Hair and Amino Acids

Mar 1, 2008 | Contact Author | By: Eiko Oshimura, PhD, Ajinomoto Co., Inc.
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Title: Hair and Amino Acids
amino acidx hairx interactionx damage carex lusterx
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Keywords: amino acid | hair | interaction | damage care | luster

Abstract: Amino acids are taken up by hair and assist in improving hair surface hydrophobicity, tensile strength and luster. This article discusses interactions between amino acids and hair.

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According to a rigid definition, an amino acid is an organic acid that possesses at least one amino group. Almost a limitless number of molecules with various functional groups fall under this definition, but in more general terms, the definition limits the number of choices to the small group of natural L-a-amino acids that make up proteins and some other naturally occurring compounds.

Most proteins are composed of approximately 20 types of amino acids in varying proportions. Some additional amino acids are only found in special proteins; for example, hydroxyproline occurs in collagen and gelatin. All amino acid constituents of proteins are a-amino acids, referring to their molecular structure wherein the amino group is attached to the same carbon atom as the carboxyl group. Amino acids with a b-, g- and d- structure, or even with a sulfonate acid group instead of a carboxyl group, are found in living organisms in forms of small peptides or as free amino acids. The term free here is used to describe the amino acids that are not embedded in proteins.

For most consumers, the term amino acid is still not as familiar as protein or vitamin, yet amino acids have been used in cosmetics for a long time. Among the various applications, the most significant is the use of natural moisturizing factor (NMF) amino acids and hydrolyzed proteins, and the latter has been used in hair care applications for nearly 50 years. Several moisturizers for cosmetic applications containing amino acids were reported as early as 1983.

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Figure 1. Arginine uptake

 Figure 1. Arginine uptake 

Figure 2. Uptake of amino acids

 Figure 2. Uptake of amino acids

Figure 3. The amount of arginine recovered

 Figure 3. The amount of arginine recovered

Figure 4. Uptake of amino acids

 Figure 4. Uptake of amino acids 

Figure 5. Uptake of PCA

 Figure 5. Uptake of PCA

Figure 6. Improvement of surface hydrophobiciy

 Figure 6. Improvement of surface hydrophobiciy

Figure 7. Effects of amino acids

 Figure 7. Effects of amino acids

Figure 8. Appearance of hair

 Figure 8. Appearance of hair 

Oshi Hair and Amino Acids footnote

 a Prodew 500 (INCI: Sodium PCA (and) sodium lactate (and) arginine (and) aspartic acid (and) PCA (and) glycine (and) alanine (and) serine (and) valine (and) proline (and) threonine (and) isoleucine (and) histidine (and) lhenylalanine) is a product of Ajinomoto Co., Inc., Tokyo, Japan.

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