Just DYING for that perfect haircolour? Not literally I hope!
I thought it was time to broach the subject of haircolour. This is a large subject so I will blog in several parts. Having spent over 11 years as a Hairdresser and finally as a Technical Educator/Colour Expert for a leading Hair colour/Hair product company I have had my hair coloured ALOT over the years. I have a box stashed away with hillarious photos of me Platinum Blonde, Red, Copper, Pink, Honey Blonde, Orange, Black, Blue Black, Black with bright Red stripes, Brunette, you get the idea. After all these years I shudder to think of all the other stylists that I have worked with that happily applied colour to clients without wearing gloves. Even at the tender age of 16 when I started my apprenticeship, I suspected things weren't cool and groovey, when I noticed how some colours and especially bleach was really 'bitey' on my skin. It was from then on that I wore gloves religiously, thank goodness.
Conventional haircolour is ladened with all sorts of toxic chemicals which can cause common reactions like allergic and skin irritation issues but the more worring issues are ones that come from regular exposure like as seen in haircolourists which can include a significantly increased risk of mulitple myeloma (malignant disease of the bone marrow), leukaemia (malignant disease afffecting the white blood cells) and non- Hodgkins lymphoma (malignant disease of the lymph nodes). Below is a list of some of the Toxic Chemicals found in haircolour. I agree that this may be a bit of a 'heavy' read but it's worth knowing about if you, like me colour your hair. Remember that one of the major Haircolour companies includes the below chemicals because "Your worth it":
PPD is a benzene-derived chemical present in more than two-thirds of chemical hair dyes, often even in ‘natural’ ones. It is classified as dangerous to the environment by the European Union and banned in France, Germany and Sweden. The most toxic chemical in hair dyes, it’s an irritant with reactions from mild to severe, and can cause organ system toxicity plus birth and fertility defects.
Commonly found in long lasting and permanent hair colours as well as hair bleaches. It is the Hydrogen peroxide that lightens your natural pigment in your hair an supplies the oxygen source required for the PPD to oxidise (swell to a point where it can no longer escape through the outer cuticle layer of the hair shaft). Hydrogen peroxide was the main reason for the 'bitey' feeling I felt when not wearing gloves and it has been banned from cosmetic use in Japan and restricted in Canada. Studies show that it can have effects on our brain and nervous system. Bad news I guess for all those long term Platinum Blondes out of a box.
Ammonia is the reason for the pungent smell, ammonia is present to soften, swell and open the hair fibre so the dye (PPD usually) can penetrate the hair and is an irritant to the skin, eyes and is a respiratory system toxicant.
Resorcinol is classified by the European Union as harmful, irritant to eyes and skin and dangerous for the environment. It is also a known human immune system toxicant and is one of the main reasons for allergic reaction to haircolour.
Toluene-2,5-diamine and toluene-2,5-diamine sulfate are found in hair dyes and are considered safe to be used in current concentrations, however toulene-2,5-diamine is an irritant to the skin.
Sodium, potassium and ammonium sulfates are in hair dyes and bleaches and can cause respiratory problems through inhalation or skin and eye irritation by contact .
Found in many cosmetics as preservatives (Synthetic). Parabens are a suspected carcinogen, they mimic estrogen, with links having been found particularly to breast cancer.
This is present in some hair coloring products that are used for gradual or progressive colouring. Lead has well-known damaging effects on the brain and nervous system is a known human reproductive toxicant and developmental toxicant. By the way this ingredient rates 10 on the 1-10 scale for Hazard according to The Environmental Working Group's Skin Deep Cosmetics Database USA.
Found in some dyes, this has been linked to the development of cancer.
Well after all that I am sure you are reconsidering colouring your hair and wondering how you will get by when mother nature blesses you with those wonderfull silver hilights, which can look fabulous on some people! Never fear, there is a much safer way to add colour to your hair whether you are a 'DIY' colourist or whether you go to a salon.
Stay tuned for part 2, subscribe to my blog, share with all your friends as the next installment will give tips and information on how to colour your hair more safely!