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Chemistry: Challenges and Solutions

The Chemistry of Highlighting Hair (animation)

Hair has a small molecule called “melanin,” which is responsible for its color. Changing the oxidation state of melanin will change its light absorption properties. After the melanin molecules in hair are oxidized through bleaching, they only absorb the highest energy visible light, mainly violet. The rest of the light is reflected, which gives a yellowish tint.

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Chemistry: Challenges and Solutions


Produced by the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. 2014.
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