Sometimes we all just need a change, right? And dyeing your hair can be the easiest way to get this change, and it is fun too! But while it is exciting to play around with different hair colors, we can’t forget that dyes can be full of harsh chemicals that can lead to harmful side effects.
We know what you are probably thinking – you cannot chance letting your hair color go, and your locks turn gray. We get it! Well, we have good news – there are ways you can minimize these harmful side effects while keeping your color.
Let us dive deeper into the chemicals behind your hair dye and find some ways you can completely ditch the harmful dyes.
Different Types of Hair Dyes
Did you know that more than 5,000 chemicals are in hair dye? The National Cancer Institute found out that shocking number. With that many chemicals, there is no denying that using dyes can sometimes come with harmful side effects.
Here are the most common types of hair dye that people use:
1. Permanent Hair Dyes
It’s easy to go to a drug store and find row after row of permanent hair dye options. These dyes cause lasting chemical changes in your hair shaft. However, these dyes are made up of a cocktail of harmful chemicals, including para-phenylenediamine (PPD), coal tar, hydrogen peroxide, and ammonia.
2. Semi-Permanent Hair Dyes
This type of hair dye adds color to your hair, but it doesn’t lighten it. While these dues only last for 6 to 12 shampoos, they are still full of harmful chemicals like peroxide.
3. Temporary Hair Dyes
This hair dye usually lasts for a washing or two. Many of them are made up of water, organic solvents, and other agents. They cover the hair shaft but don’t penetrate it.
Bleach is used to drastically lighten the hair. Sometimes bleaching the hair is the first step in a complete hair transformation to completely remove pigment from the hair. Because this dye is so aggressive, breakage is almost guaranteed to happen.
5. Ammonia-Free Hair Dyes
This dye option is not as harsh on the hair. However, although these dyes don’t contain ammonia, they still include other chemicals like hydrogen peroxide, para-dyes, and resorcinol.
7 Possible Side Effects to Coloring Your Hair
While dying your hair is an easy and fun change, it can quickly turn into a disappointing decision if you’re not careful. Think about it, hair color is just the basic chemistry of reactions taking place in between the pigments in your hair and the chemicals that are in it. But we all know from our high school chemistry class that sometimes chemical reactions don’t always go as planned.
Here are some side effects that come with dying your hair:
1. Over Processing
Using harmful chemicals like ammonia, peroxide, or bleach strip away your hair color, but they can easily cause the hair to break and become damaged.
2. Allergic Reactions to Chemicals
It’s not uncommon for people to have an allergic reaction to a hair dye. That’s because permanent dyes contain para-phenylenediamine, which is a common allergy. PPD and other chemicals can also be very sensitive to people with skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis.
3. Effects on Fertility
It’s not completely clear if hair dyes affect fertility or pregnancy. But studies have shown it is better to avoid hair dyes if you’re looking to conceive or if you’re pregnant.
4. Regular Maintenance
Most people may not realize how much goes into keeping up with your hair color. You will need to buy laser hair treatment products designed for your colored hair, schedule touch-ups, and be sure not to damage your hair even further. Not to mention, dying your hair regularly can be expensive!
5. Increase Chances for Conjunctivitis
If the chemicals from your hair dye reach your eyes, you could suffer from conjunctivitis or pink eye. Or, in some cases, your eyes can become inflamed and painful.
6. Asthma Attacks
Because the chemicals in hair dyes are so tough on the lungs, long exposure to these chemicals can lead to coughing, throat pain, and asthma attacks.
7. Possible Increased Risk for Cancer
When permanent hair dye first hit the shelves, they were full of cancer-causing compounds. Those formulas have since been altered, but scientists aren’t exactly sure if we are completely in the clear. So, more research is being done to determine the link between the chemicals and hair dye, and whether they are directly related to cancer. So, the only way to stay away from this chance is to completely avoid using these hair dyes.
What Are Some Natural Ways to Dye Hair?
If you want to minimize your risks for side effects but you aren’t ready to completely give up on coloring your hair, you have some options.
Here are some precautions you can take to minimize your risks:
- Try avoiding using permanent hair color and go for semi-permanent hair colors that don’t contain as many harmful chemicals.
- Get your hair done professionally to lessen your chances of a mishap.
- If you choose to dye your hair yourself, make sure you do it in a well-lit and well-ventilated area to prevent eye and nasal irritation.
Of course, the safest option for dying your hair is to stop doing it. Or you could switch to a natural dying alternative. And the best part? You may already have the stuff to get started in your refrigerator right now.
Here are some ways you can still dye your hair by going the natural route:
1. Coffee or Tea
If you need your hair darkened, freshly brewed coffee or tea can do the trick! All you need to do is pour the brew through your hair on the final rinse and then wash it out. You can repeat it as often as you need because there aren’t any side effects. So, take your leftover coffee in the shower with you each morning to keep your color going strong.
2. Food Color or Kool-aid
It’s hard to believe, that the Kool-aid our kids drink can also give us awesome hair! This is, of course, if you want to go for a crazier color. Kool-aid or even food coloring can give you a range of bright colors to choose from. Just mix the food coloring or Kool-aid in a container, apply it to your hair, let it sit for a few hours, then wash it out with water.
3. Beet and Carrot Juice
This is an extremely safe and natural way to add red undertones to blonde and light brunette hair. To get this look, just mix 3 parts beet juice with one part carrot juice, saturate your hair with the mixture, let it sit for an hour, then rinse out with shampoo.
4. Henna Powder
This is probably the most popular natural hair coloring option. All you do is make a paste out of henna powder, and water then apply the mixture to your hair. This process takes a lot of patience because you must let it sit for a couple of hours before you rinse it out. But listen to this – not only can henna dye your hair, but it also works as a hair treatment to improve your hair’s health by conditioning, repairing damage, and balancing pH levels. So, you get a natural hair dye with great benefits!
5. Lemon and Honey
This combination can work to give you natural highlights. Just mix equal parts of the two ingredients together and apply it to your hair. You will have to apply heat for this to work. So, you can go relax in the sun for an hour (with sunscreen on, of course!) or use a hairdryer to add heat. You may have to try this a couple of times before you get the results you want.
Women’s Dermatology and Hair Treatment
Cutting out the chemicals in your dye is a big step towards a head of healthier hair. Let your dermatologist know if you are concerned with the condition of your hair or the chemicals in your hair dye. I am recommended, you can choose the women’s dermatology near your area for the best treatments, including hair loss treatment.