Harmful effects of dyes on hair

Pollutions, tension and sometimes specific diseases cause premature greying of hair, and in many age factor is also responsible for the same. It has become a trend to cover white hair with hair dyes,  as these are easily available in market. Earlier only aged people used to color hair but now a days even teenagers have also started coloring for fashion style, different shades of colors are available like dark  brown, natural brown, black, indigi and other mixed colors.

Hair coloring is done to change the color and texture of hair do cosmetic reasons. In ancient times, herbal plants like henna, indigo, senna, turmeric, amla were used for making hair color.  First, Schwarzkopf introduced home product called “Poly Color” for hair coloring.

Hair dyeing is one of the vast spreading industry in the world and use both plant based and synthetic dyes for making color.harmful effects of hair coloring

Types of Hair Dyes

Hair dyes contain chemicals which provide black color to hair and imparts fragrance. These chemicals come in contact with skin and can even cause reaction or allergies when used. There are mainly three types of dyes, depending upon the nature of chemicals used in them.

1. Temporary Hair Dyes: These are called temporary dyes as they do not enter the hair shaft and their coloring  effect lasts for one or two washings only.

2. Semi Permanent Dyes: These dyes also do no penetrate into the hair shaft like temporary ones but their effect last till 5-10 washings.

3. Permanent Hair Dyes: These are also called Oxidative dyes and the color remain on hair for a longer time. These are commonly used types of dyes. The main constituent in these dyes is coal tar which provides the long lasting black color. They contain other chemicals like phenols and aromativ amines.  If we see, then will find that over 5,000 different types of chemicals are used in making hair dyes, and some of these are carcinogenic that can cause cancer in animals. It’s a matter of interest also to know if so many people are using hair dyes rich in chemicals, then do their exposure also cause increase risk of cancer in people.

Chemicals used in Hair Dyes

Hair Dyes are made up of chemicals which could effect differently in differently people. According to Vincent Crump of the Auckland Allergy Clinic, continuous use of hair dye can elevate the chances of a person to a severe allergic reaction. He says” People need to be aware if you are going to dye your hair-especially if it’s a permanent dye that can increase the risk.” Dr Crump has announced that he developed his report after careful studies and experiments. He further told how many people developed bad reactions to the hair dyes.

The main component which is used in dye, is coal tar. The coal tar is added to make hair black as it is a thick blackish material. Many dyes claim that they do not contain any coal tar or such component but in most of the cases 70% of the composition is of coal tar.

Read: Tips for healthy and beautiful hair

Coal tar is very dangerous and once this ingredient enters the head or eyes than could result in serious complications. When experimented coal tar on animals, it was found that it causes skin cancer in them.

Other chemicals which are used in hair dyes are, formaldehyde, hydantoin, phenyl methyl pyrazolon etc. Hair dye can have allergic reaction also and the severe allergy can result in the swelling of mouth, face or tongue. The eyes could also get affected by this. People suffering with Asthma should carefully use  it as this could cause allergic reaction.Those who are in the profession of hair styling are in a greater risk of asthma as most of the time they are in direct contact with dyes.

What does Studies on Hair Dyes say?

Studies are going on round the world and in many, the use of hair dyes is linked with increased risk of certain types of cancer like in blood and bone marrow while other studies do not find any such lining between dyes and cancer. Many International and National agencies are doing researches to find out if hair dyes really cause cancer or its a myth. Two of the expert agencies, “The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC)” and “The National Toxicology Program (NTP)” have made a report according to their research.

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC): This is an organization running under World Health Organization has main goal in detremining the causes of cancer. Based on report of IARC, personal hair dye use to be, “not classifiable as to its carcinogenicity to humans.”

The National Toxicology Program (NTP): This agency contains several other US government agancies, like The National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). As per the studies performed,  The NTP has reported that the exposure to hair dyes do
not cause cancer but has classified some of the chemicals which are used in making dyes as “reasonably anticipated to be human carcinogens.”

FDA Guidelines to follow while using Hair Dyes:

After reading the side effects on hair dyes, one might start thinking that these should be banned. Hair dyes can cause hair fall along with some types of allergies in many.

The FDA has passed few guidelines for the use of Hair Dyes to those who want to use it but are concerned about safety.

1. Always follow the warning instructions mentioned in the package.

2. Always do a patch test to check the skin allergy, and do it every time you use the dye, as in first time this will not cause allergy but can cause next time.

3. Mostly packing comes with gloves so wear gloves when applying hair coloring dye.

4. Leave the dye on hair for recommended time only and do not exceed the time limit.

5. Thoroughly rinse hair with water after dye application to remain any remains on the scalp or hair.

6. Do not add another chemical or material with dye.

7. Never touch skin, eyebrows or eyelashes with dyes. This can hurt and damage your eyes and skin.

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Hair dyes are commonly used in hair coloring, but have you ever thought the chemicals it has and their impact on hair in long run.

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