ORGANIC HAIR DYE


In our never-ending quest to maintain that youthful look,  50% of US women, and even many men, dye their hair regularly.  But at what price?

image by size8jeans Flickr.com

In addition to stressing and drying out your hair, hair dyes can cause allergic reactions, and according to the National Cancer Institute, there may be a connection between hair dyes and cancer.   Specifically noted were bladder cancer, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and multiple myeloma. The chemicals in hair dyes are easily absorbed into the body via the scalp and become concentrated in the bladder.  Dark, permanent hair dyes are of particular concern because they contain a much higher concentration of chemicals.  Hair care professionals are at the highest risk.   One of the main culprits is p-phenylenediamine (PPD), which is even found in some non-permanent “natural” products.  Another hazard is the mixing of hydrogen peroxide with ammonia, which research has found may create potentially carcinogenic chemicals.

Europe is way ahead of the US and has banned 22 hair dye substances.  I use a natural hair dye, and though not completely free of harmful ingredients, it is plant-based and does not contain ammonia.  Plant dyes made from beets, walnuts, tea or marigolds are good alternatives for enhancing hair color or covering gray.  Henna has been used for centuries and is the only completely organic hair color.   Whole Foods carries several lines of “natural” hair dye worth trying and you can find recipes for safe hair rinses on line.  The down side of natural hair dyes is that they only last a few weeks, but they protect the hair and in general are a safer product.

Whatever product you use, drink a liter of water afterwards to help flush out the toxins.


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