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Iridescent Hair

Transform drab hair into brilliantly shimmering locks
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Nature has many examples of iridescent coloring from butterflies and beetles to feathers and opals. Also soap bubbles and CD's exhibit these metallic colors that are a result of light interference, dispersion and diffraction instead of pigmentation. In many of these examples surface structure, through scales or stacked layers, provides a multitude of reflecting planes to cause the intense iridescence.

Our product is more than a hair dye. It is a polymer rinse containing tiny particles of silica that upon application arrange themselves in closely packed lattices on each hair. The result is glittering tresses that change hue as the hair moves or when viewed from different angles. The iridescent colors come in red, gold or copper or, for the bold, blue, green or violet and will wash out after 5-8 shampoos.

FarmerJohn, Sep 09 2002

Iridescent Phenomena http://www.cs.purdu...scentPhenomena.html
images [FarmerJohn, Sep 09 2002, last modified Oct 06 2004]

Golden acrylic paints http://www.goldenpaints.com/acrylic.htm
Everything but thermochromic. [General Washington, Sep 09 2002, last modified Oct 06 2004]

GLAM ROCK http://home.earthli...t/~apawlo/glam.html
Come on feel the noise... [Jinbish, Sep 09 2002, last modified Oct 06 2004]

Some of GW's 'old stuff' http://www.leveritt.com
come on feel the link [yamahito, Sep 09 2002, last modified Oct 05 2004]

One site about the Teke http://members.trip...m/akhaltekeamerica/
[Marassa, Sep 10 2002, last modified Oct 06 2004]

Opalescent Squid http://www.enature....I.asp?imageID=19439
Ooh, pretty! [XSarenkaX, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]


       This would look lovely. I would like to use it on my eyebrows, though it might look a little gay. I think I would find it quite sexy on a girlie, if you like your women to have a kind of futuristic look, which I do. You'd probably sell a lot of it to the people who make Star Trek - they could create a whole new race of alien using it.
sild, Sep 09 2002

       It's raining cats and dogs where I am, which makes me think - would it be waterproof, or would your hair be absolutely ruined in the rain? Butterflies can get killed, I believe, if they fly around in the rain, though I may have just made that up.
sild, Sep 09 2002

       No risk of your eyebrows running in the rain, though they may liken rainbows when wet.
FarmerJohn, Sep 09 2002

       I'd go for this big time. Mohican in peacock colouring. Coooooool.
Guy Fox, Sep 09 2002

       Aha, finally, this is my field. (Am I the halfbakery's only painter?)   

       What FJ is referring to, I believe, is *interference*, or opalescent colors, ie ones which change hue to their complimentary (opposite) color when viewed at a different angle. Iridescent colors, being mica-based, don't change hue, just brilliancy.   

       Golden makes the best range of iridescent, interference, phosphorescent, and luminous colors, in my opinion, which, being water-based, would have no trouble being drywashed into hair [link]. Therefore, Baked.
General Washington, Sep 09 2002

       I don't know if you should be shooting from the hip with that there "Baked" pronouncement, General George. Paint is a quite 'nother thing entirely from dye. One coats, the other stains. I think most hair "dyes" do coat the hair follicles to a certain extent, but the more permanent colours have to be soaked into the hair itself (which is why you mostly have to bleach your hair first, as I understand it). Anyhoo, even the cheap semi-permanent hair dyes are, I suspect, chemically quite different from artists' paints. I rather suspect that using acrylic paint on your noggin could result in one big clump of hair... shiny and interesting-looking but somewhat matted and unmanageable.   

       Course, if you want to test it out and post the photos... :)
Guy Fox, Sep 09 2002

       General Dubya: (I also paint with acrylics though as yet only with conventional colors) As I understand it, "iridescent", "producing a display of lustrous, rainbowlike colors", is a collective term for interference, dispersion and diffraction. These phenomena can be caused by more than just mica particles, for example angled, ridged surfaces, tiny airpockets and minute, packed spheres.   

       An opal displays diffraction as does a CD. The latter can easily show that different colors appear in the same place when it is tilted. Lastly, this ain't paint.
FarmerJohn, Sep 09 2002

       I'm sorry, but this idea frightens me. It can only herald the return of 'Glam Rock'. (see link)   

       I shall get as short a hair cut as possible today, to pre-empt this iredescent madness.
Jinbish, Sep 09 2002

       OK Guy Fox, FJ: if it's dye, ie non-coating, then it changes the follicle color but leaves the follicle surface unchanged, in which case it's not iridescent (FJ explains as much: iridescence, interference et al. are surface effects). So in the absence of translucent hair to create CD-like scattering (prismatic) effects, I'm afraid if it's not coating, it's not iridescent.   

       And trust me, it works. I have got this stuff in my hair many times, though never, so far, on purpose. & Guy's intuition is right: it clumps up very dry, like getting Evo-Stik in there. But you could change the base to any slow-drying emulsion, for that wet look.   

       Regarding the semantics of the word "iridescent", I'm going by the Golden / Winsor & Newton use, ie, metallic.   

       [FJ: Do you have any paintings posted?]
General Washington, Sep 09 2002

       Iridescence in nature is often referred to as "structural color," because as [FJ] points out the coloration is the result of, well, structure, rather than pigment.
bristolz, Sep 09 2002

       It's good I wrote, "Our product is more than a hair dye. It is a polymer rinse...on each hair."   

       No, nothing posted, you? My first priority would be to illustrate some hard-to-explain ideas.
FarmerJohn, Sep 09 2002

       'Yes,' said Yossarian, 'that is good.'   

       I have some old stuff at <--admin - link posted under idea-->.
General Washington, Sep 09 2002

       Ah, real art. Mmm.
bristolz, Sep 09 2002

FarmerJohn, Sep 09 2002

       Thanks all. I am very touched. Your approval warms me.
General Washington, Sep 09 2002

       The US Mint uses similar particles in the new bills they have been printing. In the lower right corner is a numeral that when looked at straight on is green, but when looked at from an angle is black. I don't think they will divulge the formula, it's an anti-counterfitting measure. If I remember correctly, it's made from ground up halograms, powderized and mixed with the ink.
ty6, Sep 09 2002

       There are fabrics that are iridescent as well. I have a blouse that changes from blue to green depending on the angle of the viewer. It's one of my faves.
bristolz, Sep 09 2002

       Just checked out [George]'s paintings. Very nice. Wish I could do that.
TeaTotal, Sep 09 2002

       po likes ko. I also like this idea very much. I always wanted that shiny metallic green hair that the heroine always had in the girly magazines. my work colleague at present has beautiful electric purple threads woven into her gorgeous caribbean black hair - jealous, jealous.
po, Sep 09 2002

       [blissmiss] I think most of them would fall under the taffeta heading but my blouse is iridescent linen. I think that certain silk weaves are iridescent as well. Do any of those sound like the cloth you are thinking of?   

       (ooops, mistakenly addressed to [po]. All fixed now. Sorry)
bristolz, Sep 09 2002

       Bliss, I hate to say it, but all too often I've seen pants chang colors because of the wearer has streatched them, ie lycra. Is this what you are seeing at the workplace?
barnzenen, Sep 09 2002

       silk, bris - so sexy (thought you were reading my mind again)
po, Sep 09 2002

       Ko is an interesting word, btw, po. It is a Maori word which translates roughly as, 'Phwoar! Check HER out!'
General Washington, Sep 09 2002

       In Swedish, it means cow.
FarmerJohn, Sep 09 2002

       hmmm, but I feel the wooden symbolism has a story behind it! - I am a romantic fool.
po, Sep 09 2002

       This is my ex-girlfriend. She of the bucking bronco on the yardarm manoeuvre. (With solarized hair! Something for everyone!)
General Washington, Sep 09 2002

       caught between two annos - more please, general - (there's a sugar lump in it for you!)
po, Sep 09 2002

       Them's nice pitchers, Gen'rl.   

       I'd prefer bioluminescent hair, but iridescent will do nicely. Saw many examples of natural iridescence in a specialty shop not long ago.
waugsqueke, Sep 09 2002

       One breed of horse, the Akhal-Teke, has this type of hair naturally. From one website about them, "And yes, they really do glow like metal. The Teke has a unique hair structure which refracts light, giving colors from blazing palominos to electric black with gold as a prevailing color."   

       So, it isn't the colour, as noted above, it is the structure of the hair. I've seen one in person. It was amazing.   

       Impressive work, General.
Marassa, Sep 10 2002

       could also function very well as a spray, like that neon stuff they sell around Halloween-time.
nick_n_uit, Sep 10 2002

       Marlene Dietrich used to insist that real gold dust be sprinkled into her hair for many of her films. So this idea, in a way, has sort of been tried before.   

       I can't think why they haven't developed this before (I would have bought tons of the stuff). I prefer the idea of interference to iridescence (after looking at pictures of each) I think it would look absolutely brilliant especially on dark hair (black hair would look fantastic). Maybe the reason the product hasn't been manufactured in mass quantities before is that it would look minimally good on pale (Caucasian) hair, and that's the market focus of most consumer products.   

       Re: the problem of what base to use, I think I'm going to try making a homemade version by mixing a little acryllic paint with some hair gel and conditioner, experiment dusting my hair with metallic eyeshadow, or by using metallic shine lotion.
croyd, Nov 25 2002

       Perhaps the extant acryllic stuff could be painted onto discrete thin strands of hair, which would then be braided together. One would have a very spacefaring head of multicolored, shimmering braids.
bungston, Nov 25 2002

       Apparently, to acheive the beetle-shell effect, pigment must have both iridescence and interference. Iridescent refers to the metallic, glittery look, band interference refers to how the color changes when viewed at different angles. At first I thought it was just interference that was needed to acheive the wanted effect, but after looking at pictures of both interference alone and iridescence alone, I concluded interference by itself looks a but dull and can only be see in some lights/angles, and iridescence by itself looks kind of flat and ordinary, like school supply glitter on elmer's glue. Interesting o note that painters suggest that you add some black pigment to these materials to make the opalescent effects deeper and more dramatic.
croyd, Nov 26 2002

       Ah, finally a dye that joins both my loves of dyeing my hair and iridescence!
Girlkicksboy, Dec 03 2002

       But I was thinking of a plan to dye one's whiskers green.   

       And always use so large a fan that they could not be seen.
bungston, Aug 20 2003


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