By Sharanya Manola Last Updated:
Do you see your favourite celebrity get their hair coloured and often end up giving into the fad? While colouring hair is fun, there are a lot of side effects that you need to be aware of. The symptoms and damage caused by hair colour may not always show up immediately. It may take up to several days or even weeks after hair colouring sessions. Especially if you colour your hair quite often, the chances of something severe happening go up by manyfolds.
So, here is all that you must know about what chemical therapies such as colouring your beautiful hair may end up doing to you.
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Whether you are colouring your hair to hide the greys or just experimenting, you could be risking severe allergic reactions. The primary perpetrator of allergies is a substance called paraphenylenediamine or PPD. The most common symptoms include itchy scalp, redness and swelling in the scalp, mild dandruff, swelling around the eyes and eyelids, and scaly skin around eyes, nose and face.
If you colour your hair often, it gets over-processed because of chemicals present in the dyes. The chemicals strip moisture from your tresses, separating cuticle scales and making them dry and brittle. Your hair ends up losing its shine. Thus, you will have to ultimately compromise on your length because the solution for getting rid of the damaged locks is, unfortunately a haircut.
Hair colours may also cause skin reactions. Some common symptoms include, burning sensations, redness and flaky skin, itchiness and discomfort. It is advisable that you perform a patch test 48 hours before getting your hair coloured. During a patch test, suspected allergen is applied, and your skin is examined after two days to make sure there was no allergic reaction. Abstain from using the hair colour at the slightest hint of any allergic reaction on skin. See a dermatologist if swelling and itching persists.
Laboratory experiments have proven that PPD can damage human DNA cells and cause cancer. But, whether the small amount of PPD found in hair dyes is capable of causing such damage has not yet been established. Well, this has been a cause of disagreement in the research circuit. The American Cancer Society believes that further research must be conducted before drawing a conclusion, that hair dyes are cancerous in nature. Resorcinol is another chemical present in hair colours. It is an endocrine-disrupting chemical that can increase the risk of breast cancer by disrupting the natural balance of hormones.
Often, individuals who are allergic to hair dyes report of getting red rashes on the scalp. The rashes will appear in the place it was applied to, and any area that is exposed to the dye. You must immediately see a dermatologist, so that the allergy is treated without any delay.
Numerous studies have shown that hairstylists, who have a much higher exposure to hair colours, are more vulnerable to getting skin allergies and contract asthma. This occupational asthma is a consequence of constant exposure to PPD in hair dyes and persulfates used in bleaches. This exposure sensitises their airway passage, and makes it difficult for them to breathe.
While it may not cost you a whopping Rs. 55 lakh for your hair colouring, like it did Katrina Kaif for her Fitoor hair-do, it may burn a hole in your pocket nevertheless. Make sure to consult your stylist about initial costs, and also how much it will take you to maintain the hair colour for a desired period of time.
As we said earlier, colouring your hair can be fun, and we are not asking you to stop doing it entirely. But, you must weigh the pros and cons of getting your hair coloured. Take a well-informed decision as to whether you want to experiment with colours or stay away from them for good.
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