Mark is curious about copper… I bought the Goody Copper Bristle brush today and I did have a thought and a question, since copper is being used on brushes now, would gluing copper pennies to my pillow (underneath the pillow sheets of course) help or would that be harmful? I just thought of this after thinking about those people who wear a copper penny on a bracelet and wondered if the same concept could apply here?
The Left Brain gives Mark a penny for his thoughts:
It’s surprising how many questions we get about dandruff. I’ve blogged about using copper as a cure before and didn’t find much to it. But I decided to look for new evidence since I’m a good Beauty Skeptic. (You can be too, if you read our series on Beauty Skepticism.)
I did an even more thorough search than before can came up with a couple of additional references: A 1955 article from the Journal of The Society of Cosmetic Chemists entitled MODERN CONCEPT AND TREATMENT OF DANDRUFF AND SEBORRHEIC ERUPTIONS which states “In cultural studies of …the organism [that causes dandruff] was unable to grow in those areas of the medium where a high percentage…copper sulfate was present” and that “Clinical trials with external applications of a small quantity of certain copper compounds might be of interest.”
I also found a 1999 article from Pubmed suggesting that ”hamycin alone or along with metal ions, specifically Cu++ [copper] may be useful clinically in the treatment of dandruff or seborrheic dermatitis.” Other articles state that copper salt solutions are effective at inhibiting growth of the fungus thought to be responsible for dandruff. The same is said to be true of copper pyrthione (an analog to the zinc drug that commonly used in products like Head and Shoulders.)
But I can’t find any research that indicates copper can be delivered from a brush or any other “solid” copper instrument (pennies included).
There is plenty of anecdotal evidence that copper brushes are good for dandruff. And there is a scientific evidence that copper ions could exert an antidandruff effect. What seems to be missing is any research on a brush or any other “solid” copper instrument (pennies included) that have been tested for any effect. I’m intrigued because of all the anectodal evidence and by the fact that there is a plausible mechanism. The problem is, the copper ions from the brush need to be in the right form to have an effect on the scalp. That’s the missing piece of the puzzle for me and I’d need to see that data before I can draw a conclusion.
The Beauty Brains bottom line
There is a scientific basis for a hypothesis here so I would say that further research is required before dismissing the Goody copper brush. If anyone comes across further data let me know and I’ll blog about this again. Or, maybe someone in the Beauty Brains community could design a beauty product experiment to test this theory.