Do you know the price of beauty? Often, it has nothing to do with money. The rising awareness of health has made natural products all the rage.
Even henna hair dye is becoming more popular. But plant-based doesn’t equal fool-proof, so it’s vital to do your research. Here’s what you need to know before using natural hair dye.
Henna Versus Commercial Hair Dye
It’s no secret commercial dye is full of chemicals! First, ammonia and hydrogen peroxide lift your original hair color. You’ll need a lot more if your hair is dark. Next, colorless aromatic amines react with hydrogen peroxide. This interaction creates a pigment, but darker colors need higher concentrations of aromatic amines.
But the effects don’t stop there. Regular hair dye use is linked to cancers of the bladder, breast, bone marrow, and blood.1 It can also cause hair breakage, dryness, skin inflammation, eye irritation, and even blindness.2 Suddenly, henna seems so much better. Or is it?
Possible Side Effects Of Henna Hair Dye
1. Contact Dermatitis
Remember, even plants can cause skin irritation. And while allergies are rare, it’s totally possible, as seen in a 2016 report in Australasian Journal of Dermatology.3 Keep this in mind if you have sensitive skin.
2. Lead Acetate Exposure
Steer clear from “progressive” henna hair dyes. If repeated applications are needed to darken hair, it might have lead acetate.4 This chemical is a harsh toxin – just like all forms of lead.
According to the Environmental Working Group, lead acetate has a high risk for developmental and reproductive toxicity. Cancer and allergies are also possible, so be mindful.5
When To Be Extra Careful
1. You Have Dark Hair
Regardless of what dye you’ll be using, dark hair needs more hydrogen peroxide to lighten up. How else will the color show? However, the bleaching process is really harsh on the hair, making way for dry and brittle locks.
2. Your Hair Is Dyed
If you already got a dye job, the color needs to be lifted up. This calls for at least one more round of bleach. Over time, it’ll change the structure and strength of your hair.
3. You Want To Use Black Henna
Hold that thought! Black henna should be avoided completely. It contains para-phenylenediamine (PPD), a potent allergen linked to contact dermatitis, hypopigmentation, scars,6 and respiratory problems.7
PPD is used to intensify color and reduce drying time,8 but the risk isn’t worth it.
Safety Tips For Dyeing Hair
Here’s how to stay safe whether you’re using natural or commercial dye.9
- Do a small patch test on your skin.
- Wait 48 hours. If a rash develops, don’t use the dye.
- Always wear gloves.
- Never dye eyebrows or eyelashes.
- Follow the directions closely.
- Do not leave the dye on longer than you should so keep an eye on the clock closely.
- Always rinse your hair with water afterward.
- Wash your hands before touching your face.
- Keep hair dye out of children’s reach.
After using henna, avoid using commercial dyes from here on in. The chemicals won’t play well with henna’s ingredients. It’s the best move for your hair’s health!
|↑1||Hair Dyes and Cancer Risk. National Cancer Institute.|
|↑2, ↑9||Hair Dye and Hair Relaxers. U.S. Food & Drug Administration.|
|↑3||Swan, Bonnie C., Mei M. Tam, Claire L. Higgins, and Rosemary L. Nixon. “Allergic contact dermatitis to substitute hair dyes in a patient allergic to para‐phenylenediamine: Pure henna, black tea, and indigo powder.” Australasian Journal of Dermatology 57, no. 3 (2016): 219-221.|
|↑4||Hair Dyes. U.S. Food & Drug Administration.|
|↑5||Lead Acetate. Environmental Working Group.|
|↑6, ↑8||Kluger, Nicolas, Nadia Raison-Peyron, and Bernard Guillot. “Temporary henna tattoos: sometimes serious side effects.” Presse medicale (Paris, France: 1983) 37, no. 7-8 (2008): 1138-1142.|
|↑7||Broides, Arnon, Shaul Sofer, and Isaac Lazar. “Contact dermatitis with severe scalp swelling and upper airway compromise due to black henna hair dye.” Pediatric emergency care 27, no. 8 (2011): 745-746.|