Covering or colouring Gray Hair
Although dyes are a simple and fast solution for grey hair, using it too often can be a potential health hazard for you. Conventional hair dyes are laden with synthetic chemicals and carcinogens that can do more harm than good in the long run. Bear in mind that dyes that are darker in color can contain significantly more damaging chemicals like Phenylenediamine (PPD) than those with lighter shades.
The Types of Hair Colouring
Semi-permanent hair color cannot lighten hair. Hair can only be lightened using chemical lighteners, such as bleach. Bleaching is always permanent because it removes the natural pigment. Select a hair color that is two shades lighter than your natural hair shade, so that it blends well with the gray hair strands.
There are many options for what you can do with your hair 1.Color/ Bleaching 2. Highlighting/Lowlighting 3.Tinting 4. Re-Coloring
There are 5 types of hair color which are
Temporary Hair DyesUsually comes in the form of rinses, gels, mousses and sprays and majority of these products do not penetrate or modify the structure of the hair shaft. They work like surface paint as the molecules usually stay on the outer surface of the hair. In most cases, you can usually wash the color off immediately with a single shampooing. If you just want to experiment with a different hair color, or color for some occasion temporary hair dyes might be the safest and least harmful way to go for.
Semi Permanent Hair Dyes
A harsher but less invasive way to change your hair color is to use semi permanent dyes. Instead of staying on the surface of our hair, semi permanent dyes contain smaller molecules which will penetrate through your hair shaft and stay there for a longer period of time. Usually it will take around 6 to 10 shampoos to get the hair color out. Semi permanents do not require the use of oxidization agents like ammonia or paroxide and the color change is less impressive for dark colored hair.
Demi-permanent hair Dyes: contains no ammonia but is mixed with the developer (peroxide) shortly before application. The developer helps lift the cuticle so that the colour can be deposited outside and inside the cuticle and on the cortex. The molecules of demi-permanent hair colours are very small and they are therefore gradually washed out from the cortex, lasting about 15-20 shampoos.
Frequent use of permanent dyes is the harshest way you should treat your hair. There are a myriad range of strong chemicals found in permanent dyes that helps the color to stay in. Permanent hair dyes are divided into 2 categories
- Oxidization Dyes
To permanently change your hair color, you will require the use of dye intermediates like PPD and a developer containing hydrogen peroxide for oxidization. Both of these are mixed together before application and the chemicals will cause your hair cuticle to swell so that the coloring agents can easily penetrate through. Once inside your hair shaft, the agent will break up your original color pigments known as melanin and replaces it with the new color. In most cases, the color change is very permanent.
- Progressive Hair Colorants
A progressive hair dye is another kind of permanent dye that changes your original hair color gradually by regular application. The dye contains metallic salts or organic compounds like lead acetate, bismuth citrate or 5,6-dihydroxyindoline which can easily absorb into your hair shaft and react with the structure of your hair. Over time, the lead will replace the color of your hair with the new color.
The Dangers in Hair Dyes
Para-Phenylenediamine (PPD)The most common and potent ingredient commonly known to cause allergic reactions
well known carcinogen (cancer causing agent) after oxidation with the developer like Hydrogen Peroxide or Ammonia. non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, Multiple myeloma, Breast Cancer, Leukemia,
Coal Tarallergic reactions
Lead Acetateused for progressive dyes that change your hair color gradually, is banned from cosmetics in the European Union and is a potential carcinogen. Lead is said to be able to disrupt the function of your brain's neurotransmitters and might also
- Disrupts your heart activity
- Causes blood clots
- Reduces intelligence
- Affects sensory and motor developments
- Other neurological problems
If you are pregnant, then avoid lead products totally because it has been reported to be able to cross the placenta and the embryo that can lead to fetal mortality. That is why lead in the first place was banned from so many products like paint.
Other Health Risks in Hair Coloring
- DMDM Hydantoin
linked with causing immune system problems.
Widely used in fertilizers, plastics and explosives, ammonia is toxic and corrosive. This chemical can cause running nose, coughing and respiratory problems if inhaled, skin inflammations.
used for oxidation and is an irritant and also a potential carcinogen.
Reduce Your Risk NOWEcocolors or some other natural hair dyes like henna that do not contain harmful chemicals.
Some high end salons also use high tech equipment like infrared to open up the hair shaft for the color to absorb through rather than using oxidizers like peroxides and ammonia.