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Natural, safe, seaweed-based hair dyes?

This article was originally published in The Rose Sheet

Executive Summary

Researchers at the University of Leeds are launching a project to develop safe, natural hair dyes from compounds extracted from seaweed found around the Shetland Islands, according to a July 23 release. Islands off northern coast of Scotland are rich in diverse species of seaweed that researchers believe could yield a range of colors including blond, brown, red and black and represent an attractive alternative to synthetic ingredients used in existing hair dyes, which have been linked to allergic reactions and more serious long-term health effects, researchers note. Seaweed extracts also may be used to formulate safer and "greener" cosmetics, including hair treatments and skin care, release notes. "Seaweed is especially suited to being used in cosmetics because it has evolved very clever techniques to protect itself from weathering. And cosmetics are all about protection from aging and the elements," says Dr. Richard Blackburn, one of the project's leaders and a senior lecturer in coloration technology in UL's Center for Technical Textiles. L'Oreal brand The Body Shop has contributed funding to the more than $800,000 project, according to the release
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