The Dangers of At-Home Chemical Hair Coloring

One of the most relieving feelings of going  natural is not having to worry about putting toxic chemicals from relaxers in your hair, dealing with scalp burns and other ugly mishaps that can come from the harmful ingredients and chemicals used in relaxers. Although sometimes we get a little bored with our hair and want to go for a change such as a cut or color, we should first know that a lot of permanent hair dyes contain some of those same toxic chemicals found in relaxers and can have adverse effects on your hair, skin and long-term ill effects on your body.

These at home, do-it-yourself hair dying kits can be dangerous and could really do some damage to your hair and body. Many of these kits contain a toxic chemical known as para-phenylenediamine (or PPD), a petroleum dye also used as a coal tar dye and can cause severe allergic reactions. This ingredient is mostly found in hair dyes in the UK, but could possibly be in hair dyes purchased from local beauty supply stores right here in the United States.

Stacy Ditroia
Face became swollen and scalp itching uncontrollably after using L'Oreal treatment hair color in chocolate brown.
L'Oreal told Stacy that "a chemical called para-phenylenediamine in the colorant was the likely cause of the reaction."
Get the full story here.

Mariade Kelly
Skin began to itch uncontrollably as pus poured from her scalp after using Garnier Nutrisse in black.
Doctors determined that Kelly suffered a sever allergic reaction to the drug para-phenylenediamine.
Get the full story here.

Para-phenylenediamine (PPD) is banned from Europe but unfortunately, not its other popular derivatives; tetraaminopyrimidine, indoanilines and indophenols. Derivatives of diaminopyrazole give red and violet  their colors. The chemical PPD is also used in the development of photographs, creating the colored dyes that form the image. In studies conducted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, associations were found between personal hair dye use and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, multiple myeloma, acute leukemia, and bladder cancer.

Chemical burn behind the ear
I would recommend speaking with a professional or having a consultation with a colorist before attempting to color your hair yourself. There are lots of salons that offer free color consultations so, it is best to do your research before trying to become your own colorist. Most of these companies however will take no liability if you do happen to suffer from chemical burns, lose your hair or suffer a severe allergic reaction to these dyes.

The companies' position is that as the consumer, you should take the necessary precautions before deciding to color your hair. The necessary precautions being doing your research on the ingredients used in these dyes, consulting with a professional and even performing a skin patch test before dying your hair. Unfortunately, a lot of those who suffered from the chemicals used in various hair dyes performed a skin patch test with no reaction until days later, once the chemical was already used in the hair. So be careful ladies, again (I can't say this enough) do your research on the chemicals in the hair dye that you use or want to use and always do a skin patch test if you must dye your hair at home.

There are alternatives to permanent, chemical hair dyes that can give you similar results such as Henna for subtle color highlights or a semi-permanent hair dye, which contains less harmful ingredients for short term hair coloring. Permanent hair dyes, just as relaxers, permanently alter the chemical bonds of your hair and can only be removed from the hair by cutting the colored strands.



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