Using science to make myself gorgeous
About six months ago, I discovered the joys of red hair dye. I got my hair dyed a really rich deep red/brown color that sparkled and made me feel like a movie star.And then I washed my hair. All faux red heads know what happened next. My color faded!
I got it re-dyed last week and with just two washings, my red is nearly gone.
Thankfully, I have smart friends. What I set out to find was the molecular structure of red hair dye and tell one of them to mess around with the math until they came up with a more stable red hair dye molecule.
Here’s what I found (or what they found for me):
1. p-Phenylenediamine (PPD) is used in nearly all hair dyes. According to wikipedia: p-Phenylenediamine (PPD), also called paraphenylenediamine, 1,4-diaminobenzene or 1,4-phenylenediamine is an aromatic amine used as a component of engineering polymers and composites, aramid fibers, hair dyes, rubber chemicals, textile dyes, and pigments. PPD is selected because of its low toxicity, high temperature stability, high strength, and chemical and electrical resistance.
It looks like this:
2. PPD + a dual aromatic ring = red hair color.
3. Red molecule + ammonia + peroxide = lasting color.
So what’s my solution here? Leave the dye in longer? Find a strong molecule? Condition my hair more before I get it dyed? I already wash it in luke warm water with color fast shampoo.
Also, here’s a nerdy definition of conjugated systems and pi bonds:
And remember: If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the precipitate.
Update: Here’s the motherload website! Everything you ever wanted to know about red hair dye is right here. Looks like Clairol got a patent on longer lasting red hair color and if I wasn’t so afraid of dying my own hair, I’d try it out.