The 3 Chemicals in Your Hair Dye That Could Send you to the ER

The 3 Chemicals in Your Hair Dye That Could Send you to the ER

Avoiding prolonged contact with the toxic chemicals commonly found on chemical-based hair dyes is essential for our health. Traditional hair dyes and bleaches often contain some of the most dangerous and toxic chemicals that may have negative effects on our health. This is something we must be aware of since hair coloring is a thing that the majority of us will be doing regularly at some point in our lives.

The truth is that once you start coloring your hair especially to cover the graying hairs, this will become a regular routine that you will do around a 4 to 6 weekly basis. This will go on for years and continuous use can lead to progressive exposure to harmful chemicals.

These harmful ingredients can also cause serious immediate skin, eye and lung irritation, severe allergic reactions that can lead to death, immunotoxicity, chemical burns and blistering of the scalp, hair breakage and hair loss as well as some forms of cancer. Among the most dangerous chemicals often found in a hair dye are the following:

P-Phenylenediamine (PPD)

This chemical is one of the primary coloring agents used to fix dye permanently into the hair so it does not eventually wash out. But PPD is causing increasing concerns and some experts are now calling for an outright ban. Allergic reactions can cause acute injuries and can prove to be fatal to some with serious allergic reactions to this type of chemical. The hazards of PPD have been known since it was first introduced as a component for industrial fur dye as well as in personal hair dyes.

PPD allergy


This is a well-established neurotoxin often linked to birth defects, pregnancy loss as well as more serious effects such as reproductive damage, and severe allergic reaction. Exposure to this chemical can also result in temporary effects such as headaches, dizziness, cracked skin and respiratory complications. EWG or Environmental Working Group considers toluene as one of the most toxic ingredients on the market. Research data shows that a pregnant mother's exposure to toluene vapors may cause developmental damage to the fetus.


Ammonia is used in hair dyes in order to open up the hair cuticle to deposit color. A negative aftereffect of this action is damage to the hair cuticle that eventually damages the hair's structural integrity. Other effects of ammonia is irritation to the nose, throat, respiratory system, eyes, and in higher concentrations, this chemical can cause burns to the skin.

Henna Hair Dye As A Safe Alternative

Undoubtedly - one of the safest options to use when coloring your hair is using all-natural, organic Henna. This natural dye colors your hair easily and will fade very little. Compared to chemical-based dyes, henna is not damaging. As an added bonus, the tannin molecules contained in henna hair dye bind with the hair making it stronger and less prone to breakage because your hair is less likely to develop split ends.

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