Is Hair Dye Really that Harmful?
According to the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) in Lyon, France there is a big chance for male hairstylists and barbers to develop bladder cancer because of their constant exposure to hair dyes and the hazardous toxins they contain.
This is also the case with people who regularly dye their hair. In fact, the scalp is abundant with blood vessels which make it easier to transport the toxins from the hair dyes all over the body. The chemicals found in most hair dyes not only cause bladder cancer but also other serious diseases, like lymphoma and leukemia.
Which Chemicals are found in Common Hair Dyes?
There are 456 different hair dyes listed in The Skin Deep cosmetic database created by the EWG, 400 of which have been discovered to contain significantly hazardous chemicals and that might result in:
- Ocular, respiratory, and dermal inflammation, as well as allergies.
- Intoxication of the nervous system.
- Intoxication of the developmentative and reproduction systems.
- Intoxication of the immunity system and various bodily organs.
Chemicals found in “Chestnut brown” or “ash blonde” hair dye:
- 71% of Coal tar, a common carcinogen
- Para-phenylenediamine and tetrahydro-6-nitroquinoxaline, both of which are proven to cause cancer in animals or damage to the genetic material.
- Formaldehyde, a preservative related to cancer growth and intoxication of the reproductive systems.
- The DMDM Hydantoin preservative, famous for effect on immune system intoxication, and rightly limited in Japan.
- Eugenol, and ingredient found in perfumes which can cause allergies, intoxication of the immune and nervous systems, as well as cancer.
Unfortunately, this is only a part of the list of toxins and chemicals which can be found in this hair dye. That is why it is strongly recommended to check the ingredients labeled on your hair dye through the database, or simply google them. You’ll be surprised of what most cosmetic products contain.
Why You Should Avoid Dyeing Your Hair?
Studies have shown that being exposed to hair dye for longer period of time can cause serious health issues.
A research has been made that included 900 participants, both those who dyed their hair every month and ones who kept their natural color, which proved that regular users of hair color have higher chances of up to 50% of developing bladder cancer, even amounting to 150-200 % for women who have for women who have been dying their hair for more than 15 years. Furthermore, it was also found that the exposure to hair dye for periods of more than two decades, can also lead to other diseases, like rheumatoid arthritis.
Is There Such a Thing as a Safe Hair Dye?
Every hair dye is a chemical product and as such is better to be avoided, especially by women who are with child and women who still breastfeed, as the toxins can be easily transferred to the baby and cause serious health conditions to the child.
Things to keep in mind, to keep the risk levels at minimum:
- The more permanent a hair color claims to be, the more toxins it contains, so if you still choose to dye your hair, try using temporary or semi-permanent dyes.
- There are some hair colors that are more natural than others. The ones containing henna, herbal dyes, or vegetable dyes as their base contain fewer toxins.
- Choose wisely the saloon where you dye your hair. Ask your hairdresser if s/he uses herbal dyes and whether he keeps the shop free of odors and toxins.
- If you must dye your hair, try picking up a lighter shade. The darker the shade, the more it contains chemicals and harmful toxins.
And for those women whose hair turns gray before the age of 40, it is advisable that you visit your doctor prior to dyeing, as the grayness might be a result of hypothyroidism.
How to make your own organic hair dye?
Herbs and vegetables you need to make your own light hair dye:
- Strong Chamomile Tea (2 cups)
- Freshly squeezed lemon juice( ½ cup)
- 1/2 cup strong calendula tea (only if you want more golden tones)
How they work? :
- When fresh lemon juice is applied on your hair by spraying and brushing, and left for several hours in direct sunlight, it will result in natural hair highlights.
- If you mix strong chamomile tea (around ½ cup) into 2 cups of water and spray it over your hair, leave it for several hours, it will give your hair a bright color. And if the possibility exists for you to be exposed to sunlight during this period, you will achieve an even more intensive effect.
- Chamomile tea is also good for restoring the shine and softness of your hair if it is used as a hair wash after each shower (make sure you leave it in your hair afterwards, though).
How to Apply Your Organic Hair Dye?
Mix all of the ingredients together and put them into a spray bottle, making sure you shake well before each use. Preferably spray them on your hair, brush it and then leave it for at least 1-2 hours. For a more dramatic effect try staying in the sun. You can do this couple of times a week.
The recipe is also great for hair rinsing. If it only used as a rinse and not left in the hair, it will not color your hair, but will add to the vitality and shine of your hair.
Herbs for Red Hair
Using these herbs you can’t really make your hair red from the start. Keep in mind though that if you have darker hair you will get an auburn tint and if your hair is lighter you’ll get a strawberry tint. One of the benefits of having red hues is that they tend to pile up in your hair, so you can repeat the procedure as much as you need to get the desired result.
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