Do You Dye Your Hair?
We bet you do. A whopping 70 percent of us bottle our blondes, reds and chestnuts, and it’s not hard to understand why. But here’s something: Hair dye is pretty toxic. Even conservative experts say as much (never a good sign) and it’s also bad for your hair. And yet I love me some highlights. So what to do?
As with all things, we think it’s important to be informed, and then calculate the risks. If you do the math and you still want to dye your hair, then for the love of god, eat your broccoli.
A few things worth noting:
—Hair dye has been linked to lymphoma in hair stylists, whose rates of exposure are much higher than the average four-times-a-year highlighter.
—Many chemicals in dyes are irritants, some are suspected carcinogens and others still are immune system toxicants.
—Dark dyes are more toxic than blondes.
—Europe has banned a boatload of chemicals used in hair dyes that we still use on this side of the pond.
—You want to avoid dyes containing p-phenylenediamine, diaminobenzene, ammonia and peroxide (goodluckwiththat), and that means if you’re going to a salon, you’re going to be the girl who asks to see ingredient labels. Awkward, but advised.
Those of you who have the book may already know I’m an on-again-off-again highlighter (who had a horrific experience when I tried to go “natural” with my dye job), but in the past year, something weird happened. Sort of by accident, I stopped coloring my hair. It’s been more than eight months since I’ve touched it, and I’m kind of digging how it looks. The base seems to match my skin tone better—Stacy Malkan told me she had the same thought when she stopped coloring hers—and it’s healthier, obviously.
But we’re not zealots about such things. So we want to know—do you dye yours? How often? Do you worry about the chemicals involved?