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If you love your hair then break up with that hair colour: All the reasons why hair dye is bad for your hair

Published on:19 February 2020, 09:00am IST
Love the look-change your hair colour gives you? Read this before heading to the salon for another hair-colour session and thank us later.
Sonakshi Kohli
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side effects of hair colouring
Before you get those tresses coloured, get some facts clear in your mind. GIF courtesy: GIPHY

There’s no denying the fact that getting a few streaks or a head full of new hair colour can change your look and give you a complete makeover. But there’s also no denying the fact that the hair dyes and colours can damage your hair like no other.

If you’re unaware about this golden truth or have been simply ignoring it–here’s presenting all the reasons you should stop using hair colours and dyes for the sake of your hair. Hopefully, this will be an eye-opener and will prompt you to stop colouring your hair using chemical-laden products.

1. Ammonia is a real deal-breaker
“Ammonia is a common ingredient of many modern-day hair colours, which serves the purpose of breaking through the hair cuticle and allows the colour to deposit itself there,” warns Dr. Nirupama Parwanda, dermatologist and founder, Zolie Skin Clinic, Delhi.

However, the entire beauty industry knows how this action can lead to the natural structure of your hair degrading, further leading to dry, brittle, dull, and unhealthy-looking hair.

Not to mention, ammonia is also known to cause allergic reactions, skin burns, dermatitis, and trigger respiratory problems too.

2. Ammonia-free dyes are no saints either
“Just because a certain hair dye does not contain ammonia, it does not mean it is safer for you,” Dr. Parwanda points out.

“Monoethanolamine (MEA), the chemical used to replace ammonia in hair dyes performs the same function of opening up the cuticle and thus, can cause a similar degree of hair damage as ammonia,” she adds.

The only difference is that MEA is not as harmful for the overall health as ammonia. But just like ammonia, it doesn’t spare the hair, fyi.

side effects of hair colouring
Don’t get into the trap of ammonia-free dyes. Image courtesy: Shutterstock.

3. Even peroxide-free hair colours are no saviours
Another set of chemicals present in hair colours to break through the hair cuticle and let the colour get deposited are peroxides. And if a certain product claims to be free from them, it still doesn’t guarantee safety.

“Peroxide-free hair colours don’t break through the hair cuticle to deposit the colour, which means that the colour won’t stay for very long and ultimately, the person will have to get a hair colour done more frequently, amounting to the same degree of damage,” Dr. Parwanda points out.

Also, read: 4 expert-recommended home remedies to repair your damaged, coloured hair

4. Hair fall will be the ultimate call
Surely, the opening of the cuticle, which is an essential step in hair colouring, can weaken the hair and cause hair breakage. However, hair colours can damage the hair from its roots itself by sucking out the moisture from the scalp and weakening the roots, according to Dr. Parwanda. Thus, hair fall is yet another side-effect of colouring and dying your hair. Oh, and your love for a lighter hair colour comes with more damage.

side effects of hair colouring
Dye your hair and you are bound to have hair fall. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

5. Styling the hair will need utmost care
When it comes to styling your hair using chemical-laden wax/gels/sprays or simply heated styling appliances, there is nothing that can stop the resulting hair damage.

However, this damage increases ten folds in case of coloured/dyed hair. With the colour already sucking the moisture out of the hair, styling your hair will make it even drier, and thus, more brittle and prone to breakage, Dr. Parwanda warns.

6. It can be an addiction
Believe it or not, in many cases, getting used to seeing yourself in a particular hair colour can lead to difficulty in accepting your original hair colour, according to Dr. Parwanda. The result? No points for guessing, you undergo the treatment again only to make yourself feel better and your hair worse.

Additionally, you may require several touch-ups once you get that full head of coloured hair, which also can be terrible for your hair. Not to mention, if you’re unhappy with your hair colour, you might have no option, but to go through the tedious and damaging process of colouring and bleaching the hair all over again—leading to double the damage.

So, what should you do instead?
Dr. Parwanda is clear about the fact that there’s no ‘healthier’ alternative to hair colour and dyes—unless you’re okay with the slight reddish tone of henna. In fact, mixing beetroot juice or coffee for a tinge of red or brown respectively is another smarter and healthier way of getting the most out of henna.

However, if you still want to go ahead and use a hair dye/colour, she recommends oiling and conditioning the hair regularly and using a mild shampoo to wash the hair so as to combat dryness, frizziness, and brittleness.

Sonakshi Kohli Sonakshi Kohli

Twenty kilos down and struggling to maintain the weight loss by preaching healthy eating, while eating unhealthy every now and then.