Researchers from Northwestern University used graphene to develop a new hair dye that is non-toxic, non-damaging, and lasts through many washes without fading
The study was published on March 15, 2018, by the journal Chemistry. It highlights application of graphene in developing non-toxic hair dye, which can be effectively used to alter hair color without treating them with chemicals. “We demonstrated the use of graphene to solve a chemical problem,” said Jiaxing Huang, a Northwestern materials engineer who led the study. “These black carbon sheets work very well as hair dyes.”
Graphene has various properties such as it is highly flexible, conductive, and transparent, which makes it strongest material. Researchers used these properties to circumvent the undesirable effects of conventional hair dyeing, which utilizes toxic chemicals such as bleach and ammonia. The team used cheaper relative of graphene, which is graphene oxide. It has thin and flexible geometry, which can be used to wrap each hair with a sheet of the material, using a non-toxic polymer to make it stick. The new dye was found to withstand 30 hair washes along with maintaining freeze-free structure of hair. The dye was developed in two colors i.e. black and brown. The team is working on developing other color variants.
“People could apply this dye to make hair conductive on the surface,” Huang said. “It could then be integrated with wearable electronics or become a conductive probe. We are only limited by our imagination.” Graphene is widely studies material due to its unique properties. Researchers are also working on utilizing material to improve water filtration systems, semiconductors, and solar cells.