Configuration Of Keratin

Keratin Configuration

Protein chain configuration of keratin is determined with various methods:



Water content of hair is affected with physical and cosmetic factors. When it is moisturized, its weight increases 12-18% and absorption rate is faster and 75% of maximum absorbable amount of water is absorbed in 4 minutes. Water retention in keratin depends on making links with amino and guanidine groups and when moisture rate is below 25%, water molecules bind to hydrophilic structures. When moisture increases, absorption ability of hair increases and water binding energy starts to decrease. If moisture rate is over 80%, it will have a negative effect on healthiness of hair.


After puberty, lipid content in hair increases for both genders. Lipid content in hair decreases with age. This decrease is more significant in females. Fatty alcohol content of hair does not vary between age and gender, yet less squalene is found in children.

Trace elements

Trace elements may interact with hair both exogenously and endogenously. As the endogenous sources matrix, binding tissue papilla, sebaceous, eccrine and apocrine glands and superficial epidermis have greater significance. Environmental factors such as industrial substances and hair cosmetics are exogenous sources. In the evaluation of environmental pollution measurements of arsenic, cadmium, chromium, copper, mercury and zinc content of hair is being used.

Carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, sulfur and nitrogen contents may be determined with the use of different methods. Although the results depend on the type of analysis techniques used for human hair, it was determined that there are mainly calcium, magnesium, aluminum, zinc, copper, manganese, arsenic, lead, titanium, iodine and selenium in human hair.


There are different amounts of proteoglycans in the structure of hair. These are mainly sindectan, perlecan and decorine rich in leucine. Their functions are not well known, yet it is considered that they might have roles in the growth and development of hair or hair cycle.