The Dangers Of Toxic Hair Dyes

Avoiding toxic hair dyes should be among your top priorities when it comes to non-toxic personal care. Hair dyes have been linked with bladder cancer and other health risks.

The Dangers of Common Hair Dyes
Your scalp is one of the most absorbent areas of your body. When you apply chemicals to your hair, they quickly seep through the thin skin of your scalp and enter the bloodstream.

Many common hair-dye products include ingredients that are known health hazards and carcinogens. Ammonia, for example, is used in many commercial dyes despite its reputation as a respiratory toxin. It can also strip hair of its natural moisture and luster, leaving it brittle and damaged in appearance.

Metallic salts that contain lead, silver acetate and nitrate, all proven toxic ingredients, are often used in metalized dyes for darkening hair, including facial hair.

Many other ingredients used in commercial and professional hair dyes have been proven toxic to humans, and may even lend to an increased risk of bladder cancer (USA Today, 2001).

Safety of Henna Dyes
Henna is a flowering plant often used to make hair and skin dyes. True henna dyes are natural and safe to use on your scalp, even if you have dry skin or lacerations.

Henna may come in a variety of colors and shades, however only 100 percent true henna is considered absolutely safe for use. True henna may come in a variety of shades ranging from reddish-purple to brown, but it’s never black.

So-called black hennas require the use of chemical dying agents, usually para-phenylenediamine (PPD), a derivative of coal tar, which is a suspected carcinogen.

Alternative Ways to Color Your Hair
Hydrogen peroxide can be used as a hair lightener. Like ammonia, hydrogen peroxide can strip away your hair’s natural oils and moisture, leaving hair feeling brittle and damaged, though it’s a safer alternative to highly toxic dying products.

Natural herbs and food products are sometimes used as subtle hair-coloring agents. Lemon juice and chamomile have been used for hundreds of years to lighten hair color, before hair dyes were invented. Conversely, a tonic made from rosemary can darken the hair.

If you’re still looking for a healthy way to color your hair, you can try organic hair dyes sold at heath boutiques and high-end cosmetic stores. These hair dyes may not be as mild as alternative methods, but they’re much safer than commercial brands commonly available at the drugstore.

A clerk may be able to help you find the best non-toxic hair products for your needs.