Many women, even men, dream of staying young or at least presentable the best way they can. A lot would like to somehow freeze time and let their youthful looks stay as longer as possible. Unfortunately, the fountain of youth and beauty is yet to be discovered, if there really is such a thing. But thanks to cosmetics and other beauty products, people can now change or upgrade their looks. A simple change in hair color can do wonders.

Hair colors are being used by lots of people. The question is how safe are they? Unfortunately, hair dyes or colors can contain ingredients that are harmful to health. According to the Environmental Working Group (EWG), about one of every 30 products sold in the United States have chemicals that are banned or prohibited in other countries. It is therefore important to be wary of beauty products and their contents and to not entirely depend on FDA to do the scrutinizing and banning of such products.

Some harmful ingredients found in a lot of hair dyes are the following:

  • Ammonia. Although the more expensive brands of hair color like Garnier, L’Oreal, and Revlon are ammonia-free, some brands do have them because ammonia makes their shelf life longer. Small concentrations of ammonia are irritating but not toxic. However, ammonia can pose problems to those who are allergic to it.
  • Coal tar. It is a known carcinogen found not only in hair dyes but also in other organic vegetable dyes.
  • DMDM Hydantoin. It is a preservative that is toxic to the immune system. In fact, it’s already been banned for use in cosmetics in Japan.
  • Eugenol. It’s an ingredient that gives fragrance. However, it’s also linked to cancer, neurotoxicity, allergies, and immunotoxicity.
  • Hydrogen Peroxide. For lighter hair color, hydrogen peroxide is required. It can bleach hair but also damage it.
  • Para-Phenylenediamine. It is a chemical found to cause cancer and genetic damage in animals.
  • Formaldehyde. Like p-Phenylenediamine, formaldehyde is also linked to cancer as well as developmental and reproductive problems.

Natural or herbal hair colors are better and safer options. Some safe and recommendable brands are Aubrey Organics Color Me Natural and Harvest Moon Brown Henna Hair Dye.

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