The Degradative Characteristics of Hair in The Water Samples with Altered pH

Tania Mills, Shashi K. Jasra, Pardeep Jasra


Hair fibers are constructed of 3 parts, and a protecting protein called keratin. Keratin provides the hair fiber with durability in extreme conditions. The three parts that constitute a hair fiber are: the cuticle (outermost portion), the cortex (middle), and the medulla (innermost portion). Hair fibers were placed in water samples that had their pH level adjusted to represent acidic and basic solutions. This type of research can be useful in regards to forensic investigations involving drownings, considering freshwater and salt water have different pH levels associated with them. In extremely basic conditions, the hair fiber broke down and was stripped of its keratin; the colour of the fiber changed, and the inner medulla was perceivable. 

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Copyright (c) 2017 Shashi K. Jasra

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