Pink, blonde, brown, red, and even grey are just a few of the most common hair colors you may see around. Dyeing hair has been a popular fashion trend for decades. However, it wasn’t until recently that many people wanted to experiment with their hair due to stay-at-home orders. What many people don’t realize is that coloring their hair may have unfortunate consequences, including hair loss.
Why is Dyeing Your Hair Bad for Hair Health?
There are several chemicals used in hair dye that make the hair color last longer. To achieve a permanent color, hair dyes contain ammonia, hydrogen peroxide, and p-phenylenediamine. So how exactly do these chemicals kill your hair health? Let’s dive into it.
Ammonia works by lifting the hair cuticle to infuse the dye’s color into the hair fiber, which weakens the hair’s inner structure during the process. This process causes permanent damage, meaning that once the strands have become weak and brittle due to ammonia, there’s no way to restore the strands initial elasticity. Ammonia also reduces the amount of protein in your hair because it pulls apart layers of the hair’s proteins so that the dye can access the hair shaft.
Hydrogen peroxide acts as an oxidizing agent by stripping the hair of its natural color to better fix the artificial shade of the hair dye. Hydrogen peroxide often leaves the hair dry and frizzy. Hydrogen peroxide can also cause hair loss due to damage to the cuticles or causing a chemical reaction on the hair cortex.
Another ingredient in hair dyes is p-phenylenediamine, or PPD for short. PPD reacts with hydrogen peroxide to bind the artificial hair color to the hair permanently. One study found that a 41-year-old female experienced severe hair loss six days after the use of a hair dye containing PPD.
It is important to note that hair dyeing does not inhibit hair growth. According to DermatologyTimes, “the hair beneath the scalp that has not yet emerged cannot be reached by hair dye, and thus hair dye cannot fundamentally cause hair loss.” However, hair dye does cause damage to the hair, which may cause hair shedding.
Alternative Methods for Dyeing Hair
It is completely normal to lose fifty to a hundred hair strands a day, but if you start to notice extreme hair loss after dyeing your hair, you may need to adopt some alternative ways to dye your hair. Here are a few alternative methods that won’t destroy your hair:
- Find hair dyes that contain natural ingredients in them, such as henna, cassia, or indigo dyes
- Ammonia-free dyes are available in stores and won’t cause as much damage to your hair
- If you want lighter hair, you can use natural ingredients such as chamomile, lemon juice or honey in your hair
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