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Novel hair coloration methods using natural plant extracts and associated green extraction processes (KERACOL) - LK0821

Description
The main aim of this project is to develop a comprehensive range of hair colorants with a whole life cycle of sustainable technology from source, through production, to end use and appropriate disposal.
There is concern at the moment about the toxicological effects of the components used in hair coloration as many of these aromatic amines and phenols are suspect carcinogens, tumorgens and/or mutagens and may also effect reproduction. The aim of this project is to replace the synthetic components with chemicals derived from natural sources that pose no risk to human health (as assessed through appropriate toxicology testing). The project will utilise coloured plant extracts, specifically anthocyanidin dyes, which are soluble in water and have the ability to bind proteins and form insoluble complexes; this principle would be used to afford substantivity and fastness for hair coloration by binding with the hair proteins.
It is proposed that the dyes are extracted from plant materials using a ‘clean’ solvent such as hot water under pressure. Separation from other compounds extracted simultaneously, concentration of the solutions obtained and provision of the dyes in a form suitable for hair coloration, will be additional problems to be solved.
An optimised laboratory application method using extracted dyes will be developed to afford high colour strength and fastness. A subsequent professional or domestic application method will be devised. The use of natural, non-toxic, renewable resources, an aqueous extraction technique and novel application will provide a green life cycle for the whole system, and this will be assessed through a Life Cycle Assessment.
Objective
The main aim of this project is to develop a comprehensive range of hair colorants with a whole life cycle of sustainable technology from source, through production, to end use and appropriate disposal. To enable this The University of Leeds is collaborating with J H Jones (Market Gardeners) (source materials), Critical Processes Ltd. (material processing) and The Boots Company PLC (product end use and marketing). The experimental work will be carried out at The University of Leeds over 24 months by a full-time research assistant with some technician assistance under the supervision of the academic investigators.

There are three main objectives of the research proposal to be carried out over 24 months.

1. Develop a method of obtaining useable hair colorants from berries and other plant materials using clean methods. This will involve extraction with a clean solvent, such as water, and subsequent procedures, with chemical modification if necessary, to purify the extracts and form them into a concentrated solution suitable for hair coloration.

2. Assess the dyeability of human hair with a range of dyes derived from natural plant material, aim to understand the fundamental interactions operating between the dye molecules and the hair fibre and assess the fastness properties of dyeings secured.

3. Modify the application method as necessary to provide a sustainable hair colouration system that can be used for both professional hair salon and domestic application, and commercialise that system with the partners. This will be done alongside toxicology testing (carried out by The Boots Company plc) and Life Cycle Assessment of the natural product formulations.
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2006

To: 2009

Cost: £98,345
Contractor / Funded Organisations
University - Leeds, Independent Cosmetic Advice Ltd, Critical Processes Limited, Body Shop International plc, W G Calcutt
Keywords
Agri-Industrial              
Arable Farming              
Crops              
Farming              
Fields of Study
Non-Food Crops