Scientists discover new natural hair dye made from... Ribena?

Posted by
Elizabeth Bennett
backgroundLayer 1
Add this article to your list of favourites

One of our favourite childhood drinks is the base of this new eco-approved hair dye.  

Looking to switch up your hair and do your bit for the planet? We have just the thing. Thanks to pioneering research from the University of Leeds, you’ll soon be able to dye your hair with a colour formulated using waste from the production of Ribena.

Scientists have developed a smart new technique to extract colour from the waste skins of blackcurrants to create a natural hair dye. At present, 90% of the 12,000 tons of blackcurrants grown annually in the UK are used to produce Ribena, and all of the skins are currently going to waste.

Blackcurrant skins contain high concentrations of anthocyanins which create intense reds, purples and blues hues. Plus, when mixed with yellow pigment they can also be used to formulate an array of other shades including more natural-looking browns.

As well as offering an environmentally-friendly food waste solution, this new hair dye also provides an ideal option for those looking to avoid potentially irritating chemicals.

“Because of issues and concerns around conventional dyes, we wanted to develop biodegradable alternatives that minimise potential risks to health and offer consumers a different option,” colour chemist Dr Blackburn commented.

The team at the University of Leeds plan to launch their patented hair technology via Keracol Company - a brand that’s already making sustainable skincare from the waste production of Marks & Spencer wines - later this summer. 

Main image: Gabriel Silverio