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Is hair dye toxic to your Health?

Toxic hair dye | Image source: elodie beauty

How many people do you know who don't dye their hair? Probably very few, right? It is estimated that over 75% of women do, and in the big picture that is A LOT. Coloring your hair has become such a common thing that takes place, being promoted through celebrities, social media and pretty much everywhere you look. The hair has two main parts- the hair follicle and hair shaft. The hair follicle is located at the root of the hair and attaches each hair strand to the scalp. The hair shaft sticks out of the follicle. Hair follicles contain living cells, and hair shafts do not. One may assume that dyes with bleach may rank the worst, however the opposite is true as dark colors contain lead acetate, the active ingredient producing the coloring effect. Also, as you might guess, the more permanent the dye the more toxicity it carries.

How hair dye works:

Hair dye removes the natural color and/or adds color to the hair shaft. Permanent dyes cause chemical changes that increases the penetration of the product into the hair, bleach the natural melanin, and create color molecules that get trapped in the hair shaft. The harsher and more chemicals the product your are using carries, will effect the amount of damage on your hair. Typical permanent hair dyes typically include an alkalizing agent like ammonia, and oxidizing agent like hydrogen peroxide, a primary intermediate such as paraphenylenediamine (PPD), and molecules like resorcinol. The alkalizing product help the product penetrate the outer layer of the hair shaft, and the other ingredients cause the chemical reaction that create color molecules inside the hair shaft.

Common chemicals that are in your hair dye:

Formaldehyde - this common preservative is used in hair dyes and has known to be linked to cancer and fatal damage in utero.

p-Phenylenediamine - Also referred to as PPD, this is the most commonly used chemical and one of the highest health risk. It has been linked to lung and kidney problems as well as cancer.

Ammonia - this chemical can be combined with hydrogen peroxide to create bleach. When inhaled it can cause respiratory problems and Asthma

Effects of dying your hair:

To put it simply coloring your hair is basic chemistry. It's all about the reactions that take place in between the pigments in your hair, the pigments in dye, peroxide and ammonia. I'm sure most of us know by now that coloring your hair with chemicals can cause long term and short term effects, here are some:

1. Over Processing - Permanent hair dyes often contain ammonia and peroxide. The ammonia breaks through your hair shaft and the peroxide strips away color. Over treating your hair with these chemicals will cause it to loose luster, break easily and in some extreme cases wash away with water. The only was to get rid of damage from over processing your hair is to chop off the damage pieces.

2. Allergic Reaction - hair dyes causing allergic reaction is not uncommon especially because a lot of permanent hair dyes contain paraphenylenediamine ( read above for more info) which is a common allergen. Can cause itching, redness, and swelling on your scalp or other sensitive areas

Skin Reaction|Image source: Columbiaallergy

3. Asthma - Hair dyes aggravate Asthma because of the per-sulfates present in them. continued inhalation of these chemicals lead to coughing, wheezing , lung inflammation and throat discomfort.

Our Hair Dye

Now you are a little more educated on typical hair dyes and the harmful effects on your health, here is some information on the hair dye we carry here at NJ's. The two organic brands we carry are Natulique and Intelligent Nutrients. For more information on why we choose organic click here. Specially the brand we use to colour hair is Natulique, which is based out of Denmark where it is illegal to test on animals. Natulique hair dyes contain NO:

  • Ammonia

  • Lauryl Sulfate

  • Parabens

Natulique also provides 100% grey coverage, and all colors have a pleasant mild fragrance made with organic ingredients. Natulique natural color is very comfortable to use and is highly recommendable as a complete color service for clients who require a more pleasant and better hair coloring experience. To find out more information on our products and color explore our FAQ here. We also provide a free consultation beforehand for your concvience. Book online to try out our Natural way of coloring hair.

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