Golden Hair

Do You Want 24-Karat Hair?

When every new advance in the hair & beauty industry has the potential to spark a hot trend that could lead to billions in profit, what could be more impressive than being able to say you truly have “golden hair”? It’s a story interesting enough to make Rumplestiltskin eat his heart out.

In a press release from the American Chemical Society, scientists have announced that they have successfully conducted the first synthesis of gold nanoparticles inside human hair. These nanoparticles are indeed a hot topic within the scientific community and are being experimented with for all sorts of applications. They’ve been deposited onto hair for use as electrodes, and have been used to dye wool.

The effect of gold nanoparticles on hair

And – taking inspiration from the Ancient Greeks, who used lead to dye hair – they developed a process by which they soaked white hairs in a gold-compound solution. Examination with an electron microscope showed that the gold particles were forming inside the core of the hair – the central cortex. The resulting color was retained even after repeated washings.

Now, the color results were different than you might think with longer exposure to the compound. Starting with “white” hair, the strands turned pale yellow at first, and as they were exposed for longer periods, the color darkened. The final result was a deep brown.

Obviously, you aren’t likely to see “real gold” haircolor formulas on your beauty supply shelf anytime in the too-near future, but the facts are there. And I’m sure some enterprising entrepreneur is going to make a fortune as soon as he gets access to the formula and talks a celebrity into letting him give her a “24-Karat” Hairstyle.

You can learn more about the process at the American Chemical Society website, where they also have telephone numbers for those interested parties.

Photo credit: American Chemical Society