The Chemistry of Hair Coloring

Custom Student Mr. Teacher ENG 1001-04 18 December 2016

The Chemistry of Hair Coloring

The first thing that comes to mind when people see hair color is “beauty. ” But, what most do not realize is that chemistry plays a major role in many everyday products. What makes the colors so pretty and attractive? How can hair color effect synthetic hair? The question I want to answer is “what are the effects of hair color on synthetic hair? ” I chose this topic because I wanted to learn how to color hair and apply it to chemistry. Hair coloring is a form of organic and inorganic chemistry. Organic chemistry involves carbon, whereas inorganic chemistry does not.

Hair color is (or can be) a permanent chemical that is used to put a specific color in hair for vanity, or any other cause. There are various types of hair color such as: permanent, semi- permanent, rinses, and bleaches. Schuller is also known as the founder of L’Oreal, the world’s leading country in cosmetics and beauty. But, even before then, people have been coloring their hair for centuries. Many things that were used as medium were plants and minerals that have contained henna (temporary), and black walnut shells. Also, many of these techniques are used in modern-day salons.

Such techniques include adding foil in the hair for a better outcome. My hypothesis is that if I apply hair color to two kinds of synthetic hair (Milky Way: Shake n’ Go, Sample A and Express Lock Sleek, Sample B), then there will be a better outcome on Sample B. I believe that my hypothesis is correct because Sample A is a less expensive brand. The brand matters because the more expensive the hair, the better the quality. So, what is synthetic hair? Synthetic hair is material that appears to be hair, but is actually made of non-human fibers such as Kanekalon, which is man-made hair, and Mono-fiber.

Synthetic hair is commonly called “weave. ” The fibers are flammable and can spark a fire in no less than ten seconds if exposed to an open flame. Before I started my experiment, I gathered my materials. The materials needed for this experiment were: I used two types of hair color, Bigen (Blue Black) and Bigen(Light Chestnut) (box containing: the dye powder), gloves, mixing bowl, water, basting brush, and a comb. I used two types of synthetic hair, Milky Way Shake n’ Go (Sample A) and Milky Way SAGA (Sample B). But, since I am not coloring an actual person’s hair I don’t need shampoo, conditioner, tipping cap, or a comb.

When I started the experiment, first, I pulled back my hair and took off any loose accessories. Next, I put on gloves and a smock to protect my skin from chemicals. After I was covered completely, I started the experiment. First, I poured the dye powder into a plate since I did not have a mixing bowl. Next, I got a half of a cup of water and mixed it with the powder. After the solution was evenly mixed, I let it sit for about one minute. I cut the samples in half to have data on my board. When the samples were cut in half, I took the basting brush and covered the samples with color.

When the color was on the hair, I had to let them sit for thirty minutes. When the thirty minutes passed, I rinsed the hair twice each and set them in sandwich bags labeled: A and B. When the experiment was over, I cleaned all of the tools I used and my area off. When going back over what I did in my experiments I recorded my observations. In the experiment, when I was mixing the hair color, as I mixed the solution got thicker and thicker. The hair that I used was very thin and soft. What are the effects of hair color on synthetic hair?

My hypothesis was that if I apply hair color to two kinds of synthetic hair, then there will be a better outcome on Sample B. I thought that my hypothesis was right because Sample A is a less expensive type of hair. My hypothesis was rejected because although Sample A was less expensive, it was thicker and could take in more color that Sample B. My results did not support my hypothesis. In the experiment, I learned that coloring hair is strongly related to chemistry. It is related to chemistry because it requires mixing chemicals and creating new solutions.


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  • University/College: University of Chicago

  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Date: 18 December 2016

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