Today I’m going to talk about hair dye, what it does to your hair and suggest you an alternative to coloring your hair with permanent hair dyes.
I’m going to talk to you about henna hair dye benefits and why it is a good choice for coloring your hair.
Hair dye is really popular and it’s something that people spend a lot of money on.
This is odd because pigment comprises less than 3% of our hair weight but. Our natural pigments include things like melanin, eumelanin and oxymelanin.
Hair dyes fall into a variety of different categories.
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Permanent Hair Dye
First is permanent hair dye, so named because the dye stuffs enter the hair shaft down into the cortex and they don’t leave, that can’t be rinsed off. Your hair has to grow out, hence the name permanent.
In permanent hair dye, no dye is actually used. Instead colorless intermediates are used that react with peroxide to form these color compounds once in the hair.
The process involves using a primary intermedia like toluene that then undergoes a reaction with the peroxide. The reactive intermediates are exposed to a coupler like naphtha. The coupler then results in the formation of a dye molecule within the hair.
Then boosters can be added, things like ammonium persulfate and potassium persulfate, and these boosters can be added to achieve a greater degree of color lightening.
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The peroxides and the persulfates can bleach out your actual hair color. This is how hair is lightened. These compounds bleach out the melanin pigments in your hair and then the hair color enters so you have a blonde hair color as a result.
But with time, the blonde hair color does actually end up washing out a little bit and as a result, one of the things that happens is you get uncovering of your red pigments in your hair. Those don’t bleach as easily as the dark black melanin pigments.
So if you’re somebody who has dark hair and you lighten it, you know that one of the things that can happen is it can get brassy and that is those reddish pigments that don’t bleach out coming through as the actual dye compound is is fading.
The negatives of permanent hair dyes is that you have to keep it up with every four to six weeks, so it can be expensive. It is definitely an art and it’s definitely a skill. Hair colorists agree that you should not to do this at home.
Another thing that can happen is that you can develop a irritant contact dermatitis and allergic contact dermatitis to these different compounds.
It’s actually very common, it can present with rashes around the eyelids, the sides of the face, the neck, the upper chest.
The most common offenders are para phenylenediamine as well as the persulfate and toluene. Because of the peroxide component, the outer cuticle can swell and this can result in brittleness, dryness and damage to your hair.
Semi-permanent Hair Dye
You may be considering a semi-permanent hair dye. This differs from permanent in that it uses more intermediate-sized compounds that can enter and exit the hair more readily. They’ll be washed off after a few shampoos.
These compounds are dyes that are nitro para phenylenediamine, yet another common allergen. They often have an alkalizing agent added to them, which disrupts the hair cuticle, so those dye compounds can come down. So you still have the issue with brittleness and damage to the hair cuticle.
The other issue with the semi-permanent dyes is that a lot of them are a foam mousse consistency or shampoo consistency that you lather and leave on.
They have thickeners and stabilizers so they stay close to your scalp and they don’t run. The problem with that however is that because the para phenylenediamine is frequently a cause of allergic contact dermatitis, you’re increasing the chances of contact sensitization.
Plus you’ve got the harsh alkaline components in there, disrupting not only the hair cuticle, but also it’s harsh on the scalp.
While some semi-permanent dyes don’t have peroxide, some do. They’re actually called demi permanent dyes and they’ll last a little bit longer than the semi-permanent ones.
Gradual Hair Dyes
There are also gradual hair dyes that require repeated application and they kind of build on themselves.
The problem with the gradual hair dyes is that they use metallic dyes that have nickel in them. Nickel is the most frequent cause of allergic contact dermatitis. You definitely can develop allergy to the gradual hair dyes. It’s not uncommon, it’s really problematic.
I know a lot of people color their hair to mask the gray hair. I encourage you to go dye-free but an alternative is henna.
Henna is a great idea because it just stays on the on the surface of the hair to color the hair and it doesn’t penetrate within the hair shaft. There’s no opening up of the cuticle. Instead, henna can help strengthen your hair in a sense similar to how a conditioner works and it can also protect the hair to a certain extent from the damage by ultraviolet radiation.
Henna is not permanent but it’s really important to know that some henna dyes have para phenylenediamine added to them.
Suraya Brasil henna is really nice. I use it myself more as a hair mask and it really helps condition the hair and nourish the hair.
I’ve been running outside a lot so I like the fact that I have a little bit of extra protection from ultraviolet light. I do wear a hat but I have my pony tail hanging out of the back. So this is nice as it protects my hair from what’s called weathering damage from the elements.
Suraya Brasil is really easy to use. It doesn’t have para phenylenediamine, there’s no ammonium persulfate, there’s no peroxide in it. It’s not going to damage your cuticle.
None of the offenders in terms of contact dermatitis from hair dyes are present in this product.
To use it, first you shampoo your hair. You can use their color fixation shampoo, which is really nice. It has a variety of oils in it.
After you shampoo your hair, rinse it out. While your hair is wet, that’s when you want to apply the henna cream.
It comes with gloves so you don’t have to worry about getting it on your hands.
It’s really easy to apply and after you apply it to your hair, you rinse it out with water and then you’re going to use their color fixation mask. This helps calm down cuticle after washing and makes it to lie down nicely.
You want to apply the color fixation mask from the middle part of your hair shaft all the way down to the ends. That will nicely help that cuticle lie down so that a dye can be more evenly distributed. You’re gonna leave this in for 15 minutes and then rinse it off.
Follow it up with their conditioner, which is a more lightweight version and it helps further smooth out that cuticle. It really gets you a nice shiny hair.
I like using these products just as a hair mask, but they work really well if you want to darken your hair color or if you have gray that you’re trying to cover up.
It’s not permanent, so if you choose a color and you don’t like the way that it looks, do not worry, it’s temporary and it’s not going to damage your hair.
Henna is a great alternative to hair dyes and I’m happy to suggest it to you. It actually helps strengthen your hair shafts and reduce breakage. It is also going to help protect your hair from weathering while you’re outside.
Samantha is a hairstylist with over 12 years of color and stylist experience. She enjoys using her knowledge to create what her clients really want when they sit down in her chair. Her passion is creating unique looks that her clients feel great in.