With only very small exceptions, hair color is not fair. Surely. Even products from Europe and even most brands labeled “natural,” “herbal,” or “organic” contain seriously toxic chemicals. Many of us color our hair, love the results, and don’t plan on stopping by any means. But when we do, we’d love to at least understand the risks we’re taking—and of course, what we’d love most would be for the whole process to be more transparent and ultimately safer.
Is dyeing your hair as harmful to you as the regular habit of smoking? Probably not, although its effects are (embarrassingly) less studied. Perhaps the most toxic ingredient, PPD (paraphenylenediamine)—rated seven out of ten in terms of toxicity on ewg.org—is in most permanent hair dyes (some contain a similar compound, PTD), including many so-called Contains organic and natural formulas.
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1. Go blonde, not brunette. Darker hair color has significantly higher levels of PPD.
2. Wait to dye your hair gray if you know gray is going to bother you.
3. Go longer between coloring.
Strategy A: Color-Wow makes a miraculous brush-on powder that covers roots imperceptibly—and it lasts until you wash it off—so it’s an easy, Seriously effective option. Use it to find the time between coloring; Over the course of your lifetime, you will reduce your risk significantly.
Strategy B: Condition, condition, condition your ends; wear hats; avoid chlorinate and wash your hair less—all in the service of keeping your hair color as vibrant and healthy-looking as much as possible, so your hair need to recolor not much often.
4. If you are coloring at home, respect the directions. Wear irritating gloves, especially with household hair-color kits. Minimize your exposure by all means.
5 If you experience even the slightest bout of an allergic reaction after coloring, get medical help right away. (We’re not talking about burning or irritation from bleach here; we’re talking about bloating, dizziness and difficulty breathing.)
People who have been coloring their hair for most of their lives have had anaphylactic reactions to PPD, and people who have colored their hair for the first time have had the same reaction. Even those who have just passed the patch test have faced backlash. Take any unexplained allergic feeling very seriously; Anaphylactic reaction is a life-or-death emergency.
6. Use henna to color the hair. There are many benefits of henna for hair that make getting a new color an ultimate treatment process. Today, there are a lot of boxed henna hair color products with clear color palettes in the market. However, you can buy pure henna powder and mix it with other ingredients to achieve the desired shade, as described in this handy henna dyeing guide.
The color of henna is permanent, although it fades in about 4 to 6 weeks. So, a word of caution: Red pigment will be difficult to get rid of, so don’t use the dye if you consider dyeing hair with other synthetic dyes any time soon.
7. If you’re pregnant, don’t color during your first trimester and stay away from on-scalp coloring for the entire pregnancy if at all possible. Consult with your colorist about options.
8. Avoid applying full-on color to your scalp. Highlights, for example, don’t cover the scalp at all and pose little or no risk. Along similar lines, Robinson advises people with up to 25 percent grays to only dye them gray, leaving the rest of the hair natural. You don’t necessarily have to go for a full color.
9. Use non-PPD formulas. They may or may not be completely non-toxic, but at least you’ve eliminated a known, particularly toxic toxin. We like Temporary Gel Color from Christophe Robin; Brand like henna suppliers UK is a more permanent, PPD-free option that involves a bit more complicated application, but it’s totally doable at home. PPD is a powerful chemical sensitizer. It can cause strong allergic reactions. These reactions can go beyond itching or even redness and burning, although PPD can cause them all. PPD can also cause fatal anaphylactic reactions – which can happen even if you pass a patch test even if you’ve been using the same hair color for years with no side effects, or, vice versa , if this is the first time you tried hair color.