Did you know that some hair products and hair dyes can be harmful to your health?
Recent studies by the National Cancer Institute and other organizations have found increased risks for cancer in hairdressers. This may be correlated to the chemical dyes and other harmful products they use as part of their work on a regular basis. Why risk your health by using chemical dyes or products, especially when there are all-natural alternatives? Many all-natural products are already on the market, or may even be made easily at home, and are safer than chemical products (and usually much less expensive). Let’s take a look at some of the dangers of chemical products, and some safe, natural products you can use instead.
The Dangers of Chemical Products
It is true that the International Agency for Research on Cancer has said that chemical hair dyes are “not classifiable as to its carcinogenicity to humans.” However, this does not mean that hair dyes cannot cause cancer or other harmful side effects. There are conflicting results in some studies on the link between hair dye and cancer. However, many hairdressers and frequent hair dye users are reporting similar types of cancer, the most popular being: lymphoma, breast cancer, and bladder cancer. Little research has been done on the link between hair dye and any cancers besides these. Doctors used to say that smoking cigarettes was safe and not associated with cancer; is the same thing going on with hair dye and other chemical hair products?
An Alternative to Chemical Hair Dye: Henna
Henna is a great natural alternative to chemical hair dyes. Henna has been used for centuries to dye hair in India and parts of the Middle East. It is rumored that even Cleopatra used it! This all-natural product is not only safe to use, but actually increases the health of someone’s hair once they start using it. Henna hair dyes come in a variety of colors, from a golden-blond to deep black, and everything in between. Why not try a sassy copper red or a rich auburn? Henna also provides great coverage of gray areas. It can be easily purchased online or from many natural retailers. You can even mix shades for your own custom, unique color. Read more about the safety of Henna at Cornell University Law School’s Legal Information Institute: http://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/21/73.2190.
Soft, Silky Hair: Argan Oil
Argan Oil is a product traditionally used in Morocco to increase the softness of the skin and hair. People with damaged hair will find Argan treatments to be soothing and conditioning. One hundred percent pure Argan Oil is completely natural and safe to use. It does have an interesting smell to it that users tend to either love or hate. For those who do not like the smell, forms of deodorized Argan Oil exist that are still completely pure and natural. This article, linked by the University of California Santa Cruz, talks about the safety and effectiveness of using Argan Oil as part of a healthy beauty routine: http://metavid.ucsc.edu/wiki/User_talk:Argan99oil.
Lemon Juice for Lighter Hair
Those who want to lighten their hair can use lemon juice to achieve their goals. In order to lighten your hair by using lemon juice, make sure that you buy a fresh lemon from the store. Do not buy pre-squeezed juice or lemonade. You want to squeeze the fresh juice yourself. Once you have juiced the lemon, use the juice to wet your hair. Leave the juice on your hair, then go out into the sun. The combination of the sun’s rays interacting with the lemon juice should gently lighten your hair. In order to achieve maximum results, you may have to continue to do this for a few weeks to a month, and then continue using lemon juice on a regular basis if you wish to keep your color. The Berkeley Parents Network discusses the effective use of lemon juice as an alternative hair lightener: http://parents.berkeley.edu/advice/teens/hair.html.
Beer for Hair
Beer has been used for centuries to increase the brightness and beauty of hair. People use beer to wash their hair and make it particularly glowing. In fact, sites like Etsy are now filled with handmade beer soaps, shampoos, and conditioners. However, all you need to get glowing hair is a bottle of beer. Simply wash your hair with beer while taking a shower. You’ll be amazed at how gorgeous, voluminous, and luminous your hair looks afterwards. Plus, it will help to make your hair softer and more manageable. For more information, check out this blog from Penn State University: http://www.personal.psu.edu/afr3/blogs/SIOW/2011/12/beer–now-a-shampoo.html
Hydrogen peroxide is another great hair lightening solution that has been used for many years. Screen legend Jean Harlow may be the most famous ‘Peroxide Blonde’. Simply sprinkle a small amount of hydrogen peroxide on your hair, and it will start to become much lighter. Be warned that hydrogen peroxide will dry out your hair; if you already have dry hair, you should use this method with caution. Those with oily hair may find that using hydrogen peroxide makes their hair more manageable. Hydrogen peroxide is used as in ingredient in some commercial hair dyes, but at much higher concentrations than what you will find in your local drug store, and in combination with other dangerous chemicals. Make sure to read the safety instructions before using hydrogen peroxide on your hair, as improper use can cause hair damage, scalp damage, or hair loss. For more information, please visit: http://www.newton.dep.anl.gov/askasci/gen99/gen99504.htm.
By going natural with your hair care products, you will have the satisfaction of knowing that you are safeguarding your health, and also the health of laboratory animals. It’s always good to eliminate unnecessary, unnatural chemicals from your environment.