If you’ve ever colored your hair before, you know that, while the results are gorgeous, the process isn’t exactly great for your tresses. After all, all that lifting and processing can damage and fry hair, sucking out its moisture. That may make you reticent about getting your hair colored in the first place or switching colors.

Well, science has given us a new coloring option that might treat our tresses better: blackcurrant color.

What Is Blackcurrant Color?

Blackcurrant is a species of plant with dark berries. These are reminiscent of blueberries in color and appearance. Not only are blackcurrants edible, but they’re also being used in a new, inventive way: as hair color.

The skins of these berries are typically thrown away when making blackcurrant juice. By keeping the skins, scientists found these could color hair. It’s all due to the anthocyanins in the berries, which are pigments. When mixed with a paste on hair, the strands turned blue, says researchers at Science Daily.

It was also possible to add other natural ingredients with the blackcurrant skins to get hues like purple and red.

How Is It Better for Hair?

It should be noted that to get those results, the researchers worked with test subjects with pre-lightened hair. Lightening your strands isn’t good for them long-term, but to get a richer, purer color, it’s often a necessary step.

As for how blackcurrant color is better for hair, it’s healthier in a multitude of ways. Science Daily, in conjunction with the National Cancer Institute, notes how hair color include at least 5,000 chemicals and substances. There are environmental effects as the hair color that gets washed out during your daily showers potentially pollutes streams, lakes, rivers, and more. There’s also a risk of skin reactions to some properties in colors. Hair colors could even be carcinogenic to animals, although the research is still inconclusive.

So yes, while you still have to lighten your hair, you’re saving it from exposure to all those chemicals and substances. Also, you can typically go longer between lightening and/or recoloring your hair. According to the researchers, when test subjects washed their hair with shampoo on 12 occasions, the color remained strong. How many boxed colors can you say do that?

If you’re interested in learning more about blackcurrant color or smarter hair color options, contact a salon on Vagaro.

Header Image Source: @maider_otegi / Twenty20