Chemically altering your hair comes with risks, this includes, of course, dying your hair. Even when used correctly dyes can cause skin irritation. In the case of accidents, dyes can cause vision loss if exposed to the eyes and mouth or stomach irritation if accidentally swallowed. So, it’s important to be careful and take proper precautions when dying your hair.
Your dye makes a difference
The type of hair dye you use will determine its effects, how it impacts your hair and for how long. In general hair dye can either remove color from your hair, add color in, or both. Natural dyes, such as henna are created using plants. Synthetic dyes are created using chemicals and typically are either permanent or semi-permanent. Semi-permanent hair dye can be washed out after one’s hair has been shampooed anywhere from four to twelve times. Dyes such as these only penetrate the outer layer of hair. Permanent dyes, as the name implies are resistant to washing and change the hair on a chemical level. Bleaching your hair, for example, strips the hair of its natural melanin (the thing responsible for giving hair its color) resulting in a lighter hair color. In permanent dyes color molecules are added that get trapped inside the shaft, creating a new hair color.
The risks of hair dyes
Hair dyes vary in strength depending on the type and ingredients. Some ingredients in certain hair dyes can cause irritation, redness, sores, or itching when in contact with the skin. If swallowed dyes can cause poisoning and respiratory complications can arise if the fumes are inhaled. The effects on the body can occur within a day or immediately after exposure.
Beyond health concerns, dyes can impact the health of your hair. The amount of damage done to the hair will depend on the type of dye you use. Additionally, the harm done your hair due to chemicals is often compounded so try to avoid espousing already processed hair to additional chemicals if possible.
Precautions to take when dying hair
Be sure to follow the proper procedures when dying your hair and follow the instructions carefully. To limit the amount of toxins that can enter through the skin (as well as limit the risk of skin irritation to your hands) glove should be worn. If you notice signs of an allergic reaction or if the dye is ingested seek medical assistance.
Dying your hair can be fun, but it is important that you be careful, regardless of the type of dye you use. Even temporary dyes can irritate the skin or cause nausea and vomiting if ingested. You’ll also want to be sure you properly care for your hair after it is chemically treated. Deep condition your hair and limit the amount of chemicals you expose your hair to (such as perms or relaxers) after your hair has been chemically treated particularly if your hair has been lightened.
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