American cosmetics company, Advanced Cosmetic Technologies, has been awarded a patent in the US for a range of natural hair dyes which are PPD, resorcinol and ammonia free.
The company’s thirteen hair dyes are permanent, lasting up to fifty washes. Their formulation differs from the permanent hair dyes currently on the market, since a number of common ingredients have been replaced with natural plant extracts.
Having worked on this formulation for three years, company president Jeff Greaves said “ years of hard work have finally resulted in easy to apply natural permanent colour dyes, made from plant extracts, without any harsh chemicals”.
Traditionally, permanent hair dyes have relied on ‘oxidation’ to fix colorant to the hair. This was done by opening the hair follicle to fill it with large molecules including PPDs and other strong chemicals and then closing the follicle to ‘fix’ it to the hair.
General manager for Advanced Cosmetic Technologies, Tom Brown, told CosmeticsDesign that in using small plant molecules, which are lightweight, the colour could be easily fixed to the hair keratin at the ‘iso-electric’ point of the hair. According to Brown, this cuts out the process of oxidation, removes the use of stringent chemicals and has a conditioning effect on the hair.
Brown said that he believed these natural dyes to be a good alternative to Henna, a hair dye made from plant ingredients. He said that whilst Henna leaves a deposit in the hair that is difficult to remove, Advanced Cosmetic’s dyes are easily lifted with an acidic product such as lemon juice.
Still not 100% natural
The negative reputation of PPDs and chemicals in hair dyes with consumers is growing alongside the wider natural trend and cosmetics companies have pinpointed natural hair dyes as a significant area for potential growth.
However, many have stated that it is very difficult to create a completely 100% natural hair dye with lasting effects, because of the complexity of the chemical process.
For Brown, the Advanced Cosmetics’ dye is not strictly 100% natural, since it contains alcohol in its ingredients.
In spite of this, he said the product was popular with pregnant women and cancer patients who are often advised not to use traditional hair dyes because of their heavy PPD content. Brown said that he was pleased their company was able to offer such a wide range of colour choices for these women, as well as for those who have allergies to the chemicals present in permanent hair dyes.