Metal detox: new plant-based filler protects hair from oxidative stress


*Corresponding author
BASF Beauty Care Solutions France S.A.S., Pulnoy


Hair is susceptible to oxidative damage, which can lead to undesirable conditions such as hair dullness, roughness, and hair breakage. Using Fourier Transform Infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR), a new plant-based keratin filler has been shown to penetrate the hair cuticle and cortex, and interact with oxidised keratin of bleached hair tresses to help maintain the hair’s structural integrity. It has also proven to protect from daily damage caused by oxidative stress and glycation catalysed by metal content in tubo and to protect the hair’s structural proteins from carbonylation after exposure of hair tresses to UVA radiation and pollutants. Finally, in a consumer study using a shampoo and conditioner containing the new ingredient, the hair was perceived to be better protected from splitting, less damaged, and shinier.

Hair is exposed to many oxidative stresses from chemical hair treatments such as bleaching, perming or colouring (1), as well as from environmental factors such as exposure to urban pollution (2) that leads to hair weathering. Outdoor air pollution affects hair integrity alone or in synergy with UV radiation from the sun (3). As a result of these influences, proteins such as keratin, which are naturally present in the hair, wear out and become depleted. Hair becomes dry, dull, and brittle. Oxidation of keratin includes the production of glycated and carbonylated proteins (4), both of which cause keratin dysfunction. The presence of transition metals such as copper and iron in the hair fibre can also increase the potential for free radical oxidation of proteins and lipids (5, 6).


Protein carbonylation is one of the most damaging irreversible oxidative protein modifications and is considered a major hallmark of oxidative stress-related disorders (4). It is generally defined as an irreversible modification that results in the formation of a reactive carbonyl group in a protein, such as an aldehyde, ketone, or lactam (7). C ...