Polarization properties and Umov effect of human hair

Alaa Hamdoh, Sawyer Miller, Yufei Gao, Yang Zou, Matthew Smith, Linan Jiang, Stanley Pau

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study delves into the polarization properties of various hair colors using several techniques, including polarization ray tracing, full Stokes, and Mueller matrix imaging. Our analysis involved studying hair in both indoor and outdoor settings under varying lighting conditions. Our results demonstrate a strong correlation between hair color and the degree of linear polarization. Specifically, light-colored hair, such as white and blond, exhibits high albedo and low DoLP. In contrast, dark hair, like black and brown hair, has low albedo and high DoLP. Our research also revealed that a single hair strand displays high diattenuation near specular reflections but high depolarization in areas with diffuse reflections. Additionally, we investigated the wavelength dependency of the polarization properties by comparing the Mueller matrix under illumination at 450 nm and 589 nm. Our investigation demonstrates the impact of hair shade and color on polarization properties and the Umov effect.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number412
JournalScientific reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2024

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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