[podcast] Author Commentary: Alexander Chan, Ph.D., on Hair Dyes


In this Author Commentary, Alexander Chan, Ph.D., of AC Personal Care shares his motivation for writing a technical article on the subject of hair dyes. To debut in the February 2018 of Cosmetics & Toiletries, the piece touches on consumer misconceptions about ammonia vs. monoethanolamine (MEA) formulas; specifically, that MEA is safer than ammonia.

It also analyzes facts about these ingredients and their mechanisms, to arm formulators with both the consumer perspective and scientific rationale to choose the best ingredient for the hair dyes they develop. Below is an excerpt adapted from an interview. Play the full podcast, below, to hear more.

Cosmetics & Toiletries: Why did you feel the need to address misconceptions about hair dyes? 

Alexander Chan: This is a point of view from my many years of experience. I've been out in the field and talked to formulators and even consumers, and both are confused about the issues and concerns with hair dyes. I collected them, thinking one day I’d write an article about it to make people aware of [these misconceptions].

C&T: Do misconceptions over hair dyes run across the board?

AC: I don’t think all formulators are unaware of [these misconceptions], but I think a good percentage of them don’t have a good idea about them; therefore I thought it was worth writing about it.

C&T: Regarding consumer pressure to replace specific ingredients, how challenging is it to find new chemistries for formulas?

AC: In terms of the chemistries available, I think it’s a matter of recognizing them. It's not like there aren't alternatives, but I believe people just have to look a little harder and go back to their Chemistry 101.

From there, we can be more creative and find new ways of using existing technologies and applying them in new ways. That’s how I see it.

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