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Commercial hair dyes

That familiar smell, burning sensation and itch on the scalp from dyeing one’s hair is an obvious sign that perhaps something isn’t all that safe.

While certain people are able to accept their graying head with equanimity and grace; others look distinguished or proudly think of it as a sign of increasing wisdom; many people panic at the sight of that first white hair. In general most of us want to look as young as we can. Colouring one’s hair gives people the option to recreate their appearance, to present a new image to the world to have free expression. I’m all for it.

When it comes to commercial hair dyes, I think its best to think of more natural options. I am not saying that women (and men) should no longer have choice to dye their hair but information is education. And education gives choice so hear goes. Commercial hair dyes are a cocktail of toxins. Some of these nasties have been linked to various cancers including Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, bladder cancer and multiple myeloma. New research now links long term use of permanent hair dye (especially in dark colours) with doubling a person’s risk of developing certain blood cancers.

Increased cancer risk may have dropped after 1980 due to reducing cancer-causing ingredients. Some researchers feel this isn’t sufficient as one study showed that the more hair dye a person uses, the higher that person’s risk of cancer becomes. The evidence is starting to build up and current hair dye products may not be entirely safe.

Hair colouring is a personal decision for all kinds of reasons. If semi-permanent or temporary dyes can do the job I’d recommend using them as they have less nasties. Better yet, use a natural colourant.