Hair has been called "our crowning glory," but apparently women don't like their hair because more women are changing the color of their hair than ever before. But is this obsession with finding the perfect color bad for our hair? The answer is: It depends.
Trouble for Hair?
What's In It?
The three types of hair color --- permanent, semi-permanent and temporary --- all have chemicals in varying levels. The permanent colors are obviously meant to last longer and, according to the Food and Drug Administration, they are broken up into two categories: oxidation dye or progressive dyes.
The oxidation type becomes a dye after a chemical reaction with hair. The progressive type are dyes themselves but need additives to get to the desired shade; some of the chemicals used to do that are ammonia, soap and detergent, a conditioner and hydrogen peroxide. What you generally see in the box are a developer and an ammonia-based dye that are mixed together to form a cream.
What Happens to Hair?
The cream dye mixture makes the hair shaft swell to accept the color and process further. Certain ingredients that do this are metallic lead and bismuth citrate --- and in proscribed doses that are approved as safe. Our hair has keratin and it's the sulfur within that oxidizes with the chemicals, causing a color change.
Lesser Color Products
Another category of color -- semi-permanent and temporary color -- have coal tar (an antiquated way of saying "petroleum") that sticks to the hair shaft and leaves behind color. Inside this mixture are coal tar dyes, organic solvents --- salts or vegetable substances, gums, wetting agents called "surfactants" and conditioning ingredients.
In your color box will be a pair of plastic gloves and a cap (optional), but there will generally be a cautionary warning. This protects the manufacturer, but it also protects you. There are two main instructions with this warning: to do a preliminary test on your skin before proceeding, and to refrain from trying to color eyelashes or eyebrows, which can cause blindness.
Problems Associated with Hair Dyes
Hair dyes have caused bad reactions among some people like redness, itchy or irritated skin, burning, hair loss and -- with an extreme allergic reaction -- facial swelling and labored breathing.
The FDA has backed off of approving coal tar dyes; if the box has the patch test instructions, that's all it needs. The problem with continued use however,
is that someone can develop an allergy later on in life.
Another problem to the hair emerges when women have their hair straightened and colored, too. Also, overuse of dyes, dye sitting too long to develop, and other variables can damage hair. This will typically mean breaks in the shaft of the hair.
Under a microscope, a hair is not smooth but appears to have scales. These are proteins called keratins, in three different layers. Most dye can penetrate the layers, causing hair to dry out, produce fly-aways and create breakage that makes for open spots in the scalp.
Most of these poor results are not permanent, however. If you stop the coloring, hair should grow back. And the outer layer --- the cuticle --- has the scales; so when it accepts conditioning agents, it will get smoother.
Report a Bad Reaction
Complain to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) by calling 1-800-FDA-1088 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Photo Credit Clipart.com
Does Dyeing Your Hair Cause Hair Loss?
Does Dyeing Your Hair Cause Hair Loss?. ... How Does Hair Dye Damage Your Hair? Featured. Hat-iquette 101: 21 Hat and Hair...
Is Store-Bought Hair Color Bad for Your Hair?
There are a variety of hair dyes and methods to change one's hair color. Commercial dyes, widely available on store shelves, contain...
How Often Can You Color Hair Without Damage?
From women in the Old Testament of the Bible to today's modern woman, hair coloring has added a new look to countless...
Will a Semi-Permanent Rinse Damage the Hair?
When it comes to hair color, the possibilities are endless. There are several different hair color processes to chooses from, but semi-permanent...
How to Protect Hair from Color Damage
Hair color can be very damaging to your hair, so learn how to protect your hair from the damage of color or...
How to Apply Demi-Permanent Hair Color
Apply demi-permanent hair color for longer lasting color than semi-permanent color. Demi-permanent hair color does not damage hair as badly as permanent...
How to Dye Hair Blonde Without Damaging it
Dying your hair blond is a tricky process since color literally has to be stripped from the hair strands to achieve the...
About Temporary Hair Dye
Temporary hair dye is a type of dye that gives you a non-permanent color result. The results start to fade from the...
Science Projects on Hair Dye
Does your natural hair color affect how long it takes to dye your hair? For example, if the desired result is black...
How to Dye Your Hair
Many women prefer going to the salon to get their hair colored to just be in of the safe side and not...