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Are Hair Dyes Healthy For You?

by Kim Risley on March 22, 2010

I did research a while back about hair dyes.  At the time I came to the conclusion they weren’t  good for you.  Since I started this web site I re-looked at the subject.  You will get “studies” saying the hair dyes are not harmful and some that say they are.  The studies that say hair dyes are safer for you now than they were 20 years ago still say dying your hair with dark colors needs to be limited.

The studies I have reviewed do indicate links between cancer and permanent hair dyes.  Studies have linked permanent hair dyes to bladder cancer as well as to the group of diseases known as non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.   Also bladder cancer has been linked to hair dye.

In one study the results showed an increased risk of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma for women who reported the use of hair coloring products before 1980. Women who used dark-colored permanent hair-coloring products for more than 25 years doubled their risk of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The risk was nearly the same for women who used more than 200 applications of these products. No increased risk was seen in women who used semi-permanent dyes or temporary rinses.

Here are some of the health dangers of the chemicals found in hair dyes:

  • Cancer
  • Developmental and reproductive toxicity
  • Neurotoxicity
  • Immunotoxicity and organ toxicity
  • Allergies and irritation of the eyes, skin or lung

Dangerous chemicals found in hair dyes include:

  • Para-phenylenediamine and tetrahydro-6-nitroquinoxaline – have been shown to damage genetic material and cause cancer in animals.
  • Coal tar – a known carcinogen (an investigation found that 71 percent of hair dyes contain this ingredient)
  • Formaldehyde – a toxic preservative classified as a probable human carcinogen
  • DMDM Hydantoin – another preservative known as an immunotoxin
  • Eugenol – a fragrance ingredient linked to cancer, immunotoxicity, neurotoxicity and allergies.

Personally with just this little bit of information.  I don’t plan on dying my hair.  But if by chance I decide to  there are options.  There are semi-permanent hair dyes and temporary rinses.  I believe they only last about three weeks, so it is more maintenance -  but healthier.  I found two websites that sell Henna hair dye;  Rubber-Ducky and NaturalEurope.  If you have to dye your hair then this would be the less harmful way of doing it.

Another way is to buy wigs.  They range in price from $20-$1500 depending on the quality of the wig.  Personally I like this idea better.  You can pick different styles and different colored wigs.  It’s more flexible.

My personal opinion is I choose not to put anything on my body that the body can’t handle naturally.  Putting a permanent hair dye that has chemicals in it can’t be good for the body.  So I will NOT do it at ALL.

Hope this helps.  There is  a lot of information on the web about hair dyes.  Do your own research and decide for your self.  What you do to your body now can affect you years later.

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