Chemical Analysis of Processed Human Hair Extensions for Use in Forensic Casework

This study proved that there is a chemical difference between processed human hair extensions and natural human head hair. This was indicated by differences observed in UV-Vis, GC/MS, and NMR spectra between natural human head hair and processed human hair extensions. There were peaks present in the spectra of the processed human hair extensions that were not present in the spectra of the control natural human head hair samples. These peaks showed a chemical difference between the samples. This chemical difference can be used to differentiate samples in a forensic laboratory, which could change how hair is analyzed for casework. Being able to chemically identify a human hair as an extension is invaluable during an investigation and might exclude the hair as probative evidence.

Cortney Schartz – 2019