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Ancient Hair Dye Harnessed Nanotechnology October 1, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Lifestyle, Science.

To the list of wonders of the ancient world, perhaps another should be added: nanotechnology. It seems that a hair-dye formula dating to Greek and Roman days works by causing tiny nanocrystals to form deep inside strands of hair.

Cosmetics were known thousands of years ago in ancient Egypt, where lead compounds were applied as foundation or eye makeup. A hair-dye recipe first described in Greco-Roman times involves applying a paste of lead oxide and calcium hydroxide, or lime, to graying and fair locks. As in the famed Grecian Formula–also a lead-based recipe–repeated applications darken the hair as much as desired. Researchers knew the lead-lime mix reacts with sulfur present in hair’s keratin proteins to form crystals of lead sulfide, also called galena.

Read this article > Ancient Hair Dye Harnessed Nanotechnology

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