To study the Effects of Hair Color/Dyes and Chemical Analysis
School of Design and Visual Arts
Apeejay Stya University
Key Words- Hair color, dyes, Para- phenylenediamine/ arylamine
Standards of beauty might change and fashions in makeup may come and go with the seasons, but the atmosphere of serenity and self-possession expressed by a skillfully groomed woman never fails to make an instant impression of charm wherever she goes. Hair is truly a frame for the face and should be preserved in the most suitable chosen shape and color to suit the features it encircles. Beyond the biological purpose of keeping the head protected and warm, hair’s true significance lies in its ability to make a highly personal, visual statement about oneself. Human hair, the wool of the sheep, and the hairs of the various goat species of textile importance (angora, cashmere) are closely related to each other morphologically, chemically, and physically. The similarities between them are, in most respects, so close that fiber investigators at one time developed the pattern of treating them as almost exchangeable.
The color of a person’s hair depends upon a substance called melanin which is the pigment, or coloring matter, that is present in the hair cells. The decrease in pigment causes the hair to become grey. The pigmentation is replaced by tiny particles of air in the cells of the shaft4. The hair that has already turned white cannot become black or dark again. The only way to change their color is by dyeing. The primary coloring matter known to the human race were Henna & Kohl. The ancient Egyptians used lead sulphide (Galena) for their brand of kohl, while in East a kind of root formed the basic ingredient of kohl.3
Henna was a popular coloring agent up to the year 1880. To increase its color choice a preparation called Henna Compound was achieved in the year 1914. This compound was used to convey the chemicals compounded in the extract to the hair and gave a larger variety of shades ranging from blonde to black. This compound only coated the hair and did not penetrate it. Coating is, of course, a characteristic feature of henna. In 1863 Dr. August Wilhelm von Hofmann discovered the chemical properties of para-phenylenedialine (PPD), which then led to the development of the synthetic hair dye industry. A few years later, in 1867, chemist E.H. Thiellay, with Leon Hugot, a hairdresser, showed the effectiveness of hydrogen peroxide in lightening or bleaching hair1. The pioneers in the beginning of compound hennas were the Parisian firms, Broux et cie and L’Oreal. L’Oreal was responsible for the invention of a developer, which fixed the shade of compound henna.
Hair color contains para-phenylenediamine (PPD), an Arylamine which is a chemical substance that is widely used in hair dyes. PPD is a colorless substance that requires oxygen for it to become colored. It is this intermediate, partially oxidized state that causes allergies and other health problems in sensitive individuals. "Our bladder cancer study is the first to examine personal hair-dye use by the three major categories of dyes - permanent, semi-permanent, and temporary dyes," says Manuela Gago-Dominguez, University of South California (USC) researcher in Preventive Medicine and lead author of the study.
The present study is conducted on famous brands of hair colors available in the market & was chemically analyzed for the compounds present in them as specified in the handbook of Bureau of Indian Standards. Tests were performed according to the methods given and standards laid by BIS – “IS 8481:2001 Oxidation Hair Dyes Liquid and Cream Specification”. Hair dye, liquid or cream normally consists of two-parts, dye arylamine and the developer. The materials present in the hair dye should conform to the requirements prescribed in the Indian Standards. The arylamine in the dye is an active ingredient dispersed in a suitable surface-active agent in an alkaline medium. The developer is an oxidizing agent, usually a dilute solution of hydrogen peroxide, free from any foreign matter and suitably stabilized. Two tests were conducted to determine the specifications of dye and developer. Test to determine pH of Dye and Developer and test to determine Arylamine content in the Dye.
Result of the chemical analysis for pH of hair color godrej developer was not in prescribed limit and arylamine content was within the prescribed limit. Numerous forms of allergic reactions in the eyes, scalp, forehead, face and even hands, boils, faster graying was observed during the study and in some cases loss of memory and Asthma was reported. It was also observed that users are only aware of momentary damaging effects of hair colors and do not know about the permanent damage that may happen by constant use of these colors.
Semi-permanent hair color has smaller molecules than temporary dyes, and is therefore able to partially penetrate the hair shaft. For this reason, the color will survive repeated washing, typically 4–5 shampoos or a few weeks. Semi-permanents contain no, or very low levels of developer, peroxide and are therefore safer for damaged or fragile hair. However, semi-permanents may still contain the toxic compound p-phenylenediamine or other such ingredients. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency reported that in rats and mice chronically exposed to PPD in their diet, it simply depressed body weights, and no other clinical signs of toxicity were observed in several studies.
• Hair Colors have multiple side effects; still Consumers are using and want to use further.
• Use of Hair color reduces the natural luster of hair. pH of Godrej Developer was exceeding the BIS range and High pH content causes hair hydrophilic and are more susceptible to break, hard to detangle, looks duller and less colorful, and requires more conditioning1.
• All Brands of hair colors were found to contain PPD within the prescribed limits of BIS. However, Godrej contains very less amount of PPD so this should be the most reliable brand.
1. Hair Color Research Update - P&G Beauty & Grooming)
2. IS 8481: 2001, “Oxidation Hair Dyes, Liquid and Cream Specification (Second Revision), BIS, Manak Bhawan, 9 Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg, New Delhi.
3. Poucher, W.A., Vol.3 (1959), “Perfumes cosmetics and soaps with special reference to synthetics”, Publication Chapman & Hall Ltd., 37, Essex Street, w.c.2, London, p.90.
4. The children Encyclopedia (1967), “The New Book of Knowledge”, Grolier Incorporated Canada, U.S.A., Vol.8, p.2, 6.
5. Venkataraman, R. (1971), “The Chemistry of Synthetic Dyes” (Vol.V), Academic Press, Inc. 111 fifth Avenue, New York, 10003, p.475-85.
6. Verni, Maria, “Modern Beauty Culture”, The new Era Publishing Co. Ltd., 39-41, Parker Street, London, W.C.2, p.1, 280, 281, 285, 288, 293, 296.