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A novel method for dyeing human hair fibres using coloured silica nanoparticles of 206 nm has been developed. Diffusion of coloured silica nanoparticles into hair fibres has been investigated; silica nanoparticles do not penetrate at all, or do so only sparingly, into the structure of Caucasian virgin hair. However, coloured silica nanoparticles diffused readily into bleached hair fibres. Scanning electron microscopy showed that coloured silica nanoparticles were present mainly in the outer regions of the hair structure (the inner layers of the cuticle and the outer region of the cortex). It was found that the silica nanoparticles were physically entrapped in the hair fibres and results showed a good shampoo fastness to washing.