Are Hair Dyes Safe? Exploring its Potential Risks

Hair Dyes

Hair dyes are not just confined to covering up the greys instead they have become a fashion statement. A couple of decades back it was used by used by aged people to cover the greying of hair but now it is equally popular among youngsters if not more. The colouring of the hair has become a trend and it signifies a phase in their life.

However, this phase can become a nightmare for later years as the dyes are not just colouring the hair they can leave a lasting impact on the hair and possibly on the overall health. The hair dyes are classified into two main dyes the oxidative and the non-oxidative ones. Based on the time they remain they can be divided into the following –

  • Permanent (until the hair grows)
  • Semi-permanent (24 washes)
  • Temporary (8-12 washes)

The oxidative dyes are the permanent dyes whereas the non-oxidative dyes are the ones that are temporary or semi-permanent.

The Chemistry of Hair Dyes

First, let’s understand the working of the Temporary Dyes – these dyes only coat the outer shaft and do not penetrate the hair. These hair dyes do not involve chemical reactions such as oxidation instead they have chemicals that make the colour stick to the hair’s outer layer.

Semi-permanent Dyes do not contain ammonia and are less harsh on the hair. These also colour the outer hair layer however the chemicals in these dyes are small so they can penetrate the shaft to some extent. These dyes use little or no peroxide hence, they cause less damage than the permanent ones.

Permanent Dyes are the ones that contain strong chemicals such as ammonia, hydrogen peroxide and phenylenediamine. The ammonia present in the hair dyes opens the hair layer. Hydrogen peroxide removes the natural colour and PPD imparts the colour to it. Some of the most common damage caused by these dyes are –

  • Loss of the natural oils of the hair
  • They cause the breakdown of hair proteins
  • Change the structure of the hair cuticle

The potential Risks with Hair Dyes –

Hair Damage

These chemical-rich dyes compromise the natural integrity of the hair and can lead to increased hair loss and breaking of the hair. Peroxide present in the dyes weakens the structure of the hair by breaking the proteins that form it. Constant use of these dyes can lead to frizzy hair and brittle hair. Also, the dyes can strip the hair of its natural oils. One of the main issues faced by people who use hair dyes is that it can make the hair dull and unhealthy.

Read More –Alopecia-All About Hair Loss Types, Causes, and Home Remedies

Allergic Reaction

One of the most common harmful effects of hair dyes is that some of the chemicals can lead to an allergic reaction. Hence, it is advisable to always read complete information about the dyes and do a swatch test on the back of the hand before using the dyes. The hair dyes can also lead to skin sensitivities as harsh chemicals such as PPD can lead to dermatitis. The skin of the scalp or wherever the dye comes in contact turns red and starts itching.

Respiratory Complications

The application of hair dyes exposes individuals to the inhalation of chemical fumes. Ammonia and other volatile organic compounds (VOCs) released during the dyeing process can irritate the respiratory system. Persistent exposure may contribute to coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath, posing a potential risk to respiratory health.

Cancer Risks

While the link between hair dyes and cancer is not completely established, certain studies suggest a potential connection. Some of the chemicals found in hair dyes, such as aromatic amines, have been classified as possible carcinogens. Although the evidence is not conclusive, the potential association with these chemicals raises concern.

Tips to Deal with the Damage Caused by the Hair Dyes–

  • Use shampoos made speciallyfor the hair dyes.
  • Protect the hair from sun damage by wearing a hat when going in the direct sun.
  • Use conditioner on the ends of the hair after every wash
  • Minimize the use of heat such as a straightener or dryer on the hair.
  • Use hair care products that are suitable to the hair and are gentle to use on the scalp and hair.
  • Check the components of the hair dye before using as it can cause an allergy in some people.
  • Take your Biotin Hair Gummies regularly.

The alternatives to the hair dyes–


Henna, derived from the leaves of the henna plant, is a natural and plant-based alternative to chemical dyes. It not only provides colour but also conditions the hair, leaving it soft and glossy. Henna is especially popular for those seeking vibrant red and reddish-brown hues. However, henna can also lead to allergic reactions or dermatitis in people who have sensitive skin.

Vegetable-based dyes

Vegetable-based dyes use natural ingredients such as beetroot, carrot, and chamomile to add colour to the hair. They definitely do not provide the same intensity asthat of the chemical dyes but they are a safer and gentler option. They work well for those looking to enhance their natural colour or add subtle highlights.

Herbal infusions

Herbal infusions, such as sage, rosemary, and chamomile, can be used to subtly enhance the hair’s colour and add shine. These natural alternatives not only avoid the harmful chemicals found in traditional dyes but also provide additional benefits for the health of your hair.

Temporary Dyes

Going for temporary dyes for those who still want to experiment with hair colour might sound like a better option. These dyes are simpler and are formed of far less chemicals than permanent hair dyes. These dyes can give a complete feel which a permanent dye does and are not that harsh on the hair and skin.


The allure to new hair colors is extremely tempting however it is also important that we are aware of all the potential health hazards that these dyes can cause. Being aware of all the risks can make you make informed choices regarding hair dyes and also form better hair care routines. You can also opt for gummies such as Vitagoli to enhance hair health.

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