I'm always surprised to see nutritionally savvy people (organic vegans, raw vegans, holistic health care practitioners) with dyed and chemically processed hair. I think there is a huge lack of awareness when it comes to the dangers of chemical hair coloring.
Using chemical hair coloring is just as dangerous as the pesticides and toxins that are sprayed on produce (if not more dangerous). Even more alarming is the fact that when you chemically color your hair, it's seeping into your scalp (your skin) and into your bloodstream.
When you color your hair, you're dumping toxic chemicals onto one of the most important spots of your body–your brain. This is where the blood supply is the richest in the entire human body (thus increasing the likelihood of harmful chemicals being absorbed into the bloodstream). The National Cancer Institute estimates that 20% of the non-Hodgkins lymphoma (the cancer that killed Jackie Kennedy-Onassis) is linked to the use of commercial, chemical hair dyes.
According to an article published in Energy Times…
- Most commercial hair coloring products contain cancer-causing agents and harsh bleaches. Some of the most dangerous are resorcinol and phenylenediamine derivatives (often preceded by an o-, p- or m- on the label). Another common hair dye ingredient, nitro-2-aminopherols, can initiate free-radical damage and DNA mutation which can lead to cancer. All of these chemicals have been associated with an increased occurance of asthma, Hodgkin's disease, lymphoma, breast cancer, bladder cancer and a form of leukemia called essential thrombocythemia."
- According to a study published by The American Journal of Epidemiology, hairstylists who worked with hair dyes for five years or more had had triple the risk of developing breast cancer.
- According to the American Cancer Society, people who used dark hair dye for two decades or more had a four times greater risk of dying from two cancers of the immune system, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and multiple myeloma.
- Dr. Andrew Weil, the natural health care guru, advises against any use of hair colors or dyes whatsoever. Dr. Weil believes that the color additives in hair dyes "are energetic molecules that can interact with DNA, potentially causing mutations that lead to cancer."
More information on the dangers of commercial hair coloring.
The good news is you can color your hair naturally. How? The answer is Henna. It's 100% natural, and harvested from a plant that's grown in India and parts of China. Many people assume that Henna means red hair. While Henna does have a reddish hue, it will not turn your hair bright red. That's a misconception. You can choose from a range of colors: light blonde, brown, red, and black. From what I've read, Henna is effective at covering gray hair, too.
One caveat: You should understand that Henna has no bleaching properties. In other words, you can't become blonde if your natural hair color is brown or black. Also, make sure you buy 100% pure Henna, with no added ingredients. I recommend Morrocco Method Henna.
My friend and I applied Morrocco Henna a couple of days ago. The color turned out nicely, although the application process is pretty messy (it's a green plant paste you're working with).