All Posts by surfactants

Surfactants and Hair Loss

Have you ever wondered if products that you use every day like a shampoo, a lotion or anything else that is similar could cause you to lose hair? Is it possible that something simple as a cosmetic product could lead to hair loss or even baldness? Staff infection and baldness can occur when you use products that are unhealthy for your skin. A wrong choice of chemicals in those products could cause various consequences. Still, not all of them are bad. This article will help you to learn a couple of things about hair loss, baldness, how to prevent it and what causes it as well as how to treat it and everything else you can do about it.

Hair loss disorders and other causes

There are four main disorders that are closely related to hair loss. Androgenetic Alopecia or Hereditary thinning is one of the most common reasons for hair loss and it occurs in both women and men but with different side effects. In men, it is usually just receding hairline. In women, it is all over thinning. Alopecia Areata is believed to be an autoimmune disease and it causes bold patches on different parts of the body and head. Still, the hair loss tends to regrow if treated. Cicatricial Alopecia has no root in bad health of those affected but it forms scar tissue as the consequences of hair destruction that prevents regrowth. It is possible to go through treatments that will address the inflammation. Central Centrifugal Cicatricial Alopecia is more typical of African women and it tends to originate in center of scalp causing a bald spot that spreads outward. There are other hair loss causes like hair products, stress, weight loss, an excess of vitamin A, iron deficiency, wrong medicines, menopause and so on.

Hair loss treatment

Different people react differently to hair loss problems but the most common reactions are to talk to the doctor or a family member or a friend, change hairstyle or change cosmetic and hygiene products and habits. Still, almost half the number of doctors recommended that it is best to wait when you notice the problem because usually, it is nothing serious. Hair loss treatment is a possibility always as there are numerous medical solutions that more than 86 % of men who suffer from hair loss use to see this problem stop. With this in mind, taking Propecia, a finasteride, will definitely help you to put an end to your baldness problem as 65 % of men with such problems saw their hair regrowth increased significantly. When it comes to treating hair loss, Propecia is your best choice according to the American Hair Loss Association and they think that is should be your only choice because nothing can compare to it.

The other two choices are Minoxidil (Rogaine) and AHLA. Both products are comparatively much less effective and AHLA is only recommended for those how already gave Propecia a try but saw no success at all.

Anthrax Decontamination

While we have all seen the news stories about the various toxic gases being used to decontaminate government buildings of anthrax, I feel it is worthwhile to remind everyone that surfactants can also serve well in this role.  After all, soaps and detergents play a ‘decontamination’ role for all of us every day, as we wash our hands and clothes, killing bacteria and other harmful germs! The following excerpt can be found in an issue of Chemical & Engineering News (November 26, 2001), in the article “Ousting Anthrax” by Stephen Ritter, highlighting the use of foam and emulsion surfactant formulations for anthrax decontamination.

There are a handful of commercially available inexpensive liquid decontamination products that can neutralize chemical agents and/or kill most microbes within a few minutes of exposure.  One of the best known of these is a foam invented at Sandia National Laboratories by chemists Mark D. Tucker and Maher E. Tadros. The nontoxic, noncorrosive Sandia foam, developed in the late 1990s, is a combination of a surfactant and water-soluble polymers that support proprietary nucleophilic reagents and mild oxidizing reagents, such as hydrogen peroxide.  It already has been proven to be very effective against anthrax spores.  The researchers believe the foam’s surfactant damages the spores’ protective protein membrane, specifically breaking phosphate and sulfide bonds, which allows the oxidizing agent to attack DNA inside the spores.

Sandia licensed rights to commercialize the foam last year to Modec Inc. of Denver, and EnviroFoam Technologies, Huntsville, Ala.  The companies’ products can be applied as a foam, spray, mist, or fog and generally are limited to use on flat surfaces such as hardwood floors, walls, and furniture.  Once bacteria are neutralized, the residual liquid can be wiped or vacuumed away. A similar method that has good activity against anthrax spores is a water-in-oil nanoemulsion described in testimony by hearing witness James R. Baker Jr., a professor of internal medicine and director of the Center for Biologic Nanotechnology at the University of Michigan. The nanoemulsion developed by Baker and his students & coworkers in work funded by the Department of Defense is made from water, soybean oil, Triton X-100 surfactant, and tri-n-butyl phosphate.

A series of comparison tests took place to confirm the effectiveness of seven different anthrax decontamination technologies for commercial purposes.  Several agencies and government departments were involved in this through sponsorship and the testing was carried out by the Biological Weapons Improved Response Program. They all agreed to put to test the technologies including the Michigan nanoemulsion, the Sandia foam, metal oxide nanoparticles, ozone and other products based on surfactants. The tests showed some more than amazing results such as the ability of the nanoemulsion to reduce the activity of all sorts of spores in test samples by 90 % within just a few hours. They also decided to test different surfaces such as noninfectious anthrax resembling bacterium, a carpet contaminated with B. globigii which is a known anthrax simulant, painted wallboard, cement and ceiling tiles. Unfortunately, none of the products showed the ability to completely and totally decontaminate all surfaces but the Michigan and Sandia formulations proved to be extremely efficient when it comes to decontamination. It will still take a lot of research work to realize the full potential of such formulations but there is a lot of hope that the results will be more than positive and useful.