What with all the various hair colour trends these days, its no wonder every direction you turn, every girl you see, will have a different colour, done in every manner possible. Those who don’t have the resources to pay for expensive salon treatments dye their hair using at-home dying kits. But it seems like everyone I know is dying their hair regardless the method.
Since forever, there have been highlights where sections of hair were dyed a lighter colour and full solid colour hair dye jobs, where a single colour dye was used for every strand of the hair (done mainly to cover grey hairs or just to change the colour for a more desirable or fashionable colour). Ever since a couple of years, newer trends have popped up, such as low-lights (where sections of hair is dyed a darker colour), ombre, somber, splash lights andbalayage; where ombre is a dip dying process of the ends of your hair to any colour ranging from lightest to darkest to any colour on the wheel of colours, and somber is a subtle ombre done where the hair dye transitions softly into another shade of the same colour as your natural hair colour, or the base previously dyed. Whereas balayage is a French technique of hair dying where its basically done by hand as opposed to foil wrapping and all-over dying, painting the colour only on the tops of the strands, none inside in the deeper layers, for a more natural sun-kissed effect. Splash lights, however, is a splash of colour stretching from ear to ear. All of these techniques result in such beautiful, attractive tresses. Oh how I wish I too, could dye my hair, brunette hair can get so boring, I tell you! But what stops me is the damage that comes with.
What exactly are the damages caused by hair dyes, you may ask? Well, to begin with, dye is basically chemicals, and chemicals are never beneficial for our body, now, is it? And even more so when it comes to hair dye, because not many people give much thought to allergies thinking dye is just on the hair. That’s where we go wrong. And lack of awareness can even be the reason for a simple hair dye job landing a person in the hospital for extreme allergies. This article is all about the consequences of hair dye and how best to minimize the effects or even the alternatives, so read on and remember this article the next time you go in for a hair dye job.
First of all, like every medication or treatment, any one is susceptible to allergies to a certain ingredient in a particular product. And in the case, where hair dye is literally sitting on the scalp (for root touch ups, covering grey hair and dying a full solid colour), the possible outcome could be allergies, ranging from redness of scalp, itching, mild irritation to burning and in extreme cases, facial swelling and difficulty in breathing. The former symptoms may fade away or subside on its own, whereas the latter may require medical intervention. Best way to go about it is to always do a patch test on the skin every time you go in for a colour change or a touch up, because allergies can develop with time too.
Moreover, hair dye uses chemicals and elements that are required to cut the natural colour and replace it with the desired colour. This is done in a number of ways, the gist being, the covering layer of the hair, which acts as a protective layer, is lifted off to enter the core where the pigment is contained. This alone can end up causing hair breakage, split ends, dryness and sometimes hair loss. The lifting off of the outer layer, called the cuticle, depends on however long you leave the dye on the hair, so if you are looking for ways to minimize the damage, keep an eye on the clock and ask for the dye to be rinsed in as little time as possible that is needed for the colour to reach its required shade. And as for the breakage, split ends and weakening of the hair strands, only a haircut would rid you of those.
Also, frequent hair colouring makes the hair prone to damage from heating tools, and UV rays, so you might want to prolong the interval between hair dyes. Wait atleast 6 to 8 weeks before going in for a touch up, or another complete colour change.
Lastly, there is cause to believe the health concerns that accompany some of the commercial hair dyes. There are certain toxic ingredients such as lead acetate that has been linked with reproductive toxicity. Though its been shown in only a few subjects, its always better to be safe than sorry, and to opt for lead acetate-free hair dye. Ask your hair colourist at your salon, or look for the ingredients mentioned on the at-home kit before you purchase it.
Then again, you can always choose to go for safe hair dyes that are derived from plants. Henna and indigo being two of the colourants used by many health conscious people. Henna can give results ranging from a dark red to orange- rustic colour and indigo gives a deep-pigmented blue. When mixed together, they can help you achieve various shades of brown to almost black.
Another alternative would be using teas like the chamomile tea that when applied, gradually lightens the hair after sun exposure. Same is the case with lemon juice. Both give a natural and beautiful sun kissed effect. All natural, yet effective!
So that’s all there is to know about hair dyes, here’s hoping that you make a healthier decision after reading this. Hold that thought while I go brew myself a cup of chamomile tea for my hair.