What You Need to Know About Hair Dye Toxicity
Do you dye your hair often? Should you be worried about hair dye toxicity? Here’s what you need to know and more.
Hair dye toxicity is a real concern for beauty professionals and DIY enthusiasts alike.
Hair dye can contain several chemicals that might be harmful to humans. Here’s what you need to know!
Hair dye toxicity isn’t usually the first thing that comes to mind when choosing a new hair color. However, it’s definitely something to consider as hair dye contains several chemicals that are applied directly to the scalp.
What chemicals does hair dye contain?
You’ll see a long string of ingredients that are hard to pronounce on the back of any given hair dye package. Generally speaking, hair dye can contain ammonia, hydrogen peroxide, toluene, and p-phenylenediamine. These chemicals work together to pull apart layers of the hair, bleach, and trap in the new color.
Unfortunately, these chemicals are associated with adverse health consequences. Ammonia can irritate the respiratory system and may interfere with bodily functions. P-phenylenediamine is restricted in the European Union as it’s been linked to skin irritation, liver toxicity, and multiple forms of cancer.
Does hair dye cause cancer?
There have been conflicting results surrounding hair dye research. The American Cancer Society has stated that most studies have not shown a strong link between using hair dye and certain cancers. However, they claim more research needs to be conducted for more clarity.
In another study conducted by The BMJ, researchers at Harvard Medical School analyzed survey data from over 110,000 women collected over 36 years starting in 1976. The researchers evaluated cancer risks and cancer-related deaths in personal hair dye users.
The study found that there wasn’t an overall higher risk of cancer or cancer deaths in hair dye users compared to non-hair dye users. However, there were a few links, and more research needs to be conducted.
What should I keep in mind?
To dye or not to dye — that’s the true question. The jury is still out on whether or not hair dye causes cancer and how toxic it might be. You can follow these tips if you’re concerned about hair dye toxicity.
- Follow all the instructions provided on the package. Make a note of “Caution” or “Warning” labels.
- Do a patch test to test for any allergic reaction before using. Be sure you’re doing a patch test each time you decide to dye your hair.
- Wear gloves and other safety equipment. You might want to consider safety goggles and a disposable mask, as well.
- Don’t leave the hair dye on your head or scalp for longer than the directions recommend.
- To avoid any harmful reactions, never mix different products.
- Do not use hair dye on your eyebrows or eyelashes. Doing so can be incredibly dangerous and is not advised.
- Consider your personal and family history if you’re concerned about cancer risks.
- Ask your primary care physician If you’re still unsure about using personal hair dye.
Hair dye toxicity is a genuine health concern. Studies point to signs that these products might not be as harmful as we thought. However, more research needs to be done before saying it definitively. Be sure to practice the tips above when using personal hair dye.
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