Copper residue from pipes that are transferred to the scalp through water is responsible for the increased chances of hair damage caused by sunlight, reveals a new study published in the International Journal of Cosmetic Science.
The study was conducted by researchers at Proctor & Gamble who analyzed hair samples of 450 women from around the world and found that the samples had varying amounts of 20 and 200 atoms of copper for every million molecules of hair with some women having copper levels as high as 500 parts per million. The researchers said that the process of blow drying, washing and brushing of hair becomes more damaging due to the damage already caused by coppers and dyes, adding that the company is now looking towards production of new dyes and shampoos that prevent such damage.
Lead researcher Dr Jennifer Marsh said, "The copper comes in from the tap water and the hair acts like a sponge picking it up over time. Coloring hair can create free radicals that damage the protein in the hair and the copper can catalyze that reaction. In the same way, UV exposure from going out in the sun can do the same thing over a longer period of time".