Did you know that people around the world have used hair dye for cosmetic reasons for thousands of years and they still continue this practice today? We can date the usage of hair dyes back to 3400 B.C. when the Egyptians used henna to hide their grey hair just as senior members of our society use hair dye today for the same reason, while some young adults and even children use hair dye to express themselves with bold colours. People who use hair dyes usually do not know what the product really is and that it can be extremely harmful to them. Of course most are aware that chemicals are present in hair dyes, but they do not seem to be aware of the toxic side effects they cause. Both permanent and temporary hair dyes often contain chemicals which may be unsafe and even carcinogenic.
Poisonous ingredients include:
– Aromatic amino compounds
– Phenylene diamines
Along with the chemicals listed above, some hair dyes have been known to contain phthalates, which are used as plasticizers. Research has shown that phthalates can negatively affect fetus development and are becoming increasingly present in newborn babies. Diethyl phthalate (DEP) is a commonly used phthalate in cosmetic and plastic derivative products. Most people who use hair dyes do not consider the harmful effects that these chemical components can potentially have on their body and on the environment. There are various possible negative effects on the human body which include: abdominal pain, blurred vision, coma, difficulty breathing, watery/bloody diarrhea, low blood pressure, and many more.When we wash these chemicals down the drain they go into the environment and do the same harm to the wildlife which they do to the human body.
Possible ways for the chemicals in hair dyes to enter ones body and cause harm include: oral ingestion, entering through a cut, and lastly through the skin from excessive use of the products over a long period of time such as 10 years. If people change the brand of the products they use this could cause additional harmful effects than by using only one brand. Since companies use different chemicals in their products, by switching brands one could expose themselves different chemicals, such as hydrogen peroxide and ammonia, together they can make carcinogenic chemicals which would have not been present prior to them coming together and reacting.
Although we have been using hair dyes for centuries these products are becoming seemingly more hazardous to us and our environment. The hair dyes used today are more synthetic as compared to the ones which were used in the past; these were natural and had little or no side effects, such as henna.
I am not suggesting abolishing this practice, but we need to find alternative chemicals to put into the products.