Hair dyes – especially chemical – have a very bad reputation. It is said that they cause cancer, also from liver and kidney damage is the speech. In pregnancy is even completely discouraged by the coloring of the hair, as it is to harm the health. But what about these claims and what should you look for when coloring hair? This is explained below.
Do Hair Dyes Cause Cancer!
In fact, there are scientific studies linking hair dyes to the development of cancer. Accordingly, people who regularly dye their hair, but especially hairdressers and hairdressers, have a significantly higher cancer risk than the rest of the population.
These studies are repeatedly referred to and derived from the fact that hair dyes are highly dangerous. However, it is rarely mentioned that the study results for modern hair dyes are not valid. After all, the studies and thus the products studied are several decades old.1
The Current State of Research
The fabrics that used to be in hair dyes are now banned from the ingredients lists. Since 2006, a new EU regulation has been in force: now only ingredients are permitted for which safety dossiers are available. The European Commission has called the hair dyes available in the EU very safe.2
One substance of concern, however, is aromatic amines, which are commonly found in hair dyes. There is still a need for research on these because they are also associated with an increased risk of cancer.
Research is constantly gaining new insights. So it is of course possible that in the future but it turns out that one or the other ingredient of hair dyes is harmful.
Allergies to Hair Dye
Even if a hair coloring according to the current findings does not increase the risk of cancer, hair dyes are not completely harmless even according to current knowledge. Many of them contain chemicals that can trigger severe allergic reactions, including anaphylactic shock.
The substances that cause allergies most often include:
- Toluene-2,5-diamines sulfates
- Paraphenylenediamine (PPD)
Some of them should also be able to damage the liver and kidneys. That these effects could occur during hair coloring is not excluded. Ammonia, which is used in many hair dyes to release the protective dandruff layer of the hair so that the color pigments can penetrate better, also makes the scalp more permeable to pollutants.
Compatibility of Hair Coloring Test in Advance?
Most manufacturers of hair dyeing or tinting products recommend a compatibility test in the instructions for use. For this purpose, the agent should first be applied in the elbow and then the reaction can be observed. Only if there are no symptoms of allergy for twenty-four hours should you tint or dye the hair.
However, this recommendation is controversial.3 The organism can only be allergic to a substance that it already knows. So it is possible that by the test on the arm sensitization takes place, but is still no reaction. This then occurs only in the actual hair coloring.
Avoid Skin Contact With Hair Coloring
The less contact the hair dye has with the skin, the lower the risk of allergies. Therefore, gloves should be worn when self-coloring. These are usually enclosed with the packs.
Be careful not to exceed the specified exposure time so that the scalp does not come into contact with the hair dye for longer than necessary.
Dyeing methods in which the product does not come into contact with the scalp are preferable in order to avoid contact allergies. These include, for example, highlights or the so-called ombre style, in which only the lengths and tips are dyed.
Some chemicals found in hair dyes are irritating to the skin. For example, staining may cause burning and itching scalp and redness. If you notice any symptoms, you should wash the product directly for safety’s sake or inform the hairdresser or the hairdresser.
Dye Hair in Pregnancy?
It is often discouraged to dye or tint hair during pregnancy. The colorants available on the German market do not contain any substances which, to the best of our knowledge, are known to be harmful to health. Nevertheless, it is not completely excluded that it can lead to health problems.
If you are pregnant or breastfeeding and want to make sure, you should refrain from dyeing your hair.
How Do Hair Dyes Work?
So-called oxidation hair dyes, better known as hair dyes (as opposed to tints), consist of two components:
- The one component (for example, hydrogen peroxide) destroys the natural color pigments of the hair. Also, color pigments from previous dyeing operations can at least partially attack them.
- The second component introduces those ingredients of the agent into the hair that are responsible for color formation. Chemical reactions cause the color molecules to grow so big that they can not leave the hair.
Only such hair dyes work permanently and can also be used to dye gray hair. Even if the hair is to be lightened, an oxidation hair color is necessary.
Permanent Hair Coloring: Harmful To The Hair
However, such products attack the hair because they make the protective layer permeable. The severity of injury depends on how much distance there is between hair coloring. Frequent dyeing and, above all, strong lightening are particularly tiring for the hair. It becomes straw, brittle and dries out.
How Does A Hair Tint Work?
Much gentler is a hair tint. Here, the staining particles are deposited on the outside of the hair. This makes them less durable and the staining result is not permanent.
Since the color can be washed out over time, it is called a temporary or semipermanent hair color. In addition, it is not possible to tone hair lighter or to cover gray hair with a tint.
Dye Hair Without Chemistry?
In recent years, much has been discussed about the risks of using hair dye. As a result, many natural products have come onto the market. Meanwhile, there is a wide range of herbal hair dyes, which do without harmful substances and with which you can color the hair naturally.
From a health point of view, these funds are to be welcomed. They contain natural substances such as henna, indigo and chamomile. The risk of an allergic reaction is much lower here. Herbal hair dyes do not affect the hair structure, but lie like a protective film around the hair and so incidentally provide care and shine.
Disadvantages of Natural Hair Dyes
However, the same results can not be achieved with natural hair dyes as with conventional products. Brightening is not possible and gray hair is not completely covered. As with tints, the color fades with every hair wash. Even more than with conventional colorants, the color result depends on the original hair color.
Also, the use of natural colorants is much more complicated than that of conventional ones. So the exposure time is often much longer. Sometimes several dyeing runs must be carried out until the desired intensity is achieved.
In addition, the consistency can be problematic, especially when laymen use the product alone at home. So it can also quickly lead to contamination of clothing or in the bathroom. In addition, the natural dye henna can sometimes trigger allergies.
11 Things To Consider When Coloring Hair
So that your hair and your hair are not excessively stressed during hair dyeing, you should note the following tips:
- If you dye your hair yourself, follow the manufacturer’s instructions exactly.
- If possible, avoid skin contact: Use protective gloves and prefer dyeing methods that do not contact the scalp.
- If possible, do not inhale the colorant. See a doctor immediately if you have hair dye in the eye or swallowed it.
- Self-staining is not recommended for a previous skin compatibility test, as it may increase the risk of allergy.
- As a precautionary measure, do not dye your hair during pregnancy and lactation.
- Even with scalp problems such as psoriasis you should abstain from hair dyeing.
- Dyeing’s without ammonia are not necessarily better for the hair: Alternative alkalizing agents do not evaporate so quickly and therefore can damage the hair more.
- Do not dye your hair too often and if you prefer, you will prefer to use natural hair dye without chemicals.
- On already dyed or bleached hair, hair dyes can act differently than expected. In this case, you should go to the barber to avoid unpleasant surprises.
- Special colored hair shampoo and hair care products can help to preserve the color result (for example, silver shampoo for yellowing). In addition, hair treatments can help to care for the damaged hair and irritated scalp.
- UV radiation, chlorine and salt water bleach the hair. This also applies to colored hair. UV-based care products can help protect dyed hair.