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Author: Subject: What's The Science Behind Hair Straighteners?
Aria
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[*] posted on 3-4-2018 at 02:55
What's The Science Behind Hair Straighteners?


Straightening techniques such as using a flat iron are temporary as they only use heat (except for straightening brushes https://mystraightener.com/best-straightening-brush/). The excessive heat breaks the disulphide bonds temporarily. This temporary breakage allows the strands to be rearranged in a straight position and as the hair cools the bonds are reformed. However humidity or getting the hair wet reverts it the hair to its original form.

When trying to achieve permanent straightening a strong reducing agent is used to break the disulphide bonds.
What solutions - alkaline hydroxides or thioglycolate are better to use?
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RawWork
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[*] posted on 3-4-2018 at 03:41


I prefer alkaline hydroxides as they look simple. Organic chemistry is complicated as hell. Through simple stuff chemistry becomes enjoyment.

Oh, and remember, nothing is permanent. You mean less temporary, not permanent.
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Texium
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[*] posted on 3-4-2018 at 04:50


Quote: Originally posted by RawWork  
I prefer alkaline hydroxides as they look simple. Organic chemistry is complicated as hell.
That's a silly reason. You might as well be one of those people who only uses "ingredients they can pronounce." Your ignorance does not determine which products are most effective.

OP: While both chemical methods will damage hair, I would think that thioglycolate would be safer to use since it selectively targets disulfide bonds, whereas alkali hydroxides will attack and destroy other parts of the hair's protein structure indiscriminately. Either way, the hair will be weaker after treatment, but thioglycolate should be milder and more selective. I know nothing about the actual technique though, so if you're going to be trying this, please consult a site that specializes in hair rather than an amateur chemistry forum!




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happyfooddance
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[*] posted on 3-4-2018 at 07:50


Or at least experiment on samples of hair before trying it on the hair that's connected to you.

Alkali hydroxides are marketed as drain cleaner(Draino), which boasts of being able to dissolve hair.

Of course, very dilute solutions might be safe to a point, but weakening of the hair is inevitable with such treament (especially with heat).
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RawWork
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[*] posted on 3-4-2018 at 08:01


I am not silly and ignorant. You are ignorant. NaOH can be easily made or bought. While I don't even know what is that other organic compound. It's useless if I can't acquire it. Not practical.
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LearnedAmateur
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[*] posted on 3-4-2018 at 08:55


We learned about thioglycolates in high school, and how they work. It’s not any more difficult than most other reactions in OC. Ammonium thioglycolate reduces disulphide bonds in hair which makes it softer and more mouldable by breaking cross linked proteins, and then when the hair is in the permed shape, hydrogen peroxide re-oxidises the sulphide anions to disulphide, returning the hair to its original strength

Ammonium thioglycolate in solution exists in equilibrium with thioglycolic acid (represented as RSH) and then the following reaction occurs:
RSH + R'SSR' <-> R'SH + RSSR'.

[Edited on 3-4-2018 by LearnedAmateur]




In chemistry, sometimes the solution is the problem.

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Texium
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[*] posted on 3-4-2018 at 11:06


Quote: Originally posted by RawWork  
I am not silly and ignorant... I don't even know what is that other organic compound.
Huh. Alright.



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RawWork
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[*] posted on 3-4-2018 at 11:21


Well, half half, for organic chemistry only. :)
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[*] posted on 5-4-2018 at 04:54


Quote: Originally posted by Texium (zts16)  
Quote: Originally posted by RawWork  
I prefer alkaline hydroxides as they look simple. Organic chemistry is complicated as hell.
That's a silly reason. You might as well be one of those people who only uses "ingredients they can pronounce." Your ignorance does not determine which products are most effective.

OP: While both chemical methods will damage hair, I would think that thioglycolate would be safer to use since it selectively targets disulfide bonds, whereas alkali hydroxides will attack and destroy other parts of the hair's protein structure indiscriminately. Either way, the hair will be weaker after treatment, but thioglycolate should be milder and more selective. I know nothing about the actual technique though, so if you're going to be trying this, please consult a site that specializes in hair rather than an amateur chemistry forum!



But, Texium! O-chem is scary! It's filled with hexagons and lines n' stuff! It smells funny and sometimes explodes!




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XeonTheMGPony
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[*] posted on 5-4-2018 at 07:45


Quote: Originally posted by RawWork  
I am not silly and ignorant. You are ignorant. NaOH can be easily made or bought. While I don't even know what is that other organic compound. It's useless if I can't acquire it. Not practical.


You are not helping your case by proving him right in oh so many ways!

Step back and think it through carefully, if you don't know what some thing means study it further, then you will under stand it!

Are you here to learn? Or look a fool? I prefer to learn even if I look ignorant for it, as odds are I am if I need to learn it! Good thing is you can fix ignorance, but you can't fix stupid (Ignorant and proud of it)
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RawWork
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[*] posted on 5-4-2018 at 11:39


I think I learned enough, at least for now. I experienced many times a situation where my life was endangered due to lack of applied knowledge. If I only applied knowledge from elementary school I would be in far better position. Learning takes time, and we don't have time. Even if I wanted to, I would not have time... It's more about survival than about learning. Knowledge alone is not enough. :mad:
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XeonTheMGPony
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[*] posted on 5-4-2018 at 16:25


LOL Knowledge is every thing, I'm poor so if you aren't rich you best be well learned.

It has kept me alive and comfortable! Best of all it never gets old!

I think you may want to reassess your values!
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[*] posted on 5-4-2018 at 17:41


I think of it like this:

1. Hair straightener = disulfide bond reducer (breaker) = typically sulfhydryl compounds, e.g. thioglycolate, 2-mercaptoethanol, dithiothreitol, etc. This kind of cuts the protein chains apart allowing them to be rearranged (cut apart length-wise, chains intact).

2. Hair remover = #1 + strong base, such as sodium hydroxide. This disrupts the crystallinity of the hair by splitting the proteins apart making them accessible to the base. The base then catalyzes the hydrolysis of the protein to soluble amino acids. That is, the hairs are cut apart length-wise and side-ways (which can be washed away).

O3




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RawWork
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[*] posted on 5-4-2018 at 17:47


Quote: Originally posted by XeonTheMGPony  
LOL Knowledge is every thing, I'm poor so if you aren't rich you best be well learned.

It has kept me alive and comfortable! Best of all it never gets old!

I think you may want to reassess your values!


Let me, through few citates, try to prove you're wrong:

"The fact is, you don't need to fully understand the concept in order to apply it. Just as you don't need to understand electricity before you turn on a light in your home, you don't need to explain satellite signals before you can use a cell phone, and you don't need to prove the existence of radio waves before you can listen to music in your car; You try turning it on, it works, you believe it, you use it. We may not visually see or intellectually understand these things, but that doesn't mean we can't use them."

http://mc2method.org/pdf/MC2Method.pdf
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LearnedAmateur
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[*] posted on 6-4-2018 at 00:35


You can use them without knowing how they work, sure, but you definitely need to know the concepts in order to get those ideas into existence. We wouldn’t have mobile phones if people didn’t understand electromagnetic radiation, we wouldn’t have cars if people didn’t understand fuels and mechanical science, nor would we have homes if people didn’t understand basic architecture.

We know how these things work because other people have learned/pioneered the concepts through many years of experimentation. We also don’t apply the concepts ourselves, but instead we use the concepts through a system which enables us to access it even if we don’t understand what’s going on, like with a smartphone. Not many people know how a touchscreen works, only that tapping the screen causes a change; doesn’t mean a concept is being applied because those people aren’t making it themselves. ‘Applying concepts’ implies that one wishes to move an idea from paper to reality, something which cannot be done without knowing/predicting the outcome, something which requires an understanding of said concept.

Take a simple and easy procedure in amateur chemistry for instance - electrolysis. If you didn’t know what electricity was, or polarity, or ions, then a chemist wouldn’t be able to conduct the procedure! Not only would they not know how to make the apparatus, but they also wouldn’t know how to operate it. Sure, you can find all the ready made bits around the home in order to do it yourself, but if you didn’t know how much power to deliver, what materials to use for the electrodes, or even the role of an electrolyte then it would fail, period. And that’s not to mention that one would have no idea on the products one would get if they couldn’t picture or plan out the behaviour of the ions when subject to aqueous current. Sure, anyone could use electrolysis if all they needed to do was push a button and wait, maybe refill the solution, but they wouldn’t actually be doing anything - it’s the work done by those who developed it using required knowledge making it possible in the first place.




In chemistry, sometimes the solution is the problem.

It’s been a while, but I’m not dead! Updated 7/1/2020. Shout out to Aga, we got along well.
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RawWork
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[*] posted on 6-4-2018 at 06:02


I am complaining about too much thinking, just like too much of anything. It hasn't helped me even a bit. Nothing changed for past 10 years. My knowledge did increase tough, but I became more sick, poor, inefficient, disorganized, failure, homeless, restricted, incapable... It's challenge to convert theory into practice! Not only in science, but generally. I could read whole wikipedia today, and wake up in same state tommorow, and for 10 years. No change! Time expires before I except it! It's more about time!

But this went off topic long time ago. So goodbye!

[Edited on 6-4-2018 by RawWork]
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XeonTheMGPony
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[*] posted on 6-4-2018 at 12:23


Well thanks to theft I went from living in the bushes, comfortably I may add as my knowledge allowed me to engineer and build a good structure and efficient fire pit system that kept me warm, the design of the tent collected rain water for me to drink while keeping the inside dry.
So I had warm, shelter and water all from my knowledge of the how things work, not just the "I push button" then I added electricity by knowing how power works and the why.

and took me a long time but I now have a house, dirt cheap, because it needs work, and again I can thank my knowledge of how and why these things are don for making it so easy for me to make the improvements I need to make.

Life is work it only ends in the grave, but knowledge gives you the best bang for the buck in effort you need to put out!

Knowledge gives you the ability to use time efficiently as well, so spend time spinning your wheels and never know why you aren't going any where, or, step back and learn, study, analyze then understand where the problems are and eliminate them from your life! Then you get traction and things improve.
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