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Investigation of dyed human hair fibres using apertureless near-field scanning optical microscopy.

Journal of Microscopy

Nanotechnology, ultrastructure, Hair Dyes, pharmacokinetics, Humans, Microscopy, methods, Microscopy, Confocal, Hair

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      We present the first studies of dyed human hair fibres performed with an apertureless scanning near-field optical microscope. Samples consisted of 5-microm-thick cross-sections, the hair fibres being bleached and then dyed before being cut. Hair dyed with two molecular probes diffusing deep inside the fibre or mainly spreading at its periphery were investigated at a wavelength of 655 nm. An optical resolution of about 50 nm was achieved, well below the diffraction limit; the images exhibited different optical contrasts in the cuticle region, depending on the nature of the dye. Our results suggest that the dye that remains confined at the hair periphery is mainly located at its surface and in the endocuticle.

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