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Title: Microscopic analysis of human hair damaged by dying and straightening

Presenter: Bethany Taylor

Mentor: Dr. Melba Horton


Human hair is important not only for its physiological attributes but also for its aesthetic value. Studies showed that most women alter their natural hair features by dying and straightening. This investigation aims to determine the effect of dying and straightening on the diameter and keratin layers of female hair. Random hair samples were obtained separately from ten female individuals that have dyed and straightened their hair and from those that have not treated their hair at all. The tips of the hair were examined at high magnification under a phase-contrast microscope and images were taken. The diameter of each hair was measured and the layers of keratin in the cuticle were counted and compared by image analysis. Using t-test analysis, results showed that the dyed and straightened hairs have significantly smaller diameter and lesser keratin layers than the untreated hairs. This implies that dying and straightening could lead to thinning of hair which might have deleterious physiological consequences.

Key words: Hair, Keratin, Diameter, Cuticle, Microscope, Dying, Straightening


This is a metadata-only record.



  • Event location
    • Open 3rd Floor

  • Event date
    • 4 April 2013

  • Date submitted

    18 July 2022

  • Additional information
    • Acknowledgements:

      Dr. Melba Horton