Nano Writing on Hair Strands

Nano Writing on Hair Strands

Janis: Gretchen Wieners knows everybody’s business, she knows everything about everyone.
Damian: That’s why her hair is so big, it’s full of secrets. ~Mean Girls,


With social media and viral marketing campaigns making traditional venues obsolete, what’s the next phase of competitive brand management? Companies are doing everything possible to push their brands, short of physically tattooing customers.  But wait, what if a company – like maybe a hair extension company – could literally “leave its mark” on clients?  Well, a new form of body modification is raising hairs in Nottingham, England, and they might just be on to the next big thing.

Experimenters at the University of Nottingham Nanotechnology and Nanoscience Centre have spent their free time engraving the world’s smallest periodic table into the side of a human hair.  Yes, just the side, because it’s that small!  The table is so small, in fact, that 1 million duplicate copies could fit onto a single post-it note.  Imagine the amount of secrets a girl could keep in her hair!  All 118 elements of the Periodic Table (for those of you counting) were etched into the hair with a sophisticated ion beam writer, as seen through an electron microscope.  No small feat.

The teeny tiny Periodic Table was created and presented as a birthday gift for Professor Poliakoff, who’s been made famous for his viral Periodic Table of Videos [] YouTube series…and for his iconic, mad scientist hair (which we love).  But, what does all of this mean for Hair & Compounds?  A new marketing plan, of course!  We’re going to start engraving the H&C logo into each and every strand of hair!  Ok, we’re obviously kidding, and hair engraving won’t be seen on the market any time soon. The birthday experiment was only meant to illustrate how easily nano-writing can be performed, and that alone is pretty cool.

You can see Periodic Table birthday gift in action on Professor Poliakoff’s YouTube page here:

mean girls hair extensions

Before you know it, salons will be branding custom hair extensions and cutting secret messages into your own head of hair.