Why your hair dye is dangerous

Who doesn’t love the idea of having hair of a different color? Whether you use chemical or natural hair dyes, giving your hair that perfect color is so much fun. You can do something different, and give yourself an effective makeover in a few short minutes. Be a new you, or just try something that you’ve never been able to do in the past. Hair dye is just a whole lot of fun!

But sadly, there are some dangers to dyeing your hair. You’ll find that hair dye can actually be hazardous for your health, meaning it may be best to avoid using it!

The Dangers of Hair Dye

The American Cancer Society released a report in 2013 detailing the link between hair dyes and cancer. Of course, hair dye isn’t linked to all types of cancer, but dyeing your hair can increase your risk of a few specific types – in this case, non-Hodgkin lymphoma and leukemia. These cancers of your blood and bone marrow are some of the hardest to treat, however, so it’s important to realize that using hair dye can lead to serious health problems.

Now, just because you dye your hair once, that doesn’t mean that you will suddenly develop cancer. The truth is that it takes years of regular use for the hair dye to be a problem, and only occasional dyeing isn’t going to be an issue. If, however, you are dyeing your hair on a fairly regular basis, that is when your risk of developing cancer increases.

How does your hair dye cause you to develop cancer?

Well, according to a study done way back in 2004, the use of hair dyeing chemicals increases your risk of exposure to dangerous chemicals. The truth is that all hair dyes contain strong chemicals, many of which can cause serious health problems if absorbed into your body. Your scalp will absorb the chemicals, as will your skin when the newly-dyed hair comes in contact with it. You just can’t stop it.

When the chemicals are absorbed, they flow around your bloodstream. This is why your risk of certain types of blood and bone marrow cancer are increased, along with bladder cancer. The chemicals floating around your blood will affect it, and your bladder is affected by the chemicals as they wait to be eliminated.

Beyond cancer, you’ll find that hair dyes can cause quite a handful of problems:

  • Allergic reactions to the chemicals and ingredients in the dyes
  • Swelling, itching, and burning in your scalp as a result of the dye
  • Dermatitis, a skin infection that sets in when strong chemicals affect your skin
  • Blindness – while rare, it has been known to happen
  • Hair loss thanks to the strong chemicals
  • Cross-sensitization, also known as a sensitivity to other forms of dye as a result of hair dye sensitivity
  • Bladder problems such as swelling and tissue damage thanks to the chemicals

Even organic hair dyes aren’t completely safe. You’ll find that many organic products still contain acids and strong substances that, while natural, can cause health problems.

Women that have dyed their hair for more than 25 years have a very high risk of developing cancer, as do women that have dyed their hair more than 200 times. If you find that you very nearly fall into that category, you need to realize that your hair dye can be the cause of health problems.

The best solution: find natural ways to color your hair. Consider henna, lemon juice, potato juice, and other natural colorings to give your hair that beautiful coloring without strong chemicals.

About the author


Some people get lucky and are born with fit, toned bodies. Andy Peloquin is not one of those people... Fitness has come hard for him, and he's had to work for it. His trials have led him to becoming a martial artist, an NFPT-certified fitness trainer, and a man passionate about exercise, diet and healthy living. He loves to exercise--he does so six days a week--and loves to share his passion for fitness and health with others.

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