Culprit found for bad hair days: copper

hair dye copper split ends

Hair colour and trace amounts of copper don't mix, says scientists.

Metal ions from tap water ". . . can have a detrimental impact on fiber properties—for example, reducing shine and causing a poor wet and dry feel," writes lead author K.E. Smart in a research paper for the International Journal of Cosmetic Science.

A build up of copper ions can also lead to hair damage due to an incompatible mix of chemicals.

The findings are already being used by some hair product manufacturers to re-jig the chemistry in their shampoos and dyes.

Copper is widely used in household plumbing materials, but the recent rise in prices has meant a switch to PVC tubing instead.

Creative Commons image by Jen C and Tobias Nordhausen