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Since its mainstream introduction in the 1930s, hair dye has been a beauty phenomenon that just won’t quit. However, hair colouring needs a lot of maintenance, which also means some serious long-term hair damage. For years, permanent dyes have included harsh chemicals (like ammonia, peroxide or paraphenylenediamine) that can turn even the healthiest of hair frail and brittle. That is, until now.

According to Refinery29, a Northwestern University materials scientist and his research team may have found a solution to the downfalls of hair colouring — it’s a natural black carbon substance called, graphene.

In a recent study published in the journal Chem, Jiaxing Huang and his team documented the outcome of using graphene as a non-damaging hair colouring tool. In their experiment, the research group added a water-based graphene solution to a sample of platinum blonde hair. After brushing and drying, the blonde sample successfully turned into a natural black hue that lasted through 30 washes.

As an added bonus, the research team also noted that graphene is not only non-toxic, but anti-static and anti-bacterial as well. This means that you probably wouldn’t have to wash your hair as often as you normally do. Even better? Graphene’s carbon layer holds an electric current. As a result, Huang theorizes that with graphene, we’ll soon be able to wear LED powered hair colour changing accessories.

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Though this all sounds amazing, for now, there are a few drawbacks to note. Firstly, graphene is not yet available in stores. Secondly, a graphene-powered dye will only work if you’re dying your hair a brown or black colour, so if you’re interested in going from dark to light, this is not the hair dye of you.

To sum it up, you may have to continue using your regular hair dye for a while, but at least there’s hope, right?

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