Malaika Arora, Aishwarya Rai and all the other lovely ladies look lovelier with dyed hair, don’t they? And so will you, my dear. However, it can save you a lot of trouble if you just take a look at the colorless truth behind it – figures and statistics show an alarming increase of 40 patients of allergy due to hair dye annually.
Truth about hair dyes
Hair dyes are made of chemicals and even though some products insist that it has natural ingredients in it but at the end they are all chemically based products. The outer layer of hair is called the cuticle which can suffer maximum damage due to chemical, environmental or personal care factors. Hair dyes can damage the hair cuticle in the long run causing it to become porous and more prone to chemical damage. As the hair cuticle continues to get damaged, your hair becomes weak and susceptible to dryness and splitting. A latest survey found a twofold increase in frequency of dermatitis due to hair dyes just in a span of six years.
Hair dye reactions
All the hair dye packages contain a general warning for allergy or reaction which may be occur from coloring hair and rightfully advice for a spot-testing before applying the complete solution on hair. Usage of hair dye can trigger allergic reactions in a considerable number of people and youngsters are at a greater risk as they are more into the fad of coloring their hair. Hair colors or dye rank third in number after fragrance and preservatives when it comes to common cosmetic causes behind skin allergies or reactions.
The cause behind most of the allergic reactions is an ingredient called paraphenylenediamine (PPD) which is found in most hair dyes. Many other related chemicals and ingredients are also to be blamed.
Allergic reactions caused due to hair dyes can be of a mild intensity or even severe in form. A mild case of allergy will be characterized as a sensation of tingling or discomfort in the scalp after coloring your hair. In severe cases which are quite rare, inflammation and swelling can occur around the areas of the scalp like forehead, ears, nape of the neck and eyes. An acute allergy attack due to hair dyes may need hospitalization.
Ways to avoid hair dye allergy
You can protect your health and well-being by being aware and taking basic precautionary measures when it comes to coloring your hair. Good safeguard measures and knowledge in preventing allergies will do you better in the long run.
Being overzealous while trying out new hair colors or latest trends and brands will put you at harm’s way. Allergies which are caused due to hair dyes are seen in people who experiment with new colors and brands. Since different brands have varying recipes or ingredients in their products it makes a perfect case for an allergy attack on an enthusiastic and experimental person. Stick to a good brand and never go overboard with hair colors.
Quick patch test
- Patch test or spot-testing is the best preventive measure against a full-blown allergic attack. A patch test will indicate your skin’s sensitivity to a product and will guard you from an allergic reaction.
- Follow the instructions given in the label while you make the mixture of the hair dye.
- The area behind your ear is a sensitive spot and will immediately indicate signs of an allergic reaction. Use a cotton swab to dip into the hair dye mixture and apply it behind your ear.
- Leave it on for the next 24 hours to be doubly sure of its non-allergic formula. After the crucial hours have passed, you will be sure that you are using a ‘safe’ product.
You may try natural methods of preventing hair greying if your greying of hair is unnatural. Getting your hair dyed or coloured in a parlour would be too heavy on the pocket, especially if you need it regularly. Often people keep on dyeing their hair for years without bothering to know the most efficient ways of going about it. If you want to apply hair dye for sport the young look, hair dyeing is an instant solution. But do you know the correct way to apply it? Here is a guide for you.
Some quick tips to dye hair effectively
- Check your hair: Before deciding to apply a dye, the most important thing for you is to determine whether it can harm you hair or not. Much of this depends on the health of your hair. If you are just looking for a dark shade to cover the natural greying with age, your hair roots may not have lost strength despite the change of pigment.
- Test the dye: You should take a strand test of the hair dye before applying on your hair. You can snip off a strand of hair, seal one end with a cello tape and apply bit of hair dye. The directions that come with the hair dye would tell you the time you need to keep it intact. Check the result after removing the colour after the stipulated time elapsed. If you like the colour, well and good. If not, try one more coating of the dye following the same procedures. So, in this way you have the chance to check out the results in a strand of hair before applying on the whole of your head.
- Sensitivity test: The dyes come with a recommended sensitivity and allergy test. Make sure they are done before you go about applying the dye.
- How to apply: Shampoo your hair and part it in the middle. Wait till it is semi-dry before applying. Follow the instructions (which may vary with each brand of the hair dye) in mixing the dye. When applying, make sure that your dye covers the hair from root onwards, but does not spread on the scalp.
- Care after applying dye: UV rays from the sun can damage your hair dye. So, avoid being in the sun for extended periods on the day you apply the dye. Wash the applied dye off only after 24 hours have passed. Make sure that the shampoo you use does not have the effect of removing the colour from your dyed hair. After shampooing, condition your hair but leave the conditioner on for five minutes.
Read more articles on Hair Colouring.
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