How to formulate a healthy hair dye

Scientists have developed innovative nanotube-based hair dyes that keep hair healthy, as Sarah Gibbons reports 

Commercial partners are being sought to upscale a scientific research project developing a nanotechnology-based hair colouring treatment that has “strong capabilities to revolutionise the cosmetics industry”, academics claim.

Researchers at Louisiana Tech University in the US have developed a technique to dye or treat hair without using external chemicals, which can be harmful to hair.

The key to the new technique is avoiding using oxidation, which can thin and dry the hair after treatments, especially permanent dye colour precursors, which oxidise on the hair surface when combined with hydrogen peroxide.

The power of clay

The Louisiana Tech team have created a system that coats the hair with colour-filled nanotubes that arrange themselves on the hair surface, without damaging the hair’s core structure.

The system uses nanotubes taken from halloysite clay: a natural, bio-compatible clay “available in large amounts at a low price”, according to one of the lead researchers, Professor Yuri Lvov.

He says the nanotubes are made from . . .

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