Traditional synthetic hair dyes can be quite toxic, not only to our bodies, but also to the environment. As a result, scientists are developing non-toxic dyes based on substances such as graphene. Now, it appears that waste blackcurrant skins can also do the job.

Led by professors Richard S. Blackburn and Christopher Rayner, researchers at Britain's University of Leeds started with blackcurrant skins obtained from the fruit pressing industry, which would normally have been discarded after the juicing process. From these skins, the team extracted and purified pigments known as anthocyanins, which produce colors ranging from pink to violet in fruit, vegetables and flowers.

These pigments were used in a dye paste that was applied to bleached human hair, turning it a vivid blue color. By modifying the formulation of the dye, it was also possible to produce reds and violets.

Even after being shampooed 12 times, there were no significant changes in the color of the dyed hair. According to the scientists, this is similar to the performance offered by conventional dyes.

A paper on the research was recently published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

Source: American Chemical Society