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Brief Published: 3 Apr 2018

Graphene Hair Dye: Non-Toxic & Non-Damaging Hair Colour

Graphene Hair Dye

A research team at Northwestern University in the US has developed a graphene-based hair dye formula that’s non-damaging and as long-lasting as existing commercial dyes. The dye could provide an alternative to regular hair colouring, which is associated with hair frizz and breakage.

Graphene is regarded as the strongest material ever tested (with 200 times the breaking strength of steel) – see Wonder Materials for more. The graphene hair dye combines nano-sheets of graphene with water, vitamin C and non-toxic polymer binders to form a solution that sticks to and evenly coats hair. The graphene acts as the colourant, with different shades produced by adjusting the concentration of particles. The formula contains no harmful chemicals, making it a safer alternative to commercial dyes.

Traditional dyes work by using harsh chemicals, such as ammonia and hydrogen peroxide, to penetrate the hair cuticle and deposit colour molecules inside – a process that chemically alters the hair and causes it to become brittle. Some colour molecules can also cause skin irritation.

The graphene hair dye is applied as a spray and the colour appears gradually as it dries. At present, the team have developed various shades of brown or black and aim to experiment with more colour options.

Graphene’s anti-static and antibacterial properties also benefit the new dye, helping to prevent flyaway strands and keeping hair cleaner for longer. The comprehensive formula has the potential to become a holy grail haircare product. See also Weatherproof: Holy Grail Haircare

Graphene is an exciting material with many other applications. See our CMF Industry View: Sports Apparel & Accessories for examples.