Hair Dye Changes According to Temperature

Breakthrough
Hair Dye Changes According to Temperature PHOTOGRAPH: Pixabay/katyandgeorge | Under CC0 1.0

The 2017 London Fashion Week saw new kind of hair dye that can camouflage itself according to the temperature. Basically, once the hair dye is applied on the hair, it can change its color depending on the environment. The person behind this innovation is London-based fashion artist Lauren Bowker who dubbed her innovation as Fire.

Hair dye ‘Fire’ changes color depending on the temperature

Bowker’s company, The Unseen, enabled the development of the color-changing hair dye as a part of their reactive fashion creations. It reacts on changing temperature conditions. The dye can be red when outside and change into a more natural color when the person goes indoors. Basically, the carbon-based molecules of Fire will alter the light absorption when subjected to temperature changes. These molecules are responsible for the alteration of the hair dye’s color.

Bowker, a.k.a. The Alchemist, is known for using chemistry to innovate design. She based the color changing innovation on material science to create inks, compounds and coatings. The same coating in clothes can also change color depending on the temperature and humidity.

Bowker specially developed the dye to reveal a number of colors which was formerly unknown. Bowker formulated the dye to be responsive in various temperature fluctuations. The colors are available in shades, which range from bright red to subtle pastels.

After the dye is applied to the hair, the molecules at the core quickly react. One molecule is more stable than the other molecule’s carbon bond during a temperature change. This will react and produce a molecule that will have a slight different absorption of light, changing the hair color.

Fire has to undergo safety and clinical tests

Unfortunately, the chemicals used for the hair dye can be harmful. Forbes reported that the thermochromic in Fire is toxic. Bowker, along with her team, worked to get around the hurdle. They worked on the dye so that it will not affect the scalp during application.

Bowker does not simply want Fire to amuse people. She wanted to encourage the women around the world to increase their participation in science. Moreover, Bowker used less toxic materials in creating the color-changing dye. Typically, its effects are the same as the typical hair dye from the stores. However, safety officials have fully assess the product before it will be available in stores.

Currently, Bowker is looking for a commercial partner to help for the marketing of the product. The Unseen will likely license the product to a popular hair care brand. If all goes well for the clinical and safety testing, Fire can possibly hit the stores before 2017 ends.

Read Lauren Bowker’s full interview with WIRED. To more about The Unseen visit its official website.

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