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Investigating of the molecular signature of greying hair shaft

 Friday 11 June 2021

Published in International Journal of Cosmetic Science
in April 2021

Authors R. Vyumvuhore, L. Verzeaux, S. Gilardeau, S. Bordes, E. Aymard, M. Manfait, B. Closs

Hair greying is a physiological process occurring with the loss of melanin pigments production and deposition within the hair shafts. Many studies report the oxidation as the main biological factor underlying this defect of pigmentation. Even though the overall appearance and biomechanical properties of hairs are reported to be altered, there is a lack of information about molecular modifications occurring in greying hair shafts.

A study was conducted on pigmented, intermediate (i.e. grey) and unpigmented hairs taken from 29 volunteers. Raman microspectroscopy analysis revealed for the first time a specific molecular signature of grey hair. A gradual modification of lipid conformation and protein secondary structure during greying has been demonstrated. These markers respectively translate an alteration of barrier function and biomechanical properties of greying hair.

This work supported the development of AGREYNIST®, an anti-free radical and pro-pigmenting natural active ingredient, enabling greying hair to return to its natural color without the need of dyeing it.