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5 Side Effects Of Hair Dyeing And How To Prevent Them

Most hair dyes are made using chemicals like ammonia, paraben, PPD, and resorcinol. These ingredients have been cited by several experts and organizations as the primary cause for hair damage and allergies related to hair dyes.

Fortunately, some companies that manufacture hair dyes are now using safer alternatives. Read on to know more about the common side effects of using hair dyes, and how you can prevent them.

#1 Damaged hair shaft

Cause: Hair colors are often made with ammonia. Ammonia is alkaline in nature and increases the pH of the hair colorant that makes the hair swell; allowing for more dye to be absorbed into it. This property essentially makes hair dyes with ammonia last longer since they can penetrate and spread into the hair shaft. 

Effect: Overtime this leads to loss of lustre and increased brittleness. Damaged hair could be revived by hair treatments or by getting it cut.

Tip for prevention: Use a hair dye product that does not contain ammonia. Although the cover may have words like “natural” or “organic” do take the time to read the label carefully. Do not buy the product if it contains ammonia.

#2 Allergies

Cause: Paraphenylenediamine (PPD) is the primary cause for allergies resulting from hair dyes. Individuals with contact dermatitis, eczema, and psoriasis are at a higher risk of having an allergic reaction. In individuals who do not show a response at the first exposure may risk sensitizing their system leading to a quicker and stronger response on the second exposure.

Effect: Hair dye allergies manifest as itching, skin irritation, redness, or swelling on the scalp, face, or neck. In worst cases, anaphylaxis may occur- which is a medical emergency.

Tip for prevention: PPD is one of the banned chemicals in the guidelines put forth by the European Union for the manufacture of hair dyes. Even if it means spending a few hundred extra, buy hair dye products that are free of PPD to stay safe.


#3 Conjunctivitis

Cause: Inflammation of the conjunctiva is known as conjunctivitis (pink eye). This may result from accidental contact of hair dye with the eye. 

Effect: Conjunctivitis can cause severe discomfort. If not managed carefully infection in one eye can spread to the other.

Tip for prevention: While dyeing your hair ensure that you take some precautions to prevent leakage into the eye. Wearing a headband or applying petroleum jelly on the hair-line has been shown to help. 

#4 Asthma

Cause: Persulfates present in hair dyes have been shown to aggravate asthma. 

Effect: Regular use of hair dyes that contain persulfates could lead to wheezing, lung inflammation, and discomfort in the throat. 

Tip for prevention: While using at-home hair dyes ensure that there is ample ventilation and lighting in the room. This way the chemicals are quickly dissipated and do not hang around the air. It is also advisable to go for hair dye products that use safer alternatives.


#5 Maintenance

Cause: This is not a health side effect. However, maintaining artificially colored hair is a lot of work! 

Effect: In addition to maintaining a stock of hair dye for use and regular touch-ups, hair care for colored hair is a long-term commitment. It requires more patience since it is more vulnerable to damage than hair that has not been colored before.

Tip for prevention: This does not mean that you stay away from hair dyes! Do not buy cheap hair dye products. Invest in a good product that addresses safety as much as cosmetic requirements. 

Precautions To Take While Dyeing Your Hair

You cannot avoid dyeing your hair. What is in your control is buying a good product and exercising some safety measures. 

Some precautions to take if you plan to dye your hair at home:

  • Opt for a hair dye product that does not contain ammonia, paraben, PPD, and resorcinol. If this is not mentioned explicitly on the front cover, take some time to read the product label.
  • Now this is important: always perform a patch and strand test before start using a product. This is true for all cosmetics, and not just hair dyes. This will help you avoid allergic reactions. 
  • Ensure you use a headband or apply petroleum jelly on your hairline to prevent hair dye leakage into your eyes.
  • Always color your hair in a well-lit and well-ventilated room. 
  • Read and research before buying a hair dye product. Do not be lured by low prices and fancy marketing. As mentioned before, when it comes to using cosmetics safety and health supersedes appearance.

Atbro is a pioneer in safe and natural hair color.

Atbro hair dye:

  • Does not contain ammonia, paraben, PPD, resorcinol, silicones, and SLS. Instead uses safe alternatives.
  • Made in Italy under compliance of the guidelines put forth by the European Union.
  • Lasts for up to 30 hair washes.
  • Produces visible effect within 10 minutes.
  • Improves hair texture, and reduces brittleness.
  • Makes the hair smooth and shiny.
  • The product includes a complete hair dye kit:
    • Mixing bowl
    • Hair dye brush
    • Developer
    • Safety gloves


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