue, Y. Temporal and spatial visualization of water uptake into human hair studied by infrared microscopy. ANAL. SCI. 38, 601–605 (2022).

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  • Infrared microscopy
  • Heavy water
  • Visualization
  • Hair
  • Bleached
  • Sulfonic acid