Dyeing your Hair: Be aware of comestic hair dyes - what you need to know before you dye your hair
Always Do A Patch Test Before Using Hair Dye
You might think that it's a waste of time doing a 48 hour patch test when you decide to use hair dye at home.
However, you should take note, there's a reason that message is put on the instruction leaflet.
Many people do develop reactions to using cosmetic dyes and sometimes these can be fatal.
If you do the test, and you do have a reaction, it might be a lot milder than if you have a whole bottle of hair dye on your head.
So always carry out the test, just to be safe.
Many of us like to change our hair colour to suit the seasons or just our moods. While others like to keep their natural hair colour a little longer, once they notice those few greys hairs creeping in.
Whatever reason you have for dyeing your hair, there's one thing we all agree on, that sometimes it's a lot cheaper to do it at home compared to visiting a hair salon.
We rely on those cosmetic hair dye that we get in the pharmacy at a reasonable price to do the job. It's a lot easier to take an hour out of your Saturday afternoon to dye your own hair in your own bathroom instead of having to book an appointment in town. While they don't contain as many harsh chemicals as the salon hair dyes, there are still some chemical that they contain that are dangerous to some people.
Chemical Free Hair Dye
While the EU have banned these chemical from appearing in hair dyes here, that doesn't mean that every country has followed the same course of action.
The cases here of people dying from severe allergic reactions have been told publicly in newspapers and this has probably played a part in the EU taking some form of action to save lives.
Problem With Hair Dye
The main problem with using any type of hair dye is that some people can be allergic to it the first time they use it. While others go for years with no problems. Then one day they have a severe reaction to it. If the reaction is mild and you get treatment immediately you might survive. If you don't then you could actually die.
The mildest symptoms you could get is a rash, hair loss or hives. But if you get an allergic reaction and your face starts swelling up, then you need get treatment straight away.
That's why it's vital to do the 48 hour reaction test before you use it. If you then have any reaction to it, the symptoms will be a lot milder.
Reaction To Hair Dye
Burning Sensation in Scalp
Henna : natural hair dye
What To Do If You Start Feeling Weird
If you're in the process of applying hair dye or have applied all the hair dye, and you suddenly start to feel weird or have a tingling sensation on your head, then immediately wash off the hair dye.
Don't wait 5 minutes to see if it stops. This tingling sensation sometimes happens if you switch from one brand of hair dye to another or switch from one type of colour to another.
If you apply the hair dye and you leave it on, and you still feel a strange sensation on your head, then you could be in serious trouble. You might end up burning your hair or go into anaphylacti shock.
Chemical EU banned from Hair Dye
6-Methoxy-2,3-Pyridinediamine and its HCl salt
4,5-Diamino-1-Methylpyrazole and its HCl salt
4-Methoxytoluene-2,5-Diamine and its HCl salt
N,N-Dimethyl-2,6-Pyridinediamine and its HCl salt
N-(2-Methoxyethyl)-p-phenylenediamine and its HCl salt
2,4-Diamino-5-methylphenetol and its HCl salt
2-Aminomethyl-p-aminophenol and its HCl salt
Solvent Red 1 (CI 12150)
7% of people will have a reaction to hair dye.
There has been no official research conducted into the chemical PPD confirming that it is the cause of the allergic reactions.
But a lot of scientist say that it is the only thing that could such a severe reaction.
Hair Dye & Cancer
When research was conducted on animals using this chemical (4MMPD sulfate) or its more formal name, 4-methoxy-m-phenylenediamine sulfate which is two coal-tar ingredients, they found that it caused cancer in the animals.
It was banned from being used in hair dyes and so have other ingredients as more research has continued into this area. However, there hasn't been any long term research carried out to confirm that long term use of hair dye does cause cancer.
Still the experts say that you should only start dying your hair later on in your life when you really need to. If you do dye your hair, try to not do it on a continuous basis. If you don't use hair dye, then in the long run it can significantly reduce your risk of contacting cancer.
There is also the option now of using natural hair dyes which are made from plants. Products like henna have become popular with people who don't want to take that risk in the long term.
This is a chemical found in permanent hair dye.
People who use permanent hair dye then become sensitized to this chemical and have an allergic reaction to it.
This substance has also been blamed for causing dermatitis.
Types of Hair Dye
There is 3 types of hair dye. Temporary, Semi-permanent, and permanent.
Temporary hair dye will wash out after a set number of days and doesn't penetrate into the hair cuticle. That's why mostly after 28 days you will notice that every time you wash your hair, you will see dye running out into the water.
Semi-permanent hair dyes do penetrate the outer layer of the hair cuticle. The final colour of the hair, will be determined by the condition of the hair at the time and the original colour of the hair. While these types of hair dyes don't penetrate straight into the hair cuticle they do contain some hydrogen peroxide and sodium carbonate. But it's very mild and it won't affect the actually hair colour pigment as much as the permanent. This type of dye will gradually fade away.
This type of hair dye does contain peroxide and will change you original hair colour. Most often this is the type of dye you will use to cover grey hair. These are the ones that cause allergic reaction the most often.
Rules When Dyeing Your Hair
Do a patch test
Use the gloves provided
Follow the instruction on the box
Never leave the hair dye on longer that it says
Never use hair dye that was previously opened
Rinse your hair really well with water to remove all the dye
If you feel unwell after applying hair dye, immediately wash your hair and remove all traces of hair dye
If you continue to feel unwell, go to your doctor or A&E in case you're suffering from an allergic reaction
© 2014 Sp Greaney
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