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Colour protection for hair care products
How long-lastingness is influenced in different colour shades


*Corresponding Author
DSM Nutritional Products Ltd. , Wurmisweg 576, Build. 203/97, CH 4303,
Kaiseraugst, Switzerland.


In today’s world, hair is coloured artificially for various reasons, and the number of different colours, shades and colour types is huge and growing. But as yet we do not have the perfect solution to people’s requirement for artificial hair colour that remains consistently lustrous and intense – just like when it was first applied. It is generally accepted that shampoos are the greatest cause of fading, and most industry approaches to the problem target this aspect. But sunlight is also known to contribute to hair colour fading, and at DSM we found that the impact of these two factors differs depending on the colour shade. Shampoo is indeed the main cause of fading for red colours, with sunlight having less though still significant influence. With brown/auburn colours, in contrast, washing only initially causes visible fading, while the impact of UV radiation is much greater. In the final instance, however, protection against UV damage was found to be essential for all artificial colours – irrespective of colour type and tone – if they were to retain their original brilliance over the long term.


Mega trends lead people to modify their behaviour, and one consequence of such trends has been an increase in hair colouring. Of course there are several reasons why people colour their hair, but an astonishing 72% of people, when asked, said it makes them feel more physically attractive, hence increasing their confidence and sense of wellbeing. (1, 2) So the last thing consumer needs is a colour that fades quickly to leave the hair looking dull and lifeless. However, market research indicates that current hair colour products are prone to fading, and that most colour protection products fail to live up to their promise. Unfortunately, 71% people are currently dissatisfied with the performance of market products and view claims as empty marketing speak (1, 2). Understandably, those consumers are eager for products that maintain a rich colour while keeping their hair looking vibrant and shiny, and feeling soft.
Two main groups of factors influence colour fading: the physical factors, which can be mostly attributed to wash-out during the shampooing process; and the chemical factors, which affect the chemistry of the colorants as such ...

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