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Topic: Hair chemistry and Bond builders  (Read 1992 times)

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Offline Dberrydangler

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Hair chemistry and Bond builders
« on: April 02, 2021, 06:37:25 PM »
Im a hairstylist. Ok so Ive been researching for a few hours just let me know if I have this right. I posted something similar on reddit and got no answers. Basically When we perm hair, we break the disulfide bonds with ammonium thioglycolate and cap the sulfur atoms with the thiol groups. When the Hydrogen peroxide is added, it reacts with the thiol to form water leaving the sulfur atoms free to rebond and give the hair its strength and structure back. And when we bleach hair to decolorize and lighten it, we use hydrogen peroxide combined with ammonia. An unwanted effect of this is we break the disulfide bonds, but unlike in a perm then the H2O2 as no thiol group to react with, and so it reacts with the sulfur atoms by attaching 2 oxygens and 1 hydroxide, and this prevents it from reattaching with the next sulfur atom, therefore breaking the keratin protein chains and permanently weakening the hair. So Olaplex, a so called "bond builder," which contains, bis amino diglycol dimaleate, when combined with the bleach, it connects the sulfur atoms before the h2o2 reacts with them. Am I right about this? So any olaplex treatment after the bleach would not connect any bonds because they are capped? So my further questions are, when h202 reacts with the sulfur atom, is that considered oxidation? Can someone hypothetically free up the sulfur atoms for reattachment with a reduction agent? Would there be any reduction agents that are suitable? Please point out anything im wrong about.I failed every class in college in first semester so be nice

Offline Corribus

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Re: Hair chemistry and Bond builders
« Reply #1 on: April 02, 2021, 08:08:51 PM »
Hi Dberrydangler, welcome to the forum. Many of us are professionals here - we try to be nice to people :)

There's a lot to unload in your post. It sounds broadly plausible, but probably a simplification of what's going on. I guess I'd have to think about it more carefully to answer specifics. Thiol chemistry is very complicated and a lot depends on what the thiol groups are attached to and what their local environments are.

Oxidation always happens in conjunction with a reduction, you can't really have one without the other (electrons have to go somewhere). Yes, hydrogen peroxide is a potent oxidant, and yes when it reacts with thiols it is a redox reaction. Peroxide is a very potent oxidant.

Unfortunately this forum has a policy of not providing cosmetic or health advice, I hope you understand. So I don't think we can give specific recommendations about what you should treat hair with. It's not as simple as finding any reductant, in any case, because a reductant has to be potent enough, and it's hard to know that without having more specific information about redox potentials.
What men are poets who can speak of Jupiter if he were like a man, but if he is an immense spinning sphere of methane and ammonia must be silent?  - Richard P. Feynman

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